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RBI Invites Application for Bill Payment Services

bill payment

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank on Tuesday invited applications from entities engaged in bill payments and desirous to operate as Bharat Bill Payment System Operating Units.

The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) will be an authorised payment system operated by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), RBI said in a notification.

"To begin with, under BBPS the BBPOUs (Bharat Bill Payment System Operating Units) will function as entities facilitating collection of repetitive payments for everyday utility services, such as electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH)," RBI said.

The scope of bills covered under the BBPS would gradually be expanded to include other types of repetitive payments.

Entities currently engaged in such bill payment activities and desirous of continuing the activity are mandatorily required to apply for authorisation to RBI under the Payment and settlement Systems (PSS) Act 2007.

RBI said banks desirous of becoming BBPOUs will be required to submit a copy of the approval of their Board for undertaking this activity along with a letter seeking one time approval from the Department of Payment and Settlement Systems of the regulator.

The request letters from banks will be accepted till close of business on November 20, 2015.

RBI said to enable entities dealing with such payments to become part of the BBPS, the authorisation window would be re-opened at an appropriate time in future.

The central banker also clarified that BBPS will provide an accessible and interoperable bill payments environment, bill payments at billers' own collection points will continue to be available to customers.

For non-bank entities, RBI said guidelines will be issued for in-principle authorisation to join BBPS.

Those which have applied for authorisation but do not presently meet the eligibility criteria will be given one-time extension up to December 31, 2016 to meet the eligibility criteria, it said.

Further, they can continue to engage in bill payments activities during this period, it added.

"If, however, such entities fail to meet the eligibility criteria by December 31, 2016, they will be required to become agents of the existing BBPOUs or exit the business of bill payments by May 31, 2017," RBI said.

In November 2014, RBI had released guidelines for implementation of BBPS under Payment and Settlement System.

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