Reserve Bank 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).

Banks not to charge for failed transactions, balance enquiry: RBI

Every month banks provide certain number of free transactions at ATMs to their customers and exceeding which charges are imposed. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks not to count failed transactions at ATMs due to technical reasons as part of ‘free ATM transactions’ permitted every month.

Circular issued by RBI

The central bank has issued a circular in this regard which comes after it came to RBI’s notice that transactions that have failed due to technical reasons or even non-availability of currency in ATMs are also included in number of free ATM transactions.

RBI clarified that transactions which fail on account of technical reasons such as non-availability of cash, hardware and software issues and any other reason which is attributable to bank, should not be counted as valid ATM transactions for customer and therefore, no charges shall be levied.

Besides these, if the ATM is used for non-cash withdrawal transactions such as balance enquiry, cheque book request, payment of taxes, funds transfer, etc. which constitute ‘on-us’ transactions (i.e. when a card is used at an ATM of same bank which has issued card) should also not be part of number of free ATM transactions facility given to a customer.