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๐Œ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ƒ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง โ€“ ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž ๐๐š๐ง๐ค ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ˆ๐ง๐๐ข๐š (๐๐ก๐š๐ซ๐š๐ญ ๐๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐š๐ฒ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐’๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ) ๐ƒ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ, 2024

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Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently issued the revised framework โ€“ RBI (Bharat Bill Payment System) Directions, 2024 to streamline the process of bill payments, enable greater participation, and enhance customer protection among other changes. The revised framework aligns with the objectives outlined in the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies dated June 08, 2023.

Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an integrated bill payment platform which enables payment / collection of bills through multiple channels (Mobile Apps, Mobile Banking, Physical Agents, Bank branches, etc.) using various payment modes (UPI, Internet Banking, Cards, Cash, Prepaid Payment Instruments, etc.). Transactions on this platform mandate fetching the bill prior to payment initiation, with validation of customer relationships for prepaid service transactions.

The other entities which play a critical role in the functioning of a BBPS are (a) Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOUs) which work towards onboarding a biller or providing its customers with an interface (physical / digital) to pay bills and (b) Bharat Bill Pay Central Unit (BBPCU) which sets operational, technical and business standards, and also undertakes clearing and settlement functions for BBPS. Presently, NPCI Bharat Bill Pay Limited is the only authorised BBPCU.

The present directions are applicable only to NPCI Bharat Bill Pay Limited (NBBL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India. NBBL is designated as the Payment System Provider for BBPS.

The present directions provide for following functions:

๐€. ๐‘๐จ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐›๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ:

1. BBPCU sets rules, technical standards, ensures settlement, and provides dispute resolution.
2. BOUs (Biller Operating Unit) onboard billers, ensure compliance, and perform due diligence.
3. COUs (Customer Operating Unit) provide interfaces for customers, ensure access to billers, and handle dispute resolution.

๐. ๐„๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ ๐€๐œ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ ๐Ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ:

1. Non-bank BBPOUs must open an escrow account exclusively for BBPS transactions.
2. Escrow accounts operate as ‘designated payment systems,’ and transactions are regulated under the PSS Act.

๐‚. ๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ญ ๐Œ๐š๐ง๐š๐ ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐†๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฏ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐‘๐ž๐๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ฅ:

1. NBBL establishes a dispute resolution framework for centralized complaint management.
2. COUs and BOUs integrate with the system to resolve disputes based on the BBPS reference number.
3. Timelines for dealing with failed transactions align with RBI guidelines on Turn Around Time and customer compensation.

A copy of the RBI Master Directions is enclosed herewith.

Readers are welcome to share their views withย Regstreet Law Advisorsย onย info@regstreetlaw.com

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