National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has finally partnered with Paytm for selling e-Toll tags. This is a big move in terms of expanding RFID based e-toll tags for faster movement of vehicles on highways.
Besides Paytm, NHAI has also designated Punjab National Bank, SBI & IDFC Bank to sell e-toll tags and option to recharge them on the go. When e-toll system with RFID was launched this April, NHAI had partnered with ICICI Bank and Axis Bank to sell e-toll tags and the facility to recharge them.
Due to some mysterious reasons, NHAI had refused to partner with mobile wallets and non-banking payment apps for selling e-toll tags. Due to this reason, recharging e-toll tags had become a lengthy process, and several drivers initially chose manual toll payments, avoiding the process of online recharge.
With the inclusion of Paytm, it is now expected that other mobile wallet companies may also be selected to make it even easier to buy and recharge e-toll tags. As per reports, trial runs of online payments with Paytm has already been conducted, and monitored at National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) servers.
NHAI Plans e-toll for 50% of all vehicles
As per available data, around 60,000 e-toll tags have been issued since the launch of the RFID based toll system; and most of them of have been issued by ICICI Bank/
This is certainly very less than what was expected, and maybe this is the reason NHAI has now partnered with 4 other banks and Paytm for expanding the reach.
In fact, NHAI has an ambitious plan to enable 50% of all vehicles passing via toll to pay electronically. Right now, e-toll has been implemented across 356 toll plazas, nationally.
The plan is to now issue 50,000 e-toll tag every month, and aggressively promote it’s usage.
NHAI chairman Raghav Chandra said, “Our intent is that we issue at least 50,000 pass tags every month and over the next 12-24 months nearly 50 percent of the traffic movement across the toll plazas..”
At the time of writing, India has 42 lakh+ kms of total road network, out of which, 2000 kms are expressways and 92,851 kms are national highways. Around Rs 60,000 crore can be saved every year, if all the vehicles passing via toll plazas choose RFID based electronic payments. Not only precious fuel can be saved, but also time and resources would be preserved.
Compared to 50,000 e-toll tags issued in India, Japan handles 6 million daily transactions using electronic method for paying toll charges,
NHAI is also requesting RBI to ease KYC norms for issuing RFID, which is pasted on windshield of vehicles.
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