RBI seeks Comments on Draft Guidelines for Implementation of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)

Bill payment is a major component of the retail payment transactions. Over 30,800 million bills amounting to more than Rs 6000 billion are generated each year in the top 20 cities in the country. Though various forms of payments are accepted, cash and cheque payments continue to be predominant, particularly at the Billers’ Own Collection Point.

While the existing systems are safe and robust, they do not fully address the needs of the consumers/customers to pay a variety of “bills” including utility bills, school/university fee, municipal taxes, etc., due to lack of interoperability in the bill payment processes as well as lack of access to various modes of electronic payments by a vast majority of customers.

There is, therefore, a need for an integrated bill payment system in the country that offers interoperable and accessible bill payment services to customers through a network of agents, allows multiple payment modes, and provides instant confirmation of payment. The bill payment system should also serve as an efficient, cost effective alternative to the existing systems, thus, setting the standards for bill payments in the country, and enhance consumer confidence and experience.

In its report, the Giro Advisory Group (GAG) has recommended a tiered structure for bill payments system in the country, where the proposed Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) will be the authorised standard setting body and the proposed Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs) will be the authorised operational units, working in adherence to the standards set by the BBPS.

The draft guidelines, put up by RBI , outline the requirement and the basic tenets of operating the BBPS, and also prescribe the eligibility criteria, standards for settlement model and customer grievance redressal, roles and responsibilities and scope for entities desirous to be part of BBPS.

Specific and actionable comments may be emailed or sent by post to the Principal Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, 14th Floor, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, Mumbai-400001 on or before September 05, 2014.

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