In it's bid to bring convergence with digitization of financial services across India, after Unified Payment Inreface (UPI), The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given approval to the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). This new centralized payment system for the residents of India allows them to pay their bills and other common services from a single-interface online or offline. As a customer, you can now pay for utility bills such as electricity or telephone and common services like education institution fee, Insurance etc. through the BBPS.
The primary purpose of the BBPS is to convert India into a less cash society and move towards an electronic bill payment. It is an interoperable bill payment system that uses both online and offline types of billing.
The BBPS will be run by a network of agents and it will be accessible online too. The customers will be able to pay all of their bills ranging from electricity to telephone to school fees to government payments and more. There are multiple payment channels and payment modes available to choose from.
Customers will have the option to pay their bills by connecting directly to the online system. In this case, all the communication will take place in real-time and this online system will work just like the traditional internet banking.
Those who cannot access the BBPS online, they can head to a local agent and pay their bills. These are the same agents that used to collect bills but as of now, they operate in isolation. The BBPS will create a network of these agents and they all will be connected to the BBPS.
At the end of the day, you as the customer will be able to pay all of your bills from a single location safely and securely. The BBPS is an approved system so it is absolutely safe to deal with it.
There are two ways a customer can use the BBPS:
1. Online mode
2. Offline mode
Perhaps the best thing about the BBPS is its online mode. Here is how it works.
1. You have to connect to a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) which is an authorized operational unit. It could be a bank or any other institute. You will connect with the BBPOU through the internet.
2. Select the type of bill you want to pay.
3. The payment channel, in this case, will be the internet.
4. Select the payment mode which could be a credit card, debit card, or any other.
5. Select payment option. You can choose to pay full, minimum, part, or other types of payment.
6. Pay the bill.
7. The BBPOU will send a notification of payment to the biller. Once the payment will be confirmed, you will be notified immediately of the bill payment.
8. You will get confirmation of the payment.
All the communication, in this case, is done on real-time.
In case of offline mode, you will be visiting an operating unit which could be an agent. Instead of connecting directly to a BBPOU, you visit the agent. The agent will connect to the respective BBPOU and will process the payments.
1. You visit a local agent.
2. Present your bill and the payment.
3. The agent either connects to the BBPOU in real-time or he may connect to the BBPOU at a later time.
4. In both the cases, you will receive a confirmation of the payment from the agent.
The agent will connect to the online BBPOU and will pay your bill.
Following are some of the major features of the BBPS.
Interoperable: It is an integrated platform that connects the banks and non-banks with the billers, payment providers, outlets, and agents. It is a rigid system that operates on real-time by connecting all the partners.
Secure: A safe and secure system that is authorized by the RBI. It has a complaint and dispute management system in place that will help you solve any issues as and when they occur.
Customer convenience: What’s better than paying your bills on the go and from a single platform? Just think of any bill, and you can pay it via the BBPS.
Multiple payment channels: It supports multiple payment channels including the internet, mobile, ATM, bank branch, POS, KIOSK, agents, MPOS, and business correspondents.
Multiple payment modes: Customers can pay their bills via a whole lot of modes. These include credit cards, cash, IMPS, debit cards, UPI, wallet, prepaid credit cards, NEFT, and internet banking.
Multiple biller types supported: The BBPS supports several billers which include electricity, gas, DTH, college and school fees, insurance, credit card payments, government payments, charity, and many others. More categories and billers will be added in the future.
Payment options: Customers don’t have to always pay the full payment instead they can pay part, penalty, excessive, minimum, or multiple payments.
Instant confirmation: The customers get instant confirmation of the payment if they are connected to the BBPOU. The confirmations make this platform credible.
The BBPS will impact every individual living in or outside the India. This payment platform will let customers pay bills easily and safely. Gone are the days when you have to waste time standing in long queues for bill payments wasting time and resources.
Think for a moment, how much time and resources will be saved from this system? The saved time and resources will be invested in something more productive. You will not have to take a short leave from your office to pay the utility bills. You can stay in the office and get the work done on time.
Consider a bigger picture where everyone in the country will be spending time in doing their work instead of standing in queues for bill payments. It will make India a more productive country. At a macro level, this can prove to be a game-changer.
The BBPS will not just impact the lives of the individuals but it will change the entire India. It will transform the country, the people, and the organizations. It will impact everyone.
You don’t have to be smart to use the BBPS. If you cannot use the online version, simply head to a local outlet and make it a successful platform.