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The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) deadline for Paytm Payments Bank (PPBL) to cease certain operations, including FASTag issuance, is fast approaching. As a consequence, Paytm has been removed from the National Highway Authority of India's (NHAI) list of authorised FASTag issuers. This blog explores the implications of this development for Paytm users and the broader FASTag ecosystem in India. 

What did RBI say and what was Paytm’s response?

  • RBI's Directive: In January 2024, the RBI ordered PPBL to shut down specific operations due to non-compliance and supervisory concerns. This included issuing FASTags, a digital toll collection solution for highways.
  • Paytm's Response: Following the RBI's directive, Paytm has removed the FASTag option from its app and is no longer issuing new FASTags.

Related article: What exactly happened with Paytm Payments Bank?

What does this mean for Paytm users with existing FASTags?

  • Existing Balance Usable (For Now): Individuals with existing Paytm FASTags can still utilise the remaining balance in their FASTag accounts to pay tolls until it is exhausted.
  • Recharge Functionality Lost: However, these users will no longer be able to recharge their Paytm FASTags after March 15th, 2024.
  • Alternatives Needed: To avoid toll payment disruptions after exhausting the existing balance, Paytm users must acquire a new FASTag from an authorised issuer before the deadline.

How to obtain a new FASTag?

Here's a guide for Paytm users to obtain a new FASTag:

  • List of Authorised Issuers: The NHAI website provides a comprehensive list of authorised FASTag issuers, including banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs).
  • Online and Offline Options: Many authorised issuers offer online FASTag applications through their websites or mobile apps. Alternatively, you can visit a branch of an authorised issuer to procure a FASTag in person.
  • Documents Required: The required documents typically include a copy of your vehicle's Registration Certificate (RC) and your KYC documents (proof of identification and address).
  • Minimum Recharge Amount: There might be a minimum recharge amount required when purchasing a new FASTag.

How does this impact the FASTag ecosystem?

Paytm's removal from the list of FASTag issuers is unlikely to significantly disrupt the overall FASTag ecosystem for the following reasons:

  • Multiple Issuers Available: There are numerous authorised FASTag issuers, ensuring continued accessibility for new users or those needing replacements.
  • Government Push for FASTags: The Indian government actively promotes FASTag adoption for seamless toll collection, encouraging a robust ecosystem of issuers.

Conclusion

While Paytm users with existing FASTags will need to take action before the deadline, the broader FASTag ecosystem is expected to remain stable. By planning ahead and acquiring a new FASTag from an authorised issuer, Paytm users can ensure a smooth transition and continue enjoying the benefits of digital toll payments on highways. Remember, timely action is crucial to avoid any inconvenience at toll plazas.

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