In this guest post, Anish Mohan presents a step-by-step guide to applying online for an MF Utility account. MF Utility is the transaction aggregation portal run jointly by a consortium of 26 mutual fund houses. It offers investors way to invest in direct mutual fund plans (and switch from regular) via a single portal. It has now been in operation for just over a year now and has continuously evolved for the better, thanks to fantastic management/support team led by MD and CEO, Ve Ramesh.
I am back with another topic on MFU. Regular readers of freefincal and Facebook group Asan Ideas for Wealth would by this time know, I had written a post back in Feb 2016 which was a lite user manual on how to transact online in MF Utility. At the end of 2016, in last week of December I wrote another post to update the new changes on the transaction handling pages of MFUOnline: MF Utility Portal User Guide: Updated Second Edition
Today I write to discuss on a new aspect of MFU. This is known as electronic Common Account Number, abbreviated as eCAN.
This process allows an individual to open CAN in a completely online mode without any paper signatures and courier or submission at any office. Obviously, this comes with certain pre-requisites as below:
- eCAN can be created by fresh investors who do not have any investments in the industry (at least in MFU participating AMCs)
- For existing investors who are creating eCAN, they should compulsorily register only those bank accounts which are registered in the existing folios that get mapped to the CAN. Bank Accounts which are not registered in the mapped folios will be ignored.
- In both instances, they should be KRA KYC Compliant.
- eCAN is of two types i.e. Completely Electronic & Partially Electronic. If investors do not satisfy 1-3 points above, the eCAN mode will be changed to Partially Electronic and they will be provided with a prefilled form to be submitted physically.
- For details on eCAN qualification criteria – Please refer to the eCAN FAQs in MFU Website.
Now, please see below the list of steps that are required to open an eCAN.
The process starts below
1: On the MFU website, click on eCAN and the following screen appears. Input your email ID in the following text box.
2: On the click of “New Form” button, the following screen appears. Make your choice of the CAN (read the pre-requisite section to assess if you are eligible for Completely Electronic CAN). The rest of the fields are self-explanatory.
3: On the click of “Next” button, the following screen appears. These fields are related to your personal details as PAN and AADHAAR and contact numbers and FATCA declaration. On FATCA, the electronic fill up is more than enough and no need to fill any paper forms. The relevance of this statement will be clear in a later section of this post. Fill it and press the Next Button.
4: On the click of “Next” button, the following screen appears. These fields are related to Bank Accounts of the Primary Holder. Please note a very important thing at this point. Please add the Bank Account Number which is ALREADY recorded in your Folios. If you mention any other bank account that does not feature in your existing Folios, then the eCAN request will get rejected.
5: On the click of “Next” button, the following screen appears. These fields are related to Nominees of the CAN. Here you may wish NOT to provide any nomination at all. In which case, the Nomination Option should be selected as “No – I do not want to Nominate”.
6: The above screen is the penultimate screen after which the “provisional” CAN will be allotted and displayed as follows.
Post allotment of the Provisional CAN, a mail would be sent by MFU with a URL for uploading the documents. Please click on the hyperlink in the mail, wait for the OTP which will come in your mailbox and mobile, input the OTP and the following screen appears. Note: The allowable file formats are GIF, JPG or JPEG, PNG and BMP and PDF is NOT allowed. Therefore, make sure your scanned copies are in the proper formats as stipulated by MFU.
A common confusion on the document upload process: The automated mail from MFU advises you to upload three documents
- Scanned Copy of PAN card
- Scanned of Cancelled Cheque or Bank Passbook
- FATCA declaration
The 3rd point is where most applicants get baffled as to how to get the declaration form or make the declaration. Let me answer you, loud and clear, “IGNORE THIS 3rd BULLET”. No need to do anything on the 3rd bullet and my confabulations with MFU team tells me that this is a standard email response.
The electronic CAN is one of the unique things that MFU has come up with. It simplifies the process of opening a CAN manifold and is truly something that “Digital-India” should look like. I have always vouched for electronically executed processes since I am extremely abhorrent to signature and form-fill-up. Working 24 X 7 on laptops and smartphones, one thing which I regret is to lose my handwriting skills and ever-changing signatures. Therefore, any kind of handwritten paper or signature or paper-based process irritates me to the core.
I thank you, readers, for your patience and going through this post. At the end, let me take the opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year 2017.
Thank you, Anish. If you require some motivation to switch from regular to direct, have a look at: Direct Mutual Fund vs. Regular Mutual Fund: 2017 Performance Report.
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