There is a rapid and exciting change taking place in the Indian economy. We've become more efficient and convenient thanks to digital transformation, and mundane work has become less stressful.
NPCI developed the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program in response to Indian electronic tolling requirements. The system not only provides nationwide payment solutions for tolls but also manages dispute settlements and settlements through a clearing house service.
An interoperability system refers to a set of processes, business rules, and technical specifications governing the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) system, allowing customers to pay at any toll plaza with their FASTags, regardless of who owns those toll plazas.
Toll payments can be made directly from a moving vehicle using FASTag, a device that utilises Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Toll payments can be made directly from the account linked to FASTag through an RFID tag permanently affixed to the windscreen.
Besides offering the convenience of cashless payment, FASTag offers other benefits, such as saving fuel and time by avoiding toll booths. It is even mandatory to get car insurance.
What is FASTag?
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) operates FASTag, an advanced electronic toll collection system. The system allows toll payments to be made while the car or any other vehicle is in motion utilising RFID. With FASTags (RFID tags) affixed to vehicles' windscreens, customers can pay at the tolls directly from the accounts linked to their FASTags. It is also mandatory to get a FasTag for car insurance.
For toll collection, FASTags are available as prepaid and rechargeable tags. As it does not have an expiration date, it can be used for as long as it does not bear a fudge mark on it and is easily readable at a toll station.
Learn How Fastags Work
Step 1: The FASTag details (Tag ID, Vehicle class, TID, etc.) must be captured by the system when the vehicle passes through an ETC lane at a toll plaza so that the receiving bank can process them.
Step 2: The acquiring bank will send a request to verify the tag to the NETC Mapper.
Step 3: Following the Tag ID validation, NETC Mapper will provide details such as tag status, vehicle class, VRN, etc. A missing tag ID will cause NETC Mapper to respond with an unregistered response.
Step 4: After successfully validating the tag ID from NETC Mapper, the acquirer host will initiate a debit request to the NETC system.
Step 5: The NETC system will request the bank that issued the credit card to debit the customer's account.
Step 6:The issuer will send a text alert to tag holders once the credit card has been debited. As well as sending the response message to NETC, the Issuer host will also send it to it. In the event of a delay in the response, the transaction will be deemed accepted if it has not been sent within the specified timeframe.
Step 7: The NETC system will notify the acquirer host of the response.
Step 8: The acquirer host communicates with the toll plaza on the payer's behalf.
Is Fastag a Mandatory Requirement?
All four-wheelers were made to use FASTags starting February 15, 2021, according to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Nevertheless, all lanes at toll plazas had been designated "FASTag lanes" as of December 2019. The FASTag must be displayed on each vehicle, or else the owner will be fined. Having a FasTag for the cheapest car insurance in India is also essential.
The vehicle owner will be fined double the toll fee in cash if the vehicle does not have a FASTag or its card does not have sufficient value when driving through a FASTag-enabled tollgate. 3rd party car insurance requires drivers to have a FASTag since April 1, 2021.
The main goal of the NETC Initiative is to transform the current single-party ecosystem (Issuer and Acquirer combined) into a four-party scalable model (NPCI, acquirer, NPCI and plaza operator).
NETC aims to accomplish the following:
- The use of FASTags reduces waiting times at plazas.
- Traffic congestion can be accommodated without adding lanes.
- By using FASTag, an engine accelerates and idles less, and harmful emissions are eliminated.
- Plaza congestion can be reduced by reducing traffic.
- Taking action to reduce pollution.
- The vehicles will be more fuel efficient in the future, thereby helping to reduce their operating costs.
- RFID tags will allow customers to pay their plaza bills in a flexible and convenient manner.
- The centralisation of user accounts improves audit control by reducing cash handling.
- Collecting more data, including the number of vehicles daily.
What is the Process for Purchasing a Fastag?
A total of 22 Indian banks have been authorised to offer FASTag cards. NHAI plazas, petrol pumps, transportation hubs, and common service centers have been established across the nation by 22 recognised banks. The FASTag cards can be obtained through the website of the authorised bank without the need to be an existing customer. If you want a POS card, you can visit your nearest branch. Paytm, Amazon, Flipkart and other online platforms are also allowed to sell FASTag cards.
Submission of Application Documents
Your KYC documents must include proof of identity and residency to apply for a FASTag card. One bank may require different KYC documents than another. You must also present your vehicle's registration certificate (RC) and your passport-size photo. Even a car insurance policy requires FasTag. You will need these documents if you apply online or offline for the card.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a FASTag Card?
People must pay a fee no matter what institution or body issues the FASTag card. Three major components of the FASTag card payment are the following:
- Charges associated with the issuance
- A security deposit must be made
- Digital wallet balance linked to FASTag card
FASTag fees vary based on the recognised entity from which you purchase or receive it. The government has limited the maximum fee that financial institutions can charge for issuance to INR 200, which is a one-time charge.
To facilitate and expedite payment processes at the tollbooths, FASTag is a compulsory and innovative facility. It reduces waiting times at tolls, resulting in a reduction in traffic and pollution. The FASTag system has several benefits and a few steps involved in owning it, which are covered in this article.
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