Tech tools to manage diverse MF investments

Tech tools to manage diverse MF investments

Tech tools to manage diverse MF investments

India’s growth story driven by Digital India initiative is unfolding and evolving very fast. While the desire and the need for building technology-­enabled change could be ambitious, this transformation is definitely happening slowly but surely. India is in the cusp of a digital revolution and the Indian mutual fund industry, like the rest, is well entrenched in it.

The Indian mutual fund industry has benefited, as it has taken full advantage of the building up of enabling digital infrastructure, be it the providing of digital identities to existing and potential mutual fund investors through Aadhaar-based e­KYC (know your customer), or the universal access to bank accounts as also to the smartphones, across the country, in a safe and secure cyber environment.

This has helped, among the other important initiatives, the online on­boarding of the first-time mutual fund investor, instantly. Not too long ago, this simple onboarding process used to take several days. The mutual fund industry has therefore been able to improve its accessibility to potential mutual fund investors and also the resultant customer service.

The total AAUMs (average assets under management) of the Indian mutual fund industry which, a few years ago, were witnessing stagnancy, are now scaling new highs and as of July 31, 2016, the total industry AAUMs stand at a whopping Rs 15,32,311 crore.

The distributor fraternity is not far behind and they too, have kept pace with the changing times and offering value­added analytical investment advice. In fact, some of the fund houses have introduced a distributor app exclusively for their empanelled distributors.

Digital empowerment
The mutual fund industry is slowly becoming active partner in this Digital India movement as investments can now be made real time, thereby making financial transactions quicker, electronic and cashless. The digital empowerment allows all documents and certificates available on cloud. The e­KYC route with the use of Aadhaar cards, validations using biometric, smart phones and e-signatures is already making investing even through e­commerce platforms a success, albeit in a small measure.

The web interfaces of mutual fund companies have become device agnostic and now can be accessed on smartphones, tablets, laptops in addition to traditional desktops. The smartphone-based mobile applications, which are increasingly becoming investor-­friendly are not only helping manage mutual fund investments on the go, but also enable making fresh investments.

Investors can avail of facilities like making investments, redeeming them or even switching them from one scheme to another, all with the help of just a simple SMS, from any place, any time. Investors can also invest online with or without login, so far as they are FATCA (foreign account tax compliance act) compliant, e­KYC compliant, have registered their bank account, email address and mobile numbers. The investment is expected to be made from your registered bank account or from the bank account where you are the sole account holder or one of the joint account holders.

Online transaction platforms would help investors invest, access, track and manage their respective accounts online in a safe and simple manner using state-of-the-art technology.

The new versions of online transaction platforms are simple, user-friendly, secure and efficient to give a satisfying pleasant investing experience, even as it reduces paper work.

Mutual funds are also introducing schemes based on mobile application and helping investors, in the process, to do most common of the transactions in a jiffy – purchase and redeem.

But to make the best use of all digital enablers to invest in mutual funds you must first get your KYC done. For completing e­KYC using your Aadhaar number, investors can visit any of the websites of mutual fund or their registrars like CAMS, submit Aadhaar number, PAN number, date of birth, email address and mobile number registered with UIDAI. You need to enter One Time Password (OTP) and e­KYC web form will automatically get populated with UIDAI data.

Enter other required fields, and submit the form and thereafter will be redirected back to the fund website for generation of folio and transaction.

We, as a nation, are on the path to progress with renewed focus on the National Digital Literacy Mission. With this, there is more awareness and increased use of all  digital assets available. And as an increasing number of the working population chooses to invest in MFs, they will find the digitisation helping them manage their mutual fund investments better.

(The writer is ED and CMO at SBI Mutual Fund)

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