New Delhi: People in rural parts of the country can pay their utility bills such as electricity, water and telephone at common service centers (CSC) through debit or credit cards as well as in cash.
The Reserve Bank of India has granted Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) the licence to function as CSC e-Governance Services India, which manages around 1.66 lakh common service centres across the country.
The CSCs have been opened in villages for the delivery of various electronic services like online ticket booking, Aadhaar enrolment, etc.
"RBI has granted licence or in-principle approval for CSCs to function as Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit. Payments of various bills can be done through CSC, now like water bill, electricity bill," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. He said the grant of BBPOU licence is a "big step in empowerment of CSCs".
Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units are authorised entities for facilitating bill payments online as well as through a network of agents, on the ground.
The minister said that these centres have been providing digital services in rural India and hence government has decided to rename them as Digital Service Kendra.
Customers will have the option to pay bills in cash, debit cards, credit cards, prepaid payment instruments including wallets, and other electronic payment options such as net banking, IMPS, etc.
"The facility can be further extended for collection of university fee, mutual funds, insurance premium. With this, CSCs will become a payment gateway," Prasad said.
Bharat Bill Payment System is an integrated bill payment system that offer interoperable bill payment service to customers online as well as through a network of agents on the ground.