A guide to investing in mutual funds via WhatsApp
The process of WhatsApp investing is not entirely seamless but offers an additional platform for mutual fund investors. Considering WhatsApp’s universal acceptability across India, this could be an interesting way of adding new customers to the fold. The process flow works something like this.
1. Before you initiate the transaction on WhatsApp, there are some basic preparatory steps required. Firstly, you need to visit the website of the service provider/AMC and input your mobile number and also accept the terms and conditions of this service. Presently, the MF by WhatsApp facility is only available to resident investors in single holding. Joint holdings cannot be operated through WhatsApp.
2. Your WhatsApp application must be downloaded on your smart phone and the appropriate mobile number must be mapped. Unless the mapped WhatsApp number matches with the mobile number provided in the master application, the request will be rejected. The WhatsApp number must be your default contact number in the AMC database.
3. An AMC that is willing to offer this service will have to reserve a dedicated mobile number for the same. The investor looking to investing in mutual funds via WhatsApp will have to first add this number to their phone book and ensure that the WhatsApp window is activated.
4. To begin the WhatsApp conversation the first step is to type a small message like “Hi” or “Hello” in the message window and send it to the number. That message is immediately acknowledged by the AMC offering this service. From that point your chat is activated and the concerned online representative will guide you through the rest of the process.
5. The representative will first ask the investor to identify herself with some unique data points. For example, the representative may ask you to identify yourself with name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, address, PAN card, etc. Once the representative is satisfied that the customer is genuine, you can move to the next step to crystallize your transaction on WhatsApp.
6. Here, identify the specific fund you want to invest in along with details of the number of units you seek to buy or the amount you intend to invest. Once these details are made available, you need to share mode of payment with the representative on the WhatsApp chat window.
7. Once the above process is completed, the service provider will send you a clickable hyperlink which you can use to make the payment through banking interface/debit card. For additional security, you will get a one-time password (OTP) on your registered mobile, which can be used to authenticate the transaction on WhatsApp.
8. Before you initiate the transaction on WhatsApp, ensure two things. Firstly, ensure that your KYC is completed and approved in all respects. Secondly, you must also ensure that you go to the website of the service provider/AMC and accept the terms and conditions for WhatsApp investing.
9. Finally, the good news is that just as WhatsApp can be used to invest in mutual funds, it can also be used to initiate a systematic investment plan (SIP). As of now, only buy requests are being offered but over time, Indian mutual funds could be offering WhatsApp interface for a variety of services including address change, bank mandate change, modification in SIP instruction, switch, etc.
In a nutshell, the humble WhatsApp in your smartphone can become much more than your forum for idle chatting. You can use WhatsApp to invest gainfully.