What is FASTag? Know how to get a FASTag, about its significance, benefits, uses and RFID technology here
Why in News?
FASTag is being used by more than 2 crore people across India and is generating a revenue of 80 crore per day.
What is FASTag?
- FASTag is an electronic toll collection chip that is used for national highways now-a-days. It is now mandatory for all vehicles and the Government wishes to implement the system of 100 percent toll collection through FAStag.
- Through this move the Government wishes to remove any cash handling at toll plazas.
- At this time, more than 80 percent of toll collection has shifted to FASTag.
- FASTag is a sticker that is to be pasted on the windscreen of the car.
- It uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
- It is used as a tool to communicate with scanners at toll plazas.
How does the FASTag Work?
- Whenever the car on which a FASTag is pasted, crosses the toll plaza, the amount to be paid as toll tax for the journey gets automatically deducted from the bank account of the user.
- It may also be deducted from a prepaid wallet linked to the FASTag.
- In case the tag is linked to a prepaid account such as any online wallet, or a debit/credit card, it becomes the duty of the owners to recharge/top up the tag.
- In case, it is linked to a savings account, the money would get deducted automatically after the balance is lower than a predefined threshold.
- On deduction of the amount, the owner gets an SMS alert. The alert is like money getting debited from accounts or wallets.
- Every 615-odd toll plaza of NHAI and 100 toll plazas of state highways have adopted FASTags for toll collection. The number would increase gradually.
How to get a FASTag?
- FASTags are available on online platforms like Amazon, Paytm, Snapdeal etc
- Also 23 banks are the point of sale locations for FASTags
- Road Transport Authority offices are also authorised sell these tags
- The government is now expanding the network to cover dealers, agents, fuel stations, commercial centres that can increase the access to FASTag.
FASTag: Authority incharge
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) through its subsidiary Indian Highway Management Company Limited (IHMCL) sells and operates FASTag.
NHAI sells bank-neutral FASTags issued by the IHMCL online which are not linked to any bank and the user is free to choose his mode of payment to be linked to the FASTag account.
How much do FASTags cost?
Banks can charge upto INR 200 for issuing the tag including all taxes. A security deposit of INR 200 for cars is also charged. People need to recharge it with a minimum amount of INR 100 from then on. This is done to keep the tag active. The IHMCL has My FASTag mobile app (Android and iOS) which can be linked to the FASTag too and can be used for recharging purposes.
One of the major benefits of having a FASTag is that the toll plazas would turn completely cashless and would not take much time of the drivers. But one of the disadvantages is that in case there is some discrepancy and the driver by mistake enters a FASTag lane without functional FASTag, double the amount of money is charged which leaves the citizens fuming.