You’ve reached the toll plaza. As you reach into your wallet, you realise that you have run out of money and that you completely forgot to stop by the ATM on the way.

Forget about this nightmare. With a FASTag attached to your car, you never need to worry about handing over cash at toll plazas.

This facility of online FASTag recharge is the biggest advantage of using FASTag. But the other conveniences that come with it are also equally desirable.

First, it is easy to apply for a FASTag online with your Bank. Once the tag arrives, you need to paste it on the windshield so that it is clearly visible. That’s it, you are all set! As your car passes the toll plaza, the electronic machine reads the FASTag chip and then you can cross the barrier quickly, reducing waiting time and fuel consumption and thus the operating cost of running the vehicle. This also means that unnecessary idling or acceleration does not take place.

With no dedicated lane required for tag-only or cash-only vehicles, the traffic can flow through smoothly with fewer number of lanes.

No human contact has a double advantage — social distancing norms are followed and without cash entering the picture, there is transparency and accountability with regard to the toll charges paid digitally.

For the authorities, too, the hassle of storing and transporting the money collected is done away with, bringing in further efficiency.

While largely successful, there are a few minor issues with FASTag like the teething troubles with the tag not being read easily by the electronic reader, failure of the server at times and issues with handheld readers. This apart, sometimes the tag is read twice which requires a complaint to be lodged. The tag could also be stolen or lost but is less likely. Perhaps the  biggest issue is that toll plaza employees may not be needed in large numbers, thus leading to job losses for a few. However, this human cost needs to be borne to ensure increased efficiency.

If you look at the larger picture, the advantages of using FASTag far outweigh the disadvantages and is a futuristic, transparent and practical way of organising vehicular movement and reducing human intervention.

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.