01 September 2016 Current Affairs: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payments system in India launched the pilot project for Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) with 26 Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs) .
BBPS will cover repetitive payments for everyday utility services such as electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH).
BBPS, in due course of time would link all major billers in the country with all their consumers which will simplify bill presentment and bill payments electronically. Currently the volume of bills being paid by cash is so large that even if 25 per cent of the bills get paid electronically, impact would be visibly enormous .
BBPS is the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mandated system which will provide interoperable bill payment services to customers.
It is an integrated platform connecting banks and non-bank entities in bill aggregation business like billers, payment service providers, retail bill outlets etc.
As on date 62 entities have received in-principle approval from RBI to function as Operating Units (OU), out of which 52 are Banking entities and 10 are Non-Banking entities.
The RBI authorised BBPOUs will on-board billers, aggregators and payment gateways. They would also set up agent network and customer touch points to handle bill payments through different delivery channels including self-service, assisted, electronic and manual modes.
In the pilot phase NPCI will include AP Mahesh Co-operative Urban Bank, Axis Bank, Gopinath Patil Parsik Janata Sahakari Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank, Punjab National Bank, RBL Bank, State Bank of India,The Saraswat Co-Op Bank, TJSB Sahakari Bank and YES Bank from the banking entities and Avenues India , Communications Ltd (Paytm), Oxigen Services , PayU Payments , Spice Digital Ltd and TechProcess Payment Services.