Credit card can replace the Touch n Go card?

POSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 10 July 2019


If you’re not entirely satisfied with the CIMB-owned Touch n Go card system, there is a technical solution where the SmartTag and MaxTAG tolling devices can be tweaked to use credit cards and debit cards.

But this requires a second financial clearing house in addition to the current CIMB clearing house for Touch n Go card and the RFID sticker.

“And the SmartTag and MaxTAG system can even be used as a gantry-free system to avoid toll plaza congestion, but then the problem will be enforcement. But the big question remains: How is the toll highway operator going to catch those who drive through the barrier-free system without paying?” said Helmut Blasch, the director of Efkon Asia Sdn Bhd.

He was speaking at the launch of the first built-in toll reader for after-market buyers.

Lokatech Engineering Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with Efkon, the Austrian technology provider of Malaysia’s nationwide infra-red electronic toll collection system, launched the first built-in toll reader for the aftermarket today.

Priced at RM499 per unit, the LokaTAG built-in toll reader offers an alternative to the portable MaxTAG launched in October 2018.  LokaTAG is designed to be integrated as part of the vehicle with direct connection to the vehicle’s battery either through the cigarette lighter plug or direct wiring.  It features a long-lasting back-lit display with card error or low credit alert and is compatible with all vehicle models.

In partnership with Shopee Malaysia (www.shopee.com.my), every purchase of LokaTAG from the official LokaTAG online store comes with free on-site installation for customers in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor, along with 0% Easy Payment Plan (EPP) for just an extra RM1.  Customers outside these regions can install their LokaTAG for free at selected authorised dealers.

According to EFKON Asia Sdn Bhd director Helmuth Blasch, brisk sales of the MaxTAG since its launch last year and increasing orders from car manufacturers for built-in toll readers proved that the infra-red system retains high preference among highway users due to its proven reliability and efficiency.


Market response to the portable MaxTAG has been excellent with average monthly sales of about 12,000 units. As for our built-in toll readers, we currently have five major car brands featuring our customised products with more coming on board soon. The combined total monthly sales of the portable and built-in units are about 25,000 units,” he said.

Lokatech Engineering Sdn Bhd general manager Ng Shyh Kang believes that there is tremendous potential in the untapped aftermarket segment.

“LokaTAG is the first and only authorised built-in toll reader for the aftermarket and we believe there is a high number of car owners who will appreciate the peace of mind and convenience of a seamless ride. For a start, we are targeting sales of about 1,000 units a month,” he said.

Mr Blasch said that EFKON is constantly investing in research and development to enhance the features of the infra-red electronic toll readers, including equipping these devices with Bluetooth connectivity and voice alert capabilities in the future.  Bluetooth connectivity will enable users to interact with the electronic toll reader units using devices such as smartphones and car media systems.

“We expect the infra-red electronic toll collection system to continue playing a significant role in this country for years to come.  It has proven to be the most reliable, efficient, convenient and cost-effective cashless toll collection system in facilitating multi-lane traffic flow on Malaysian highways,” he said.

Developed in 1997 and rolled out across the country in 2005, the infra-red toll collection system on Malaysian highways is popularly known as SmartTAG.

Lokatech Engineering Sdn Bhd has been involved in the manufacturing and assembly services for over 10 years. Over the last five years, the company has been focusing on automotive related products and services.

EFKON GmbH is one of the world’s leading providers of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), enforcement and traffic telematic solutions. EFKON has significant know-how in all major electronic tolling technologies and provides customised turnkey solutions. Headquartered in Raaba by Graz, Austria, EFKON’s activities are worldwide. Subsidiaries are located in Belgium, Ireland, Malaysia, India and South Africa.