Demonetisation pushes electronic toll collection by 540 times #Hindustan360

#Hindustan360

Demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has pushed toll payment through electronic mode rather than in cash, something the highways ministry failed to do in the past two years. View more at #Hindustan360.

In the past 20 days, toll collection through electronic mode increased by at least 540 times, according to NHAI data.

Even the sale of FASTags, a common tag that can be used across all toll plazas on NHs, has increased from only 1,462 on December 1 to 5,635 on December 20. The average daily sale of these tags is around 3,223. Since its launch two years back, the banks responsible for popularising the use of these tags had sold only 1.08 lakh tags till November 30. The toll collection through electronic mode went up from Rs 65,897 on December 3 to nearly Rs 3.58 crore on December 21, NHAI said.

“The numbers will increase significantly next month. Now four banks – ICICI, Axis, IDFC and SBI – are selling tags. They will reach out to bulk buyers such as truck fleet owners and cab operators in a big way. What we need to do is increase the number of lanes that can process the tags to deduct toll,” said an NHAI official.

Though at present, highway operators are also collecting user charges using point of sale machines, the aim is to convert more people to use FASTags, which enable vehicles to pass through toll lanes without stopping. According to estimates, toll plazas in India will be congestion-free when 60-70% users pay toll through electronic mode.

The proposal of large-scale use of smart tags was first mooted in June 2010 and a pilot run was conducted in August 2012. But it did not get enough attention until recently. Besides reducing the processing time at toll plazas, use of smart tags ensures no leakage in toll collection as all records are captured electronically. These can also be used for tracking the movement of stolen vehicles or in case of any emergency.

Benefits of using e-Payment cards

1. Cash free, stress free

Majority of the parents allot monthly pocket money to their children. Especially when the child is staying away from home, at a hostel or boarding, this amount is on the higher side. While this cash is stacked away in the wallet, there is always a lingering risk of theft.

Taking care of the cash only adds to the stress for the child. Alternatively, E-payment cards can be used wherein this risk is minimised. The specified pocket money amount can be linked to the card and children can use it stress free.

2. Children prefer online shopping

Online shopping is on the rise and with attractive discounts on brands, this is the buying trend among youth. Among the numerous e-commerce portal options, many are new. While making a purchase on these portals it is indeed risky to share credit/debit card details.

Card details must always be shared only on trusted websites since the risk of security being compromised online is very high. To facilitate such purchases without being exposed to fraud risks, E-payment cards come to our rescue. The risk we are exposed to, is reduced since the card is linked to a limited amount and the details shared do not provide an unrestricted access to our funds.

3. E-payment card over debit/credit card

Frauds related to debit/credit cards are on the rise. Though we can choose to share card related information at will, it is still difficult to gauge whether the information could be compromised. And when children handle these products, the risk increases multifold. Alternatively, E-payment cards offer a safer option wherein it allows one the flexibility of using a card without the need to share debit/credit card or account related information.

4. Introduction to financial planning

When pocket money is given in the form of cash, access is easy. Trivial expenses add up and before the end of the month the reserves dry up. Additional pocket money is requested and because the amount is not large, parents too give in to this demand. The result is that children fail to plan their finances.

Instead when they have a card which is already loaded with the pre-decided pocket money amount, impulsive spending is restricted as well. The habit of accessing the wallet for hard cash for trivial unplanned expenses is controlled resulting in smart spending. This shift in attitude helps the child in the long run.

5. Quick access to funds during an emergency

Considering that when children stay away from home, extra cash for emergency becomes a part of their pocket money. However, this cash is generally not carried in the wallet. E-payment cards solve this problem by proving an easy access to money required during an emergency.

Without actually carrying the money, it can be put to use quickly when required.

6. Expenses can be tracked

Handing over a card to children instills in them a feeling of independence. However, it does take time to realise the responsibility that independence brings along. Until that time, children need to be guided and corrected. When an E-payment card is used, expenses can be tracked.

This will help parents have information about their child’s spending habits. At a very early stage, parents can intervene and stop unacceptable expenses and correct the spending habits.

View more at #Hindustan360.