SEBI by way of its circular dated November 1, 2018, had introduced the use of Unified Payments Interface ('UPI') as a payment mechanism with Application Supported by Block Amount ('ASBA') for applications in public issues by retail individual investors through intermediaries, such as syndicate members, registered stock brokers, registrar and transfer agent and depository participants, with effect from January 1, 2019. Implementation of the same was to be carried out in a phased manner to ensure gradual transition to UPI with ASBA. Accordingly, Phase II of the aforesaid circular has become effective from July 1, 2019.

SEBI by way of its circular dated July 26, 2019 has clarified that with regard to applications by retail individual investors through intermediaries, the existing process of investor submitting bid-cum-application form with any intermediary along with bank account details, and movement of such application forms from intermediaries to Self Certified Syndicate Banks ('SCSBs') for blocking of funds has been discontinued and the UPI mechanism will be the only permissible mode for such applications. SEBI has further clarified that applications through UPI in initial public offerings can be made only through SCSBs / mobile applications whose name appears on the SEBI website. Applications made using an incorrect UPI handle or using a bank account of a SCSB or a bank which is not mentioned in the aforesaid list is liable to be rejected.

Originally pubished September 30, 2019.

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