The Reserve Bank of India on Friday widened the scope of the Bharat Bill Payment System, enabling it to accept cross-border in-bound bill payments.

The move will facilitate non-resident Indians (NRIs) to undertake utility, education, and other bill payments on behalf of their families in India, thus allowing for payment of bills of any biller on-boarded on the BBPS platform in an interoperable manner, RBI said in its Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies.

Necessary instructions will be issued on the announcement “shortly,” it added.

At the post-policy conference, RBI Deputy Governor T Rabi Sankar said that the measure is aimed at making bill payments convenient for non-resident Indians and their relatives staying in India.

Sankar explained the advantages that the move will allow an NRI access to the full suite of more than 20,000 bill collections that are available on this system, which they may not otherwise have access to. Further, NRIs will no longer need to have an NRE account in India for making bill payments.

Focussed on convenience

“The idea is that they will be able to pay any bill, insurance, electricity, or any utility, through a system, an interface that will be provided by exchange houses or banks. The focus is on convenience,“ he said.

The Bharat Bill Payment System is owned and operated by NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd. and offers an interoperable platform for standardised bill payment experiences, a centralised customer grievance redress mechanism, and a uniform customer convenience fee, among other features. Over 20,000 billers have been on-boarded on the system, with more than eight crore transactions being processed on a monthly basis. The platform is currently accessible only to residents in India.

“This is a big boost for digital payments in India because more avenues will become available, enabling digital collections in both domestic and international markets. It will also streamline the overall system and encourage consumers to make payments via digital channels rather than by visiting branches,” said Kunal Jhunjhunwala, Founder and MD of airpay, a payment gateway solutions provider.