What is FASTag and How Will it Help You?

FASTags have been made compulsory for all commercial and private vehicles from the 15th of December, 2019, as per the announcement made by the Union Road Transport & Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari. The Government has extended the deadline from the earlier date of 1st December 2019 for implementation of the new rule. FASTags are being issued presently by 22 certified Indian banks via multiple channels including their branches and also POS (point of sale) at toll plazas on National Highways.

Vehicles not possessing FASTags will have to pay twice the normal rate across toll gates throughout India. You should thus get a FASTag swiftly in case you do not have it already.

fastag

What are FASTags Actually?

This is basically a rechargeable prepaid tag for making toll payments on national highways. The radio-frequency identification enabled prepaid tag will enable automatic deduction of charges at toll plazas on National Highways. Vehicles will no longer have to stop and make payments in cash at toll plazas.

This could be something like an Aadhar Card for all vehicles and the programme is being executed by IHMCL (Indian Highways Management Company Limited) which has been setup by the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) and the National Payments Corporation of India in tandem with Toll Plaza Concessionaires, banks and tag issuing agencies.

You can recharge your tag with cheque payments or online payments and will be fixed on your vehicle windshield, preferably on the glass behind your rear-view mirror. This will be scanned by the reader for tags and the amount for toll will be automatically deducted when the vehicle comes towards the toll plaza. An SMS alert will be given to the customer’s registered mobile phone number about the balance available and the transaction in question. A mobile application named My FASTag has already been created by service providers. NHAI has also launched its prepaid wallet for this purpose.

FASTags will remain valid for a period of 5 years and more than 70 lakh tags have already been issued till the 22nd of November, 2019, as per reports. The Government has taken this measure to lower delays in transportation and the economic costs of such delays along with enabling better fuel economy and lower congestion on major roads and highways.

This move will also fast-track toll collections and make the process more efficient while lowering queues at toll plazas and reducing operational costs for operators. This decision will also prevent loss/leakages of revenues from toll collection.

Learning More About FASTags

The electronic system of toll collection was implemented first in the form of a pilot project on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai portion of the Golden Quadrilateral in the year 2014. This was then extended to several others parts of India and FASTags are presently taken at 500+ National Highways and close to 40 State Highways as well. FASTags have reportedly enabled collections of Rs. 12,850 crore till September this year.

They seek to ensure smooth traffic movement on key highways, lower congestion and ensure time savings for everybody. Real-time data is provided to government agencies as well for better policy-making and analysis in the future. Air pollution and paper usage are also reduced along with toll plaza management expenditure.

FASTags maybe eventually integrated with the system for e-way Bills as per the memorandum inked between the GST Network and IHMCL on 14th October 2019. This will enable better mechanisms for tracing/monitoring of commercial goods carriers/vehicles.

This will be compulsory across India from April next year and will enable authorities to inspect whether vehicles are actually going to the destination specified. Transport companies and suppliers can also track vehicles via SMS alerts generated from every toll plaza with a reader. FASTags may ultimately be used for payment of parking charges and even for fuel in the near future. The many States have also shown interest in adopting the system.

Getting your FASTag

FASTags are completely bank-neutral in nature and you can self-activate your FASTag by keying in details of your vehicle through the My FASTag mobile app which is downloadable from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. You can thereafter link up the FASTag with any of your bank accounts through this app. You can also check out the NHAI prepaid wallet within this application where you can keep money and get the toll charges deducted from the same.

Banks Providing FASTags Are The Following:

  • SBI
  • Axis Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • IDFC Bank
  • Syndicate Bank
  • Karur Vysya Bank
  • EQUITAS Small Finance Bank
  • Federal Bank
  • Paytm Payments Bank Limited
  • Punjab & Maharashtra Co-op Bank
  • Punjab National Bank
  • South Indian Bank
  • Fino Payments Bank
  • Saraswat Bank
  • Yes Bank
  • IndusInd Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • City Union Bank
  • Union Bank
  • Nagpur Nagarik Sahakari Bank Limited

You have to provide your KYC documents when applying for activation of your FASTag at the bank branch. You also have to provide the RC (Registration Certificate) of your vehicle and the formal application.

Charges & other details

FASTags can be charged at a maximum Rs. 100 for every tag fixed by the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India). The issuing charges may vary from one bank to another. HDFC Bank is offering FASTags at Rs. 400 each which includes Rs. 200 as the Refundable Security Deposit, Rs. 100 as the Tag Issuance Fees and Rs. 100 for the first wallet recharge amount upon creation.

ICICI Bank is offering this at Rs. 499.12 which includes Rs. 99.12 as issuance charges, Rs. 200 for the first wallet recharge amount and Rs. 200 as the refundable security deposit. Top-up charges differ across banks. Make sure that the bank account linked to your FASTag has sufficient money for making payments at toll plazas. You can also recharge your NHAI prepaid wallet via cheque/debit card/credit card/NEFT/Net Banking/UPI among other payment modes. Additional charges will also be payable when your FASTag account is being recharged via multiple channels.

For limited KYC FASTag accounts, the maximum balance amount is Rs. 20,000 and the re-load limit per month is also the same amount. Full KYC FASTag account holders can keep a maximum of Rs. 1 lakh in their prepaid wallets with no cap on monthly re-loading as per IHMCL’s official notification.

One vehicle can only have one FASTag; you will have to purchase two tags if you own two vehicles. IHMCL has also stated that in case a citizen says within 10 kilometres of the toll plaza, he/she can get a toll concession paid through his/her FASTag. You have to provide necessary residence proof at the bank/nearest POS location for validation of your residential address being located within 10 kilometres of any specific toll plaza. Post verification, concessions will be given on toll payments made via the FASTag for your vehicle.

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