NPCI Current Affairs

NPCI gets RBI nod to operate Bharat Bill Payment System

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has received final nod from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to function as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and operate the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).

The final clearance from RBI comes almost a year after NPCI launched the BBPS pilot project to make payment of utility bills easier. The pilot started in August 2016 with eight BBPS operating units that had received in-principle approval from RBI.

The total number of Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units certified by NPCI now stands at 24. The certified units include 10 private sector banks, 3 public sector banks (Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank), five cooperative banks and six non-bank biller aggregators.

About Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)

BBPS is an integrated bill payment system offering interoperable and accessible bill payment service to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes and providing instant confirmation of payment. The BBPS initiative aims to provide a major push to digital payments as it is a big step forward in formalizing the bill payment system in the country.

Under the BBPS framework, a customer will be able to pay several bills such as electricity, telephone, water, gas, and DTH television at a single location—physical or electronic—and receive instant confirmation once the payment is made. Nearly 45 crore bills are permitted under BBPS.

Payments through BBPS can be made using cash, transfer cheques and electronic modes. Bill aggregators and banks, who will function as operating units, will carry out these transactions for the customers. At present the bulk of transactions on BBPS are of electricity bills. It contributes to about 180 million bills per month out of which only 10% is digital.

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Prime Minister launches BHIM-Aadhaar platform

Prime Minister has launched BHIM-Aadhaar platform from Nagpur. BHIM-Aadhaar platform is the merchant interface of the BHIM App that has been launched for making digital payments using the Aadhaar platform. BHIM App was launched in December 2016 to provide a one-stop solution for all digital payments. The App created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads within four months since its launch.

the newly launched BHIM-Aadhaar platform will help people to pay digitally using their biometric data like thumb imprint on a merchant’s biometric enabled device like a smart phone or a biometric reader. The App needs to be installed only by merchants and they need to connect their smartphones to the biometric scan machine to accept the payments from customers. The customers who want to pay using this app needs to link Aadhaar number and biometic fingerprint to complete a transaction.

Significance

  • The most significant aspect of this BHIM-Aadhaar platform is that it enables all those citizens without access to smart phones, internet, debit/credit cards to make digital transactions.
  • It eliminates the need to pay the fee currently being charged by the private card companies such as ‘MasterCard’ and ‘Visa’.
  • For merchants, it would eliminate the need for long waiting period and hassle of procuring a new POS (Point of Sale) machine.
  • For customers, it eliminates the hassle of remembering passwords, account numbers, or setting up of virtual payment addresses and using USSD codes to transfer money.

Offer schemes

Prime Minister has also launched two new offers rewarding BHIM users. Both the schemes will be administered by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and implemented by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

BHIM – Referral Bonus Scheme

Under this scheme, both the existing BHIM users and the new users will get a cash bonus credited directly to their account. This scheme incentivizes the existing BHIM users to refer new users to BHIM. Upon completion of minimum 3 unique successful transactions amounting to Rs 50 to any 3 unique users, the bonus will be paid to both the referrer and the referee.

BHIM – Cash back Scheme

Under this scheme, merchants will get cash back on every transaction using BHIM. The merchants can get cashback of up to Rs 300 per month, with each merchant eligible to win up to Rs 1800 in 6 months.

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