Securities & Exchange Board of India has asked registrar and transfer agents (RTA) to jointly develop a common platform for serving existing and future mutual fund investors. The platform will allow investors to place both transaction and service requests.
The platform will be jointly built by RTAs- KFintech and CAMS. In the first phase the investors will be given access to the platform. “Initially the platform can be used to carry out 17 non-financial transactions,” says a senior official in mutual fund industry.
How will the joint platform help?
The launch of inter-operable platform makes life easy for investors. As of now, investors can request for consolidated statements across mutual fund houses serviced by both RTAs using mailback services. However, this new platform is expected to bring a lot more on the table. Service requests such as change of contact details or change in bank account can be carried out on this platform in a seamless digital manner.
In simple words, if you are invested in a mutual fund that is serviced by, say CAMS (Computer Age Management Services), and then in another fund house that is serviced by K Fintech, and you wish to, say, change the bank account in both, then in today’s times you would have to go to CAMS and K Fintech, separately. But once this platform goes live, you can effect changes in both these schemes on this platform at one go.
One platform, same process
Also, since this is an industry wide platform, the process is standardised. There will be one process – one form, one documentation and one turn-around time for services across mutual funds.
Earlier the processes widely differed across fund houses. For example, the change of bank account forms differed and so do documentation required. Also earlier the investors have to write separately to each RTA or to each fund house. After the launch of this platform, the investors can initiate such requests at one go irrespective of fund houses and RTA. This is going to save costs for the investors in terms of efforts and time. Investors can use this platform from the comfort of their home and office. Significant amount of paperwork will be cut and rejection rate for transaction is also expected to go down.
More services, coming soon
The platform will offer capital gains statements, holding statements, and demat account statement wherever applicable. The investors can also track the progress of their service requests and also file complaints.
In the second phase the investors can also carry out financial transactions such as purchase, redemption and switch in addition to service requests.
Though in the first phase the platform is available for investors only, subsequently the same will be made available to distributors, registered investment advisors and other stakeholders.
“AMCs and Depositories shall facilitate and RTAs shall make the aforesaid platform operational in a phased manner (starting with non-financial transactions) and shall be fully operational by December 31, 2021,” said SEBI.
The inter-operable platform will be a big step in the direction of improvement in the investor service.