As NRIs are remitting money to India at higher numbers than ever, there is a common question they all have. How do we invest in mutual funds (MFs) in India? While many people think of investing in India as a burden due to KYC, taxes and remitting, there are various platforms out there to help. These platforms have apps and websites with easily navigable UIs and cover the needs of the NRI. They help NRIs to apply for the OCI card to opening an NRO/NRE account to invest in MFs. The most prominent platforms are the likes of Vance, SBNRI and iNRI. Are these platforms built for the common NRI? Let us find out!


These platforms offer a wide variety of services to its clientele. NRIs first create an account on these platforms, and then proceed to follow the process determined by the documents they possess. These platforms help NRIs who have acquired a foreign passport to apply for the OCI card, which is required to prove NRI status. Then, the platform proceeds to verify the PAN status and if required, aids in registering the PAN with NRI status and linking the PAN with the Aadhaar card. Finally, if the NRI does not have a bank account, the platforms direct the customer to open an account with the platforms’ partner banks. The platforms even have tie-ups with companies that remit money to India at the correct market rate. After the bank account is funded, is where where the NRIs’ investment journey in India can begin. All these platforms have one thing in common — they specialise in MF investments for NRIs. They are all certified distributors of MFs and have tie-ups with AMCs (asset management companies). Lastly, these platforms have CAs specialised in filing taxes for NRIs. Certain CAs on these platforms are even specialists in the US, Canadian or British tax code.

Customer service

A common concern for NRIs investing in India is whether they will be able to get their doubts cleared regarding their account details, KYC and other issues. They all have a WhatsApp line, wherein the NRI can talk to an agent. Additionally, they have chatbots built in the app, as well as the traditional e-mail method. A platform named iNRI even has a gold account feature, wherein if the NRI maintains a portfolio above ₹5 lakh, he or she is awarded with a series of benefits including 24x7 assistance. SBNRI even assigns an RM to the customer, which is helpful as the investor can clear any doubts regarding the investments or documentation with an agent, they regularly interact with for investment advice. This adopts a more customer-friendly approach, making the investor, who is thousands of miles away, feel that his or her money is safe. These platforms also have blogs incorporated in them. These blogs are meant to encourage discussion on common issues NRI investors face, so that they can be resolved at one go.


Fees and prices are something all investors are very keen to know and avoid, if possible. Out of the three platforms, Vance and SBNRIdo not charge a platform-access fee. iNRI charges a fee of ₹3,999 after the first year as “platform fee” for access to the investing tools and other services. Vance and SBNRI offer regular MFs, which have higher expense ratios, thereby impacting the investor’s portfolio in the long run. The iNRI gold account mentioned above has another advantage. Those maintaining portfolios upward of ₹5 lakh are exempt from paying the yearly fee of ₹3,999. The prices for tax filing on these platforms range from ₹5,000 to ₹15,000, based on the level of assistance required, and the complexity of the tax return.

Key takeaways

Although these platforms provide a relatively hassle-free investment experience, we want to make you aware of a few things. First, there are many more well-known platforms, especially discount brokers like Zerodha and Groww which are working toward streamlining the investment process of NRIs. Groww has even paused their intake of new NRI clients due to KYC issues. So, it is worth keeping an eye on which discount brokers become available to NRIs. It is also worth mentioning that US- and Canada-based NRIs face more restriction in investing in India due to FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) and other compliance issues imposed by the US and Canadian governments. Lastly, while platforms like SBNRI and iNRI assist the investor, savvy investors can consider approaching the AMC directly.

The writer is an intern with bl.portfolio