FASTag: All you need to know

If are not yet acquainted with FASTag and how it works, then its high time you know. As per the latest government orders, from 16th February 2021, FASTag will be made compulsory for all vehicles in the country, without which, you will need to pay double the toll amount.

Here’s everything you need to know about it:

What is FASTag?

FASTag is a government-initiated program which works as a prepaid instrument for vehicles on national highways. As of now 37 major banks issue FASTag that is used to facilitate the toll collection system. It uses Radio Frequency Identification technology, allowing users to make toll payments directly from savings or prepaid accounts. Currently, The National Highway Authority of India operates this technology through its subsidiary Indian Highway Management Company Limited.

FASTag was initially set up in 2014 between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and since December 2017, it has become mandatory for all new vehicles sold in India to have a FASTag. It contributes over 90% of the total toll collected across national highways and from January 2021, it will be mandatory for all vehicles to use FASTag at toll booths.

Why is FASTag important?

A report by the Transport Corporation of India (TCI), along with IIM Kolkata, claimed that India incurs a loss of about USD 6.6 billion per year on account of transportation delays. To rectify this deficit, the government introduced Electronic Toll Collection (ETC). Taking a cue from this, National Highways Programme announced that it would undergo comprehensive restructuring to bring better efficiency to the functioning of the National Highways Grid.

How does FASTag work?

Affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle, FASTag is linked directly to your prepaid wallet which can in turn be linked with your Savings Account or Current Account. The toll amount is deducted directly from your prepaid FASTag wallet, thus enabling an entirely cashless transaction passing toll plazas on highways.

The toll plaza records the information from the FASTag as the vehicle passes through, eliminating the need for you to halt during your trip to make a toll payment.

Why is FASTag is a good idea right now?

While one of the main aims of the FASTag technology is to ensure ideal traffic flow and prevent congestion at toll plazas, there are several other FASTag benefits.

  • Those who use highways to commute regularly will no longer have to waste time searching for change at highway toll plazas.

  • It is a form of contactless payment that prioritises hygiene and safety.

  • It reduces the effort required during human transactions, thereby making the payment process more effective and efficient.

  • There is smooth movement on national and state highways, which also reduces vehicular emissions and carbon footprint as there is no idling at toll booths.

  • Lack of long queues can reduce anxiety among drivers as vehicles would be moving in cohesion with one another.

Do you need a FASTag even if you don’t take your vehicle on highways?

The government plans to integrate FASTag as a multi-utility payment tool outside of highways as well, such as at utilities like parking lots etc. In April 2020, FASTag was made mandatory to acquire third-party insurance, which is a minimum insurance cover essential for all cars. Moreover, if you enter a FASTag lane without a FASTag, you’ll be liable to pay double the toll amount. The same rule applies if your FASTag is not functional due to impairment to RFID or insufficient balance. Therefore, having a FASTag is a matter of convenience as well as safety.

How to get FASTag?

To cruise through toll booths, here's what you need to do:

  • Log on to the HDFC Bank FASTag portal  

  • Fill in your details 

  • Make the payment 

  • Have the card delivered to your doorstep

FASTag is valid for a minimum of five years, so you don't have to worry about annual renewals. You can also get SMS notifications about toll deductions and your FASTag account balance. Additionally, HDFC Bank offers an online FASTag reloadable feature for seamless recharge or top-ups at nominal costs.

Last words:

So, now that you know about FASTag, when are you making the switch?

Open your FASTag account with HDFC Bank today!

Read more on what are FASTag charges here!

Calculate the returns on Tax saving fixed deposits with FD Calculator.

Login to check fastag balance online

​​​​​​​*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. 

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