Explained: What Is FASTag Technology And Why Is It Mandatory For All Vehicles?

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FASTag rolled out by the Indian government, will be applicable for all transportation traveling on highways. All the National Highways in India will collect toll payments through the FASTag starting from December 1. FASTag is based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which can be tagged to vehicles.

What is FASTag?
 

Initially, the FASTag technology was launched as a pilot project in 2014. It was only this year that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announced electronic toll collection (ETC) infrastructure to be mandatory at toll lanes in the country. The ETC is the infrastructure that will support FASTag equipped vehicles. So far, the government has tied up with 23 banks for FASTag insurance.

The FASTag is linked with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which states that the tag is an RFID passive tag, which will be used to make toll payments directly from the user's linked prepaid or savings/current account.

"It is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables the customer to drive through toll plazas, without stopping for any toll payments. The toll fare is directly deducted from the linked account of the customer," the website notes.

Basically, when a vehicle is in motion and passing through a highway toll plaza, the toll payment is directly debited from the FASTag, which is linked with the owner's savings/current account. Once the FASTag is affixed on the vehicle's windscreen, payments are automatically initiated.

How To Get It?

How To Get It?

The Indian government has made FASTag mandatory from December 1. New vehicles launching in the market will have the FASTag in-built in the automobiles. Existing vehicle owners can get a FASTag from all major banks like the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and more. The National Highways Authority of India has also partnered with Amazon to make the FASTag available online. Paytm is also offering a FASTag with customer details.

Coming to the price, the reusable FASTag RFID tag is available for Rs. 100 for all vehicles. Particular banks like SBI are charging a refundable security deposit ranging from Rs. 200 to Rs. 400. The security deposit may vary depending on the bank. Once the FASTag is purchased, users need the MyFASTag app, available for Android devices.

 

How Does It Work?
 

How Does It Work?

On the MyFASTag app, details like the vehicle registration number and more need to be entered. The app enables owners to recharge their RFID tag using UPI payments as well. Once the FASTag is affixed on the vehicle, it can pass through any supported national highway toll plaza and make cashless payments.

When the vehicle passes the supported toll plaza, the ETC captures the FASTag details with the tag ID, vehicle registration number, owner name, etc and sends it to the bank for processing. The bank next sends a request to the NETC Mapper to validate the FASTag details. Once through, the ETC at the toll calculates the appropriate toll fare and request debit to the NETC system.

 

Why FASTag Technology For Vehicles?

Why FASTag Technology For Vehicles?

The Indian government notes that the FASTag is the Aadhar for vehicles. The NPCI website notes numerous advantages to using the FASTag, like reducing air pollution by minimizing the congestion around toll plaza and also reducing fuel consumption. The highway tolls also have dedicated FASTag lanes, which aim to further reduce the congestion.

"FASTag offers the convenience of cashless payment along with benefits like - savings on fuel and time as the customer does not has to stop at the toll plaza," the website states. Additionally, the government is also offering 2.5 percent cashback for FASTag customers.

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