The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Wednesday launched the pilot project for Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) with 26 Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs), including bank and non-banking entities.
In the first phase, BBPS will cover repetitive payments for everyday utility services such as electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH).
The move comes close on the heels of NPCI making the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) live for transaction by bank customers.
BBPS is the Reserve Bank of India mandated system which will provide interoperable bill payment services to customers. It is an integrated platform connecting banks and non-bank entities in bill aggregation business like billers, payment service providers, retail bill outlets etc.
At present, a total of 62 entities have received in-principle approval from RBI to function as Operating Units (OU), out of which 52 are banking entities and 10 are non-banking entities
The banks that would participate in the pilot BBPOUs project are AP Mahesh Co-operative Urban Bank, Axis Bank, Gopinath Patil Parsik Janata Sahakari Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank, Punjab National Bank, RBL Bank, State Bank of India, The Saraswat Co-Op Bank, TJSB Sahakari Bank and YES Bank.
The Non-Bank BBPOUs to join are 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, PayU Payments Pvt. Ltd, Spice Digital Ltd and TechProcess Payment Services Ltd.
Commenting on the launch of the pilot project, 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, the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India, functions as the authorised Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) which will undertake clearing and settlement activities related to transactions routed through BBPS. The RBI authorised BBPOUs will on-board billers, aggregators and payment gateways. They would also set up agent network and customer touch points to handle bill payments through different delivery channels including self-service, assisted, electronic and manual modes.