FASTag was launched in India in the year of 2014, and is an Electronic Transportation Collector system. It is a reloadable tag which lets you pay your toll charges without having to stop and pay for the toll, hence saving time. It employs Radio frequency identification technology for deducting toll tax from the linked prepaid account, as per the vehicle and goods. It is actually very helpful for not only transporters but also travelers, as it offers a hassle free trip on National Highway. The device is installed in every vehicle’s windscreen. By the end of 2017, all three hundred and thirty tolls had electronic transportation collector. It was launched by national highway authorities of India and was made mandatory for every new four wheeler vehicle from December, 2017 to have FASTag devices installed in them either by manufacturers or by dealers.
When the vehicle approaches the toll plaza, the reader reads the tag and without having the vehicle to stop it, calculates tax, recognizes the owner and deducts the tax from the account linked with the vehicle. For customer awareness and safety purposes, the mobile phone number linked to the account will be notified through a text message. This notification is just to notify that their tax has been paid successfully and for low notification too. Also, the top ups are actually very easy. One can do their FASTag recharge too, through net banking (Credit Card/ Debit Card/ UPI) and by e-commerce payment websites or apps (like Paytm), both.
Electronic Toll Collector System has taken over the manual toll collector all around the world, as the users find it better than the latter. It provides many benefits not just to users, but also toll agencies. One does not need to carry cash and go through the payment process at the toll plaza because Electronic Toll Collector System eases the payment method. It also lets the traffic moves smoothly and increases the traffic flow, which leads to lower fuel costs. FASTag has opened its online portal for customers, so as to provide them better knowledge about the Electronic Transportation Collector and also about account balance. It also helps one to recharge his/her account. Moreover, FASTag provided a total of 10 percent cash back on toll payments in year 2016 and 2017. Electronic Toll Collector System is actually cheaper for the toll agencies as it has been proven that they have to pay more to the manual labor than what they have to spend on the Electronic Toll Collector.
Other than user benefits and benefits of toll agencies, Electronic Toll Collector System has other different benefits too. They have environmental benefits, that is, they reduce pollution as the fuel is saved from not having to stop at the toll plaza. It also reduces use of paper as there is no need to provide pay slip to the patron anymore. Since, paper comes from trees, this small change helps the maintaining the ecosystem. It has social benefits as reduced toll payment hassle and analytics for better highway management. There are economical benefits too, such as reduced efforts in management at toll plaza and reduced effort in monitoring centrally.