Kotak Cherry platform is open for all investors from June 2, 2022. It attempts to provide investors with holistic investment solutions through its website and mobile application. It offers investment solutions ranging from mutual funds, stocks, bonds, REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust), ETFs (Exchange traded funds) and NPS (National Pension Scheme). Here we review the application based on its capabilities and comparison with its peers.

How different from Kotak 811

Kotak 811 works as a digital banking solutions provider by offering customers with zero-balance savings account along with features such as mobile banking, auto sweep facility, virtual debit card, online shopping portal KayMall comprising various offers for different sites such as IRCTC, Flipkart and Goibibo among others. While the bank has its securities platform, namely Kotak Securities, largely focussed on stock broking and mutual funds and doesn’t offer what the new app bring to the table.

Kotak Cherry is different from these two in a sense that it helps investors take broader asset allocation decisions by providing them with various investment products. It’s a platform which would allow you to operate a demat account just like a bank account and that’s big differentiator between Kotak Cherry and Kotak 811.

Who can use Kotak Cherry

The retail investors who aim at diversifying their portfolio by investing into multiple asset classes and curated products such as stocks baskets and mutual fund baskets in one place can use Kotak Cherry platform. For investing in most of its products such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds , investors need not necessarily have trading account with Kotak Securities and bank account with Kotak Mahindra Bank. However, investment in banking products such as fixed deposit, recurring deposit and even NPS is currently accessible only to Kotak Mahindra Bank account holders.

What’s good

Attempting to be a one-stop solution for investors, Kotak Cherry will be competing with brokers and platforms such as Zerodha, Groww, Kuvera, IndMoney and even with newly launched robo advisory enabled goal-based investing platform HDFC Money . While most of the platforms provide investors with equity trading and mutual funds, very few have focussed on tax-saving investment option NPS (National Pension Scheme), bonds, REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust), and curated products such as mutual fund baskets and stock baskets which are available on Kotak Cherry. There are currently five mutual fund baskets with minimum investment amount range of ₹1,000-15,000 available each containing some of the mutual funds based on different strategies. It offers SIPs for which one needs to set one-time mandate and lumpsum MF investments under direct plans and thereby no commissions are charged unlike brokers such as HDFC Securities which generally offer regular plans. Also, by uploading consolidated account statement (CAS) of CAMS, you can import into Kotak Cherry your existing investments in mutual funds made via other platforms earlier. Similarly, Kotak Cherry provides a platform to investors to invest in stocks, stock baskets, futures and options which they can trade through trading account with any broker. Further, users are also provided with Kotak Mahindra Bank fixed deposits.

There is a two-factor authentication system in place for ensuring the safety of the individual’s account. Every time you enter the application, you are asked to fill email and password. Also, there is a page called Café which provide investors with articles and videos relating to different financial products which can increase its users’ investing aptitude.

What it misses

While the app does have various useful features, some improvement in the following areas could enhance user experience.

One, many brokers and platforms provide investors with access to direct investment in international stocks, which is gaining investor’s interest in recent times. This is not yet enabled on Kotak Cherry.

Two, curated stock baskets provided by Kotak Cherry can help investors with their strategic investment goal, but the minimum investment amount is kept at ₹500,000 which is very high for the retail investors, a segment which Kotak Cherry targets.

Three, on the deposit side, Kotak Cherry provides investors with only bank fixed deposit and that too of only Kotak Mahindra Bank. While Groww offers multiple bank fixed deposit options to its investors and other applications such as Kuvera and IndMoney provides investors with corporate deposits too.

Four, the platform has a user-friendly interface but navigation part might be a bit cumbersome for Kotak Cherry users. This is because to invest in some of its products, the execution won’t be happening on Kotak Cherry platform itself. Instead, you will be redirected to your existing broker’s page for investing in stocks and for NPS and deposit, you will be redirected to Kotak Mahindra Bank page if you have an account with them.

Ultimately, Kotak Cherry scores when it comes to providing investors with some of the additional investment products such as bonds, NPS and curated investment solutions such as mutual fund baskets and stock baskets while it lags behind its peers in terms of ease of use, navigation and international stock investing.

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