The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC), run by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), now accounts for 25% of the toll collected on India’s highways, NPCI said in a press release. NPCI launched the electronic toll collection program in December 2016 in partnership with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Indian Highways Management Company (IHMCL). It uses electronic tags, called FASTags, to deduct the toll from a linked bank account, allowing customers to drive through toll plazas without stopping.

46 lakh electronic tags issued

NETC currently process 8.62 lakh such transactions a day, up from an average of 30,000 transactions a day in January 2017, said Praveena Rai, chief operating officer, NPCI. He added that 22 banks have issued 46 lakh FASTags, which are accepted at over 496 toll plazas across India. “Going forward, more use cases like parking and enforcement (e-challan) can be added, and the NETC program can become a single stop solution for all payments linked to a vehicle,” he said.

IHMCL had chalked out an onboarding policy for toll plazas under which it would provide financial assistance to the relevant authority to implementation electronic toll collection, the release said. NHAI and IHMCL conducted a workshop on March 28 to discuss extending FASTag services to all state and city toll plazas.

NPCI, which runs the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) network, recently slashed usage fees for transactions under Rs 1,000 – such as toll payments – from 25 paise to 10 paise.

Proximity payments on UPI

Last April, NPCI ran a pilot project with three companies that would help them enable proximity payments on UPI. Proximity payments will enable consumers to make digital payments at merchant outlets without any physical contact with the acceptance terminal. Rather, a contactless system will be used to pair two devices and initiate a transaction via UPI. Theoretically, this should ensure speedier and safer transactions.