Govt to back free E-payments on Bharat Bill Pay

The government will support free electronic transactions under Bharat Bill Payment System or BBPS and may direct the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to review and act against errant players, said a government official aware of the issue.

“The concerned authority has already issued an order. IBA can take a further review and suggest course correction if required,” said the official.

He said that the government has already clarified that the unified payments interface (UPI) is a digital public good and there will be no charge for its services. UPI and Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS) are among the payment modes in BBPS. Some payment apps started to charge platform fees for bill payments through BBPS last month.

The NPCI, an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in the country, had raised objections and directed them to stop charging platform fees.

The government last month said the concerns of the service provider for cost recovery have to be met through other means. “This is applicable in the case of BBPS as well,” the official said adding that the government is promoting digital payments and such charges could be restrictive.

The Reserve Bank of India, has proposed to enable BBPS to accept cross-border inward payments. BBPS is owned and operated by NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd. (NBBL). The BBPS offers a one-stop bill payment solution for all recurring payments with billers for utilities.

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