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The below content is purely for informational purposes and is not intended to constitute advisory of any kind. Please note, these are in-depth articles which are best viewed on large screen devices like laptops, desktops and tablets. The position reflected in this article has been updated as of January 15, 2024.

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) can manage their finances from overseas in three ways - designating a Power of Attorney (PoA), opening a joint account, or appointing a mandate holder.

Sometimes, a family member of an NRI may need money urgently when the NRI is not physically present in India. A trustworthy mandate holder of the NRI who can operate the Non-Resident External (NRE)/Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account can offer convenience for the family. 

A mandate holder can carry out day-to-day financial operations of the NRE/NRO account on behalf of the NRI. It includes making local payments through a debit card or cheque for NRIs, among other uses. Registering a mandate is a quick and simple option for NRIs when it comes to operating their bank accounts.

This article explains how to manage your NRI account through a mandate holder and their responsibilities and limitations.
 

Who can be a mandate holder?

You can choose any resident Indian as your mandate holder whom you deem as trustworthy and reliable. It is not necessary for the mandate holder to be a relative. Please note, that ICICI Bank does not allow a company or a minor to be the mandate holder. 

Did you know?

NRIs can appoint only one mandate holder per NRE/NRO account.

How to add a mandate holder for NRI accounts?

You can add a mandate holder to your account by submitting a mandate form along with the following documents of the proposed mandate holder to the bank:

  • Passport size photograph
  • A valid ID proof such as copy of Passport/Aadhaar card with photograph of applicant, etc
  • Self-attested address proof such as a Driving license/Aadhaar card/Voter's ID/Permanent Account Number (PAN) card etc

The mandate form must have the signatures of all account holders as well as of the mandate holder.

To know more about acceptable identity and address proofs for ICICI Bank account holders, click here. ICICI Bank customers can appoint mandate holders to their NRI accounts using digital channels like iMobile Pay app and Internet Banking.

Quick Tip

As a safeguard, NRIs have the option to set maximum limits on the amount that can be debited by the mandate holder from the account.

How can a mandate holder operate the NRI account?

Once the mandate holder is registered, he/she can request the bank to issue a cheque book and an ATM-cum-debit card in his/her name. The mandate holder can ask the bank to deliver these to his/her communication address.

 

What a mandate holder is permitted and not permitted to do

Please note, tables are best viewed on desktops and in landscape mode on mobile phones.

What mandate holders can do What mandate holders cannot do
  • Make local payments
  • Open a new savings account on behalf of the NRI
  • Send money abroad from your current income earned in India (rent, dividends from investments, pension, interest from fixed deposits and bank accounts, etc.)
  • Such remittances can be done solely to the NRI’s account located outside of India
  • Update signatures in the system without attestation and verification of the primary holder
  • Make investments, such as NRE/NRO fixed deposits from balances available, mutual funds, stocks, etc. 
  • Change 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) details for the account
  • Use the issued ATM-cum-debit-card
  • Reissue a debit card or reset a pin for the account holder
  • Managing mandate - Request for cheque book for self, change address for self, request for reissue of mandate holder’s debit card and pin
  • Prematurely liquidate or close a fixed or recurring deposit 
  • Deposit and draw cheques
  • Gift money to a resident on the account holder's behalf
 
  • Transfer funds outside India other than to the account holder
 
  • Transfer funds to another NRE/NRO account except to the account holder
 
  • Transfer foreign currency into the NRE/NRO account

The above table highlights what mandate holders of ICICI Bank accounts can and cannot do. However, you should consult your bank for further guidelines.

 

How to revoke a mandate?

The validity of a mandate holds good till it is revoked. In case you want to appoint a new mandate holder:

  • You need to submit a request form, duly signed by all account holders and the mandate holder, to your bank.
  • The form should mention the name of the mandate holder and the accounts for which the mandate is being revoked.
  • To update a new mandate holder for the account, you are required to submit the ‘Mandate Updation’ form. This form needs to be duly signed by the account holder(s), the current mandate holder and the new mandate holder. The new mandate holder must submit the documents mentioned above for verification.

Appoint a mandate holder

Please note, policies may vary from bank to bank. You should consult with your bank to clearly understand the terms and conditions associated and the documents required for appointing a mandate holder.

Open An NRI account

Conclusion

You can appoint a mandate holder to make banking in India easy while staying abroad. It is an important responsibility and all account holders must jointly agree on authorising the mandate. To protect your interests, you have the option to set transaction limits, change and revoke the mandate.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the tax implications of a mandate holder?

All tax liability associated with the account lies with the primary account holder. A mandate holder simply manages your account on your behalf, and therefore, there won’t be any tax implications him/her for financial transactions related to your account.

What is the difference between a Power of Attorney (PoA) and a mandate holder?

For meeting your banking needs, you can evaluate appointing a mandate holder in respect of your NRE/NRO account. While a mandate holder can be appointed by submitting a mandate form along with the underlying documents to the bank, appointment of a Grantee through a PoA for managing your banking needs requires the document to be signed before a  public notary and also stamped with the appropriate stamp duty.  Also, note that with respect to a mandate holder, various KYC documents are required to be submitted to the bank at the time of appointment. This is not the case with the PoA.

How are a mandate holder and a nominee different?

A mandate holder's authority is limited to the permitted banking operations, while a nominee is a person(s) who is entitled to receive the balance in your bank account after your demise, assuming that the account holder does not have any legal heir. In case the account holder has a legal heir, any amount received by a nominee can be claimed by the legal heirs of the deceased.

A mandate holder has the right to operate your account till the mandate is revoked, whereas a nominee has no right to operate your bank account during your lifetime.

What is the difference between a resident joint account holder and a mandate holder?

A resident joint account holder is someone you have opened a joint NRI account with. The account can be held with a resident joint holder on a ‘former’ or ‘survivor’ basis. They can operate this account only in case of an unfortunate demise of the NRI account holder.

On the other hand, a mandate holder is a person chosen by you and your joint account holder (if applicable) with a mandate to operate your account on your behalf. As mentioned above, the mandate holder can only operate your account till the mandate’s validity. A resident Indian can be both, a joint account holder, and a mandate holder of the same NRI account.

Disclaimer:

The contents of this article/infographic are meant solely for informational purposes. The contents are generic in nature and are not intended to serve as a substitute for specific advice on any matter whatsoever. The information is subject to updation, completion and verification and the applicable norms may keep changing materially from time to time. This information is also not intended for distribution or use by any person in any jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to applicable laws or would subject ICICI Bank Limited/its affiliates to any licensing or registration requirements. ICICI Bank Limited/its affiliates and their representatives shall not be liable for any direct or indirect losses or liability incurred arising in connection with any decision taken by any person on the basis of this content. Please conduct your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any decision. Terms and conditions of ICICI Bank and third parties apply. ICICI Bank is not responsible for third party services. Nothing contained herein shall constitute or be deemed to constitute an advice, invitation or solicitation to avail any products/ services of third parties.