NRIs can pay electricity, phone bills of families in India directly via Bharat Bill Payment System now

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Now your NRI son or daughter can pay your electricity, water bills and other utility bills directly in India. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has enabled this process via the Bharat bill payment system (BBPS). This system has been opened for processing inward cross-border payments. Bharat Bill payment system is an interoperable platform for bill payments.

The Reserve Bank of India now proposes to enable it to accept cross-border inward payments, according to the Central Bank governor’s statement here today. Earlier this service was available only to customers in India only.

As per the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies, “Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), owned and operated by NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd. (NBBL), has transformed the bill payment experience in the country. BBPS offers an interoperable platform for standardised bill payment experience, centralised customer grievance redress mechanism, uniform customer convenience fee, etc. Over 20,000 billers have been onboarded on the system and more than eight crore transactions are processed on a monthly basis. BBPS is currently accessible only for residents in India. To facilitate Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) undertake utility, education and other bill payments on behalf of their families in India, it is proposed to enable BBPS to accept cross-border inward payments. This will also benefit payment of bills of any biller onboarded on the BBPS platform in an interoperable manner. Necessary instructions will be issued shortly.”

“The RBI’s proposal to enable Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) for offering cross-border inward payments is a welcome initiative. This interoperable platform, which already processes over eight crore transactions on a monthly basis, will transform the bill payment experience for Indians living abroad and will be highly beneficial for the family members of the NRIs, especially the senior citizens staying in India. NRIs will now be able to enjoy various offerings of BBPS such as a reliable bill payment experience, centralised customer grievances redress mechanism, and uniform customer convenience fee, while paying utility bills, education-related payments and other cross-border transactions. What was earlier limited to the Indian residents is now being expanded to the Indians overseas and it’s a commendable step to provide an STP kind of secured cross-border payment experience,” says Muralidharan Srinivasan, Head of Payments, APMEA Region, FIS.

What is Bharat Bill Payments System?

As per the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) website, BBPS is a payment system conceptualised system by RBI and driven by the NPCI. It is a one-stop ecosystem for payment of all bills providing an interoperable and accessible “Anytime Anywhere” Bill payment service to all customers across India with certainty, reliability and safety of transactions.

This payment system offers multiple modes of payment and provides instant confirmation of bill payment via an SMS or receipt. A customer can pay various utility bills like electricity, telecom, DTH, gas, water bills, etc. and also other repetitive payments like insurance premium, mutual funds, school fees, institution fees, credit cards, fastag recharge, local taxes, housing society payments, etc. at one single window. An effective mechanism for handling consumer complaints has also been put in place to support consumers regarding any bill-related problems in BBPS.

The payment modes options facilitated under the ecosystem are Cards (Credit, Debit and Prepaid), NEFT Internet Banking, UPI, Wallets, Aadhar-based Payments and Cash.

NPCI has been authorized by RBI as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and is responsible for setting business standards, rules and procedures for technical and business requirements for all participants. The BBPCU undertakes clearing and settlement activities related to transactions routed through Bharat BillPay.

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