FASTag compulsory from January 1: How to buy, recharge it?
Starting January 1, 2021, using the FASTag contactless payments system for crossing toll plazas across India will be mandatory. FASTags were introduced to make payments at toll plazas quicker and reduce vehicular traffic. Although the government may reportedly delay the mandatory use of FASTags, if you intend to travel, you will need one sooner or later. Here's how you can get one for yourself.
A FASTag is a device that would make toll payments cashless and hassle-free using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The device has to be stuck to the windscreen of your vehicle. So, when you pass through a toll booth, it automatically deducts the toll fare from your account linked to the FASTag, without you having to stop. This ensures seamless traffic movement.
You can buy FASTags at select toll plazas, where you will need to produce your vehicle registration documents. You can also order one from amazon.in or buy it from certain banks (such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Paytm Payments Bank, etc.) To buy FASTags from Paytm and Airtel Payments Bank, you can directly get them through the payments apps.
The price of FASTags may vary depending on where you get one and the class of your vehicle. For instance, a FASTag purchased from Paytm will cost Rs. 500, including Rs. 250 refundable security deposit and Rs. 150 minimum balance. An ICICI FASTag will have a tag issuance fee of Rs. 99.12, along with Rs. 200 refundable deposit, and Rs. 200 minimum balance.
For FASTags purchased from banks, you can use internet banking, credit/debit cards, or UPI to recharge your wallet depending on which methods the bank offers. Online payment apps Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe may also be used. However, the different platforms may not allow you to recharge all kinds of FASTags. Notably, you can also manage FASTags issued by select banks on Paytm.