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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 14 Dec 2020
Remember the times when you have been stuck at the toll booths on highways, waiting for your turn to pay up? It can test your patience and feel extremely dull. But, since December 01, 2019, you may not have had to even stop at a toll booth! Do you know why? It’s because of FASTag – an innovative toll collection system introduced in India.
What is FASTag?
FASTag is a convenient tag that automates your toll booth payments and saves you from the hassle of waiting in line to pay the toll booth fee in cash. Through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, the transactions are quicker as you drive through the toll booth. The readers installed on toll plazas can read your FASTag from as far as 25 meters. All vehicles must make toll payments through the FASTag system at all NHAI toll plazas since December 01, 2019. All private vehicles need to have FASTag stickers fixed on their windscreens to make digital toll payments.
Benefits of FASTag
The benefits of FASTag don’t just stop at reducing waiting time at toll plazas. Here’s what else FASTag does:
- ♦ Accommodates increasing traffic without spending money to make additional lanes.
- ♦ Decreases fuel wastage and reduces the operational cost of vehicles.
- ♦ Offers you the convenience of paying toll booth charges with RFID tags.
- ♦ Helps in decreasing cash transactions and works towards enhanced audit control by centralizing user accounts.
- ♦ Enhances data collection such as information on vehicle count per day.
- ♦ Automates the toll booth fee collection process.
- ♦ You can receive SMS alerts for every transaction.
- ♦ Offers an easy-to-access web customer portal.
- ♦ Saves paper as they don’t have to be used for transactions anymore.
How to Avail a FASTag Easily
The process of procuring a FASTag card is quite simple. There are 22 banks that have been authorized by the NHAI to issue FASTag to individuals. It is mainly a digital process and there are a couple of other ways, as well, to avail a FASTag easily.
- ♦ Visit the website of any of these 22 banks to get your FASTag. You don’t have to be an existing customer of the bank.
- ♦ Digital platforms like Amazon and Paytm also provide FASTag online.
- ♦ There are over 28,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals all over India at NHAI plazas, petrol pumps, etc., where you can get a FASTag.
With a few KYC documents and a fee, you can have your FASTag card. These KYC documents may differ from bank to bank. They are:
- ♦ Your proof of identity
- ♦ Your proof of residence
- ♦ Your vehicle’s registration certificate (RC)
- ♦ Your passport size photo
To ensure that all vehicle-users had a FASTag card by December 15, 2019, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways had announced that between November 22, 2019 to December 1, 2019, FASTags could be availed at transport hubs, toll plazas and Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), free of cost. Since the deadline is now over, you will have to buy the FASTag for a certain price. The details are as below:
- ♦ An issuing fee
- ♦ A refundable security deposit
- ♦ A minimum balance in the digital wallet linked to the FASTag.
The Government of India has capped the issuing fee, which is a one-time cost charged by the issuing authority. While getting your FASTag from any of the financial institutions, this limit is set at ₹200.
How to Activate & Recharge your FASTag Card
Once the card is purchased, it has to be activated. You can do this by downloading the “My FASTag” application on your mobile phone and following a few simple steps.
- ♦ Find and click the “Activate NHAI FASTag” option on the homepage
- ♦ Next, click the “Activate NHAI FASTag bought Online” option
- ♦ Scan the QR Code of your FASTag with the code scanner on the next page.
- ♦ After that mention your vehicle’s details like the vehicle’s registration number, vehicle type, etc.
- ♦ In the last step, you will need to link a payment method to your FASTag card.
- ♦ You can recharge your FASTag using digital wallets like Google Pay, PhonePe or BHIM.
- ♦ Open the digital wallet, for example, Google Pay, and click on “New”.
- ♦ In the “Suggested Business” section, click on “More” and choose FASTag recharge.
- ♦ Choose the FASTag issuing bank and proceed to pay the desired amount.
Is FASTag Mandatory for Third Party Insurance?
As per a government proposal, from April 01, 2021, having a FASTag could become mandatory for getting a third-party motor insurance.
According to the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, a third-party car insurance or bike insurance is compulsory if you want to drive on Indian roads. Hence, going forward, it is quite possible that having a FASTag card could also become mandatory.
How does FASTag work?
FASTag makes use of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Sensors on the toll plazas scan the FASTag strips attached to the windshield of the vehicle. This electronic process generates the payment of a certain amount from the digital wallet of the FASTag that is already linked to the bank account.
What are the fees to avail FASTag?
There is a one-time charge of ₹200 that is charged by the issuer bank that provides a FASTag. Apart from that there is a refundable security deposit that will depend upon the type of vehicle. FASTag charges may vary from issuer to issuer.
What is MyFASTag App?
In order to use your FASTag card, you will first have to activate it. You can do so by downloading the My FASTag application on your mobile phone. This app also lets you check the FASTag balance.
What documents required for FASTag?
You need to submit your KYC documents, such as a proof of identity, proof of residence, your vehicle’s registration certificate (RC) and a passport size photo. The KYC documents may vary from bank to bank.
How to check Balance in FASTag?
When you activate the FASTag card, you have to download the My FASTag application. This application will also be linked to the digital wallet from which the FASTag payment is deducted. Therefore, just log into the application and check the digital wallet balance.
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