Reserve Bank of India proposes countrywide, integrated bill payment system

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued draft guidelines for the implementation of an integrated, countrywide bill payment system that will enable ‘anytime, anywhere’ payments to customers.

The proposed Bharat Bill Payment System (BPPS) will see interoperable and accessible bill payment services offered to customers via a network of agents to enable multiple payment modes and provide instant payment confirmations.

The RBI said that the aim is for the system to serve as an efficient, cost effective alternative to existing systems, setting the standards for bill payments in the country and enhancing consumer confidence and experience.

The draft guidelines outline the requirement and the basic tenets of operating the BBPS, and prescribe the eligibility criteria, standards for settlement model and customer grievance redressal, roles and responsibilities and scope for entities seeking to be part of BBPS. The RBI has invited comments from stakeholders by September 5.

The RBI commented: “Though various forms of payments are accepted, cash and cheque payments continue to be predominant, particularly at the Biller’s Own Collection Point.”

It also pointed out that while the existing systems are safe and robust, they do not fully address the needs of the consumers to pay a variety of bills 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.

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