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Initially only utility bills can be paid through the BBPS; pilot in mid June, says AP Hota, MD and CEO of NPCI

With the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), a customer of Reliance Energy will be able to pay his electricity bill at any Oxigen outlet even though the two companies do not have a direct agreement for payments, AP Hota, managing director of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) told MediaNama in an interview. The BBPS is a centralized system where banks and non-banks can allow a network of their agents to access bill payment services in an interoperable manner. More on that here. "The billers are connected to multiple banks through bilateral contracts. The signing of them is a painful process with each individual bank and is quite expensive. So if the biller is connected through one operating unit, it will be open to the customers of all operating units. This is how the BBPS will be transformational," Hota added. Excerpted parts of the interview: What kind of bills can be paid: "To begin with only the utility bills can be paid through the BBPS. Namely the electricity bill, telephone bill, DTH, water bill and gas bill. We're talking to 10-15 major power distribution companies in the country. The telcos are well known and a few DTH companies.  For water bill, we'll take a few metro cities. In a recent meeting with operating units, we decided that the billers need to be sensitized. They need to be told what requirements are needed to be on the BBPS. In Chennai, the water billing system is highly computerized and is available on the web where people can…

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