RBI grants in-principle approval to NPCI to function as the central unit for Bharat Bill Payment Systems (BBPS)
November, 25th 2015
The Reserve Bank of India has today decided to grant ‘in principle’ approval to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to function as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) in BBPS.
The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), an integrated bill payment system, will function as a tiered structure for operating the bill payment system in the country with a single brand image providing convenience of ‘anytime anywhere’ bill payment to customers. As the central unit, NPCI will set necessary operational, technical and business standards for the entire system and its participants, and also undertake clearing and settlement activities. The present scope of BBPS will include utility bill payments, such as, electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH). Based on the experience, this would be extended to include other types of repetitive payments, like school / university fees, municipal taxes etc. in future.
The Operating Units will function as entities facilitating collection of bills/repetitive payments. Reserve Bank had invited applications for authorisation/approval to function as Operating Unit from non-banks/banks. The last date for receipt of such applications/approval requests was November 20, 2015. This had been extended to December 18, 2015.
As at the close of business on November 20, 2015, the Bank has received 12 applications for authorisation from non-bank entities and 18 requests for approval from banks for operating as a BBPOU. Reserve Bank would continue to receive further applications for authorisation/approval as Operating Units till close of business on Friday, December 18, 2015.
It may be recalled that the Reserve Bank of India had, vide circular dated November 28, 2014 issued guidelines for setting up the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), wherein it was indicated that NPCI will function as BBPCU and there could be multiple Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units-BBPOUs (Operating Unit) under BBPS.