The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said on Tuesday that it will introduce an interoperable system so that FASTags can be used for contactless car parking facility at malls, airports and other private parking lots in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru.
This initiative will be offered in partnership with banks, and will extend the functionality of FASTag beyond contactless toll-payments on National Highways.
The retail payments body has said that this contactless payment service has been initiated at GMR Hyderabad International Airport in partnership with 10 banks, including ICICI Bank. Other issuer banks will be activating the facility in coming days, the NPCI said.
"NPCI has also initiated discussions with major malls, airports and other private parking lots in Chennai and Bangalore for the NETC (National Electronic Toll Collection) FASTag powered contactless car parking solutions. The company has been receiving interests from major banks in spearheading the parking projects," according to a statement.
The NETC FASTag solution will work both as a post-paid and pre-paid solution for securing parking at a parking plaza. There will be no additional cost to customers with respect to the parking fee, other than the one-time purchase cost of the tag. There will also be dedicated FASTag lanes.
"We are aiming at taking this unique contactless parking proposition in metro cities keeping in mind the convenience of passengers and visitors. In this new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic situation 100% contactless payment solution is going to be the need of the hour," Praveena Rai, COO, NPCI said.
Normally affixed to the vehicle's windscreen, a FASTag enables payment of toll (and now a parking fee) with just a momentary slowdown. When the vehicle reaches the toll plaza, a reader will detect the chip on the tag and deduct the toll amount from the bank account or prepaid wallet linked to the FASTag. These tags can be linked to bank accounts or prepaid wallets or UPI-based accounts.
FASTags, a central government initiative, can be bought at toll plazas, certified banks and also from an e-commerce website like Amazon or Paytm.