FASTags are now operational on every national highway and the government will set up a dedicated lane where people can stopping at toll plazas. FASTag penetration now accounts for 18%, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said in a press note. Note we are not sure what penetration means in this regard. Is it the number of transactions which happen at national highway or is it FASTag penetration across all highways – state and district roads as well.
Meanwhile, the government mandated that new vehicles being sold with effect from 1st October 2017 will be affixed with an active FASTag in an effort to increase usage. This will be done through a partner app where more than 6,000 dealers in the country will be given access to a single platform and activate FASTags at the time of vehicle delivery.
FASTags are prepaid RFID tags which can be used to pay for tolls on highways without stopping at the plaza and were originally introduced in 2014.
Last month, NHAI also enabled the online sale of these tags and offline sale through Common Services Centre (CSC) near toll plazas. FASTags can also be purchased online from issuer banks websites/NHAI website/ IHMCL website and will be delivered by courier at the door step of the purchaser.
Other cashless options for toll plazas
NHAI has also enabled cashless payments at Toll booths via mobile wallets. In November 2016, MobiKwik said that the mobile wallet can be used at 391 toll booths on Indian Highways for the cashless payment method. Before that, Paytm said that commuters can pay highway tolls at 40 toll plazas across the country.
Users will need to download and install the mobile app and scan QR codes printed at toll plazas. After scanning, the app will display the name of the toll plaza along with the lane number. User inputs the amount to be paid along with their vehicle number to complete the transaction.