How you currently pay bills for your Life Insurance premium, electricity bill, phone bills, or school fees? It is not from a single window right? You choose a separate payment gateways to pay separate bills. Now forget about all this. Here is a one-point solution, called Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). This is a reality with RBI’s recent guidelines dated Nov 28th, 2014.
Let us see the current system of bill payment
If you want to pay bills by cash, then you need to visit the billing company’s cash outlet. Instead, if opt for online payment, then through online payment gateways. Usually your billing company has tied up for bill collection with these payment gateways. Banks also allow few online payment facilities to customers. However, it is again a limited payment facility as they have tied up with few billing companies.
Let us take an example. While paying LIC premium you have two options. One is to visit to LIC branch office or collection centres and pay through cash, cheque, or DD. The second option is, through online. For this, LIC has tied up with online payment gateways like Billjunction, Timesofmoney, Billdesk or with banks like Corporation Bank. Therefore, when you pay any premium, then these payment gateways collect the premium on behalf of LIC and generate the premium paid receipt to you. They transfer the collected amount to LIC.
The same system applies to electricity bill payment, telephone bill payment or any bill payment system in India. However, currently there is no single system where customers can pay all their bills at one point. Each bill generating company like insurance company, telephone provider, or electricity boards tied up with different payment gateways. Therefore, to pay the bill, customers need to use the service of different payment gateways.
Currently in India, yearly around 30,800 million bills amounting to Rs.6, 223 billion generated only from top 20 cities of India. So felt that, why cannot integrate the system. That is why the invention of a new service called “Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).
So what is Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) for you?
Participants in this BBPS are Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs) and Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU).
Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs) -These units are the bill collecting points for all of us. They connected to central system called Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU). Customer visits to these outlets online or offline and pay his bills (irrespective of whether the billing company tied up or not). In return, OUs collects the money from customers, transfer it to respective billing companies, and issue the receipt to the customer. If the OU and the billing company already have tie up, then the billing settled there itself. Otherwise, it goes to BBPCU where the payment disbursed to the respective billing company.
So now sitting in Bangalore, you can pay your parents’ electricity bills or property tax.
Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) -This is a central unit which manages payment transfer to respective billing company and all OUs are centrally connected to the CU. However, if billing company and OUs are tied up, then payment will not transfer to CU. It will be settled within them. Only cases, where they have no tie up, then OUs transfer the amount to CU for disbursement of the bill to the respective billing company.
What charges to customers?
There will be no charges to customers. However, OUs will charge to billing companies. This commission shared among all parties who involved in BBPS. There is an advantage for billing companies too, as they are free from setting up of individual bill collection point.
Currently this is yet at initial stage. However, I hope this system will change a picture of the billing industry in India. Let us hope for the best 🙂
Image courtesy of [ddpavumba] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net