FASTag was made compulsory on 16th Feb, 2021 all over India. The revenue collection from FASTag is done by NETC (National Electronic Toll Collection) . At present approximately more than Rs100 Cr is being collected each day through FASTag on National Highways. Now let us explore everything you need to know about FASTag in a nutshell.
FASTag is a system which is not new. It is already in use for identification and deduction of service charges from customer. It has been in use for Metros in our country where the passengers have Metro cards or smart cards. These can be used to get entry into the Metro platforms and deduction of wallet balance at the entry points. Just like any other wallet card it can be recharged through various online medium. This card is attached over the windshield of your vehicle. When the vehicle passes a Toll, the scanner placed above the entry point scans the FASTag card and deducts specified Toll charge.
How does this FASTag card work ?
- This FASTag cards work on RFID or Radio Frequency Identification device technology
- This RFID technology uses two devices. One is passive device which is used in the card for identification and doesn’t require any battery or power. Another device is the active part which is built inside the scanner which runs on power or battery.
- The scanner transmit radio waves. When it hits the FASTag card it identifies the card and deducts the specified Toll charge.
Let’s look at some Pros and cons of FASTag
- FASTag technology greatly reduces time consumption at Tolls. Earlier a lot of time was spent in collecting the money physically. This also resulted in traffic congestion at tolls. Due to the fact that vehicle doesn’t have to stop for long duration. This automatically reduces pollution and fuel consumption for users.
- Due to FASTag technology the transaction is recorded in digital medium and each time a SMS is sent to the user. So it is a convenient way to track and record the amount spent on toll gates.
- One very important benefit that FASTag provides is reduction in manpower and corruption. As this is an automatic medium of deduction there is no form of corruption that can be performed at Toll gates.
- As this a technology dependent method of collecting Toll charges, there will always be possibility of technical error or problems. Sometimes if the Toll scanner is not working due to hardware issue. In such case the automatic RFID system might not work resulting traffic congestion till it gets fixed.
- The FASTag card is attached over the windshield from the inside so sometimes due to overheating the FASTag memory gets affected which will result in non functionality at Toll gates.
- The local people living near Toll gates get hugely impacted due to this automatic deduction. For them the amount will be deducted daily on account of passing through the Toll gate everyday. But to solve this problem now government has introduced FASTag for local bodies where people can provide proof of their residence. They register themselves as local bodies near the Toll gates. This saves them from paying each time while passing the Toll gate.
- There is another major risk of cloning and privacy. The FASTag cards can also be illegally cloned by scammers and amount will be deducted from your account. Besides that as this is recorded digitally on real time, government have your movement data constantly and can track you constantly.
Types of FASTag: FASTAg has can be divided into two categories and seven different colours.
- M – Type FASTag: In this category only one kind of vehicle is kept i.e. Private vehicles. Private vehicle are those vehicle whose number plates are white colours. Basically these vehicle are used for our own purpose for personal use not for commercial purpose. The FASTag card in this category is violet in colour.
- N – Type FASTag: All commercial vehicle come under this category. But this category has FASTag cards of six different colours depending the vehicle class. So small commercial vehicle have orange colour cards, vehicle with two axle are allotted green colour cards, vehicle with three axle have yellow card, vehicle with 4,5 or 6 axle have pink colour cards, vehicle which have more than seven axle are allotted sky blue axle and for machineries like JCB etc are allotted black colour cards.
How to get your own FASTag card for your vehicle ?
As consumers, we cannot directly receive FASTag card from government for our vehicle. We need to go to a Tag issuer who has been authorised by Government of India to distribute among consumers and manage them. You can apply for your FASTag cards from Tag issuers like ICICI bank or any other banks where you can apply for your FASTag. The payment process is determined by these issuers and once you have physically received your FASTag card, you can automate the recharge process or recharge them through UPI, PhonePe, PayTm or any such online payment provider.
To effectively use FASTag, it should be recharged regularly. But another facility which can be availed for these FASTag cards is automatic recharge. This can be done by linking it with your bank account and whenever the balance gets depleted it will automatically get recharged. The minimum amount to recharge is Rs100 and the maximum amount that can be recharged is Rs 100000.
Is that everything you need to know about FASTag ? Ofcourse not!!!
What if you change your vehicle or sell your old vehicle ?
The same FASTag which has been registered for a single vehicle cannot be used for other vehicle with a different registration number. Due to this limitation users face issue while they sell their old vehicle while having balance in their FASTag account. To solve this issue you can deactivate your FASTag card from your card issuer. Each card issuer will have an online interface where you can manage your FASTag transaction and its activation and deactivation. In this FASTag manager interface you can deactivate your FASTag account to limit others to use your FASTag account while you have balance in it.
The second thing you can do is to transfer balance from one FASTag account to another while you buy a new vehicle when you already have a large balance in your old vehicle FAStag account.
I have summarised everything you need to know about FASTag in a nutshell but still if you want to know more about fast tag you can visit this link : FASTag information