Here’s the complete guide on FASTag. Know what’s FASTAG, how it works, FASTag Brands, Recharge Options and what is the effect of FASTag in our lives.
National Highway Authority of India has introduced a way to ensure a smooth flow of traffic along with saving fuel. We will get to know everything about the FASTag in this article.
India is a rapidly developing nation. The government is taking several measures to ensure smooth access to various facilities to make life easier. Working on the same objective, the government of India has introduced a system known as FASTag to manage traffic and congestion on toll plazas across the state and national highways. Let’s understand how it works in India.
What is a FASTag and how does it work?
National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the agency of the Ministry of Road and Transport and Highways, has introduced an electronic-based system to collect tolls across the country. The system uses Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology to scan a FASTag strip placed on the windshield of the four-wheeler vehicle. After the successful scan, the system automatically deducts the set amount from the vehicle owner’s linked bank account or pre-paid wallet.
The best thing about this technology is that it only takes a few seconds to scan and deduct the amount without the need of stopping the vehicle for long. Hence, it not only saves time and money spent on fuel but also reduces pollution to a great extent.
Which brands sell FASTags?
As per the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) website, a total of 30 public and private sector banks are providing FASTags across the country, sold by Road Transport Authority offices. Apart from this, they are also available at online e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Paytm, Snapdeal, etc. The network is currently being expanded rapidly by the government to cover petrol pumps, commercial centres, dealers and agents.
The entire FASTag operation is managed by NHAI’s subsidiary Indian Highway Management Company Limited (IHMCL). The body is constantly working to enhance user experience and efficiency by employing new strategies. It is to be noted that FASTag purchased from one bank cannot be used with another bank, so the person needs to ensure in advance which bank he prefers for FASTag purchase.
In fact, at the time of buying a new car, the dealer will affix the FASTag on your vehicle registered in your name.
Which platforms are best for recharging FASTags online?
Today, the best way to recharge a FASTag online is either through the bank app or the digital payment platforms such as Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe and Amazon Pay associated with that bank account.
Every bank has a slightly different procedure for recharge. Some banks are even providing WhatsApp Banking for checking tag balance or ordering new FASTag.
What are the charges of FASTags?
As per IHMCL, while issuing a tag, the banks can charge up to INR 100 inclusive of all taxes. Generally, the individual will also be charged a certain security deposit which may vary from bank to bank.
Besides this, for every recharge, respective banks may charge an additional transaction fee. For activating an account online, the person will have to pay a one-time registration fee of Rs 100. For recharges online, a one-time convenient fee is also charged.
What has changed after FASTags have become the mode of toll collection?
The use of FASTags has grown exponentially in the past 6-12 months. Despite various restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, FASTag users have grown close to 3.5 crore (35 million) as of June 2021. The present penetration of this technology is around 96 per cent, while many toll plazas in the country are conducting 99 per cent of all the collection through FASTag.
That means FASTags are becoming the fastest mode of toll collection in the country. According to an estimate, the use ofFASTags would save INR 20,000 crore annually on fuel, which will eventually save our foreign exchange and reduce carbon footprints to a large extent. Further, the significant reduction of waiting time at toll plazas has improved the convenience of commuting.
For instance, the journey from Jaipur to Mumbai in a car used to take 26 hours earlier (including 3 hours the resting period). It now has reduced to 23 hours! The reason being less time consumed on 15+ toll plazas falling on the way. Notice how the small differences can have such a larger, practical impact.
FASTags Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the validity of a FASTag?
A FASTag is valid for five years from the date of issue.
What is the penalty for not having FASTag?
If a person goes in the demarcated FASTag lane at toll plazas without the tag, he will have to pay double the toll amount. However, FASTags are also available at toll plazas sold by banks through agents.
What if there is an insufficient balance?
If there is an insufficient or negative balance, the bank will recover the amount from the security deposit, which must be replenished at the next recharge.
What documents do I need for FASTag registration?
A person needs to produce a vehicle registration document and personal ID for mandatory KYC processing. However, if a person is already a bank customer, all he needs is the Registration Certificate (RC) copy. The same rule applies for Airtel and PayTM as there is no need to produce a personal ID, a RC is sufficient.
Are FASTags available at petrol pumps?
Yes, they can be purchased at petrol pumps without the need for KYC.