E-commerce solutions provider Infibeam said its unit Avenues India, which operates the payment service CCAvenue, has entered the bill payment service with the launch of a new service BillAvenue.
The service has been built atop the Bharat Bill Payment System created by the National Payments Corporation of India, which also created the UPI money transfer system.
The key difference between the BBPS and the UPI is that while the billing system supports 'subscriptions', auto debit and other advanced features, while UPI is primarily a single-transaction oriented service. UPI also has limited support for entering bill-related data such as bill no, bill date and so on.
Moreover, the BBPS network also offers interoperability between different billing and payment services in India.
In other words, even if PayTM signs up Mizoram Education Department, someone using an ICICI Banking app would be able to subscribe to and pay school fees by routing the transaction via BBPS and PayTM.
This will avoid the requirement for every individual school to tie up with every bank and wallet company in India to enable e-delivery and epayment of bills.
"Built over the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) infrastructure, BillAvenue enables service providers to accept bill payments from customers nation-wide, while also offering easily accessiblebill payment facility to customers, both online and offline," Infibeam said.
As per an RBI estimate, over 30,800 million bills amounting to Rs 6.22 lakh cr are generated every year in India's top 20 cities alone.
However, the bill payment infrastructure in the country is largely unorganized and predominantly cash-dependent.
It offers customers limited option of payment flexibility and is mostly restricted to either cash or cheque payments.
BillAvenue supports bills of utility services such as gas, water, electricity, mobile postpaid, DTH and broadband.
Gradually, this scope will be expanded to include several other types of payments, it said.
Under authorization from the RBI, BiIIAvenue has been building a series of strategic partnerships with billers as well as with Agent Institutions across the country to offer an end-to-end bill payment solution, it said.
BillAvenue collaborates with billers to fetch bills and digitizes them for electronic presentment to the customers.
It also ties up with others who do the same.
Currently, BillAvenue is fetching bill payments through its agent institution partners who have a network of 1,20,000+ agents operating under them, it said.
Commenting on this new offering, Mohan Nair, Chief Marketing Officer said: "With the introduction of BillAvenue, we have made an important addition to the bill payments infrastructure in the country."