July 10, 2020
All Asset Management Companies (AMCs)
Registrar and Transfer Agents (RTAs)
Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI)
Subject – Instructions regarding transactions in units of Mutual Funds on Digital Platforms and other issues.
1. SEBI had constituted a Working Group on Digital Platforms – Mutual Funds’ which submitted its report to SEBI with various recommendations.
2. Based on the recommendations of the Working Group, following instructions are being issued:
a) Daily NAV, scheme portfolio and other scheme related details shall be provided in a standard format that can be hosted on the websites of the digital platforms involved in transactions in units of mutual funds. AMFI shall prescribe a standard format in this regard.
b) Standard messaging formats for all types of communication – forward and reverse feeds, financial and non-financial, shall be provided by RTAs in consultation with industry participants.
c) AMCs/RTAs shall ensure parity in acceptance of transactions through various channels, in compliance with various circulars issued by SEBI from time to time, regarding NAV applicability and cut-off timings.
d) Data privacy: Digital platforms in business of distribution of / advice on Mutual Funds units, AMCs, RTAs and industry participants having investors’ data should respect and adhere to user’s data privacy. Accordingly, following shall be noted :
(i) user data shall not be shared between group entities managing multiple business or products.
(ii) mobile applications or websites owned by RTAs/ digital platforms etc., shall not be promoted to such investors who are not acquired/ managed by them directly. RTAs may communicate directly through their own channels/ modes, only as needed in terms of SEBI Regulations and Circulars.
(iii) products & services of group companies shall not be cross-marketed.
AMCs shall ensure that digital platforms selling their products adhere to the above.
e) AMCs/ RTAs shall ensure that all investor service requests, whether financial or non-financial shall be dealt with in a uniform manner irrespective of the channel such request is received from.
f) For investments routed through exchange platforms, both in demat and nondemat modes, AMCs shall ensure compliance with provisions related to payment of transaction charges to mutual fund distributors, in terms of SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 and circulars issued thereunder.
g) RTAs shall develop procedures to ensure digitization of non-financial transactions with due consideration of provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, rules and regulations made thereunder and SEBI circulars issued in this regard.
h) RTAs shall notify planned downtime to all platforms in advance by 7 calendar days. In case of unplanned downtime, alert notifications shall be sent instantly to all platforms including expected time for recovery.
3. The instructions of this letter shall be :
a) implemented w.e.f. November 2, 2020, except for point 2(b) above.
b) implemented on or before December 31, 2020 for instructions at point 2(b) above. Status of the implementation shall be updated to AMFI on a monthly basis.
4. AMFI / AMCs shall bring the contents of this letter to the attention of all digital platforms/ Investment Advisors/ Mutual Fund Distributors/ other Intermediaries/ Stock Exchanges etc ., involved in transactions in units of mutual fund.