The public will soon be able to pay highway tolls with any digital payment provider, which will effectively end the monopoly of Touch 'n Go
Speaking to Free Malaysia Today for an exclusive report published yesterday, 25 January, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the implementation, however, will depend on when the adoption of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) reaches a satisfactory rate.
Additionally, highway concessionaires will need to link up with additional online payment providers for the implementation to materialise.
"Soon, it will be up to the public to use any digital mode of payment whether you want to use Touch 'n Go eWallet, debit or credit card — Visa or Mastercard — or any kind of (electronic) payment system as long as there's a link available on a (particular) highway," said the minister.
He added that only one RFID tag will be required for the purpose.
For this purpose, the RFID system will get an upgrade, as highway concessionaires have been told to prepare for the implementation of the multi-lane free flow (MLFF) system by 2025
The MLFF is a barrier-free tolling system, which will do away with toll booths and dedicated lanes.
Vehicles will pass through gantry structures equipped with automated number plate recognition (ANPR) and highway users will be charged with their digital wallets that is connected to their RFID sticker, reported Malay Mail.
This setup combination will ensure a faster and smoother travel experience on highways.
Fadillah told Free Malaysia Today that the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) was trying to make sure it will be convenient for the public to embrace the online mode of payment
"We have been listening to the people's demand to open more (online payments) and we are aware that people have been complaining that they have to pay in advance for Touch 'n Go whether they are using (the highway) or not."
Elaborating on the readiness of highway concessionaires to implement MLFF, he added, "If we feel there will be some delay by some highway concessionaires, we may consider a private investment model or private finance initiatives to take over (the MLFF system)."
"The private investment model is for an open system. As you can see there are many highways in the country and all the systems need to be integrated. If we look at Singapore and Taiwan, they have single authority control (over the system)."
The minister stated that the usage of Touch 'n Go cards on highways will retire in 2025 and SmartTag lanes will phase out
Currently, it is estimated that there are more than 20 million Touch 'n Go cards in circulation.
91% of transactions are done on the 31 highways in the country.