Should I upgrade from Touch ‘n Go to SmartTag or to RFID?

The first reason to consider getting either SmartTag or RFID is to avoid the much longer Touch ‘N Go lines. You also remove the need to wind down the window to pay the toll, as all you need to do is drive right through! Even so, there are a few differences. So if you are tired of waiting in the Touch ‘n Go lane, should you get a SmartTag, or get an RFID sticker?

touch 'n go
You won’t have to roll down your windows anymore. Source.

What is a SmartTag?

A SmartTag is a small box-shaped device which comes with a receiver and a slot to insert your card into. This would mean you will need to get a separate card to keep in the device or constantly remove it when you take the LRT for example.

You can mount it on a holder, attach it to your windshield, or hold it up when driving into the toll. If you get a SmartTag, it is wiser to opt for the former two, as you may forget to take your SmartTag out. If your car comes with a SmartTag reader like in a Perodua Myvi, then you do not have to worry about getting a reader.

Built in SmartTag reader
A built in SmartTag reader of a Perodua Myvi.

Don’t forget about the battery!

A SmartTag with plenty of battery left

Although the SmartTag removes the need to wind down your window and tap your card, you will have to consider that it runs on electricity. You could get a wired version, but it does reduce the number of USB ports available in your car.

If you get a battery version, you will have to remember to frequently check and replace the battery before it dies. Otherwise, you will be stuck at the toll with a lot of unhappy drivers behind you. An unenviable position!



What is RFID?

The Radio Frequency Identification or RFID, is a simple yet sensitive piece of equipment. You need to link your TNG card to the RFID. Touch ‘N Go suggests installing it either on the top left corner of your windshield or on the left headlamp at least 5cm away from metal content. As metal can effect the radio frequency, this is especially important for windshield installation as some tints contain metal which would disrupt the signal.

Read more: Choosing the best car tints

Reloading just got easier!

With the advent of the Touch’ n Go eWallet, reloading your card is no longer an issue. You can simply link your TNG card to your app and reload it using your eWallet there. You can then use your SmartTag and RFID without ever needing to take the card to a convenience store or LRT station to reload Talk about convenient!

You have to make sure you reload or check frequently. You don’t want to be scrambling to reload after you can’t get through. You can set it to automatically reload your card when it drops to a certain level.

What happens when you get a new car

Got a new car? Just take your SmartTag with you!

A portable SmartTag can be sold, given to someone or even just brought to another car. And just like that it can be used without much problems. This is in contrast with RDIF which is much harder to transfer as it requires careful removal and reattachment of the RFID tag onto the new car, keeping in mind that the tag should be 5cm away from metal.

In the end, you should go for what makes sense for you. If you have metal based tinting, maybe you should go for a SmartTag. If you don’t want to leave a spare card in your car, you can just get an RFID.  And if you can’t pick one, why not both? Some drivers have both RFID and SmartTag with only one card. This acts as a hedge and allows you to choose the shortest lane available and to save time! Just make sure you drive safely and indicate so that you merge into the shortest lane safely!

Read more: How to use your car lights correctly

Which will you choose?

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