India’s digital bank Paytm Payments Bank has rolled out Paytm FASTag, electronic toll fee collection on highways across the country. According to the company, the government mandating the use of FASTag on every new vehicle sold from December 1.
The Paytm FASTag is a simple and reusable tag based on radio-frequency identification technology (RFID) that can be placed on a vehicle’s windscreen – will allow commuters to pass through 380 toll plazas across India covering 55,000 kms without having to stop. Each tag is linked to a registered Paytm account to facilitate instant automatic deduction of toll charges.
On this occasion, Renu Satti, MD & CEO of Paytm Payments Bank said, “Cash payments at toll plazas result in precious man hours and fuel being unnecessarily spent, as attendants and motorists are left grappling with the hassles of dealing in exact change. The FASTag will facilitate non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas and bring the benefits of cashless payments to every toll in India. Besides offering convenience to commuters, this will also improve transparency and overall efficiency of the country’s toll.”
At present, it has teamed up with the leading car and commercial vehicle manufacturers and dealers, including Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Mercedes, Renault, BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, among others, to make FASTag available for customers purchasing new vehicles across India.
In addition, old vehicle owners can buy FASTag online on its app. Customers using Paytm FASTag will get 7.5 percent cashback on every toll transaction. The bank expects to cover over 10 lakh vehicles using Paytm FASTag by the end of this financial year.
The project is run in partnership with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and NPCI.
Paytm to invest $2.5 billion e-commerce business
SoftBank-backed firm plans to invest up to $2.5 billion to grow its business in next 3-5 years. Other two top funded companies in the space are Amazon and Flipkart.
Founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos has committed $5 billion investment into Amazon India. Home-grown e-tailer Flipkart, now the most funded startup in the country, had received $2.5 billion from SoftBank and Tencent earlier this year.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led company became a household name after the Indian government’s demonetisation drive on November 8, 2016. Paytm had raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank in May this year.