Payment companies PayU and Oxigen have got an in-prinicple approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to setup a Bharat Bill Payments Operating Unit (BBPOU). The approval from the RBI will allow BBPOUs to connect with the central bill payments and settlement system called Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
BBPOUs are units which can create an agent network and will be responsible for on-boarding billers and aggregators. In addition, they will be responsible for transaction handling, infrastructure development and application development, including APIs.
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 RBI had come out with guidelines for BBPOUs in December 2014 and had invited applications for BBPOUs in October 2015. The RBI said that it is communicating the decision directly to the applicants. It added that billing experience for eligibility as a BBPOU does not include activities in which the applicant is only a front-end of a bill aggregator and does not have tie- up with billers.
In August 2015, Oxigen introduced Super PoS, a point of sale terminal which would also facilitate payments under the BBPS. The Super PoS would also have micro ATMs according to UIDAI/NPCI specifications, a biometric reader for Aadhaar transactions and eKYC, a built in NFC with tap and pay debit card and magnetic swipe for Rupay, VISA, MasterCard debit and credit cards. It would also support money transfer, IMPS, Oxigen wallet, insurance and mutual fund services, Aadhaar and Jan Dhan accounts, merchant payments and mobile payments via SMS and USSD.
Eligibility criteria of the BBPOUs
- A net worth of at least Rs.100 crore as per the last audited balance sheet. This has has to be maintained at all times.
- Domain experience in the field of bill collection/services to the billers, and relevant experience in transaction processing for a minimum period of one year.