Fintech startup Nearby Technologies, in partnership with Yes Bank has announced that it has begun offering Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) services on its PayNearby app, reports the Economic Times. BBPS is a utility bill payment ecosystem through which customers can pay several bills such as electricity, telephone, water, gas, and direct-to-home television at a single terminal or an electronic device like a smartphone — and receive instant confirmation once the payment is made.
According to the report, during the test phase, the company claims to have processed around Rs 24 crore worth of transactions for BBPS. To put things in context, the BBPS has facilitated 31.5 million transactions in the month of March, worth Rs 2986.15 crore, figures revealed the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have shown. The company also claims that the PayNearby app has more than 1 lakh retail stores across India and they, in turn, have the potential to serve more than 2.2 crore customers.
Established in April 2016, Nearby Technologies operates on a B2B2C model, where it partner with neighborhood retail stores which can offer Assisted Digital Financial Services like Aadhaar ATM, Aadhaar Deposit, SMS Payment, Utility Payment, Mutual Funds & Insurance, Money Transfer, Hyperlocal Services and payment services using the PayNearby App, according to its official website.
It will be interesting to see how the company will perform in the coming days, especially given that the regulators are inclined towards developing the BBPS. According to a report on Livemint, AR Ramesh, the chief project officer of BBPS has said that the NPCI is looking to get approvals from the Reserve bank of India (RBI) for other categories of recurring payments such as fee payments, monthly installments and mutual fund payments which can eventually be offered on the BBPS ecosystem. The Financial Express also reported that at a later stage, NPCI will look at adding small-value suppliers who raise bills of a recurring nature, subject to regulatory approvals for on-boarding such billers, Ramesh said.
According to Ramesh, the objective has been to rapidly enhance the biller base to enable easier bill payment for consumers under one single ecosystem. Payments through BBPS may be made using cash, transfer cheques and electronic modes. Bill aggregators and banks, which function as operating units, carry out these transactions for the customers.