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Now, you can pay toll tax by just unlocking your phone

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-03-2017 Komal Gupta

New Delhi: In a move aimed at reducing the time spent by commuters at toll booths, sound-based contactless payments will soon be introduced at these plazas on highways.

At present, the driver needs to stop his/her vehicle to pay the toll tax either through cash, debit/credit cards or mobile wallets (in some cases) and gets the receipt after which the toll gates open.

Soon, this practice will be replaced by a technology which works on inaudible frequency and enables the driver to make toll payments by just unlocking his/her phone, said Vivek Kumar, co-founder of Tone Tag.

“Our technology enables the driver to make toll payments by just unlocking his/her phone and selecting accept or OK button of the invoice which is generated by inaudible frequency. The toll operator will get to know about the payment initiation ultrasonically after which the gates will be opened,” said Kumar.

“It will eliminate the need for wasting time at the toll booths as well as prove to be very easy for the driver to make payments,” he said.

Tone Tag is a proximity communications firm with a technology that uses sound waves to enable offline, proximity-based contactless, cashless and cardless payments from one mobile phone to another or any other computing device.

“We have tied up with a private infrastructure company which maintains the toll booths at Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway and will tentatively go live by next month. We are also in talks with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to enable contactless payments in the toll booths of Maharashtra and NCR,” he added.

The company claims that the technology will work on existing point-of-sale (PoS) devices present at the toll booths used for accepting debit/credit card payments.

“No hardware upgrade or additions will be required, only the software needs to be updated which is easy to do. Hence, no additional cost has to be incurred for this technology,” said Kumar.

Tone Tag communicates with the merchant’s PoS system by using encrypted sound waves.

“The sound waves are encrypted with multi-layer security so that the data transferred through the sound waves or tone cannot be decrypted. The technology works on noisy environment as well,” he said.

Currently, users can choose between QR (quick response) code and ToneTag while making payments through certain mobile wallets, payments bank and UPI-based apps. The difference being, instead of scanning the QR Code the user can make payment through an encrypted sound wave generated by the app.

Last year, NHAI, the governing body for highways, had introduced FASTag, a cashless toll payment mechanism using RFID ( radio-frequency identification) technology, for making payments directly from the pre-paid account linked to it.

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