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. 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 will be available at select toll plazas on national highways and designated branches of participating banks. These cards can be recharged by making payments through cheque or the Internet. 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.
A P Hota, MD & CEO, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), says, “Digital payments were witnessing gradual growth in India prior to demonetisation of higher currency notes.Customers are now using electronic modes for payments as an alternative to cash and hence products like RuPay debit card, Unified Payments Service (UPI), Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) are witnessing surge in transaction volumes.
“Mobile based payment service is emerging as one of the best technologies in this domain. In a country of 1.25 billion people, mobile phones are about 900 million, out of which approximately 350 million are smartphones. There is an immense opportunity to leverage mobile technology for facilitating payments due to its feasibility. Banking on mobile is now possible which also brings convenience for customers. One can make use of UPI for sending and collecting money instantly. In days to come, mobile phones will be as equipped as PoS (Point of Sales) terminals and Aadhaar based transactions could be accepted through mobiles. It will help in creating a less-cash society.
“Currently 35 banks are live on UPI and BHIM platform. There has been significant growth in the number of downloads and transaction volumes since November 2016. We are working to enable about 50 banks to join UPI platform by March 2017. Besides, on December 30, 2016, we launched BHIM to unleash the power of mobile phones to facilitate digital payments and financial inclusion. So far 125 lakh people have adopted the BHIM App. Other services like National Electronic Toll Collection, National Common Mobility Card, Bharat Bill Payment System are in the pilot stage and is getting good response from all stakeholders. NPCI is also working to launch RuPay credit card next year. All these services are aligned with our mission to touch every Indian with one or other payment services.