You Will Soon be Able to Pay High­way Toll Us­ing E-Wal­lets

Govt in talks with wal­let providers; e-tolling at 275 tolls to start on Mon­day

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Rajat.Arora@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The govern­ment is plan­ning to part­ner with dig­i­tal wal­let com­pa­nies for its elec­tronic toll ser­vice, a move that will al­low high­way users to pay through e-wal­let ac­counts like those of Paytm and Mo­bik­wik.

An e-tolling ser­vice is be­ing launched at 275 toll plazas across the country on Mon­day. It will al­low ve­hi­cles with FASTag cards, which were launched by the Na­tional High­ways Au­thor­ity of In­dia (NHAI), to pass through the toll plazas with­out hav­ing to stop.

“We are look­ing at part­ner­ing with the dig­i­tal wal­lets. The ser­vice of reload­ing th­ese cards is cur­rently avail­able through two com­mer­cial banks, but we want to reach out to as many users as pos­si­ble,” NHAI chair­man Raghav Chan­dra told ET.

Na­tional Pay­ments Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (NPCI) is build­ing a na­tional clear­ing house for ef­fi­cient han­dling of in­ter-op­er­abil­ity be­tween banks, toll plaza op­er­a­tors and other en­ti­ties. “Mo­bile phones have be­come the pre­ferred mode of trans­ac­tion for the younger gen­er­a­tion, and younger peo­ple use dig­i­tal wal­lets more than tra­di­tional bank­ing. Ty­ing with th­ese mod­ern-day tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies will help us of­fer a bet­ter ser­vice,” a se­nior roads min­istry of­fi­cial said. NHAI has tied up with ICICI Bank and Axis Bank for the ser­vice. The on­line pay­ment is also aimed at bring­ing in trans­parency and plug­ging leak­ages in toll col­lec­tion.

FASTag will fa­cil­i­tate cash­less pay­ment of toll fee and near non-stop move­ment of ve­hi­cles through toll plazas. It em­ploys RFID tech­nol­ogy for mak­ing toll pay­ments di­rectly from the pre­paid ac­count linked to it. The card has a one-time fee of .₹ 200.

The card will be avail­able at se­lected toll plazas on na­tional high­ways and des­ig­nated branches of par­tic­i­pat­ing banks. Th­ese cards can be recharged by mak­ing pay­ments through cheque or the in­ter­net. The min­i­mum recharge amount is .₹ 100 and can go up to .₹ 1 lakh for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. NHAI will give 10% cash back in­cen­tive on toll pay­ments for FASTag users.

The im­ple­men­ta­tion of a panIn­dia elec­tronic toll col­lec­tion sys­tem on na­tional high­ways could help save .₹ 87,000 crore ev­ery year, ac­cord­ing to a study by the Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia and the IIM at Kolkata.

The study said the cost due to the time spent at toll points adds up to .₹ 27,000 crore a year.

SMOOTH RIDE FILE PHOTO

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