Frequently Asked
Questions

General Questions

Partner Questions

Biller/Customer Questions

Top Frequently Asked Questions


What is BBPS?
Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) conceptualised system driven by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) that offers interoperable and accessible bill payment service to consumers via digital (bank channels) as well as through a network of agents & bank branches
What are the current biller categories in BBPS?
Bharat BillPay offers all recurring payments like electricity, telecom, DTH, Gas, water bills, Insurance, Loan repayments, Education fees, FasTag Recharge, Municipal taxes, Housing society, Subscription fees etc. at one single window.
What are the different payment modes in BBPS?
BBPS facilitates a plethora of payment modes through which consumer can make a bill payment. The payment modes options at BBPS are Cash, Cards (Credit, Debit & Prepaid), IMPS, UPI, AEPS, Internet Banking & UPI, Wallets
What are the different payment channels in BBPS?
BBPS transaction can be initiated through multiple payment channels both digital channels like Internet, Internet banking, Mobile, Mobile banking, POS (Point of Sale terminal), MPOS (Mobile Point of Sale terminal), KIOSK, and offline channels like ATM, Bank Branch, Agents and Business Correspondents.
Who is BBPCU?
"National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has been authorized by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU), which is responsible for setting business standards, rules and procedures for technical and business requirements for all participants. The BBPCU undertakes clearing and settlement activities related to transactions routed through BBPS."
Who is an Agent?
"Agents are the customer touch points and service points in the BBPS Ecosystem which will be available in the following forms: Branch offices, Collection centres, Retail Outlets and Other Service Points An Agent would be sole the touch-point for Customers to walk in any Outlet/service point with BBPS Logo and make a bill payment. Agents can accept bill payments through various modes. Agents may be on-boarded either directly by BBPOU or by Agent Institutions to offer BBPS services."
Who is a Consumer?
A consumer is the entity who wants to make a bill payment to any biller that is a part of the BBPS system. Consumer can make a bill payment of any of the bills e.g. Electricity, post-paid, landline, gas, DTH etc. online or through any BBPS Agent Outlet. The BBPS enabled Agent Outlet could be any retail store or Bank branch with the BBPS Logo or Banner.

Top Frequently Asked Questions


BBPOU
What is Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)?
Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an integrated bill payment system which will offer interoperable bill payment service to customers online as well as through a network of agents on the ground. The system will provide multiple payment modes and instant confirmation of payment.
What is Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU)?
Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) will be a single authorized entity operating the BBPS. The BBPCU will set necessary operational, technical and business standards for the entire system and its participants, and also undertake clearing and settlement activities. As indicated in the circular dated November 28, 2015 National Payment Corporation (NPCI) has been identified to act as BBPCU. It will be an authorized entity under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
What is Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU)?
Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs) will be authorised operational entities, adhering to the standards set by the BBPCU for facilitating bill payments online as well as through a network of agents,on the ground.
How should net worth be computed for a non-bank entity?
For computation of Net Worth please refer to the instructions contained in our circular https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/FS_Notification.aspx?Id=9490&fn=9&Mode=0. ‘Net-worth’ should becomputed taking into account paid up equity capital, free reserves, balance in share premium account and capital reserves representing surplus arising out of sale proceeds of assets but not reserves created by revaluation of assets’adjusted for ‘accumulated loss balance, book value of intangible assets and Deferred Revenue Expenditure, if any’
Where I can find more details about the BBPS system?
The policy guidelines for the BBPS system were issued by the Reserve Bank of India on November 28, 2014. The document is available in the following link https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=9368&Mode=0. The BBPS will operate as a tiered structure with a single Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and multiple Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs).
What is the current scope of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)?
To start with, the scope of BBPS will cover repetitive payments for everyday utility services such as electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH). Gradually, the scope would be expanded to include other types of repetitive payments, like school / university fees, municipal taxes etc.
Where can we get more details about the activities of BBPCU and BBPOU standards?
"There are four key standards set by BBPCU for BBPOUs which have 1. Business Standards 2. Technical Standards 3. Front-end Standards-Customer BBPOU 4. Biller Integration Standards-Biller BBPOU"
Who should apply for authorisation to become BBPOUs?
Banks and non-bank entities presently engaged in any of the above bill payment activities falling under the scope of BBPS and desirous of continuing the activity are mandatorily required to apply for approval / authorisation to Reserve Bank of India under the Payment and Settlement Systems (PSS) Act 2007.
What is the time frame for applying for authorization / approval to the Reserve Bank of India?
The applications for authorization / approval from non-bank entities and banks will be accepted till close of business on November 20, 2015. The above timeline has been extended upto December 18, 2015.
What is the application procedure for authorization for non-banks?
The application procedure for non-bank entities is given in the Press Release issued by the Reserve Bank of India on October 20, 2015. The non-bank entities should apply as per the prescribed format given in http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Forms/DOCs/PSSACRT130215.DOC along with additional inputs in the template as indicated in the above Press Release and a DD/Cheque for Rs 10,000 favoring Reserve Bank of India. The application may be submitted to the Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement System, Reserve Bank of India, 14th Floor, Central Office Building, ShahidBhagat Singh Marg, Mumbai 400001. Such applications will be accepted till close of business on November 20, 2015. The timeline for receipt of application has been extended till close of business on December 18, 2015.
What is the application procedure for banks to become BBPOUs?
The application procedure for banks is given in the Press Release issued by the Reserve Bank of India on October 20, 2015. Banks are required to submit a letter along with the Board resolution for undertaking this activity. The details of the type of billers and bill payments that is being handled and/or proposed to be handled by them as BBPOUs, and a complete list of billers for whom services are presently offered may also be provided.
Whether it is mandatory for all entities (banks and non-banks) doing bill payments to apply for authorisation to Reserve Bank?
The entities currently engaged in bill payments which are falling under the existing scope of BBPS will mandatorily have to apply to Reserve Bank for authorisation.
If the entity does not fall under the present scope of BBPS, whether it is still required to apply for authorisation?
Entities engaging in bill payment activities not covered in the present scope of BBPS need not apply for authorisation now. These entities may be required to apply for authorisation as and when the scope of the BPPS is expanded in future. A separate notification will be issued by the Reserve Bank.
What will happen to the application when the entity meets all the eligibility criteria?
The Reserve Bank of India will issue in-principle authorisation to entities which meet the eligibility criteria and other due diligence checks carried out as part of authorisation. The final authorisation to commence the business will be issued after submission of System Audit report and obtaining certification from NPCI to join the BBPS system.
What will happen to the application if any entity already engaged in bill payments does not meet the eligibility criteria?
What will happen to the application if any entity already engaged in bill payments does not meet the eligibility criteria?
Whether an entity which has been granted extension will be required to inform RBI when they meet the eligibility criteria?
Yes, the entity will be required to report to RBI as and when it meets the eligibility criteria, but not later than December 31, 2016, for obtaining authorisation to operate as BBPOU.
What will happen if an entity is not able to meet the eligibility criteria by December 31, 2016?
The entities which have been given extension of time but fail to meet the eligibility criteria by December 31, 2016 will be required to become agents of the existing BBPOUs or exit the business of bill payments covered under the scope of BBPS by May 31, 2017.
Will the BBPS guidelines apply to billers own collection centers operated by them?
No. The billers own collection points will continue as hitherto,even after operationalisation of BBPS.
Whether the entities ( banks and non-banks), who are presently engaged in the bill payment activities falling under the scope of BBPS but want to become an agent only in future of a BBPOU, are also required to submit their application?
No, the entities (bank or non-banks) presently engaged in bill payment activities covered under the scope of BBPS desirous of operating only as agents under BBPS system are not required to apply for approval/authorisation to Reserve Bank.
In case of entities as indicated in previous question, till what time such entities will be allowed to continue to provide bill payment service? Is there a timeline for them to join as agent or agent institution of authorised BBPOUs?
Those entities which have intent to become only agents of BBPOUs can continue to operate their business till December 31, 2016. In case they do not become agents of authorised BBPOUs by then, they will have to wind down their business by May 31, 2017.
In what capacity entities, which have been granted in-principle approval by RBI as a small bank or payment bank, should apply for BBPOU authorisation – as a bank or a non-bank?
Such entities will be required to apply for authorisation to Reserve bank under their current legal status.
Whether the non-bank entities will be required to show upfront that they are meeting the capital requirement for BBPOUs?
If an entity applying for authorisation for BBPOU does not have the required networth as indicated in the eligibility criteria, then they are required to demonstrate unequivocal commitment / sources for raising the funds and also specify the time period within which the funds will be raised.
Whether the window for approval/authorisation will be opened in future date for existing entities (banks and non-banks)?
Depending on the development, growth and expansion of the scope of BBPS, the Reserve Bank may decide to open approval/authorisation window once again at a future date.
Whether the authorisation window will be opened again by Reserve Bank? In which case, who will be eligible for applying for authorisation at that time? Whether entities (bank and non-banks) currently not engaged in bill payment activities can also apply for approval/authorisation?
As indicated above, depending on the development, growth and expansion of the scope of BBPS, the Reserve Bank may decide to open approval/authorisation window once again at a future date. All entities engaging in bill payment activities and meeting the requisite eligibility criteria for authorisation / approval as BBPOUs can apply as and when the window is opened again.
Whether it is mandatory for banks to submit copy of the “Board approval” while applying for approval to Reserve Bank?
Submission of Board approval will facilitate speedier processing of applications. If, however, a bank is unable to do so, it will be required to clearly indicate the timeline by which they will be submitting their “Board approval” in their application, and the application will be processed only thereafter.
What are the eligibility criteria for non-bank entities for seeking authorisation as BBPOUs?
The eligibility criteria for non-bank entities seeking authorization to function as BBPOUs are given below: • The entity should be a company incorporated in India and registered under the Companies Act 1956 / Companies Act 2013 • The Memorandum of Association (MOA) of the applicant entity must cover the proposed activity of operating as a BBPOU • The applicant entity should have a net worth of at least Rs.100 crore as per the last audited balance sheet and the same has to be maintained at all times. • In case of any Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the applicant entity, necessary approval from the competent authority as required under the policy notified by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the consolidated policy on FDI and regulations framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) must be submitted while seeking authorization. • The company must have domain experience in the field of bill collection/services to the billers, and relevant experience in transaction processing for a minimum period of one year. • The entity must apply for authorization under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 to the Reserve Bank of India for its operations.
Who is BBPOU?
Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) is the entity that is authorized by Reserve Bank of India. It can be a bank or non-bank. BBPOU (bank or non-bank) may choose to integrate either with the customers (COU: Customer OU) or with the billers (Biller OU) or may wish to participate as both – which mean such BBPOU will be integrated with customers as well as billers. Going forward, only authorised BBPOU - both banks and non-banks authorised by RBI - can handle payment and aggregation of payment services relating to bills under the scope of BBPS.
What is an On-Us Transaction?
These are the transactions in which the agent and the biller are linked to the same BBPOU, or the customer is making a payment through an online portal provided by a BBPOU which is also linked to the biller. These transactions will not pass through the BBPCU and the settlement will be carried out at the OU level itself.
What is an OFF-US Transaction
"These are the transactions in which agent and biller are not associated with the same operating unit. The agent/ agent institution, who initiates the transaction is linked to one operating unit (OU1) and biller is linked to another operating unit (OU2). In these scenarios, the OU1 will pass the transaction to the BBPCU which will then pass these transactions to the respective OU. If the biller is linked to multiple OUs then the transaction would be passed to the default OUs of the biller. In addition to this the below mentioned online transactions are also considered Off-Us transactions a. If the customer makes a bill payment using the online portal provided by an agent institution / OU where the agent and biller are not linked to the same BBPOU. b. In case the Operating Unit has not on-boarded any agent or biller but is still part of BBPS. In this scenario the payment will be considered an Off Us transaction. "
What is quickPay?
Quick pay is for billlers who do not require bill fetch for validating bill. In this case, customer need not fetch bill before payment
What is the role of a sponsor bank?
Sponsor Bank will be required for non Bank BBPOUs for settling accounts in RTGS.
Any specific format for the receipt that will be generated after successful completion of payment?
Yes, the format is defined in the front end guidelines released by BBPCU
In case of Bill Payment via card is it necessary that all centers of the BBPOU should have the POS machine?
Assisted Bill payment centers should have one electronic mode of payment
Can a Bank obtain BBPOU software application and presentment module from other BBPOUs?
There cannot be any bilateral arrangements between BBPOU. Once the bank has received authorization from RBI to function as BBPOU, the bank will have to integrate with BBPCU to access all billers.
Are there any specific guidelines with regard to BBPOUs application & interface as per BBPS procedural guidelines?
Yes, Front end guidelines released by BBPCU needs to be complied with
Is Customer Registration is mandatory for those customer who will initiate the Bill payment through BBPOU and appointed agent?Can BBPCU trigger a fetch request?
No, it is not mandatory from NPCI. It is upto discretion of the customer OU.
How can UPI and BBPS be integrated? Can a Biller directly initiate collect payment for the Bill? Can the OU collect the bill amount through UPI channel?
UPI is one of the payment mode of bill payment in BBPS. Yes the OU can collect the bill amount via UPI
What type of customer data can stored by Non-Bank BBPOUs? Can a BBPOU use the Customer data for any further market research? What type of guidelines exist for usage of such data?
Both non bank BBPOUs and Bank BBPOUs may only store minimal transaction related data that will suffice complaint resolution requirements. In case the customer has opted for registration the data can be stored but has to be kept strictly confidential. it cannot be used for further dissemination or market research.Kindly refer to the BBPS procedural guidelines in this regard that may be amended from time to time based on requirement.
What is the TAT for an OFFLINE biller to respond to the bill payment message?
Billers are mandated to credit the customer account on the same day when customer pays the bill or value date.
How is the biller id circulated to all the participants? Will BBPS communicate the Biller id to all billers? Can the customer see the Biller ID upon his / her statement, to uniquely identify the Biller?
"Biller Id will be circulated across the BBPOUs via updated Master data management file.The biller ID would be assigned when the biller BBPOU configures the biller on the system. The ID would be conveyed to the BBPOU and not the biller. Biller Id & name will be available on the Bill receipt."
DMS - RFI(Right for information) how this will be communicated between OU and CU as there are no api"s.
Ther will be DMS system interface provided by BBPCU to all BBPOUs through which all BBPOUs will raise diputes
Can a dispute be raised for an unsettled transaction?
Yes
On what scenarios can a refund be raised?
• Wrong A/C credited • Amount not credited • Wrong Amount credited • Multiple Transactions
A bill is paid at an Agent, complaint is raised at another agent from a different OU. Prior to BBPS, it is only a two party agreement, with the advent of BBPS, how does such complaints / Disputes would be resolved in a tripartite arrangement?
Complaints can be raised from any BBPS service point however complaint will be assigned to the customer BBPOU where transaction was initiated.
What is NPCI’s role in exercising oversight over biller institutions, whether they can do collection business outside the BBPS framework ?
BBPS does not affect the establishment of billers" own collection points.
What is the way forward on the category expansion, as currently only utility bill payments are covered under the ambit of bills?
This will be decided from time to time based on market maturity and demand with RBI approval.
Can a BBPOU connect with another BBPOU who is acting as an agent?
No bilateral is allowed in BBPS
Can a biller stop a transaction coming from a specific BBPOU? Or can a biller raise a request to block one BBPOU?
Billers cannot raise a request directly but through their default BBPOUs
Should individual agents also get registered and get approval from BBPCU even if their parent agent institutions get approved?
The BBPOU who will be acquiring the transactions from the customer will have to provide with the details of the agents/outlets/BC or branch details from where the transaction will be executed. This is only from transaction fulfilment perspective.
Our Bank has an aggregator tie up with a BBPOU. Since both of them are OU, can this agreement still continue?
No bilaterals are allowed. Payment transaction are not part of BBPS
What are the initial pre-requistes for a BBPOU required to get on-boarded on the BBPS Platform?
The BBPOU must be compliant to the 15 point checklist shared by the BBPS Team to the BBPOU and later on all on-boarding documents
What are the initial set of documents required for On-boarding?
"1. RBI In-principle approval to BBPOU for acting as OU 2. BBPOU Participation Form 3. Board Resolution 4. Letter of Authority to RBI 5. Sponsor Bank Letter (Non-Bank BBPOU) 6. Escalation Matrix as BBPOU 7. Bi-partite/Tri-partite Agreement 8. CISA Audit Report-Non-Banks"
What are the other major documents required for On-boarding?
1. Biller Consent Form (For Default Biller BBPOU) 2. Tripartite Agreement/Bipartite Agreement
What will be the initial registration process for an BBPOU for pilot phase?
BBPOU has to sent a request to bbps@npci.org.in stating their readiness as per the checklist shared.
What is the Unique Identification Code and UIN for Billers and Geo Code and Unique ID for Agents.
UIN ( Unique Identification no.) is the unique identification no. allotted to any individual , corporate etc. Companies can provide Company Identity No. (CIN) for this purpose.
How does agent on boarding happen? Should the agent details be entered directly in the BBPS portal or can there be an API that collect agent information and transfer to the BBPS portal? What are the agent details that are required?
As a one-time activity, the BBPOU will have to enter/upload agent details in the BBPS portal. A unique identification for that agent will be created in the system, which will be used to identify the transactions till agent level. Agent details that required are mentioned in the Master Data Sheet enclosed in the Technical Specification Document
When would Key Exchange operations commence i.e. BBPCU SSL certificate for truststore?
Key Exchange would commence after successful completion of the Network Handshake messages. Would request you to share the SSL and Signer Certificates from your end before we send across the same from our end.
How can we get started with BBPS certification process?
Once you are ready with the setup at your end (as COU or BOU) you can inform us regarding your readiness. So, that we can to share our details.
What are the prerequisites for commencing certification?
OU has to share the following items before commencing certification. 1. NAT ip 2. Port no 3. Context root(optional) 4. SSL and Signer certificates 5. Message dumps 6. If it is a COU, frontend channel should be ready and working.
Describe the certification process?
1. Operations team should give a go-ahead for the OU’s once preliminary checklist items and documents are received and verified. 2. One PoC will be assigned from BBPS Certification team for any OU. 3. OU has to share the message dumps for review. 4. Once the message dumps are reviewed successfully ip and certificates are exchanged between the NPCI certification environment and the OU’s test environment. 5. OU has to whitelist the NPCI ip at their end and configure the certificates provided from NPCI. 6. Network connectivity has to be established across the two entities. 7. Once network connectivity is established, the OU will be on-boarded in certification environment by NPCI counterpart and the required details like OU-id, Agent details.etc. will be shared to the OU’s PoC.8. OU has to initiate diagnostic request with the provided OU-id. 9. Once diagnostic request is successful OU can start initiating the test cases. 10. After successful execution of test cases OU has to share all the logs to NPCI- counterpart. 11. After successful review of logs the OU will be moved to the next environment.
How to establish the network connection from both the end?
To accomplish this please share your NAT ip and port number so that we can whitelist the same at our end. Our NPCI counterpart will share the BBPS ip and port number to you.
Why digital certificates is needed?
Digital certificates will be used to ensure the trustworthiness of public facing portals and websites of BBPS. The digital certificate will contain a unique identifier for the entity, and also include the certificate authority that verifies the information contained in the certificate, date that the certificate is valid from and the date that the certificate expires. SSL - RSA 2048 - Class 3 Digital Signing - RSA 2048 - Class 3
How can we get digital certificates?
CA-signed certificate (with a validity of at least a year) is acceptable during the certification environment, a CA signed certificate will be required in production environment.
What are the certificates to be shared?
You are expected share the SSL and Signer public key certificates to us so that we can configure them at our end. Similarly we shall share the SSL and Signer certificates of BBPS with you.
Which Cipersuite and TLS version we should use?
Cipersuite - TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 TLS Version 1.2
How many rounds of testing should I go through to complete the certification process?
There are three rounds of testing Sandbox, Comfort and UAT. We have prepared the different set of test cases for sandbox and for comfort and UAT it will be the same set of test cases.
Usually how long will it’s require to complete the end to end certification process?
1. It will depend upon the readiness of the participating OU typically within two to three week time an OU can complete all certification across all the three environment. 2. There are instance one of the OU complete the testing across three environment in less than a week.
What is COU testing and BOU testing?
In COU testing OU will act as a customer OU (OU will be sending the request) and for BOU testing OU will act as a Biller OU (BOU will be posting the response for the COU request).
What types of test cases will be there of testing?
We have prepared the set of test cases including Positive, Negative, Reversal, Biller MDM and CMS.
Whether the IP and certificate will be same for all the three rounds of testing at your end?
No, the IP and certificates are different for Sandbox, Comfort and UAT testing environments. On the OU’s side it is upto their convenience.
What is diagnostic request?
To make the successful communication with BBPCU OU should implement the Diagnostic request API. All BBPOUs need to send diagnostic requests to the BBPCU at regular intervals (3 minutes) to ensure that they are available in BBPS.
What is message dumps?
Message dumps is a Sample XML message format, before start testing BBPOUs should have a clear understanding of the XML constructs and the different combination of parameters in an online message, e.g., mandatory, conditional and optional elements. For details please refer API specification document
We are receiving signature message what should we do?
Please check if you have shared the correct signer certificates to us and also you have configured the certificates correctly.
Whether my frontend should be ready to commence the testing?
We suggest OU to be ready with their frontend for commencing the testing. However we can give exception for sandbox testing but should be ready in comfort round.
What are the things should be followed while executing the test cases?
All messages should be digitally signed and the Reference id should be same for both fetch and payment test cases, Message id should be different for fetch test case and payment test case. Please refer API Specification document for more details.
If we have any issue in the test cases whom should I contact?
In every testing environment one SPOC will be assigned to help the OU to clarify their doubts and complete the certification quickly.
After execution of test cases is there anything should we share?
After execution of test cases OU should share their complete executed logs of all four legs for review.
Currently I don’t have any biller can i come for BOU testing?
Yes, for testing purpose we will simulate the billers and share you the details. So, that you can go ahead with BOU testing.
We are coming for only one initiating channel then why should I execute all the different initiating channel test cases?
For the testing perspective OU need to execute all the test cases.
Whether we should execute all the test cases using frontend channel?
No, OU should execute only their initiating channel and payment mode test cases using frontend channel in UAT Phase e.g. if the OU is coming with initiating channel as internet and payment mode as internet banking means OU should execute that particular test cases.
What are all the scenarios we have to prepare for Frontend screenshots?
There are totally 3 scenarios you have to prepare front frontend screenshot. 1. Fetch & Pay (Non-Adhoc) 2. Quick pay(Adhoc) 3. CMS(Complaint Management System)
Whether we can use two IPs and port for request and response?
No, BBPS allow only one IP and port number for each round of testing.
Whether the test cases is same for BOU testing and COU testing?
No, there are different set of test cases for COU and BOU testing.
Why the server should be placed at the bank premises end for the BOU testing?
For BOU testing server should place at bank end as per BBPS Procedural guideline issued in the year 2015 and certain input request from billers to ensure the computing environment should reside only at RBI authorized entities only.
Why the CCF calculation is based on the payment request?
Based on the five parameter only the CCF is calculating 1. OUID. 2. Biller ID. 3. MTI. 4. Initiating Channel. 5.Payment Mode. This five parameter is present only at payment request.
Are there any specific guidelines or the existing commercials with billers can continue even if bills are accepted on behalf of existing billers within the BBPS set up.
Commercial arrangements between the biller and its default BBPOU is not under the purview of BBPS. It is a private comercial arrangement. However, as a scheme, transparent interchange would be decided under BBPS that would have to be adhered to.
At present, when a consumer pays a bill online, certain billers charge upfront charges. After BBPS can the biller continue to charge the consumer upfront or will these charges be regulated by NPCI
NPCI will not regulate any charges. After commencing the pilot, we will facilitate BBPOUs to come together and agree on a commercial structure
In Payment Response XML - the biller response fields are mentioned as Mandatory, however for quickpay="Yes", there is no bill fetch thus details will not be available in the payment response thus should be kept Conditional
Quick pay is for billers who do not require bill fetch for validating bill amount.
How does a bank integrate its internal systems with multiple billers with diverse requirements / Technology platforms?
BBPS is platform and technology agnostic. BBPS Scheme expects a simple XML based API for connecting with BBPCU, leaving all the other systems to BBPOU"s choice.
Is there a requirement of a separate HSM box for an OU to connect with CU?
BBPS strongly recommends to have a HSM, considering the security considerations, however it"s not mandatory.
Whether Biller Management services is only front end application or is it API based as well.
This will be both File and API based.
Whether the acknowledgment is synchronous or asynchronous process? What are the actions if the acknowledgment is not received by recipient
Acknowledgement is synchronous. Thus there cannot be a scenario where message is received but acknowledgement is not received. Thus if acknowledgement is not received then sending party should retry.
For Online Biller, what action should be taken in a case where BOU has send the acknowledgment but CU has not received the acknowledgment and in parallel BOU initiated the payment confirmation to Biller
Acknowledgement is synchronous. Thus there cannot be a scenario where message is received but acknowledgement is not received. Thus if acknowledgement is not received then sending party should retry.
Do we have WSDL files/links for APIs provided ? Dev effort will be reduced significantly if we can get wsdl.
We are using REST APIs and have already shared XSDs as part of the Pilot document.
Does a Customer BBPOU need to get certified on all channels?
No, to begin with Customer BBPOU needs to only get certified on the bill payment channels currently available with the BBPOU. However, going forward if the OU wants to use other channels then the same would need to be certified
What is the User Interface for entering Billers details as required by NPCI ?
The biller details and Biller configurations are made available as part of BBPS Canvas
Is there any pre-condition/restrictions for a biller to integrate with OU ? If not then does that mean OU will be having the responsibility to force BBPS protocol. For example if a biller do not provide refund API, can we still onboard that biller on BBPOU?
"Biller BBPOU has the responsibility to ensure compliance with BBPS APIs. There is no refundAPI but a reversal API which has to be supported by every Biller BBPOU. Incase the biller is not able to reverse then Biller BBPOU should post the transaction to the biller only after it is sucessful. As far as BBPS is concerned the legitimate reversal request has to be fired by the default BBPOUs who stands in for the Biller."
Is partial amount allowed or not for billers
This is a part of the Biller Configuration
Can 1 Biller supports multiple Biller Integration Type (Online / Offline (A) /Offline (B)) ?
No
What would be the main criteria to become a Biller BBPOU?
1. Certification can be executed with a dummy biller, but on production/final go-live at-least one biller of the approved categories must be allowed. 2. The biller responses must be given from the BBPOUs own premises. 3. The BBPOU must submit ""Biller Consent Form"" of the biller to NPCI.
Refund: What is the maximum time period to initiate the refund request after the Bill payment and settlement?
180 seconds for online scenario. For offline biller scenario, the refund will be done manually through DMS process. Definite timelines to be provided as part of standards by when the billers will get credit and ack is sent to customer
Is there any expiry time for bill fetch Response ? i.e., BBPOU can initiate the Payment request anytime after getting Bill fetch Response or must send before any specified time
Bill fetch does not have timeout, if the response is not received user can initiate another bill fetch request. There is no cost associated to it. Bill payment has no dependency on bill fetch request; but the bill fetch response can be used to ensure payment of accurate amount.
For Outgoing request (Bill Fetch/Payment Request) initiated by BBPOU1 to BBPOU2 Via BBPCU is timed out or not received response then BBPOU1 can retry same request?
Multiple bill fetch requests will give same response, payment message can be built on the basis of any fetch response
For Reversal flow - is BBPCU will initiate reversal if the acknowledgement failure at any point? Or expected BBPOU to initiate the reversal in some cases (like connection failure between BBPOU to Biller)
The party waiting for ack will generate the reversal as a thumb rule
Currently in Bill Pay response, the amount field is mandatory, however there are billers who do not send the amount field in the response and only validates the mobile number. In such cases amount field should be non-mandatory.How can such cases be handled?
This is true for quickpay billers and thus will not require Bill Fetch. Bill payment response has to include amount paid by the customer.
What if no Agent details is passed / available in the bill fetch request then what Id should be passed in AgentId
Agent ID is a mandatory field and should be passed during request. In case, if it is an non agent based payment channel, BBPOU has to use a dummy agent Institute ID and agent ID for their online payment channels.
What is meant by the authorization code?
Authorisation Code is the number that is generated at the time of card payments. This number is to be entered at the time of accepting card based payments for reconciliation perspective.
How does the Settlement in BBPS happen?
NPCI executes, the settlement between BBPOUs (or their sponsor banks if the BBPOU is not a bank) by debiting/crediting their respective RBI Settlement account. Currently there is one settlement every day (except RBI Holidays)
How does the Biller receive funds?
The funds are credited to the Biller BBPOU, post settlement, It is the responsibility of Biller OU to reconcile the funds and remit the same to various Billers, with one day
While doing the Bill payment settlement, at T0, T+1, will there be an amendment required to RBI’s Payments Act?
System is capable to have multiple settlement cycles as per RTGS. RBI would be the final authority to decide on amendments.
Do BBPOUs get Biller ID wise Amount for settlement to Biller’s Current Account?
Yes BBPOUs get it as follows: 1) OUID – BillerID wise details 2) Settlement is made between BBPOUs and not directly to Biller’s account
Will there be separate settlement files for Debit and Credit ?
No, BBPCU will provide the settlement reports containing credit and debit entries in the same file/cycle. Thus it is NET Settlement.
What is the process of listing an Agent-institution?
Agent Institutions will be on-boarded by BBPOU’s only.
Agent-Institution and Agent shall be listed under the respective BBPOU’s
BBPOU association with A.I.’s / Agents will be uploaded to the BBPCU.
All specific information uploaded by BBPOU’s will be updated to all system participants.
Agent institution FAQs
Who is a Biller?
Billers are the service providers who shall receive payments from customers for any services rendered. By participating in the BBPS scheme, the biller will be able to receive payments from third party channels for the services provided to the customer.The major category of billers would be many utility billers like Electricity, telecom (post-paid), DTH, gas and water. Over a period of time school/university fees, municipal taxes etc. would be accepted. The category of billers eligible to participate in BBPS will be specified from time to time by RBI.
Who is an Agent-Institution? Who can be an Agent-Institution?
1. Agent Institution are the entities who wish to offer or those who are currently in the bill payment, collection and aggregation business, or who have not received in-principal approval from RBI. 2. These are the entities who could be on-boarded in the BBPS ecosystem by Customer BBPOUs. 3. Agent-Institutions may further on-board agents and/or set-up customer service points in various regions and locations.
How to become an Agent-institution in BBPS?
Step-1: Connect with a Customer BBPOU of their choice. Step-2: Complete documentation and On-boarding process with the selected BBPOU Step-3: Get their channels like Internet, Mobile, Branch or agents active under BBPS via the selected BBPOU.
What are the key responsibilities of an Agent-Institution?
Create customer touch points, Provide customer assistance (registration, Quickpay, complaint resolution), Instant confirmation, Awareness (payment and charges), BBPS brand visibility etc.
What are the key benefits on becoming an Agent-Institution?
Assurance of dealing with authorized entities, Single Integration, Increase in footfall, One-point access, Single touch point, easier complaint redressal, standardization and increased revenue opportunities.
What is the timeline for becoming an Agent-Institution?
RBI has given a deadline of December 31st 2017, to all entities participating in bill payment or who have not received in-principle approval for BBPOU to come as an Agent Institution under BBPS. The entity must become an Agent-Institution at the earliest and not wait until the window period of December 31st 2017.
Can an Agent-Institution have tie-up with multiple BBPOUs?
No, an Agent Institution will get access to BBPS application module through maximum two designated BBPOUs only.
What are the documents required for agent-institution on-boarding?
Documentation requirements which need to be furnished with the respective BBPOU: 1. Business address authorization letter and licence to carry on business. 2. Compliance of KYC (Proof of registered/ business address, active bank account details, PAN number). 3. Credibility check, credential verification and banker’s opinion report 4. ITR of last 2 years. 5. Financial Statements for at least 2 years / other credit verification / Background check/ CIBIL verification of promoters and directors. 6. Should not be part of blacklist as and when introduced by BBPCU or any other competent authority
Which payment channels can be offered to consumer for bill payment?
The Payment channels that the Agent-Institution can offer are as follows: 1. Digital Channels: Internet/Website, Internet banking, Mobile app, Mobile banking, POS, MPOS, ATM, KIOSK 2. Physical Channels: Agents, Bank-Branch, Business Correspondent. The Agent-Institution must mandatorily offer its consumers bill payment via BBPS on all current channels where bill payment is offered.
What is the process of listing an Agent-institution?
1. Agent Institutions will be on-boarded by BBPOU’s only. 2. Agent-Institution and Agent shall be listed under the respective BBPOU’s 3. BBPOU association with A.I.’s / Agents will be uploaded to the BBPCU. 4. All specific information uploaded by BBPOU’s will be updated to all system participants.
What is the process of de-listing an Agent-institution?
1. Delisting – Termination – Deletion of any Agent Institution is under BBPOU responsibility & discretion. 2. BBPOU will send a formal intimation / advice to BBPCU (Within 30 Days)
Can Agent-Institution offer bill payment and aggregation outside BBPS?
Any entity currently offering bill payment and aggregation business, cannot operate outside BBPS ecosystem. In-case the entity, does not get on-boarded in BBPS, it would have to exit the bill payment and aggregation business after Dec 31, 2017.
Can an Agent-Institution appoint or have another sub-agent-institution?
No, An agent-Institution cannot have bilateral arrangement with another Agent-Institution who is currently offering bill payment services.
Can an Agent appointed by an Agent-Institution or BBPOU have sub-agents?
Agents cannot further on-board sub-agents. If required, these sub-agents will have to be appointed directly through Agent Institutions.
Can an Agent-institution further extend APIs to third party aggregators offering bill payment services?
No, an Agent-institution cannot extend APIs to third party aggregators or entities offering bill payment services.
Can an Agent-institution become a BBPOU?
Entities initially functioning as an Agent Institution may apply to Reserve Bank of India subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and application window being opened by RBI for the same.
Can an Agent-Institution migrate from one BBPOU to another?
Yes, an Agent-institution can migrate from another one BBPOU to another by giving intimation to the BBPCU, well in advance.
How to join BBPS?
There are 4 simple steps in joining BBPS for Biller: 1. Select up to two default BBPOUs for participating in the BBPS scheme 2. Submit the ""Biller Consent Form"" and required details to the concerned BBPOUs/NPCI 3. Ensure communication with BBPOUs over secure channel 4. Provide bill information parameters
How many default BBPOUs can a biller choose?
A biller can choose up to two default BBPOUs in the BBPS scheme
How can a biller choose a preferred OU?
"This will be based on mutual understanding and agreement executed between the biller and the BBPOU. It is the prerogative of the biller to appoint two default BBPOUs. The BBPOU will have to produce an agreement in this regard. The default operating unit would be responsible for 1. Configuring the biller on BBPS, 2. Provide data feed for all types of bill related queries, 3. Payment and would be responsible for settlement of funds with the biller 4. On behalf of the biller, must respond to the online messages for bill fetch and bill payment either online / offline, single/ bulk."
What is the difference between Offline-A and Offline-B billers?
1.Offline A:Billers who shares their bill data to the Biller BBPOU as per their cycle/daily basis. In this case the BBPOU stands in for the biller 2.Offline B:Billers who are not capable of giving bill data to the BBPOU on regular basis and authorise the Biller BBPOU to accept bills on their behalf; i.e. without validation
Do all billers have to mandotorily come in BBPS?
Yes, all biller categories currently being served under BBPS platform, would have to mandatorily come in BBPS
What is the Process of Listing of a Biller?
"Billers will be on-boarded in BBPS by BBPOUs only. BBPOUs will send a formal request for approval to BBPCU for addition of a new biller’s name when on-boarded after completion of all formalities and compliance with the standards set by BBPCU for on-boarding of billers. After receiving the approval of BBPCU, the BBPOU will add the entry of the newly on-boarded biller, who will then be listed under the respective BBPOU’s profile BBPCU shall issue a unique id for each biller. Same information will be updated to all system participants based on BBPCU authorization/approval. Thereafter the biller will be part of the BBPS and available as ON-US biller for the on-boarding BBPOU and OFF-US biller for other BBPOUs."
What is the Process of De-Listing of a Biller?
BBPOU may delist a biller on valid and justifiable grounds. Illustratively, a BBPOU may delist a biller, inter-alia, for any of the following reasons: 1. In case of breach of BBPS guidelines 2. In case of agreement failure between BBPOU & billers 3. In case the biller company declares Bankruptcy 4. In case the biller has indulged in fraudulent practices in billing or collection 5. Any unforeseen circumstance or contingency that compromises or jeopardizes the system. For any delisting of biller, BBPOU will send a formal intimation/ advice to BBPCU as soon as the event necessitating delisting occurs but in no case later than 30 days.
What are the key responsibilities of a Biller?
1.Ensure communication with BBPOUs over secure channel 2. Credit the Customer account on the day of payment transaction reciept 3.Work with BBPOU to resolve the complaints and disputes within prescribed TATs 4. Billers must reconcile the funds remitted by the Biller OU on a daily/regular basis 5. Billers should provide key necessary response parameters as part of messaging system.
What are the key benefits on becoming a Biller?
1. Cost-effective platform 2. Access to wider bill collection network both digital and offline 3. Low entry barriers 4. Centralized Complaint and Settlement Dispute management 5. Assurance of dealing with entities authorised by RBI 6. Guaranteed settlement cycles 7. Standards driven bill payment system and scheme governance
Can a biller change default BBPOUs? How?
Yes. The biller may change the default BBPOU for valid reasons after giving a notice of 60 days to the existing default BBPOU and BBPCU. On being satisfied with the reasons adduced for the requested change, BBPCU will carry out the change and advise the system participants.

Top Frequently Asked Questions


What is BBPS?
Bharat Bill Payments System (BBPS) is an integrated online platform developed by the National Payments Corporation of India for utility bill payments. The platform provides an interoperable service through a digital and network of agents i.e. bank internet banking, mobile banking and retail shops for conusmer to do a bill payment, at one place, Anytime anywhere
What are the benefts of Using BBPS?
The biggest advantage is that the consumer has the "Control" of all his bills at one place and can be paid anywhere and anytime. A transaction ca be done on any customer facing channel be it Electronic (like Internet, Mobile, Kiosk ATMs etc.) Or Physical outlets like branches, retail across the country via Cash, Card , IMPS etc.
Will I get a payment receipt after the bill payment has been made?
The consumer would get an instant confirmation and receipt once the transaction is successfully completed, An SMS would also be triggered by the bank/non-bank
What are the recurring payments that can be done?
Consumer can do all recurring payments like electricity, telecom, DTH, Gas, water bills, Insurance, Loan repayments, Education fees, FasTag Recharge, Municipal taxes, Housing society, Subscription fees etc. at one single window through any of the Bharat BillPay enabled channels.
How can I make the payment for my bill using BBPS?
1. Connect to any Internet banking/App of your respective bank or Visit bank/branch or retail shop 2. Click on Bill payment or BBPS Tab 3. Chhose the category of biller and Enter the bill details 4. Initiate a payment and get instant confirmation
How do I know that my bill is paid?
A consumer will get successful transaction status and BBPS bill reciept in electronic/email/SMS/Print form
How can I raise a complaint?
A customer can raise a complaint directly from any bank application/BBPS Website. There could be two type of complaints a. Transaction based complaint: This type of complaint is raised by a customer either for a successful / pending / failed transaction. The customer can initiate a complaint either at an agent outlet/ bank-channel or the BBPS website. Mobile No. or Transaction ID will be used as a unique reference number for raising complaints. b. Service based complaint: This type of complaint is raised by a customer for non-transactional issues Transaction based complaints will undergo validation at CU and biller OU levels
How can I track my complaint status?
A status will be assigned to each complaint, below are the various statuses and their description. Step 1: Enter Complaint ID, Mobile No. or Date range Step 2: View details and status Complaint Status: Logged, Assigned, Pending with BBPOU, Resolved, Re-assigned, Escalated.
What are transaction charges for a bill payment?
For an electronic transaction done at customer"s own bank , there are nil charges. But for a ptransaction done at physical outlet or bank-branches conveneince fee would be levied accordingly.