Spice Digital has got an in-principle nod from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate under the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), reports TechCircle. Spice Digital joins other non-bank entities such as Oxigen, PayU, TechProcess Payment Services, Euronet and Paytm to set up a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU). Currently, 37 banks can act as operating units as well.
The RBI said that it is communicating the decision of who gets a licence directly to the applicants.
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 service to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes, and providing instant confirmation of payment.
Last week, the government’s Common Services Centres (CSC) got a licence to set up a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU). Through this, villagers will be able to pay their utility bills and get phone recharges and pay phone bills.
Digital wallet: In May last year, Spice Digital got a licence from the RBI to operate a semi-closed digital wallet. It launched Spice Mudra in September 2015 and the wallet would focus on domestic remittances. At the time it was reported that Spice Digital’s 3,000 retail outlets will help with the remittances using the wallet and that the company plans to expand to other services such as bill payments, mobile recharges and ticket booking. The company also said that the wallet would be integrated with Spice’s handsets to enable easier payments for customers.
Financials: Spice Digital, a subsidiary of Spice Mobility, comes under the services segment in the company’s financials. For the quarter ended March 2016, services business revenues increased to Rs 62.49 crore, up 11.31% from Rs 56.14 crore in the same quarter last year and down marginally by 0.54% from Rs 62.83 crore in the preceding quarter. The profit before tax increased to Rs 5.81 crore for the quarter, up from Rs 1.17 crore in the preceding quarter. Services business represented about 1.36% of Spice Mobility’s revenues for the quarter.