The RBI has envisaged a two-tier system for operationalising an integrated bill payment system in the country that offers interoperable and accessible bill payment services.
The central bank has proposed two types of entities to operate in this space viz (a) entity operating the BBPS and (b) BBPOU.
The BBPS would be a not-for-profit company under Section 25 of the Companies Act. It will be the standard setting body for payment, clearing and settlement process.
On the other hand the BBPOU will be the operational units that would on-board the billers, aggregators, agents develop infrastructure, handle transactions, customer grievances and disputes between various parties.
According to RBI, the BBPOU should have a minimum net worth of Rs.100 crore and should be incorporated in India.
The entity should preferably have experience of at least one year in transaction processing, preferably in the bill payments area.
According to RBI, bill payment system which will be under a single brand image would provide the convenience of 'anytime anywhere' bill payment to customers.
The RBI said bill payment is a major component of retail payment transactions. The top 20 Indian cities every year generate 30,800 million bills valued over Rs.6,200 billion and their settlement is predominantly through cash/cheque.
However, under the current system payment bills like school/university fees, municipal taxes are not in operation owing to issues like lack of inoperability in bill payment processes and lack of access to majority of customers to different modes of electronic payments.
According to RBI, there is a need for integrated bill payment system that is interoperable and accessible to customers through a network of agents.
"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," RBI's draft guidelines state.
The draft guidelines outline the basic conditions of operating the BBPS, and also prescribe the eligibility criteria, standards for settlement model and customer grievance redressal, roles and responsibilities and scope for entities desirous to be part of bill payment system.
The last date for submission of views on the guidelines is Sep 14.