One-Time Mandate in Mutual Funds - Meaning and Benefits

by Madhav Agarwal

Published On June 21, 2024

In this article

In the ever-evolving world of financial investments, convenience and efficiency are paramount. One such tool that offers both is the One Time Mandate (OTM). For mutual fund investors, OTM can simplify the investment process, making it more seamless and automatic. This blog explores the meaning, benefits, and potential risks of OTM in mutual funds, along with a detailed guide on how to set it up.

What is OTM in Mutual Funds?

A One Time Mandate (OTM) is a facility that allows investors to automate their mutual fund investments. It is a pre-authorized payment instruction provided to the bank, permitting them to debit a specified amount from the investor’s account at regular intervals. This process negates the need for manual transactions, ensuring that investments are made consistently and on time.

OTM is particularly beneficial for those who invest regularly in mutual funds through Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs). By setting up an OTM, investors can ensure that their SIPs are funded without having to remember the dates or initiate the transactions manually each time.

How Does One Time Mandate Work?

The functionality of an OTM is quite straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how it works:

  1. Filling Out the Mandate Form: Investors need to fill out a mandate form provided by the mutual fund company. This form includes essential details such as the investor’s bank account number, the name of the mutual fund scheme, and the maximum amount that can be debited.

  2. Submitting the Form to the Bank: The completed mandate form is then submitted to the bank. The bank will verify the details provided in the form.

  3. Approval Process: Once the bank verifies the details and approves the mandate, it will set up the instructions in its system.

  4. Automatic Debits: After approval, the bank will automatically debit the specified amount from the investor’s account on the scheduled dates for the mutual fund investments.

The entire process ensures that the investor’s mutual fund investments are made regularly without any manual intervention, thus offering convenience and consistency.

Benefits of One-Time Mandate in Mutual Funds

Implementing an OTM for mutual fund investments provides numerous benefits:

  1. Convenience: OTM simplifies the investment process by automating the transactions. Investors do not need to initiate each transaction manually, saving time and effort.

  2. Consistency: Regular investments are crucial for building wealth over time. OTM ensures that investments are made on schedule, promoting disciplined investing.

  3. Flexibility: Investors can set a maximum limit for the debits, allowing them to control the amount that gets invested. This feature is particularly useful for managing cash flow.

  4. Safety: OTMs reduce the risk of missing an investment due to forgetfulness or insufficient funds. Since the process is automated, it ensures that investments are always made on time.

Additionally, OTMs can help in managing multiple investments efficiently. Investors who have SIPs in multiple mutual fund schemes can set up OTMs for each, ensuring that all their investments are funded regularly and without hassle.

Drawbacks of One-Time Mandates

While One-time mandates (OTMs) offer several advantages, there are also potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Overdraft Risks: If there are insufficient funds in your bank account on the scheduled debit date, it could lead to overdraft fees. It is essential to maintain an adequate balance in the account.

  • Fixed Debit Amounts: OTMs usually involve fixed debit amounts, which may not be flexible enough to accommodate changes in your financial situation. Modifying the OTM might not be instantaneous if you suddenly have a windfall or face a financial crunch.

  • Bank Charges: Some banks may levy charges for setting up or maintaining an OTM. These charges, while usually nominal, can add up over time, especially if you have multiple OTMs.

  • Complexity in Managing Multiple Mandates: If you have multiple mutual fund investments, managing several OTMs can become complex. Keeping track of various debit dates and ensuring adequate funds for each mandate requires diligent financial oversight.

  • Inflexibility in Investment Strategy: Automating investments through OTMs can sometimes lead to a set-it-and-forget-it mentality. This might result in missing out on strategic investment opportunities that require timely action.

  • Impact on Cash Flow: Automatic debits through OTMs can impact your monthly cash flow, especially if you have fluctuating income or expenses. If not carefully managed, this can lead to liquidity issues.

How to Set Up One Time Mandate in Mutual Funds

Setting up an OTM for mutual fund investments is a straightforward process. Here’s a detailed guide:

  1. Obtain the Mandate Form: The first step is to get the mandate form. This form can usually be downloaded from the mutual fund company’s website or obtained from their office.

  2. Fill in the Details: The form requires the investor to fill in details such as their bank account number, the mutual fund scheme name, and the maximum amount to be debited. It is important to fill out these details accurately to avoid any issues during the verification process.

  3. Submit the Form to the Bank: Once the form is filled out, it needs to be submitted to the bank. Some mutual fund companies might also accept the form and submit it to the bank on behalf of the investor.

  4. Verification and Approval: The bank will verify the details provided in the form. This might involve checking the authenticity of the bank account and ensuring that the mandate is within the permissible limits. Once verified, the bank will approve the mandate.

  5. Confirmation: After the approval, the bank will send a confirmation to the investor, indicating that the OTM has been successfully set up. The mutual fund company might also provide a confirmation.

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How to Automate Your SIPs?

Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) are a popular way to invest in mutual funds regularly. By linking SIPs to an OTM, investors can automate their investments, ensuring they are made on time without manual intervention. Here’s how you can automate your SIPs using OTM:

  1. Link SIP to OTM: When setting up a new SIP, select the option to link it to an existing OTM. This will ensure that the SIP payments are debited automatically from your bank account.

  2. Ensure Sufficient Funds: Make sure that your bank account has sufficient funds on the SIP due date to avoid any transaction failures.

  3. Monitor Investments: Although the process is automated, it is important to periodically check your bank statements and investment portfolio to ensure that the debits and investments are happening as scheduled.

Automating SIPs not only saves time but also helps in maintaining investment discipline, which is crucial for long-term wealth creation.

Potential Risks Associated with One-Time Mandates

While OTMs offer several advantages, it is important to be aware of potential risks:

  1. Overdrafts: If there are insufficient funds in the bank account on the scheduled debit date, it could lead to overdraft fees. Therefore, it is essential to maintain an adequate balance in the account.

  2. Security Concerns: Providing authorization for automatic debits means sharing banking details. It is important to ensure that this information is kept secure and only shared with trusted entities.

  3. Limit Management: Setting an unrealistic maximum debit limit could lead to excessive funds being debited, which might not align with your financial planning. It is crucial to set a realistic limit that matches your investment capacity.

Things to Consider Before Setting Up a Mandate

Before setting up an OTM, consider the following factors to ensure it aligns with your investment goals and financial situation:

  1. Investment Goals: Determine how the mandate amount fits into your overall investment strategy and goals. Ensure that the amount is sufficient to meet your financial objectives.

  2. Bank Charges: Some banks might charge fees for setting up or maintaining an OTM. Check with your bank about any potential charges and factor them into your decision.

  3. Flexibility: Ensure that the mandate allows for modifications or cancellations. Financial situations can change, and having the flexibility to adjust the mandate is crucial.

  4. Review Terms: Carefully review the terms and conditions of the OTM to understand the rights and obligations. This includes understanding the process for stopping the mandate if needed.


A One Time Mandate is a valuable tool for mutual fund investors seeking convenience and consistency in their investment strategy. By automating the investment process, OTMs help in maintaining disciplined investing, which is crucial for achieving long-term financial goals. Understanding how OTMs work, their benefits and potential risks can help investors make informed decisions and enhance their investment experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up a One Time Mandate for my mutual fund investments?

Setting up an OTM involves filling out a mandate form, submitting it to your bank, and waiting for approval. Once approved, your investments will be automatically debited from your bank account.

Can I modify or cancel my One Time Mandate?

Yes, you can modify or cancel your OTM by informing your bank and the mutual fund company. It is important to understand the process and any potential charges associated with modifications or cancellations.

Is a One-time mandate the same as a SIP?

No, a SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) is an investment method where you invest a fixed amount regularly in a mutual fund scheme. An OTM, on the other hand, is a payment mechanism that can automate SIPs by ensuring that the investment amount is debited from your bank account automatically.

Are there any risks associated with One-time mandates?

Potential risks include overdraft fees if there are insufficient funds in your account, security concerns regarding sharing banking details, and managing the debit limit to ensure it aligns with your financial planning.

Can I set up multiple OTMs for different mutual funds?

Yes, you can set up multiple OTMs for different mutual fund schemes. This is particularly useful for investors who have diversified their investments across various funds.

Read these articles to understand all about mutual funds, SIPs and how you can invest in mutual funds with Wright Research:

  1. What is SIP in Mutual Funds? An Experts Guide

  2. The Crucial Role of Risk Profiling in Mutual Fund Investments

  3. How many funds should you have in your Mutual Fund Portfolio?

  4. What is Standard Deviation in Mutual Fund and How Does it Help in Portfolio Management?

  5. Online KYC for Mutual Fund Investments in India

  6. Smallcase vs Mutual Fund: Understand Difference and Similarities
  7. SIP Investment Guide: What is SIP, How to Start, Benefits, & Is It Worth It
  8. Which One is the Better Option: Liquid Funds or Arbitrage Mutual Funds Instead of Fixed Deposits?
  9. Understanding Mutual Fund Risks: A Comprehensive Guide for Investors in India
  10. How To Invest In Mutual Funds in India?
  11. SIP Investment Guide: What is SIP, How to Start, Benefits, & Is It Worth It
  12. What is SIP in Mutual Funds? An Experts Guide
  13. Navigating the Challenge: How to Deal with Loss-Making SIPs
  14. Maximizing Portfolio Potential: The Role of an Investment Advisor

  15. SIP vs STP: Understanding Key Differences and Strategies
  16. Comprehensive Guide on Starting & Stopping SIPs: What are Perpetual SIPs in India?
  17. SIP vs. Lumpsum Investment Strategies: Comprehensive Guide for Best Returns

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