What is FASTag? Everything You Need to Know About FASTag
The face of the Indian economy is undergoing fast and exciting changes. With digital transformation taking over, our lives have become more convenient and efficient, and mundane jobs have become less taxing.
Remember when standing in long queues was a taxing task? Or when you had to go from store to store to buy just a few things? Well, digitisation across sectors has reduced this human effort by a significant margin, making everyday chores easy, quick and convenient. And this advancement is now being taken from your home onto the roads.
In keeping with the changes, the FASTag technology has been implemented at national highways across the country at approximately 615 toll plazas. The government is keen to implement a cashless model wherein 100% of the toll is collected through FASTag. To further this objective, it has made it mandatory for all vehicles to have a FASTag from 16th February, 2021, without which, you will need to pay double the amount.
Digital technology that FASTag uses
Developed to facilitate electronic toll collection in India, FASTag is a tag fitted on vehicles and is operated by 23 banks governed by NPCI (National Payment Corporation Of India) and NHAI (National Highway Authority of India). It eliminates human intervention in the toll collection system by using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
How it works
FASTag is affixed to the windscreen of the vehicle and is linked to a prepaid account. Toll payments are made through RFID, as the vehicle drives through the toll gate, which means you do not have to stop at a toll plaza on your journey. The prepaid FASTag account will be debited for the transaction which makes payments easier. For instance, you can also link your HDFC Bank Savings Account or Current Account to FASTag for electronic toll payments. For this, you need to get a FASTag profile for your vehicle first, for which you can log onto HDFC Bank's FASTag portal and make the payment through the recharge option using a Debit/ Credit Card or NetBanking.
Once your FASTag account is active, the appropriate toll amount will be automatically deducted from your account every time your vehicle passes through a FASTag enabled toll plaza. The government has instructed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to convert all toll lanes across the National Highway network into FASTag lanes. So, FASTag will be an omnipresent facility across Indian highways in the days to come. Let’s look at what is FASTag and its benefits:
- In an apparent bid to popularise FASTag, up to 2.5% cashback is being offered on all National toll payments using FASTag during the financial year 2019-20.
- You don’t have to go through the tedious exercise of slowing down while approaching the toll plaza and then moving and halting your way to the payment aisle. This will save your fuel and time every time you pass by a toll plaza. At a more macro level, this can help decongest toll plazas and ease traffic jams.
- If you take a long drive across the country, you will come across a lot of toll plazas. A car drive between Delhi and Mumbai has around 21 toll gates, where you can end up spending more than Rs. 1,400. Having a FASTag can give you a completely hassle-free driving experience, as your tag takes care of your toll payment duties. It also means you don’t have to carry cash or change for toll payments.
- With FASTag, it is easier to keep track of your toll expenses. FASTag customers receive SMS and email alerts on their registered mobile numbers and email addresses every time the tag account is used for transactions. Besides, there is a dedicated web portal for FASTag users, through which they can access their tag account statement.
Having a FASTag also offers added benefits like emergency FASTAg road assistance and accidental death cover. These facilities can be of great use for fleet operators who have many drivers and vehicles plying on highways.
- FASTag is also good for the environment as it reduces paperwork and saves fuel, both of which are eco-friendly features of the electronic toll collection system.
- You can easily convert your existing monthly and local passes into FASTag ones. Corporates and fleet owners can apply for the conversion online and save both time and manual effort for conversion.
Why you need FASTag right now
Another big reason for you to go electronic is that if you enter a FASTag lane without a FASTag, you’ll be required to pay double the toll amount. The government has also made FASTag mandatory for acquiring third party insurance for your vehicle. To incentivise its popularity, the government seeks to transform FASTag into a multi-utility payment tool.
Looking at the benefits and how the government is bringing it into prominence, opting electronic toll payment and FASTag are easily on their way to becoming a social norm or custom. As studies of behavioural economics explain, once an activity becomes part of social norms, people see beyond its benefits. Just like following a queue or respecting a “No Smoking” sign, having a loaded FASTag account before hitting the highway is on its way to become an essential practice.
So, get your FASTag account today to enjoy its many benefits.
Read more on how to get FASTag for your car here.
Know How to check fastag balance online in 4 simple steps
*Terms & conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.