Following SEBI’s proposal to create an inter-operable and user-friendly mutual fund (MF) platform, Registrar and Transfer Agents (RTA) CAMS and KFintech announced the launch of a MF platform MFCentral (website/mobile app) in September 2021. MFCentral attempts to provide a one-stop solution to MF investors for any issues with their investments. However, the platform will be operative in a phased manner.
What's on offer now
The primary feature of MFCentral is to enable investors to view all their MF holdings registered with their PAN and mobile number across fund houses. Demat/non-demat holdings along with the gain/loss associated with each MF can be seen.
This apart, MFCentral provides a platform where investors can perform various non-financial transactions through a web site and mobile application
The following are the non-financial transactions that can be carried out currently:
One, MFCentral provides investors an opportunity to update their mobile number and make it uniform across all folios. Some investors have different mobile numbers registered with different MF folios. The MFCentral facility enables them to have one mobile number registered with all folios. This makes portfolio monitoring/management easier.
Two, through its multiple bank mandate registration feature, investors can add a new bank account to their folio, update their default bank account or delete an existing registered bank account number. One can have a maximum of five bank accounts registered, including one default bank account. Having multiple bank accounts registered helps investors to transfer any IDCW/redemption proceeds to any account the investor chooses. Also, for SIPs, it can all go from the latest salary account if you have had two-three salary accounts by virtue of working in different organisations. Basically, you can streamline bank debits and credits according to your need.
Three, an important feature of MFCentral is the consolidation of folios. Here, investors can bring all their investments pertaining to a single AMC under one folio number. Many a time, investors make a new investment in a mutual fund without disclosing existing folio number even if the investment is done in scheme of the same fund house. Due to this, multiple folio numbers get generated for investments in single fund house which makes tracking investments difficult in the long run. Through consolidation, investors get a single statement for all their investments in one fund house which makes tracking easier.
Four, MFCentral has enabled transmission of units. In case of death of the second holder, transmission of units can be easily done by the first holder by logging in. However, in the case of the first holder’s death, the process of transmission won’t be completely digital as family members of other account holders might have to visit any RTA office and submit documents physically after raising a request.
Five, MFCentral provides a facility wherein one can change details in IDCW (Income Distribution cum Capital Withdrawal) MFs. Investors of such funds can either take home the dividend proceeds, or they can reinvest. Through MFCentral, investors can switch between these options.
Other services (non-financial) provided by MFCentral are updating on FATCA/CRS declaration, correction of errors in folio and, changing tax status (resident or non-resident), updating minor/major status, submitting Form 15 G/H details, bank IFSC, email address and nominee details.
How it makes investors' lives easier
Though investing in MFs has become a lot easier due to investors’ awareness and availability of options, there have been complexities. For instance, registering complaints with different AMCs and getting them individually resolved is a cumbersome process. MFCentral helps streamline such service requests without the need for submitting any physical document. MFCentral acts as a single window for grievance submission rather than going to CAMS or KFintech. Though MF Utilities also provides similar services, investor on-boarding process has a greater number of steps and consequently time-consuming, whereas the on-boarding process of MFCentral is simpler as the investor needs to provide his PAN and registered mobile number only.
As per Play Store reviews of its mobile application, investors have found its interface to be smooth, intuitive and user-friendly.
What can be better
MFCentral offers a lot of useful features, but there is scope for improvement in certain areas.
While its competitor MFUtilties offers financial transactions like buying and selling of MFs, MFCentral is yet to provide this facility to investors. However, according to the management, they plan to enable financial transactions by end-May 2022.
Through Play Store reviews, users have been suggesting that better analytical tools such as daily gain/loss percentage, XIRR, fund performance ratios and charting tools, which are already available in other platforms, should be available in MFCentral. The attractiveness of the platform as a one-stop shop will be better once these services are introduced.
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