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    Here’s how mobile phones can help you bid for IPOs from January 1

    Publish Date: November 2, 2018

    What’s the news?

    Those wanting to buy shares in IPOs can do so through UPIs, or Unified Payments Interface.

    This has given retail investors — those who invest up to Rs 2 lakh to buy shares — another option to participate in an IPO process.

    When will it be implemented?

    Retail investors will be able to use UPIs from January 1, 2019, according to markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

    The entire process will be implemented in three phases to ensure smooth transition to the UPI ecosystem.

    What is UPI?

    UPI is a payments system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India.

    It helps you transfer funds from one bank account to another without spending additional time in giving your bank account number, IFSC code and so on.

    That’s because UPIs give you a virtual address, which is similar to an email ID, to carry out transactions.

    Therefore, all you need to do is to link your bank account with your virtual payment address just once and then proceed to make cash transfers instantly.

    Google Tez and PhonePe are two such examples.

    Why is it important?

    For investors, paying through UPI is another way of purchasing shares during an initial offer. It is also a convenient option because all you need is a smartphone.

    For SEBI, roping in the UPI technology will help streamline and accelerate the listing of shares on the stock exchanges. With the help of UPI, they are aiming to complete the entire listing time to three days. It means a company’s shares can be listed on the stock exchanges three days after the IPO is completed.

    At the moment, it takes six days for a company’s shares to make its debut on the stock exchanges.

    How will it shorten the IPO process?

    At the moment, there are two ways of buying shares in an IPO: bank ASBA (Application Supported by Block Amount) and broker ASBA.

    Under bank ASBA, you personally bid for IPO shares by filling an application form. The amount of money is debited from your bank account only after the shares are allotted.

    Under broker ASBA, it is your intermediary who does the bidding. The broker does the paperwork for you: he goes to your bank and fills an application form to be a part of the IPO process. Plus, he also needs to ensure that you have signed on the application form. Therefore, a broker has to fill a signed application form and send it to self-certified syndicate banks (SCSBs).

    All this is time-consuming.

    But from January 1, 2019, retail investors can use the UPI system through intermediaries. This will eliminate the physical movement of application forms from brokers to SCSBs. Brokers would no longer have to physically reach out to the branches of the 60-odd banks that provide ASBA facility.

    How to get started?

    • Step 1: Create a UPI ID on your mobile app.
    • Step 2: Fill the IPO application form and enter your UPI ID on your phone. The UPI ID is a 16-digit number.
    • Step 3: Your UPI ID will be uploaded on the stock exchanges.
    • Step 4: Once the stock exchanges verify your details, they will share the UPI ID with the sponsor bank — the bank which has been hired by the company to take care of their OPI process.
    • Step 5: The sponsor bank will get in touch with you, asking for the necessary amount to be blocked.
    • Step 6: Once you accept the amount, feed in your UPI ID again. Your bank will automatically block the funds.

    Has it worked before?

    The UPI system has greatly benefitted the mutual funds industry.

    Earlier, buying and selling of mutual fund units would take up to three days. But the UPI system has made it an instant process now. Most fund houses provide UPI technology as it helps their customers to trade mutual fund units faster and with more efficiency.

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