At today’s launch of the Touch 'n Go RFID (radio-frequency identification) Tag, the company talked up the benefits of RFID usage, the milestones it has achieved since the public pilot programme started in September 2018, and the future of the technology in Malaysia.
CEO of Touch n Go Syahrunizam Samsudin revealed that since September 2018, the company has invested in one million TnG RFID Tags, which has been installed for free. The tags have been used to make 55 million toll payment transactions worth RM104.5 million, and the successful transaction rate is 99%.
He said that TnG RFID is an important component of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and propels Malaysia to the level of countries such as Singapore, Taiwan and China in tech terms. Globally, 70.5 million vehicles are connected through RFID tech and the RFID tag market expecting a 7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2017 and 2022. Asia Pacific is seen as the driving force behind this growth.
“We want Malaysians to be part of a global RFID community. RFID tech will be a key enabler to access daily use cases more conveniently, improve traffic enforcement and management capabilities, and support the government in providing better mobility services to Malaysians,” Syahrunizam said, adding that RFID introduction is aligned with the government’s efforts towards multi-lane free flow and improving the highway experience for Malaysians.
RFID acceptance at toll plazas aren’t an issue. Virtually all city highways have RFID lanes, including the AKLEH, Besraya, BKE, BORR, DUKE, Guthrie Corridor, Grand Saga, Grand Sepadu, Penang Bridge, Penang second bridge, KESAS, KL-Karak, Latar, LDP, LEKAS (Ampangan plaza only), Second Link, LKSA, MEX, NPE, SILK, Smart Tunnel and Sprint.
Previously a hold out, PLUS announced late last year that it will start offering toll collection via RFID at 10 of its open-toll highways from January 1 2020. The toll plazas at Mambau, Lukut, Kempas, Lima Kedai, Perling, Tanjung Kupang, Bangunan Sultan Iskandar and Jitra already have RFID lanes. Today, Touch n Go said that from April 1, all 83 closed highway system toll plazas by PLUS will be RFID enabled.
Moving forward, TnG is working towards allowing bank accounts, credit cards and debit cards to be linked to the RFID system – at present, toll payment is deducted from the user’s TnG eWallet balance.
The company is also trying to expand the usage of TnG RFID beyond toll payment. “Now it is the time for us to move forward and continue to expand the use of RFID technology together with our partners across the mobility ecosystem. This includes fuelling, parking and retail drive-thrus,” Syahrunizam said.
According to TnG, we can look forward to paying for parking with RFID in the third quarter of this year, while petrol pumps will start accepting RFID in Q4. The first quarter of 2021 will see drive-thru retail payment (think fast food joints and coffee) with RFID kick off. TnG is already working with popular malls and buildings on RFID parking payment and we’re sure to get updates on this in due time.
To recap, today was the launch of the TnG RFID system, which also marks the end of the public pilot programme. From February 15, RFID tags will no longer be free of charge, but will cost RM35. The price includes one-time free replacement (on the same vehicle) should there be damage from whatever cause. In conjunction with the launch, TnG is having a lucky draw of sorts where 40 winners will win RM2,500 in TnG eWallet credits. The promotion is from Feb 15 to April 15, and there will be five weekly winners.