Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles, private and commercial, from 1 December 2019.
According to an Economic Times report, vehicles without FASTags will have to cough up twice the normal rate at toll gates.
Therefore, it’s important that you get one fast for your vehicle if you don’t have it already.
- What are FASTags?
FASTags are prepaid rechargeable tags for toll collection that allow automatic payment deduction from the FASTag, they are normally affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle. With the help of a FASTag, you will not have to stop your vehicle at toll plazas to pay the toll. As soon as the vehicle crosses the toll plaza, the toll fee will get deducted from the bank account/prepaid wallet linked to the FASTag affixed on the vehicle’s windscreen.An activated FASTtag works on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Moreover, these FASTags do not have any expiry date, that is, they can be used as long as they are readable at the toll plaza and are not tampered.
- How to buy and activate your FASTag
FASTags are issued by 22 certified banks through various channels such as Point-of-Sale (POS) at National Highway toll plazas and select bank branches. They are also available on e-commerce platform such as Amazon. Read moreHere is how you can do it.
a) Self-Activation: FASTags are ‘bank-neutral’, that is, no bank is pre-assigned to the FASTag at the time you purchase it from a POS terminal or online platform. The online FASTag is based on the concept of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) where you can self-activate it by entering vehicle details in the ‘My FASTag’ mobile app. Android smartphone users can download the My FASTag app from ‘Google Play Store’ and iPhone users can download the app from ‘Apple Store’.Thereafter, you have the flexibility to link the FASTag with any one of your existing bank accounts by using the My FASTag Mobile app. The NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) Prepaid wallet facility is also available in My FASTag mobile app, where you can load money and get your toll fee deducted from the prepaid wallet instead of getting it directly deducted from a bank account.
b) Activate by visiting certified bank branch: You can also buy FASTag by visiting the nearest certified bank branch and get the FASTag linked with your existing bank account.
Detailed list of certified banks providing FASTags
S. No. Issuing Bank Customer Care Helpline No 1 Axis Bank 1800-419-8585 2 ICICI Bank 1800-2100-104 3 IDFC Bank 1800-266-9970 4 State Bank of India 1800-11-0018 5 HDFC Bank 1800-120-1243 6 Karur Vysya Bank 1800-102-1916 7 EQUITAS Small Finance Bank 1800-419-1996 8 PayTM Payments Bank Ltd 1800-102-6480 9 Box of Mahindra Bank 1800-419-6606 10 Syndicate Bank 1800-425-0585 11 Federal Bank 1800-266-9520 12 South Indian Bank 1800-425-1809 13 Punjab National Bank 080-67295310 14 Punjab & Maharashtra Co-op Bank 1800-223-993 15 Saraswat Bank 1800-266-9545 16 Fino Payments Bank 1860-266-3466 17 City Union Bank 1800-2587200 18 Bank of Baroda 1800-1034568 19 IndusInd Bank 1860-5005004 20 Yes Bank 1800-1200 21 Union Bank 1800-222244 22 Nagpur Nagarik Sahakari Bank Ltd 1800-2667183
At the time of activation, you need to submit the KYC (Know Your Customer) documentation as per the KYC policy of the bank. Apart from the KYC documentation, you need to submit Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle along with the application for FASTag to the bank.
- What are the charges for FASTag?
FASTag issued by certified banks can charge maximum of Rs 100 for each tag, which is fixed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). However, the actual tag issuing charges are defined by the bank and may vary from bank to bank. Read more
For instance, HDFC bank is selling FASTag for car at Rs 400 in the following manner:
Rs 100 for Tag issuance fees
Rs 200 for Refundable Security Deposit
Rs 100 for first recharge amount in wallet when the wallet is been createdICICI bank is selling FASTag for car at Rs 499.12 in the following manner:
Rs 99.12 for Tag issuance fees
Rs 200 for Refundable Security Deposit
Rs 200 for first recharge amount in wallet when the wallet is been created
The top up charges may vary from bank to bank and this difference can be seen on respective banks’ website.
Abhijeet Sehgal, CEO, 1Pay, a- Mumbai based digital payment solutions firm, said that these charges may vary if you buy the FASTag online because the person who is the seller has also added cost of delivery which by default you need to pay if you are posting your products on amazon. “Amazon’s 20 percent commission is also added to the cost hence it is expensive then the normal rate when you buy online,” he added.
- How to recharge your FASTag
If the FASTag is already linked with your bank account, then there is no need to load money separately in a prepaid wallet. You only need to ensure that your FASTag-linked bank account has sufficient balance to allow for toll payments. However, if you have linked the FASTag to a prepaid wallet (NHAI prepaid wallet), then it can be recharged through various channels such as payment through cheque or through UPI/debit card/ credit card/ NEFT/ Net Banking. Also, additional charges will be levied while recharging the FASTag account through different channels. Read more
Moreover, there is a cap on the maximum balance which can be kept in the prepaid wallet. As per regulations, these limits are:
For limited KYC FASTag account holder: This type of FASTag cannot have more than Rs 20,000 in their FASTag prepaid wallet. The monthly reload limit is also capped at Rs 20,000.For full KYC FASTag account holder: This type of FASTag account cannot have more than Rs 1 lakh in their FASTag prepaid wallet. There is no monthly reload cap in this account, according to the Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) website.
Points to note
You cannot use one FASTag with two or more vehicles, you will have to buy two separate FASTags for the two vehicles and so on.
As per the IHMCL website, “If you reside within a range of 10 km from the toll plaza, you can avail a concession on toll to be paid via your FASTag. In such a case, you need to submit the required documents – proof of residence at the bank, nearest POS location to validate that your residential address is within 10 km of a particular toll plaza. Once the address is verified, you can avail a concession on the toll paid via FASTag assigned to your vehicle.”