Personal Finance

Investing made easy with MF Utilities

Nalinakanthi V | Updated on June 23, 2019 Published on June 23, 2019

The single-window platform helps you invest across schemes of multiple fund houses

With technological innovation, you can now buy and redeem mutual fund units across fund houses at the click of the button, without having to shell extra for convenience. Among the platforms that allow this is MF Utilities (MFU). This transaction platform facilitated by the mutual fund industry helps you invest in multiple schemes across fund houses.

The portal is a transaction-aggregating system which consolidates transaction requests from multiple investors/sources and submits it to the registrar and transfer agents. It connects all the partners in the investment process — investors, registrar and transfer agents, and asset management companies (AMCs). The platform’s use is free of charge, not just for investors but also for distributors and SEBI-registered investment advisors.

Whether you are an individual or a non-individual investor, the first step towards transacting through MFU is to complete the CAN (Common Account Number) registration. The CAN application form can be downloaded online, duly filled and submitted, along with requisite documents, to the nearest MFU point of service or office. There are about 370 MFU PoS centres listed on the website.

As an individual investor, you can also choose to complete the CAN registration online by filing an eCAN form, wherein all the data required is submitted electronically. However, to be able to use the eCAN facility, you need to be KYC-compliant and should have already invested in any of the participating asset management companies that are part of MFU.

Upon successful completion of CAN registration, all your existing mutual fund investments will also be mapped using the CAN credentials and you can access all your MF investments in one place.

Using a common transaction form, you can invest in schemes across mutual fund houses at one go. You can make a single payment for investment across multiple schemes and multiple fund houses. There are multiple modes of payment that you can choose from. Physical modes such as cheque are also accepted.

Besides lump-sum investing, you can also set up systematic investment plans (SIPs), systematic transfer plans (STPs) and systematic withdrawal plans (SWPs) using the PayEezz mandate on the MFU portal.

What is good?

You can invest in the direct plan option of multiple schemes across fund houses through the MFU portal at one go and benefit from the higher returns since you save on distributor commission.

Also, the MFU portal saves you the hassle of having to go to the registrar and transfer agent’s office, or their websites, or that of the AMC for individual transactions. You can get a consolidated view of all your investments in one place. MFU also offers a centralised compliance management and tracking system.

What are the cons?

Not all the 44 mutual fund houses are part of the platform currently. There are 34 participating AMCs, including the large ones, currently in the MFU system and you can invest or redeem units of these AMCs through the platform.

If you are looking to invest in the schemes of the 10 fund houses that are not part of the MFU portal, you will have to go through their respective portals, registrar and transfer agent, or intermediaries.

If you are a beginner looking to invest in equities and need help in selecting the right fund, you may be better off going through a distributor or an independent advisor.

The writer is an independent financial consultant

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