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India finalizes guidelines for online bill payment system for repetitive payments

Close on the heels of the guidelines of setting up payments banks, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued its final guidelines for the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), a unified bill payment system for India. Both banks and non-banks which cater to payment services will be a part of the BBPS. The BBPS intends to offer an interoperable and accessible bill payment services to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes, and providing instant confirmation of payment. The National Payments Corporation of India has been authorized as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) to implement the BBPS. Notes from the guidelines: 1. Services: - Initially: a collection of repetitive (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly etc.) payments for services provided by utility service providers. - Gradually: the scope of BBPS could be extended to include services facilitating the collection of other types of repetitive payments, such as, school  and university fees, municipal taxes and payments etc. 2. Structure of the system: The BBPS will function as a tiered structure, and consist of two types of entities carrying out distinct functions. a. Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) which will be the single authorized entity operating the BBPS, and set the operational, technical and business standards for the entire system and also undertake clearing and settlement activities. BBPCU should be "a Section 25 company under the Companies Act 1956 (amended to Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013), having professional senior management and experience in handling central infrastructure in payments, clearing and…

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