FASTag uses the Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) to promote the cashless payment of toll taxes by the drivers/vehicle owners of four wheelers across all toll plazas over the national highway.
To avoid long queues and jams at national highways across the country, the government has implemented the FASTag facility, a cashless model wherein the entire toll tax amount is collected through the FASTag. Since 16th February 2021, all four-wheelers have to mandatorily get the tag fitted on their vehicles.
The FASTag is operated by 35 different banks, which are governed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The FASTag facility eliminates the manual collection of the tax at toll plazas by using a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The idea is to facilitate electronic toll collection across the country, thereby saving people’s time and efforts in the long run.
What is a FASTag Scanner?
A FASTag scanner is a device installed at the toll gates enabling the cashless payment of toll taxes by the users passing through the toll booths across the Indian national highways. So, when you cross a toll plaza, you don’t have to stop your vehicle for making a cash payment as the toll tax. You can, instead, continue to drive through the toll plaza and let the FASTag scanner read your FASTag, upon success of which, the toll amount will automatically be paid.
A FASTag scanner reads your FASTag while your vehicle is still in motion by emitting a signal to your FASTag card. This signal requests the payment of toll tax which immediately gets deducted from your linked wallet. However, it is important that you have your FASTag linked to your prepaid wallet, such as Paytm, to enable successful cashless payment at the toll plaza. If you are not sure of how you can link your FASTag to your bank account/prepaid wallet, click here.
To promote the cashless payment of toll taxes, the Government of India has instructed the National Highway Authority of India to convert all the toll lanes to FASTag lanes, thereby making the FASTag facility an omnipresent facility across all the Indian highways.
How does the FASTag Scanner Work?
Once a four-wheeler owner purchases a FASTag and affixes it to the windscreen of his/her vehicle, he/she becomes eligible for a seamless driving experience across all toll plazas over the Indian national highways. Let’s understand how this works-
- The FASTag is linked to the user’s prepaid account and is then fixed to the windscreen of his/her vehicle. Here’s how you can stick FASTag to your vehicle!
- With the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, the FASTag scanner scans the tag affixed on the vehicle and automatically deducts the toll amount from the linked prepaid account, such as a Paytm wallet
- The technology works such that the vehicle does not have to stop at the toll gate; the amount gets deducted as the vehicle passes through it
- Your prepaid FASTag account, which could be your Paytm wallet, for instance, will then be debited for the transaction; which eventually makes users’ travel easier and comfortable
Here’s an example to understand this better-
Every FASTag is linked to a prepaid account, such as Paytm Wallet. Right when you buy a Paytm FASTag, it gets automatically linked to your Paytm Wallet.. Now, to enable the FASTag facility, you need to fit the tag on your vehicle. As you activate your Paytm FASTag, it will automatically be visible in the ‘Manage FASTag’ section of your Paytm mobile application. Now, to use the Paytm FASTag facility, you need to add money to your Paytm wallet, and the required transaction amount will be deducted from your Paytm balance as your vehicle passes through the FASTag-enabled toll plaza.
Benefits of Using a FASTag
The Government of India has made it mandatory for all citizens to use the FASTag facility. Let’s understand what benefits does it offer to you-
- Using the FASTag technology, you will not have to lower the speed of your vehicle at the toll plazas. Since you can keep moving at the toll gates, without having to stop, your fuel and your time will be saved
- Since the traffic does not have to stop or slow down, there is almost no congestion or traffic jam at the toll plazas
- Traveling from one city/state to another by road comes across a lot of toll plazas. With the use of FASTag, you can enjoy the benefit of electronic payment, and a completely hassle-free driving experience throughout your journey; leaving the FASTag to take care of all your toll payments
- FASTag also makes it easier for you to keep a track of all your toll expenses. If you use Paytm to make your FASTag payments, you will receive regular in-app notifications and SMSs every time you make a payment through FASTag. Moreover, you can also track your expenses in your Paytm passbook
- The FASTag facility benefits the environment in the long run, as it reduces the use of paper and fuel
- Regular travelers can apply to convert their monthly, regular passes into FASTag passes. There is an online application procedure for corporates and fleet owners to do the same
What happens if you don’t have a FASTag on your vehicle?
Since 16 February 2021, the Government of India has made it mandatory for users to have FASTag installed on their four-wheeler vehicles. If, somehow, you don’t have the FASTag installed on your vehicle, you will have to pay twice the toll tax amount at every toll plaza that you cross across the Indian national highways.