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Bharat Bill Payment System Launched; RBI Has Processed Applications For 62 Operating Units!

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Bharat Bill Payment System BBPS

Top 20 Indian cities collectively generated 3000 crore bills, amounting to Rs 6.22 lakh crore last year. Soon, all these bills can be paid at a centralized location, without cash, and that too instantly.

After Unified Payment Interface was launched few days back, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has now launched Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), as 62 operating units were approved by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) yesterday.

We had reported the idea of Bharat Bill Payment System in 2014, when RBI sought public opinion on the concept. RBI has described BBPS as a centralized system which shall “offer interoperable and accessible bill payment service to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes, and providing instant confirmation of payment.”

Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units or BBPOUs would be the entities which can accept online payments for these utility services. As of now, RBI has approved 62 such units, out of which 52 are banking units and 10 are non-banking units. Ecommerce portals and mobile wallets have also applied to become BBPOUs.

In the month of November, 2014, RBI finalized guidelines and rules for operating units under BBPS. The pilot batch of BBPS would be now live with 26 operators.

In a statement, RBI said, “The applications received from banks and non-banks for authorisation to operate as a BBPOU have been processed.”

In the first phase of the operation, major utility bills such as electricity, gas, water, telephones and DTH services have been covered, which would be soon expanded to other services.

A P Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI said, “BBPS, in due course of time would link all major billers in the country with all their consumers which will simplify bill presentment and bill payments electronically. Currently the volume of bills being paid by cash is so large that even if 25 percent of the bills get paid electronically, impact would be visibly enormous.”

NPCI is functioning as the authorized Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU), as operations related to clearing and settlement activities for every transaction possessed by BBPS would be checked and approved by them.

On the other hand, Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units or BBPOUs would be ecommerce portals, banks, aggregators of payment services like mobile wallets and semi-closed loop wallets, billers and payment gateways. Using manual as well as automatic modes, NPCI would create massive agent networks and POS kiosks, which would act as gateways to accept every type of bill payment.

Some of the banks which are participating as BBPOUs are: AP Mahesh Co-operative Urban Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, The Saraswat Co-Op Bank.

Some of the non-banking entities which have applied to become BBPOUs include: Avenues India Pvt. Ltd, Common Service Centre, Euronet Services India Pvt. Ltd, IndiaIdeas.com (Billdesk), ITZ Cash Card Ltd, One97 Communications Ltd (Paytm), Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd.

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