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How Bharat Bill Payment Will Be An Economic Game-Changer?

More than 8 crore transactions are processed inside Bharat Bill Payment system

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The Reserve Bank of India has passed a big declaration for NRIs in the monetary policy. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has proposed to enable Bharat Bill Payment System to accept cross-border inward bill payments. Now the NRIs can directly pay electricity, water bill and other utility bills in India. Das said this would especially benefit the senior citizens. Bill Payment System is an interoperable platform for bill payment. Earlier this service was available only to customers in India.

Kunal Jhunjhunwala, founder & MD, airpay said, "It is a substantial improvement. This step is a big boost for digital payments in India because more and more avenues will become available, enabling digital collections on both the domestic and international markets. It will contribute to India's total digital payments. It will also streamline the overall system and encourage consumers to make payments via digital channels rather than by visiting branches.”

Balaji Jagannathan, Director and Founder, said, "In today's age consumers have become more and more global. As countries open up their borders for trade and tourism more people travel and settle abroad, however leaving their foot print in their country of origin. The national level digital initiatives across countries have led to a state that payments can be made and received from literally any part of the world to any part of the world. By supporting cross border inward remittance under BBPS, NPCI takes another significant step into making payments convenient for consumers."

What is BBPS?

BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System) is an integrated system of bill payment which provides online inter-operation bill payment service to the customers. BBPS works under the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

This payment system offers multiple modes of payment and provides instant confirmation of bill payment through SMS or receipt. A customer can pay various utility bills like Electricity, Telephone, DTH, Gas, Water bills etc. Along with this, other repetitive payments like Insurance Premium, Mutual Fund, School Fee, Institution Fee, Credit Card, FasTAG Recharge, Local Tax, Housing Society can also be paid with a single window. An effective mechanism has also been put in place to deal with consumer complaints.

"It is important to note that most payment networks across countries are now standardising message formats. This is being done with the aim of integrating domestic payment systems across countries so that eventually the world becomes one integrated network of payments. Accepting cross border remittance under BBPS is one initiative in this direction", Jagannathan said.

Payments under the ecosystem can be done through Credit, Debit and Prepaid, NEFT Internet Banking, UPI, Wallet.

How will it bring change in Payments Sector?

BBPS is governed by NPCI Bharat Billpay Limited. All the necessary guidelines related to this will be issued soon by RBI. It has been said by RBI that BBPS has made changes in the payment methods in many important facilities like customer bill payment, uniform fee etc. On their behalf, it has been said that 20,000 people have been added to this system.

Besides, opening up domestic payments network for cross border payments directly contributes to the much-needed foreign currency reserves of the country. SWIFT has worked tirelessly to bring both speed and traceability to cross border payments. Thus, today cross border transactions can happen within a day as against a time line of up to 5 days a couple of years ago. So, it is only justified that bill payments ecosystem utilises the efficiency brought by the SWIFT network.

Jagannathan said, "We can now expect Fintech innovations enabling instant cross border remittances tailored to enable BBPS payments for the Indian diaspora abroad and start-ups mushrooming around this opportunity. Traditional cross border payments companies have always targeted inward remittances to India as India ranks among the top countries both on volume and value of cross border inward remittances. These companies will have one more avenue of business opportunity to serve customers on cross border payments."

Beneficial for NRIs and Senior Citizens

While NRIs have access to their Indian bank accounts through net banking and mobile channels, opening up foreign currency inward remittance mechanisms adds another option for them to address their commitments in India from their country of residence.

NPCI has initiated many programs to expand instant payment, UPI infrastructure abroad. Integrating domestic UPI with the UPI initiatives abroad and allowing bill payments through remittances results in effective utilisation of payments infrastructure to offer efficiency and convenience to Indians in in India and abroad, he said.

BBPS provides bill payment facility to the customers. In this system, more than 20,000 people are part of the biller system. More than 8 crore transactions are processed inside this platform.

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