Are We Finally Going To See The End of Touch 'n Go's 25 Year Monopoly?

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Are We Finally Going To See The End of Touch 'n Go's 25 Year Monopoly?

The government wants more digital payment providers to join highway tolls. Set to end Touch 'n Go's 25-year monopoly.

After mandating that road users must be given a choice to use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, Touch 'n Go or SmartTAG, it seems that the government is keen to provide road users with more options when it comes to highway toll payments.

Works Minister, Fadillah Yusof

According to FMT, Works Minister Fadillah Yusof has come out and said that "the government will soon allow the public to pay highway tolls using any digital payment provider, not just Touch 'n Go."

"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, or Visa or Mastercard or any kind of (electronic) payment system as long as there's a link available on a (particular) highway," he said in an exclusive interview with FMT.

However, the introduction of other digital payment providers lies within the satisfactory penetration rate of RFID (as one RFID tag is required for the purpose) as well as the readiness of highway concessionaires to link up with new payment providers.


The minister said that the government is always trying to find solutions to problems, with one of them being the complaint that road users have to reload in advance the physical Touch 'n Go card whether they are using the highway or not.

We suppose by introducing new digital payment providers, this will hopefully eradicate the complaint as people have the option to not pre-load their cards, but instead, link their accounts straight to their debit/ credit cards or even eWallets. 

This new move is a welcoming bit of news as it sounds like the government is trying to break down a monopoly, but how it will be done remains a question mark.

Currently, RFID is a closed system where users can only use Touch 'n Go's proprietary eWallet app to reload their accounts. In order to introduce new digital payment providers, Touch 'n Go would have to open up its system to others, which is highly unlikely in our opinion. 

The other option is to allow new digital payment providers their own RFID system, which sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen. 

Either way, it'll be interesting to see how this will materialise as competition can only improve the quality of the toll payment system, or can it?

Additionally, Fadilah also said that the Touch 'n Go card will be retired in 2025, and that highway concessionaire should be ready to implement a multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) system by 2025.

The multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) trials will start this year at Besraya KM5.5 (Northbound) and are scheduled to collect data for three months.

Adam Aubrey

Adam Aubrey

Content Producer

Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler

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