India’s widespread highway network soon could see the installation of an electronic toll-collection system that would use radio frequency identification technology for accepting payments.

The National Highway Authority of India, which plans to test an RFID-based system on National Highway 1 between New Delhi and Panipat, is initiating the plan.

“We are trying to make the cash-payment system redundant because we feel that it has allowance for corruption and also is a large accounting and manpower headache for us,” a highway authority spokesperson tells PaymentsSource.

The pilot, which involves such banks as the State Bank of India Ltd., will run for six months before being rolled out nationwide, the spokesperson says. The pilot launches in early March.

Banks will provide users a transponder to put in their cars. Passing by a reader would trigger the device to broadcast its identification number, he says.

“The system uses RFID to capture the data from the device using the number and then transmits it on to the main computer for further processing without manual intervention,” the spokesperson says.

For now, the authority will draw payment using the devices from bank accounts and modify the system later to draw from credit card accounts as well, he adds.

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