Nov 192014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

In India, online bill pay still has a long way to go; not many people use the service, they either visit the service provider directly or visit a place where they can pay all bills. In few cities in India, there are citizen service centers, which accept all utility bills and few other bills as well. For example, in Bangalore, there is Bangalore One, a one-stop bill pay location for all household bills.

There are few similar organizations that enable bill payments at their premises, but online payment is very rare in the Indian society. Perhaps they will take time to adopt the electronic payment option or they haven’t managed to trust the electronic security.

OxigenAmong a very few online bill pay services is Oxicash (Oxigen Bill Pay), that is trying to revolutionize payments in India. They have an e-wallet product that enables money transfer as well. With Oxicash, users can pay many bills online. They use BillDesk’s framework to make this happen; they have a page of their own on BillDesk’s domain.

Bill payments include utility bills, fixed line and mobile bills, subscriptions and donations. The bill pay page can be accessed here. Donations are accepted for major NGOs including CRY, SAVE, PETA, Childline, WISE and Cancer Patients’ Association. Subscription payments are available for Reader’s Digest and India Today, while Insurance Premiums are accepted for ICICI PruLife and PNB Metlife.

Utility payments include electricity, gas and telephone bills and has very limited list of billers including Reliance Energy, BSES (Delhi), Mahanagar Gas (Mumbai), Airtel, MTNL, etc.

This facility is available, however, only to Oxigen Wallet users; a new wallet account can be opened from here. Immediate bill payments or same day payments are not supported; time taken is between 3 and 4 business days, so the payment should be scheduled accordingly.

Oct 202014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

With the advancement of technology in the bill payment space, developing nations have begun joining the race in the introduction of bill payment technology. India is a developing country, where this is true. The central bank of India, RBI (reserve Bank of India) has plans to centralize bill pay solutions.

The payment process in bill pay would be instituted through a Government Internal Revenue Order (GIRO) based system and all the bills would be payable online. The bills include utility bills, academic fees, insurance premiums and all types of bills. And the payment is made directly to the billers. Typically, users need to either make individual accounts for different billers or set up various methods of payment. Here, one account is all it takes to complete the payment to all the relevant billers.

People Waiting in a Queue to Pay BillsThis makes the process easy and convenient for the billers, as well as the users, reducing the number of accounts they have to manage. To make this project true, RBI is setting up Bharat Bill Payment Services, a nonprofit organization that would list all the billers in one place and enable users to pay all the bills from anywhere in the country. This way, the said entity would have connectivity to all the billers in the country. For the fact that it is an initiative of the central bank of the country, this becomes easier.

Bills can either be paid online or by visiting one of the operating units established under Bharat Bill Payment Services. One aim of the establishment of this service is paperless and hassle-free billing solutions.

It is expected that this service will make the lives of Indians convenient and the use of paper will also reduce, where bills are concerned. This is even truer due to the involvement of the central bank. Apart from avoiding long queues, users can manage their bills from one place. RBI is aiming to create a single window for payment of all bills.

Oct 182014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

In my last post about bill pay service offered by IndusInd Bank of India, I had mentioned that they have partnered with BillDesk to offer bill pay service through online banking system. They offer solutions for businesses to offer a comprehensive bill presentment, payment and management solutions. But that is only one of the solutions they offer.

They offer bill pay solutions to individuals as well. Anyone in India can register for the service and they can start using it. This is the link to begin the registration process. Their website is a simple one, but is secure and convenient to use. They support many billers in 23 major Indian cities. They define billers as those companies that issue ebills and accept payments online.

BillDeskApart from these, there are payees, which are defined by them as those companies that do not issue ebills, but accept payments through BillDesk. An example for the latter is insurance premium payment. The biller list and the payee list can be referred to, to find out which of the companies are supported and which of the companies issue bills online.

To use the service, one has to login and add the required billers to pay the bills to. Once billers and payees have been added, payment instructions have to be provided, after which the bill is processed and the payer receives a confirmation. To try the service and know better, how things work, readers are advised to access this demo.

The benefits that BillDesk promises to offer include convenience, flexibility, effective tracking and savings in terms of time and money. Interestingly, the service is available free of cost for individuals. They make money from bill presentment and bill management solutions offered to businesses.

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