Payment gateway provider CCAvenue, now a subsidiary of Infibeam, has launched BillAvenue an inter-operable digital bill payments platform. The platform is built on the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) infrastructure. CCAvenue has a licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to run a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU).
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.
On the BBPS, a customer can pay a bill even if an operating unit does not have a direct agreement for bill payments. For example, 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.
BillAvenue currently covers payments for utility services such as gas, water, electricity, mobile postpaid, DTH, and broadband. The company adds that it will gradually expand the scope to include several other types of payments. The NPCI, while conducting pilot trials for the BBPS, said that a bulk of the payments were towards electricity bills, and only around 10% of the 180 million electricity bill payments are digital.
BillAvenue collaborates with billers to fetch bills and digitizes them for electronic presentment to the customers. Currently, it has a network of more than1,20,000+ agents operating under BillAvenue.
Other BBPS players
CCAvenue joins other non-bank entities such as Spice Digital, Oxigen, PayU, TechProcess Payment Services, Euronet and Paytm to set up a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU). As of now, 24 bill payment operating entities have been authorized, including 18 banks and 8 non-bank entities.