Home / News / India /  NRIs will now be able to pay for services in India directly

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday proposed to allow non-resident Indians (NRIs) to make utility, education and other bill payments on behalf of their family members living in India.

The payments will be processed through Bharat Bill Payment System’s (BBPS) cross-border inward bill payments facility.

Experts said the move will be convenient for NRIs who make regular payments in India.

The move was announced by RBI governor Shaktikanta Das in his monetary policy statement. The central bank will soon be issuing instructions to put this into effect.

According to Ashish Ahuja, chief operating officer of Fino Payments Bank, BBPS is currently accessible only by resident Indians, and NRIs usually transfer the funds to a relative’s account in India, who can then make the payment.

“My understanding is that RBI is giving permission for payments from an NRI’s bank account directly, wherein BBPS will start accepting cross-border inward payments. With this, payments to all billers onboarded on BBPS will be done in an interoperable manner." he addded.

BBPS is a payments system conceptualized by RBI and run by National Payments Corp. of India to help customers make bill payments both digitally and physically, say, through bank branches and business correspondents.

For example, you can pay your mobile phone bill by going to a service provider’s website. In this case, the payment is made directly to the service provider. Here, BBPS does not come into play. But, if you were to make a bill payment through online or mobile banking, then your payment may be routed through BBPS.

Ahuja said BBPS can be used to make not just utility bill payments, but also for education fees, municipal tax and insurance-related payments, among other categories. “While RBI will be spelling out the details, my sense is that this is likely to help NRIs in making bill payments in India easy," he said.

On whether RBI will impose a transaction fee for the services, Thomas Joseph K, South Indian Bank’s executive vice president and group business head, said, “For resident Indians, BBPS does not entail any charge. For NRIs, this will be an opportunity to relieve family members from the hassles of utility payments. On the implementation side, we will have to wait for the details from RBI."

Maulik Madhu
Maulik Madhu is a special correspondent at Mint. She started her career at the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and forayed into business journalism in 2012. Choosing to specialize in personal finance, she worked at FundsIndia and The Hindu Business Line, before joining Mint in March 2022.
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