RBI Mandate on Centralised Billing Network: Impact on Fintechs and Banks


RBI Mandate on Centralised Billing Network: Impact on Fintechs and Banks


Effective July 1, fintech startups like Cred, PhonePe, and BillDesk will be unable to process credit card bill payments for 26 major banks that are not activated under the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). This RBI mandate aims to streamline and centralize billing networks, causing significant disruptions in the fintech sector.

Current Scenario

India’s largest card issuers, including HDFC Bank (20 million cards), ICICI Bank (17 million cards), and Axis Bank (14 million cards), are yet to activate BBPS. This inaction means fintech platforms that are BBPS members, such as PhonePe and Cred, cannot process card payments for these banks and other non-compliant issuers.

Impact on Fintechs

The inability to process credit card payments for non-BBPS-compliant banks will lead to major transaction volume losses for fintechs. These platforms will suffer reduced user engagement and revenue, as a significant portion of credit card transactions will be routed directly through bank networks.

Banks’ Compliance Status

Currently, only eight banks’ credit cards are activated for payments via the RBI-mandated BBPS network. Out of these, only five are among the top 10 banks by the volume of cards issued. This highlights a lag in compliance among major card issuers.

RBI’s Directive

The Reserve Bank of India mandated that all credit card payments be processed through BBPS after July 2023. However, the compliance rate is low, with only a fraction of banks adhering to the new regulations. Banks such as SBI Card and BoB Card, along with private sector lenders like Kotak Mahindra Bank, Federal Bank, and IndusInd Bank, are among those that have transitioned to BBPS.

Industry Reaction

The payments industry has been lobbying for an extension of the deadline to ensure a smoother transition. A chief executive of a major payments firm indicated that a 90-day extension might be in consideration to accommodate the slow compliance rate among major banks.


The RBI’s mandate for a centralized billing network via BBPS aims to streamline the payment process, but the slow compliance by major banks poses a significant challenge. Fintechs and banks need to accelerate their efforts to comply with the new regulations to avoid transaction disruptions and financial losses.

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