NHAI advises Paytm FASTag users to switch to other FASTags by March 15 or face penalties

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The National Highways Authority of India has advised Paytm FASTag users to procure a new FASTag by a different issuing bank before March 15, 2024 to ensure seamless travel experience and avoid inconvenience at toll plazas.

“This will help in avoiding penalties or any double fee charges while commuting on national highways,” it said in its advisory issued on Wednesday.

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The restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on all Paytm Payments Bank transactions will kick in from Friday.

“In line with the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India regarding restrictions on Paytm Payments Bank, the Paytm FASTags users will not be able to recharge or top-up the balance post 15th March 2024,’ the ministry of road transport and highways said.

“However, they can use their existing balance to pay the toll beyond the stipulated date,” it clarified.

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The Indian Highways Management Company (IHMCL), an arm of the National Highways Authority of India, has issued a list of 32 banks sans Paytm Payments Bank, advising the national highway users to buy FASTags for a hassle-free drive through the listed authorised banks.

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India has over 70 million FASTag users and Paytm Payments Bank claims it has 30% market share which means over 20 million users will suffer if they do not migrate to other banks. The 32 banks include Airtel Payments Bank, Allahabad Bank, AU Small Finance Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, City Union Bank, Cosmos Bank, Equitas Small Finance Bank, Federal Bank, FINO Payments Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, IDFC First Bank, Indian Bank, IndusInd Bank, J&K Bank, Karnataka Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Nagpur Nagarik Sahakari Bank, Punjab National Bank, Saraswat Bank, South Indian Bank, State Bank of India, Thrissur District Cooperative Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank of India ans Yes Bank.

IHMCL, in its letter dated January 19, 2024, barred Paytm Payments Bank from issuing fresh FASTags and taking up new toll plazas due to non-compliance with mandatory know your customer (KYC) norms.

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