Investments via credit cards, mobiles planned

 In a major leap towards using latest technology in financial markets, market regulator Sebi plans to allow investors to make payments for IPOs through ATM, debit and credit cards, as also via mobile banking.

A final decision would be taken by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) after examining operational and legal feasibilities of enabling investors to make such payments for Initial Public Offers (IPOs), a senior official said.

The proposed move is part of Sebi’s efforts to attract more and more investors to the market through IPO route.

Sebi has already announced various steps for reforms in the primary market, which include increasing the reach of IPOs in electronic form through nation-wide broker network of stock exchanges.

After its last board meeting on August 16, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha said investors can approach brokers at over 1,000 locations to apply in IPOs physically or electronically.
Stock exchanges have also been asked to facilitate investors to view the status of their IPO applications on the websites, similar to the secondary market transactions.
Besides, Sebi has modified its rules to enable retail applicants to get a minimum lot of shares in IPOs.

Sebi has also decided to make the brokers responsible for uploading the bid on the exchange platform and for banking the cheque and handling of ASBA (Application Supported by Blocked Amount) applications. In ASBA system, the money remains in the applicant’s bank account till the time of share allotment.
The brokers would be compensated by the issuer, so that they are interested in directly or indirectly marketing the issue as well. 

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