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Time to Get Digital when you travel

FASTags become mandatory on national highway toll booths from December 1. Here's what you need to do.

Time to Get Digital when you travel

Travel on Indian roads is going to get digital as toll payments through FASTag will become mandatory at toll plazas on National Highways from December 1. If you pay using other modes, the toll amount will be double. To implement smooth functioning, the government is enabling all lanes at toll plazas on National Highways to accept FASTag. Many toll plazas on state highways are also being made ready. But are you ready for the change?

FASTag uses RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology. It is used to pay toll through the linked prepaid or savings/current account. You have to affix the tag on the windscreen of your vehicle. It enables your vehicle to drive through toll plazas, without having to stop to pay. Toll charges are deducted directly from the linked account. The linked savings or current account should be adequately funded. But if it is linked to a prepaid account, you need to recharge or top-up as per usage. Inadequate amount in the tag will lead to it getting blacklisted at the toll plaza and you may end up paying double the amount. You will also receive SMS alerts on your registered mobile number.

According to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), around 526 toll plazas across the country have been enabled to accept FASTag payments. While most of these are at National Highways, many toll plazas are on state highways in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. FAStags are already in use; 967,000 transactions were processed daily on National Highway toll plazas in September. This is a total of 34 per cent of all the transactions done by vehicles commuting on National Highways.

To get and manage FASTags, you may visit any Point of Sale (PoS) at toll plazas to get your FASTag account created. You can also purchase it from any National Electronic Toll Collection member bank.

If you have a prepaid FASTag account you can recharge it online and through UPI, credit card, debit card or Net banking. The minimum recharge amount is  Rs 100 and maximum is  Rs 1 lakh. There is a cashback scheme of 2.5 per cent cashback on toll payments using FASTag at National Highway toll plazas.

FASTag is vehicle specific and once affixed to a vehicle, it cannot be transferred to another vehicle. If you lose it, you will have to call the customer care number of the issuer agency to block your FASTag. Once you take a new account, the issuer agency will transfer the balance to the new account. In case the FASTag gets damaged, you can approach the issuer agency for replacement. If you sell or transfer the ownership of your car, you need to inform the issuer agency.

@naveenkumar80

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