Sebi may allow investments in mutual funds via digital wallet
Markets watchdog Sebi is looking to allow investors to buy mutual funds through digital wallets in the wake of the government's plan of boosting digital transactions.
The move would help in speedy and easy transactions, while reducing failures due to payment gateway issues.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is considering options to allow payments through e-wallets for mutual funds, sources said.
A presentation was given by mutual fund houses to Sebi in this regard last month.
"Digital is the way forward for all transactions and we see it having positive impact on mutual fund. Sebi is evaluating options to allow payments through e-wallets (which are governed by RBI) and we hope it will give investors an easier option to invest in mutual funds and will help in growth of investors base," Reliance Mutual Fund CEO Sundeep Sikka told PTI.
Currently, 43 active Asset Management Companies (AMCs) together manage assets worth an estimated Rs 16.8 lakh crore and mutual fund investors account is over 5 crore.
Maximum amount of money a user can store per month on his digital wallets stands at Rs 20,000. Earlier, the monthly wallet limit for users was Rs 10,000. RBI, last month, doubled the limit in view of the cash crunch following the demonetisation of high-value currency.
"This would be a positive step from Sebi. Digital wallets are increasingly becoming known for speed and convenience of transactions. This will particularly be useful for customers with their SIP investments and will help them consolidate all their outbound payments via a single channel," said Srikanth Meenakshi COO at Fundsindia.Com, which has online distribution channel.
The consultation process is on to make sale of mutual funds through e-commerce platforms. The regulator has set up a committee under Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani to deliberate ways in which electronic means can be used better for sale of mutual funds.
Sebi is of the view that a greater use of Internet as a distribution channel can help increase the penetration of mutual funds, especially among the young investors, and also reduce the cost of buying mutual fund schemes.
"Allowing e-wallet transactions would be a great step on Sebi's part. It will also help speed and ease of transactions through online platforms, while reducing failures due to payment gateway issues," Taisys India Managing Director Abhishek Saxena said.