Bharat Bill Payment System: A Convenient and Secure Platform for Bill Payments

The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an integrated bill payment system or a platform which acts as a connect between various billers and users. It offers customers the convenience of payment by cataloguing various utility providers under one platform. BBPS was conceptualized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2013 and is a product of the National Payments Council of India (NPCI). The system went live in 2017 and by 2019, BBPS onboarded all recurring payments.

Stakeholders in BBPS Ecosystem

  • There are two key components in the BBPS system — Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs). The BBPCU is NPCI, which lays down the operating procedures and standards for BBPS.
  • BBPOUs adhere to the rules set by BBPCU. They are the banking and non-banking entities that handle the payments load. Then, there are billers (utility providers) and agents, either as institutions or individuals, who provide services primarily on the collection side, to BBPOUs.

Purpose of BBPS

  • BBPS serves the purpose of convenience and access irrespective of the nature and form of payment. For instance, as a customer you may have certain utilities such as phone, electricity, gas, and water bills to pay on a monthly basis. Under BBPS, all these utilities are listed in a single website.
  • The customer can choose the payments to make and that will take them to the vendor website for the processing. They don’t have to go to each website separately to make the payment. That’s the convenience it offers. BBPS is also payment mode agnostic, it supports IMPS, NEFT, UPI, cheques, wallets and even cash.

Growth of BBPS

  • There are 33 active BBPOU billers and 66 BBPOU customers. This covers most banks and large NBFCs, particularly those relevant for payments. There are 19 categories of billers, which include electricity, insurance, water, and municipal taxes, piped gas, housing societies, credit cards, loan repayments and prepaid mobile phone cards.
  • As of November, there are 20,519 live billers (or utility providers) listed in BBPS. Though BBPS is not widely spoken about yet, the quantum of transactions has risen multi-fold in four years. From April to November of FY23, BBPS processed ?1.22-lakh crore or 689.63 million (in volume) transactions. Compared to FY18’s load of ?9,099.3 crore (73.39 million) transactions, this is an exponential leap.

Recent Development in BBPS

  • In the recent monetary policy, the RBI Governor announced that the platform will be extended to all payments and collections, including those that are non-recurring, such as professional service fee, tax collection and rent payment. In August, BBPS opened inbound bill payments facility for NRIs. This expands the scope of BBPS to a wider set of individuals and businesses.

Synopsis

The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an integrated bill payment system that offers customers the convenience of payment by cataloguing various utility providers under one platform. It was conceptualized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2013 and is a product of the National Payments Council of India (NPCI). The system went live in 2017 and by 2019, BBPS onboarded all recurring payments. The recent development in BBPS, the platform will be extended to all payments and collections, including those that are non-recurring, such as professional service fee, tax collection, and rent payment. This expansion will make the platform more accessible and convenient for a wider range of individuals and businesses. The growth of BBPS has been significant in the past few years, with an exponential increase in the number of transactions processed. The platform is payment mode agnostic, it supports IMPS, NEFT, UPI, cheques, wallets and even cash. This feature makes it easier for customers to make payments, regardless of their preferred mode of payment. In conclusion, BBPS is a valuable system for customers, billers, and operating units, as it provides a centralized platform for bill payments and collections, making it a convenient, efficient, and secure system for all stakeholders.

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