RBI approves common rural bill payment centres

People residing in rural areas would soon be able to make bill payments at common service centres (CSCs) as the Reserve Bank of India has granted in-principle approval to the centres as Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit. The Bharat Bill Payment System will allow CSCs to operate the bill payment system with a single brand image providing convenience of ‘anytime anywhere’ bill payment.

BBPS would include activities to facilitate collection of repetitive payments for everyday services such as electricity, water, gas, DTH, telecom services, etc. Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the CSCs will be able to facilitate the collection of bills once the license is made operational, which may take around three more months.

The current system which enables the nearly 2-lakh-strong CSC chain to accept bill payments for utilities such as electricity, water, telephone, etc, would later be extended to activities such as collection of school and college fees, tax payments, mutual fund, insurance premiums among others. To boost the use of CSCs in rural areas, the ministry has approved the plan to give internet service provider licenses to these service centres, which would improve rural connectivity in the country.

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