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RBI Permitted ‘Mobile Prepaid Recharges’ under BBPS; Expanded its Scope

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RBI expands scope and coverage of Bharat Bill Payment SystemOn June 2021, under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has expanded the scope of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) by permitting the addition of ‘mobile prepaid recharges’ as an additional biller category in BBPS on a voluntary basis.

  • This was intended to support mobile prepaid customers with more options to recharge and it will be implemented on or before August 31, 2021.


i.BBPS which is an interoperable platform for repetitive bill payments has initially covered recurring bills only in 5 segments viz. Direct to Home (DTH), Electricity, Gas, Telecom and Water.

ii.In September 2019, RBI had expanded the scope and coverage of BBPS by including all categories of billers who raise recurring bills (except prepaid recharges) as eligible participants, on a voluntary basis.

iii.Now due to the consistent growth in different biller categories, ‘mobile prepaid recharges’ is also included under BBPS.

Note – There were about 1,100 million prepaid phone subscribers in India as of December 2020.

Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS):

i.It is an integrated bill payment system that offers ‘anytime anywhere’ bill payment service to customers using online payments as well as through a network of physical agent locations. It also provides multiple payment modes and instant confirmation of payment.

ii.It functions under the aegis of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

iii.The pilot phase of BBPS was launched on August 31, 2016, and its live operations commenced on October 17, 2017.

iv.The payment modes options facilitated under the BBPS ecosystem are Cards (Credit, Debit and Prepaid), National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) Internet Banking, UPI (Unified Payment Interface), Wallets, Aadhar based Payments and Cash.

v.BBPS consist of two types of entities viz, Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs) to perform distinct functions.

  • The bill aggregators and banks will function as BBPOUs to carry out those payment transactions for the customers.

vi.As per NPCI data, the volume of BBPS transactions almost doubled in FY21 to Rs 154.482 crores from Rs 77.809 crore in FY20.

Recent Related News:

On April 01, 2021, NPCI formed its wholly-owned subsidiary firm called NPCI Bharat BillPay Limited (NBBL) to offer recurring payment services. NPCI transferred all its BBPS transaction mandates to the newly formed subsidiary.

About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):

It is an organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, it is an initiative of RBI and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 for creating a robust Payment & Settlement Infrastructure in India.

Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO -Dilip Asbe