|CURRENT ISSUE DECEMBER 20, 2004|
|YOUR WEEK: MONEY|
|INVESTMENT ON PHONE |
At your Beck and Call
Encouraged by the success of Netbanking and phone banking, banks and financial services companies are offering a host of services on call today. Some banks even offer cash pick-up and drop on the phone. Sharekhan.com, an online trading portal, recently started secondary market transaction orders on phone. This has been a hit because it is not always possible to log into the Net if you are on the move. Clients can phone in, punch in their passwords and place orders to buy and sell shares. An interactive voice confirms the deal. Says Ashok Mittal of Sharekhan: "This facility is very secure. In future more services will be available on phone."
Kotak Securities is also using the medium extensively. Customers can call in with their bids for IPOs, secondary market deals and investments in mutual funds. This helps avoid the last-day rush of an IPO. To avail of this facility, customers need to give Kotak a power of attorney so that direct debits can take place from their bank account for investment in different securities. Kotak Securities has tied up with HDFC Bank, UTI Bank, Centurion Bank, Citibank and Kotak Mahindra Bank for this. Companies offering the facility insist that the system is safe. Money is withdrawn from an account only to pay for the orders placed by the client. The power of attorney does not give the broker access to a client's funds directly. What's more, the transactions can be tracked online too.
CLUB CLASS: Citibank has launched its super premium Ultima Black category of credit cards in India. With a whopping annual fee of Rs 50,000, the Ultima Black breaks all previous limits of consumer indulgence. This card not only gives cardholders specialised investment advisory services but also allows them access to select golf destinations and spas around the world.
UPWARDLY MOBILE: Bank deposit rates have started their climb again, with most banks increasing their benchmark prime lending rates. Of course, the rates on deposits are also up. State Bank of India, Bank of India and Allahabad Bank have hiked term-deposit rates. Term deposits may once again find favour with investors, with interest rates ranging from 3.5 per cent (two weeks) to 5.75 per cent (five years and above).
I INVEST IN...
DIANA HAYDEN, EX-MISS WORLD AND ACTOR
-Compiled by Malini Bhupta