Tag Archives: travel

FASTag: What is it?

In an attempt to reduce traffic at toll plazas, the Government of India has mandated electronic payments at all toll plazas across India. To this effect, the government has introduced FASTag.

What is FASTag?
Operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), FASTag is a simple to use, electronic toll collection system and reloadable tag, which enables automatic deduction of toll charges. It is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly, letting you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for a cash transaction. It is linked to your prepaid account of choice, from which the toll amount is deducted. The FASTag is affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle after the tag account is active, allowing you to drive through toll plazas without the need to stop for a cash payment.

What are the benefits of using FASTag?

Easy payment – It removes the necessity to carry cash for payments.

Saves time – The instant payment saves you from waiting in those long toll booth queues; as well as saving you the hassle of waiting for your change and knowing how much you need to pay.

Cashback – Payments made through FASTag offer a cashback of up to 2.5% on all tolls for the year 2019-20.

Online Recharge – FASTag can be recharged conveniently through multiple online options: Credit Card/Debit Card/NEFT/RTGS/Net banking and Point of Sale (POS) locations, with the most recent feature update adding a Google Pay UPI option as well.

Ease of Tracking – You get regular SMS alerts to your registered mobile number each time any transactions are done using the tag, for low balance, etc. Periodic statement of account may also be taken from the online portal website.

Online Portal – To view transaction statements, wallet balance, raise queries, recharge, etc.

The FASTag App:
To accelerate the transition to the electronic payment mode, the road ministry, National Highway Authority of India and Indian Highways Company have launched a My FASTag app. The app allows users to buy FASTtags online, find point-of-purchase locations offline, recharge their tags, and make payments. The app also provides access to a list of operational FASTtag toll plazas across the country, 24×7 highway toll-free hotline and banks’ helpline numbers.

How much does it cost?
FASTag has a one-time fee of ₹200. The refundable security deposit depends on the vehicle type. With a reissuance fee of ₹100.

Specific lanes:
The toll booth lanes will be divided by those paying cash and those with a FASTag pass. The FASTag will work only in the lanes assigned for it. Take note that if any vehicles without a valid FASTag enter the FASTag lane, they will be charged double the applicable toll amount in cash.

FASTag is currently operational at 180 toll plazas across national and state highways with more toll plazas being brought under the program in the future.

Learn more about FASTag here

The Best Travel Apps You Need on Your Phone

When planning a trip and starting on a journey, some things are an absolute necessity and cannot be left behind: passports, documents, visa, tickets, and of course, your phone. These days there is no shortage of apps that make our travels easier. Here’s a shortlist of some those must-have apps that could make your trip a lot more convenient.

This award-winning app provides you with every ticketing option you need; be it a hotel, bus, flight, train, cab, or even a holiday package, MakeMyTrip is a one-stop solution for all travel needs and a must-have app when planning a vacation.

Never fight with roommates, friends and family over bills and expenses owed with the help of this genius expense-splitting app! Splitwise is a free tool that tallies who paid what and sends reminders at the end of the month to settle debts, settle up with a friend and records any cash or online payment. It allows you to quickly add expenses on the go before you forget who paid. There is no more need to painstakingly sort through bills and see who owes what and how to split costs between members of the group.

Google Maps
Those road trips just got easier! Most phones come with this app pre-installed and most of us already use it on a daily basis for various needs. While other variants do exist, Google Maps is the most extensive and accurate mapping system that will put you in the right direction. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for travelling by foot, car, bicycle and air, or public transportation, making sure you do not get lost.

Google Translate
Language is no longer a barrier with this useful little app also from Google. Google Translate features offline and real-time translation. Just download the language you need and aim the camera at the text you need translated and you get quite literally an instant translation. Plus, it works with images as well!

XE Currency
Over 70 million downloads worldwide, XE Currency allows you to keep track of live rates of every currency, and also works offline. Transfer money in 65 currencies to over 170 countries, and monitor up to 10 currencies of your choice. Just remember to download the conversion rate of the countries you’ll be visiting and you’ll be good to go.