Draft Guidelines for Implementation of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)


1. Bill payment is a major component of the retail payment transactions. The Committee to study the Feasibility of Implementation of GIRO based Payment Systems (Chairman: Shri G. Padmanabhan, Executive Director, RBI) (2013) had estimated that over 30,800 million bills amounting to Rs.6223 billion are generated each year in the top 20 cities in the country. Though various forms of payments are accepted, cash and cheque payments continue to be predominant, particularly at the Billers'' Own Collection Point.

2. While the existing systems are safe and robust, they do not fully address the needs of the consumers/customers to pay a variety of "bills" including utility bills, school/university fee, municipal taxes, etc. due to the lack of interoperability in the bill payment processes as well as the lack of access to various modes of electronic payments by a vast majority of customers.

3. There is, therefore, a need for an integrated bill payment system in the country that offers interoperable and accessible bill payment services to customers through a network of agents, allows multiple payment modes, and provides instant confirmation of payment. The bill payment system should also serve as an efficient, cost effective alternative to the existing systems, thus, setting the standards for bill payments in the country, and enhance consumer confidence and experience. In order to address these issues, the Giro Advisory Group (GAG) (Chairman: Prof. Umesh Bellur, IIT Bombay) (2014) was set-up to define a framework that enables the creation of pan- India touch points for bill payments by customers in the country.

4. Based on the public comments received on the recommendations of the GAG, these draft guidelines are being issued for implementation of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) in the country.


5. The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) will function as a tiered structure for operating the bill payment system in the country with a single brand image providing convenience of ''anytime anywhere'' bill payment to customers.

6. The centralised bill payments infrastructure will consist of two types of entities carrying out distinct functions -- (i) Entity operating the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) (henceforth called as the BBPS) which will be the standard setting body, which, inter-alia, will cover standards related to payment, clearing and settlement process and (ii) Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs), which will be the authorised operational units, working in adherence to the standards set by the BBPS. The tiered structure could be further strengthened through an effective establishment of agent network/s by the BBPOUs.

Scope of the BBPS

7. At present, the online commerce space in the country broadly consists of content providers on the one hand and payment aggregators on the other. While the payment side could include both banks and intermediaries who are facilitating aggregation of payment services, the content side includes a varied set of intermediaries ranging from those who are hosting digital market places to those who are facilitating merchants relating to specific verticals. Some of these intermediaries are also in the business of aggregating bill payments. Similarly, some of the content providers enable payment services through their own arrangements while others use the services of specialised payment aggregators.

8. The objective of the BBPS is to implement an integrated bill payment system in the country and offer interoperable and accessible bill payment service to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes, and providing instant confirmation of payment. Hence, it has been decided that the existing players in the online commerce segment catering to the requirements of bill payments as well as aggregation of payment services (in relation to bill payments) will be a part of BBPS.

9. In future, the scope of BBPS could be extended to include services facilitating the collection of repetitive payments, such as, school / university fees, municipal taxes/payments etc. and also other e-commerce service content as decided from time to time by the Reserve Bank of India.

10. Therefore, existing entities providing services within the scope of activities indicated above will have to meet the eligibility criteria and seek authorisation as outlined below.


11. The participants in the BBPS will...

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