Finance technology firm Mahagram has tied-up with TJSB Sahakari Bank to launch 15,000 bill payment touch points across India. The platform is built on the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) infrastructure.
How BBPS works
The BBPS allows payments of utility bills like electricity, telecom, DTH, gas, water bills. The company said it is planning to expand the services such as payment of insurance premium, mutual funds, school fees, institution fees, credit cards, local taxes and invoice payments.
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.
Mahagram is an agent institution
It must be noted that Mahagram is an agent institution (AI), registered with the NPCI and not a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU). BBPOUs are licensed by the RBI and can create an agent network and will be responsible for on-boarding billers and aggregators.
Banks and other non-banking entities who currently offer bill payment and have not received In-Principle approval from RBI to become a BBPOU are eligible to become an Agent Institutions. Agent Institutions can collect bill payments from nationwide customers for myriad bill categories via a network of agents or by setting up customer service points in various regions and locations.
Other players in the BBPS space
CCAvenue, Spice Digital, Oxigen, PayU, TechProcess Payment Services, Euronet and Paytm have all set up a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU). As of March 2018, 28 bill payment operating banking entities had been authorized.