There is every possibility that you could pay your utility bills, and withdraw and deposit money while travelling inside the red-coloured buses operated by Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST). The Undertaking is working out and finalizing plans to have ATM-cum-bill payment kiosks installed inside buses. On April 7, the BEST launched the country’s first multi-purpose mobile vans that will run throughout the island city and accept bill payments of different utilities from people.
According to officials from BEST, they are working out plans wherein their buses could be installed with these kiosks. Confirming the same, the General Manager of BEST Undertaking Lokesh Chandra said: “We are working out a mechanism wherein we could install kiosks inside BEST buses which could be used by passengers to pay their bills. We are also seeing if facilities similar to ATMs can be made in these kiosks”.
The idea is that passengers travelling in these BEST buses could pay different utility bills like electricity, gas, water, property and municipal taxes etc. through these kiosks. If withdrawal and deposit facilities are enabled then it can also work as an ATM. Sources said that the passengers; if they want, then they could withdraw or even deposit extra cash which will directly reflect in their bank accounts. Even the conductors, who carry cash amounting to Rs 4 to 6000 each day, could deposit in BEST’s account directly.
As there are CCTVs installed inside buses, these machines will also be monitored. The BEST officials added that they will also save from paying ‘cash handling charges’ to banks which amounts to Rs 10-12 crore annually comprising both Transport and Electric Supply wings. The introduction of mobile vans for accepting bill payments is also a step towards digitization although the facility of making digital payments through a mobile App exists.
“Although people can pay BEST electricity bills through online and Apps, use of digital payment methods contributes to 63-65 per cent only. If people use the mobile vans for making payments then they shall accept cash which will be further paid through a machine by the person sitting inside this van; thus amplifying the scope of digital payments,” said another BEST official.
People will be allowed to pay all bills of different utilities; be it prepaid and postpaid mobile bills, electricity, gas, school fees, telephone landline, cable, internet, broadband, insurance premium, water, DTH, buy/renew FastTag, municipal taxes and bills, property taxes, housing society charges etc. among other utilities that will be catered to. People can pay these bills using cash as well as digital payments using credit or debit cards, UPI and RuPay.
On Thursday, one such multipurpose mobile van was inaugurated and in the coming days four more vans will be added. The first van will cater to areas of Worli, Bhoiwada, Naigaon, Antop Hill, Shivaji Park, Reay Road, Cuffe Parade, Colaba and Nana Chowk; wherein it will be present at a scheduled time. Gradually other areas will also be covered.