While I am a supporter of FASTag I still believe the product is difficult to use. I had earlier written about it but I don’t see any improvements for over a year.
In December 2016, the Government of India mandates all new vehicles to have FASTag. India’s highways will mandate all vehicles to use FASTag from December 1, 2019 (now changed to Dec 15). At times fixing such dates helps as people will start working towards the compliance. But at the same time, it is important for the government to improve things on their side.
|Number of Toll Plazas on National Highways||525|
|Number of Toll Plazas on state highways||500|
|Number of FASTag transactions daily||1.1 million 👏|
|Daily toll collections via FASTag||Rs 25-30 crore ($3.5-4.3 million). Accounts for 40% of total collections|
|Number of vehicles fitted with FASTag||6.2 million|
|Source: NHAI (via ET, Nov 17, 2019)|
The above table suggests 17% of the vehicles with FASTag use it daily (well, the math is not that straightforward, the same vehicle could be giving multiple transactions, but for now accept this!).
Product Improvement Suggestions for FASTag
From December 1 2019, if you don’t have FASTag installed you will pay double the toll fee. This is the only way to get people to transition from cash to digital. FASTag can be purchased from 28,500 points of sale locations set up at various banks (SBI, ICICI, Axis Bank, PayTM HDFC and IDFC First Bank), the National Highway and the Indian Highways Management Corporation Ltd. However, the system needs to be ready to take the load and address grievances.
- Do you know where to lodge a complaint about your FASTag transaction? I certainly don’t.
- FASTag needs to provide over Twitter, Email and phone. Have a smooth grievance redressal system, PLEASE!
- Change the narration of messages at Toll Plaza. The ‘Blacklist‘ message is very humiliating, I recently read it actually means they are unable to scan your FASTag! If you are blacklisted then be prepared to pay double the toll fee (not fair).
- I had to pay Cash because of being Blacklisted and money was deducted from my FASTag wallet. No way to correct the double charge, at least not easily. Submitting feedback thru your Bank’s FASTag interface only goes to a black hole.
- I should be allowed to recharge my FASTag account from ANY Wallet.
- Is there a way to recharge your account thru UPI? I can’t find the instructions on my issuing bank’s website. (Update: PhonePe is the best UPI app to recharge FASTag)
- FASTag must be portable between banks.
- You would be surprised to know how many talented people want to help the nation. There are several world-class UI/UX designers in India who would be willing to offer their services for free to improve the web interface of FASTag. Govt should reach out to them.
The government must make it mandatory for every toll plaza to accept tolls via FASTag. For e.g. in Bengaluru you cannot pay on the NICE road with FASTag. NICE has its own tag called NICE e-pay. If every highway has its own digital tag system the windshield will be covered with just toll tags.
On another note, how do these toll plazas planning on tackling politician’s convoy who refuse to pay the toll? We have seen umpteen number of videos where the hardworking toll plaza workers are bashed up for asking money from the politician’s convoy.
Very soon FASTag can be used to pay at the petrol bunk and even for parking. But before that please fix the product.
- FASTag FAQ – Indian Highways Management Company Ltd
- December 1 deadline nears but FASTag hiccups at NH toll plaza persists
- Faster lane: The FASTag