A few weeks ago, when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) confirmed that any and all authorized payments instruments and methods can now be linked with your FASTag to make it simpler to pay for toll charges at user fee collection plazas on all national highways in India, we all let out a collective sigh of relief. No longer, in the near future, would we be restricted to recharging the FASTag for our cars, with only the bank we purchased it from. The new RBI guidelines meant that any mobile wallet app would be able to recharge any FASTag, without any platform restrictions or walled gardens. This is good news, since FASTags became mandatory for payments at all toll plazas across all national highways in India from January 15. And right on cue, you can now use the PhonePe app, Google Pay or BHIM to recharge your FASTag.
At the time of writing, PhonePe now allows you to top-up the balance on FASTags issued by Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank and IDFC First Bank. New banks are getting added by these mobile payment apps regularly, and if the issuing bank for your FASTag is not on this list yet, do keep checking back because chances are it will be added soon enough.
At the same time, Google Pay is offering the ability to recharge the ICICI Bank FASTag as well as the IDFC First FASTag.
The BHIM app can also be used to recharge just about any FASTag that you may have. You follow these steps to get that process done: Login to your BHIM UPI App -> Select Send on home screen -> Enter NETC FASTag UPI ID as netc.VehicleNumber@BankUPIHandle (bank UPI handle will be the FASTag issuing bank) -> Click to Verify -> Enter the recharge amount -> Enter the pin to authenticate the transaction -> You will receive an SMS confirming the transaction to your FASTag wallet. It is a slightly more complex process than other apps, but gets the job done.
“In order to further broad base this system by allowing more payment choices for the customers, as well as for fostering competition among the system participants, all authorized payment systems …shall from now be permitted for linking with the FASTags,” the RBI had said in an official statement.
The banks that currently offer FASTags include HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank as well as the Airtel Payments Bank and Paytm Payments Bank. But quite often, the website or app from which the issuing bank allows you to recharge your FASTag tends to be clunky and not very intuitive. The ability to add money to your FASTag via PhonePe, Google Pay and BHIM apps surely makes things simpler for FASTag users.
At the time of writing this, mobile wallets such as Paytm and Airtel Payments Bank are allowing users the option to only recharge FASTags issued through them, and not third party FASTags just yet. But that could change in the coming days.