m-Toll by ConnectXcite, Enabling mobile based toll payments in India

Toll payment has always been a cumbersome process resulting in long queues. It is estimated that fuel worth Rs. 54 crore is wasted every year due to snarls at the toll plaza. The process may become less troublesome with the introduction of m-Toll mobile app by ConnectXcite in India which enables users to make toll payments with their smartphones. We had recently written an article about how Toll and Transit applications could take payments from here to a Trillion Dollar industry Globally.

Commuters will soon have the option of paying their toll fee from their mobile phone accounts without having to stop at the toll plazas. This may also include the option of paying their parking fee from their mobile accounts.

Some features of the application:

  • m-Toll can be downloaded on both mobile phones and tablets and can be topped up through the user’s pre-paid phone balance, post paid phone balance , credit cards, net banking as well as the cash based scratch cards
  • To avail the m-Toll facility, users will have to download the application to their phones or tablets and fill in their details.
  • The servers at the toll plaza will be able to detect the application from a distance of 600 metres of the toll gate and will deduct the toll from the account.
  • This initiative has a push from the Highways minister, Mr.Oscar Fernandes, as he considers this as a people - friendly initiative considering the high penetration of mobile phones in the country.
  • The pilot /experiment for this is in India is being carried out on the Tumkur-Chitradurga (Karnataka State) highway for collection of the toll and the experiment for the parking lot is being carried out at the Select City Walk mall at Saket in Delhi.
  • The technology service provider is carrying out these tests described above at the Karjeevanhalli toll plaza on NH-4 (at the cost of the technology service provider).

So far the tests have been carried out using the vehicles of the technology service provider. Going ahead the tests will be carried out on vehicles nominated by the IRB and then selected vehicles using the toll plaza regurlary will be included for the purpose of the experiment. The whole process should not take more than a two and a half month time frame.

The technology behind it has not been made very clear but looks like RFID or an alternate to that, or a smart chip based card that can operate across toll plazas. Therefore commuters will have an option of prioritizing the mode of payment. Also in case there is more than one occupant in the vehicle with the application, then all of them will get an indication to opt for the payment, before the toll gate for 20 seconds. In this case the person who first clicks will pay the toll. In case no one opts for the payment then the amount will be deducted from the oldest registered mobile phone.

Solutions such as m-Toll may help ease the situation with the frequent traffic jams that are often witnessed at toll gates in Metros.

Take this for example: