Money & Banking

It’s a rush for FASTags as banks, customers gear up for Dec 15 deadline

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on November 29, 2019 Published on November 29, 2019

Banks come out with offers such as doorstep delivery and free movie tickets

Ahead of the December 15 deadline for FASTags, banks and payment companies are seeing a rush for issuance, and are also offering a variety of facilities such as doorstep delivery, waiver of the tag issuance cost of ₹100 for now, and even free movie tickets.

Where to buy them

According to data with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), FASTag issuances amounted to 63.71 lakh at the end of October, and industry experts believe this number is likely to have risen significantly since then. FASTags can be purchased from nearly two dozen banks, including those in the public and private sector, such as State Bank of India and ICICI Bank. Customers can opt for an online issuance of FASTag or apply for it at their bank branch. FASTags can also be purchased from toll plazas, petrol pumps, as well as from e-commerce websites such as Amazon.

Private sector lender ICICI Bank, which was among the first to get into the segment, has issued over 22.5 lakh tags as on date, amounting to nearly 30 per cent of the tags issuedso far. It plans to take it to 40 lakh in the next six months.

“There has been a huge increase in demand for FASTag over the past few days, owing to the mandate from the government. ICICI Bank has been proactively reaching out to its customers, and has enabled multiple channels to avail FASTag,” Sudipta Roy, Head, Unsecured Assets, ICICI Bank, told BusinessLine. Axis Bank is also offering door-step delivery, and customers will also get real-time SMS alerts for all transactions made at the toll plaza. “The bank has on-boarded over 50 toll plazas, and has a base of around 10 lakh FASTag customers,” Axis Bank said, adding that it has a target to add 10 lakh new FASTags in the next three months.

Paytm Payments Bank said it has also on-boarded more than 10 lakh vehicles on the road. “Over 30 lakh vehicles are expected to get on the bandwagon soon,” it said in a statement, adding that it is also the acquiring bank for more than 110 toll plazas in India. According to Shailendra Singh, Head of Digital Banking, Bank of Baroda, to meet the increased demand of FASTags, the bank has enabled additional 500 sales point from where customers can collect them. It has also arranged adequate inventory of FASTags at all locations.

Customers will also receive a 2.5 per cent cashback on all NHAI toll transactions throughout this fiscal year. Apart from customers, many banks are also working on the acquiring side for seamless integration, monitoring, and helpdesk support.

Some companies are also looking to increase the use of FASTags for other related payments.

According to Abhijeet Sehgal, CEO and co-founder of fintech firm 1Pay, toll collection on National Highways is estimated at ₹30,000 crore.

“1Pay accounts for 5 per cent of the total industry. We are now focussing on increasing the usability of FASTags by incorporating new-use cases such as parking, fuelling services, and e-challans,” he said.

FASTag is an Radio Frequency Identification Device reloadable tag affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and allows for automatic deduction of toll charges without the vehicle having to stop for a cash transaction.

From December 15, it is mandatory for payments at National Highway toll plazas, failing which the vehicle owner will have to shell double the toll amount.

 

Published on November 29, 2019
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