IDFC FIRST Bank today announced the launch of its integration with ‘payments on WhatsApp’ to enable simple and secure FASTags recharge for the Bank’s customers. This partnership means IDFC FIRST customers will be able to recharge their FASTags right within IDFC FIRST’s WhatsApp chatbot and complete the transaction from within the chat thread. IDFC FIRST Bank customers can get started by just sending ‘Hi’ to the Bank’s official WhatsApp chatbot number at +919555555555.
The process of recharge will be a seamless experience that will enable payments in two simple steps, without having to exit the WhatsApp chat. On selecting the recharge option in the WhatsApp chat, customers will then be required to enter the amount and authenticate the transaction via an OTP, after which they will receive a message confirming the transaction.
This new service will equip users to pay for their recharge through ‘payments on WhatsApp’, without having to log onto any other Mobile App or Netbanking portal, making it easier and faster for millions of the Bank’s FASTag users.
B. Madhivanan, Chief Operating Officer, IDFC FIRST Bank, said, “IDFC FIRST Bank has been working to drive innovations in FASTag to create outstanding user experiences. Customers use our proven, secure and simple FASTag solutions to pay for toll, fuel, parking and green taxes. We are thrilled to partner with WhatsApp to enable recharge of FASTags using ‘payments on WhatsApp’. This not only makes the IDFC FIRST FASTag a powerful proposition but also marks an industry first for any banking institution to enable transactions using payments on Whatsapp.”
Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp India said, “IDFC First Bank’s FASTag recharge on WhatsApp is a great example of our vision to make digital transactions easy and accessible for everyone in the country. Companies can now create customized and intuitive journeys for their customers on WhatsApp. Everyday transactions that took time and effort before, can now be initiated and completed quickly right within the WhatsApp chat thread.”
Payments on WhatsApp allows users to send and receive money from their contacts via Unified Payment Interface (UPI) as easily as sending a WhatsApp message. With user-safety at its core, ‘payments on WhatsApp’ is designed with a strong set of security and privacy principles, including entering a personal UPI-PIN for each payment.
IDFC FIRST Bank’s WhatsApp banking channel offers over 25 services for savings accounts, credit cards, loans, FASTag, which are being extensively used by account-holders. The Bank has now added FASTag purchase and recharge to this list of services. As FASTag is a prepaid instrument, it is important for users to keep the account funded before the vehicle reaches the toll plaza.
The Bank has so far issued around 9 million FASTags, making travel for its consumers easier and faster on highways due to fewer delays at toll plazas. As an acquiring bank, IDFC FIRST Bank enables payments via FASTag at close to 420 toll plazas and 20 parking locations, accounting for 40% market share in terms of monthly toll value processed. The Bank is also the largest parking acquirer with 45% market share.
The Bank has a tie-up with HPCL and processes payments close to 1 lakh liters of fuel a month using FASTag balances. IDFC FIRST Bank FASTags are accepted at around 19,000 HPCL outlets. The Bank also leads FASTag usage in the commercial vehicle space and is the preferred tag for long haul trucks.
The FASTag program was jointly launched by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) as a medium to accept toll fare across all National Highway plazas. Banks act as issuers and acquirers in this ecosystem which processes close to seven million transactions a day. FASTags are accepted across all national highway toll plazas and select state highways. The latest count of active toll plazas was around 900.
This use case can also be experienced at the Global Fintech Festival 2022 where WhatsApp as a theme partner will showcase various innovative solutions being built on its platform that are contributing to a sustainable financial world, going green, global and inclusive.