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Bharat Bill Payment System Decoded

Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) functions as a tiered structure for operating the bill payment system in India with a single brand image providing convenience of ‘anytime anywhere’ bill payment to customers. The objective of the BBPS is to implement an integrated bill payment system in the country that offers inter operable and accessible bill payment services to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes, and providing instant confirmation of receipt of payment.

BBPS

INLINE FACTS

  • The bill can be paid anywhere and anytime.
  • The system will provide multiple payment modes and instant confirmation of payment.
  • Payments may be made through the BBPS using cash, transfer cheques, and electronic modes.
  • The BBPS outlets would include banks, ATMs, business correspondents, kiosks etc.
  • Payments would be made securely through the NPCI network with instant receipts getting generated.

BACKGROUND

  • The Committee headed by RBI Executive Director G. Padmanabhan was set up in 2013 to study the feasibility of implementation of Giro based Payment Systems. A giro or giro transfer, is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and instigated by the payer, not the payee. Giros are primarily a European phenomenon.
  • It was felt that integrated bill payment system is required in the country that could offer inter operable and accessible bill payment services to customers through a network of agents.
  • In 2014, the Giro Advisory Group (GAG) under Chairmanship of Prof. Umesh Bellur from IIT Bombay was set up to define a framework that enables the creation of pan- India touch points for bill payments by customers.
  • Accordingly, the draft of guidelines for implementation of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) was placed on RBI website on August 7, 2014, for public comments, and final guidelines were issued on November 28, 2014.

BENEFITS OF BBPS TO CUSTOMERS:

  • BBPS will offer the facility of “Anytime Anywhere” payment of bills, participating on BBPS network, to Customers through a network of agents.
  • It is expected to provide an accessible bill payment system to the large segments of unbanked and under-banked population.
  • BBPS will provide interoperability so that consumers can pay the bills of any biller at a single point and facilitate payments via multiple modes i.e. Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Prepaid payment instruments including wallets and other electronic payment options such as Net banking, IMPS, NEFT, etc.
  • The bill payment service points are expected to become ubiquitous, available to consumers near their place of work or residence.
  • Furnishes instant confirmation of payment made via a payment receipt/confirmation message. The receipt could be in the form of SMS/ email/ print out as desired by the customer
  • The BBPS brand will assure trust and confidence amongst consumers for the certainty, reliability and safety of the transaction.

The BBPS consists of two types of entities carrying out distinct functions

  1. Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) : Will be the single authorized entity operating the BBPS. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will be authorised as the BBPCU to implement the BBPS.
  2. Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs) : Will be the authorised by RBI as operational units, to function in adherence to the standards set by the BBPCU. While there will be a single BBPCU, there could be multiple BBPOUs operating under the BBPS. BBPOUs will on-board billers, aggregators, payment gateways, set up agent network and customer touch points to handle bill payments through different delivery channels, including self-service, assisted, electronic and manual modes. BBPOUs may be bank as well as non-bank entities.

PayU India is the first non-bank entity which got RBI approval to set up and operate Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).

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