National Payments Corporation of India Current Affairs - 2019

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RBI expands coverage of Bharat Bill Payment System

In a consumer friendly initiative, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has expanded the scope and coverage of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) to include all categories of billers who raise recurring bills and payments (except prepaid recharges) as eligible participants, on a voluntary basis.

Key Highlights

With the expansion of the scope of payment facility, RBI now allows other recurring/repetitive bill payments like school fees, insurance premiums, EMIs and municipal taxes, which can also be paid through BBPS.

At present, the facility of payment of recurring bills through BBPS is available only in five segments i.e. direct to home (DTH), electricity, gas, water and telecom.

Expansion of biller categories would increase the user base of Bharat Bill Pay along with providing an efficient, cost-effective alternative to existing systems and enhance consumer confidence and experience.

What is BBPS?

It is an integrated bill payment system that offers interoperable bill payment service to customers online and via a network of agents on ground.

This interoperable platform enables a customer to pay bills like telephone, water, gas, direct-to-home (DTH) and electricity at a single location (electronic or physical).

The system provides multiple payment modes and instant confirmation of payment.

BBPS functions under National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

RBI constitutes high-level committee to review ATM charges

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a high-level committee under the chairmanship of VG Kannan, Chief Executive of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to review the entire gamut of ATM charges and fees.

Key Highlights

  • Background: There are around 2 lakh ATMs in India. At end of April 2019, there were over 88.47 crore debit cards and 4.8 crore credit cards in function, and as per RBI data during April only 80.9 crore transactions were done through debit cards on ATM.
  • Need: Over the years, uses of ATMs have grown significantly and there have been persistent demand of changing ATM charges and fees. Thus amid demands for reviewing the levies by bank, RBI constituted high-level committee.
  • Constitution: The six member committee chaired by of VG Kannan, will consist of members namely- Dilip Asbe (CEO, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)), Giri Kumar Nair (CGM, State Bank of India (SBI), Sanjeev Patel (CEO, Tata Communications Payment Solutions (TCPSL)), S Sampath Kumar (Group Head, Liability Products, HDFC Bank), and K Srinivas (Director, Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMi)).
  • Function:
  • It will examine existing patterns of costs, charges and interchange fees by banks for automated teller machines (ATMs) transactions.
  • It will review overall patterns of usage of ATMs by cardholders and also assess impact (if any) on charges and interchange fees levied by banks.
  • It will assess entire range of costs in respect of ATM ecosystem within the country.
  • It will make recommendations on optimal charge or interchange fee structure and pattern.
  • Timeframe: It will submit its report to RBI within two months from date of its first meeting.