What is FASTag and How Does FASTag Work?

It will be mandatory from December 1 and will be the default payment method soon.

India is adapting to digital payments and PayTm would be a perfect example, thanks to demonetization. PayTm gave millions of users the freedom to carry out payments without the need for an ATM card and now many have followed the suit. The latest addition to the nation’s fast-pace development is FASTag. You might have heard it in the news but you really aren’t sure what is FASTag and how does it work? Well, this article will enlighten you on that topic.

To explain in simpler terms, FASTag will make your traveling hasslefree. You might remember the long queues just to pay the toll. Well, you won’t have to do so anymore. FASTag ensures this. Scroll below to know every detail.

What is FASTag and How Does FASTag It Work

What is FASTag?

FASTag is a tag that will be fitted on your vehicle’s windshield. It will pay the toll automatically when it crosses the boom barrier of the toll plaza. People who bought their vehicles over the last few years come with the FASTag pre-installed. If you haven’t enabled it yet, fret not, one hybrid lane will still accept cash.

Getting to the point, a FASTag is a device that equips RFID or Radio Frequency Identification technology. This is the same piece of tech that is used in transport access-control systems, like say a Metro smart card. This will make payments at the toll easy. The amount of the toll will be deducted from the prepaid or savings account linked to the FASTag. It is advisable that it is attached to your car’s windshield so that whenever you drive your vehicle through toll plazas, the amount will be automatically deducted, without stopping for making cash purchases.

Once you buy FASTag, which I will explain in detail below, it will have validity for up to 5 years. You will need to recharge or top it up once you exhaust the minimum limit. You will receive updates through SMS for all the toll transactions, low balance, etc. As of now, over 450 toll plazas across India support the FASTag technology.

To attract more people to use this feature, a 2.5% cashback will be given to users for 2019-2020. Moreover, a one-time fee of ₹100 will be deducted as it is required for FASTag account activation. This fee is charged depending on the payment method. Keep in mind that one FASTag will be valid for just one vehicle. So if you own more than one car, it is imperative that you get FASTag for all the vehicles.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, even referred to FASTag as the ‘Aadhaar’ for vehicles in the country. He added that the present architecture already supports over six million tags with nearly 10 lakh transactions on a daily basis.

How does FASTag work?

FASTag is operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). As mentioned earlier, FASTag works with the help of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has formed the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program that aims to meet the electronic tolling conditions in the nation. FASTag acts as its backbone. This RFID-powered technology will make toll payments while the vehicle in motion, which completely avoids the need for cash payments and a long queue.

The Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) infrastructure will capture aspects of your car, such as Tag ID, vehicle class, registration number, and owner name at the toll plaza. These details are then sent to the bank for further processing. The bank then forwards the request to the NETC Mapper to validate the tag details.

After successfully validating the captured details, the merchant bank or the acquirer that communicating with the toll plaza system computes the relevant toll fare and then initiates a debit request to the NETC system.

What are the benefits of FASTag?

FASTag enables a lot of benefits. They include not carrying cash, time-saving, could save petrol which would be used a lot in a queue.

Documents Required for FASTag

In order to register for FASTag, vehicle owners need to submit the documents mentioned below:

  • One copy of the vehicle’s Registration Certificate (RC),
  • Two passport size photographs,
  • KYC documents, preferably an ID and an address proof. Valid documents include Aadhaar Card, Driver’s License, PAN card, Voter ID, or Passport.

How to buy FASTag?

If your vehicle is manufactured and sold after December 1, 2017, it comes pre-fitted with FASTag. Those who have purchased their vehicle before the given date, they must get the FASTag with a linked payment method to it. You need to remember that there are two different types of FASTags – NHAI tags and bank-specific tags.

E-commerce services like Amazon and PayTM sell these tags issued by various banks. You can buy them at 27,000 points of sale set up by 22 banks, mentioned below, and the NHAI.  include Road Transport Authority offices, transport hubs, bank branches, and selected petrol pumps are the places where these counters are set up. If you buy a FASTag from NHAI, it comes with a one-time fee of ₹100 along with a  security deposit of ₹150 that is refundable.

You can avail the cashback of 2.5% on FASTag transactions as an offer. If you purchase the tag from NHAI, the ₹150 security deposit will be issued back to you if the FASTag is linked to the NHAI e-wallet in the My FASTag app mobile app.

Where to buy FASTag?

Portals such as Amazon and PayTm seel these tags, provided you have the proper documents. KYC is a prerequisite to avail tags on these platforms. In addition to Amazon and PayTm, a total of 22 banks can issue you a FASTag. They include the following banks pan-India:

  • Axis Bank
  • ICICI
  • IDFC
  • SBI
  • HDFC
  • Karur Vysya Bank
  • Equitas Small Finance Bank
  • PayTM Payments Bank
  • Kotak Mahindra
  • Syndicate Bank
  • Federal Bank
  • South Indian Bank
  • PNB
  • Saraswat Bank
  • Fino Payments
  • City Union Bank
  • BoB
  • IndusInd
  • Yes Bank
  • Union Bank
  • Nagpur Nagarik Sahakari Bank
  • Airtel Payments Bank

Summary

What is FASTag and How Does FASTag It Work

FAQs

What is the process of FASTag?

FASTag by the NHAI is extremely simple to use. It is a reloadable tag that enables automatic deduction of toll charges when a vehicle crosses the toll gate. This lets a driver pass through a toll plaza without stopping for cash transactions to pay the charge. FASTag is linked to a pre-paid account.

What is the benefit of FASTag?

FASTag is attached to the windscreen of your car. So every time you drive through the toll plazas, the toll amount will be deducted without you stopping for cash transactions. Moreover, this will save you some time and your car’s fuel. This is all possible due to radio-frequency identification technology (RFID).

How does Paytm FASTag work?

If you link a registered Paytm Payments Bank account to your FASTag, the amount for the toll plaza will be deducted from it.

How does FASTag calculate charges for a round trip?

The first you cross the toll, ₹30 is deducted from the FASTag. When you go back, the difference between ₹45 and ₹30, which is ₹15, is deducted. If you cross the toll again, then you are charged ₹30.

Conclusion

You can think of FASTag as a reusable and easy tag that works with the help of radio-frequency identification technology (RFID). This will reduce your travel time and fuel, for sure. You must act quickly as the earlier deadline of December 1 has been increased to December 15. Use this article to cross any hurdles you came across

I hope this article helped you. Let me know in the comments below. You can ask any query you are facing during the ongoing process. Share it with your family and friends as it will make them aware of this new concept.


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I am a tech-savvy who's an avid reader, a Hollywood movie buff, and a through and through Priyanka Chopra fan. I like to give my insights through words, which helps me to express myriads of emotions I go through.

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