Saving is old school – in order to get wealthier, investments are the new version. Most people fear investing because of the risks associated with it. One of the least risky investments you can choose is a money market investment.

India adopted Certificates of Deposit (CDs), also known as bank certificates, in 1989 to widen the country’s variety of money market instruments and provide investors with more options for utilising their short-term investments.

What is a Certificate of Deposit?

Certificates of deposit are widely available and easy to purchase. You could open a CD online in a matter of minutes or in person at almost any bank or at credit union. However, there are numerous things to consider before you can commit to it.

How Does a Certificate of Deposit Work?

Certificate of Deposit Meaning: A certificate of deposit or CD is a type of time deposit account that pays a fixed interest rate for a set period of time (often 30 days to 5 years). Any money withdrawn before the maturity date is subject to a penalty fee.

CDs are a potentially wonderful method to save for short- or long-term goals since they often offer higher rates of interest than the standard savings accounts. In most circumstances, the higher the interest rate, the longer the duration of the CD. Unless money is withdrawn before the maturity date, CDs normally have no fees.

CDs typically have fixed interest rates that are determined by a variety of factors, including the overall market. These interest rates are typically greater (and more steady) than those found in regular savings accounts. The compounding time for CD interest varies, although it is usually daily or monthly.

It should be noted that certain products, such as bump-up CDs, may allow the investor to enhance their interest rate under specific conditions.

Types of CDs

The following are the most common forms of certificates of deposit:

  1. Traditional CDs: The traditional bank certificate has a fixed interest rate, penalties for early withdrawal, and federal insurance.
  1. Step-Up CD: The step-up certificate of deposit functions in the same way as the bump-up CD. A step-up CD allows you to lock in your money for a set period of time as the interest rate on it rises. A depositor does not have to request a CD rate increase from the bank personally.
  1. Bump-Up CD: If interest rates rise after the CD is purchased, the CD interest rate can be increased. If the depositor wishes to use this option, they must notify the bank in advance. You’d have to wait for a bank rate increase to enhance your earnings, and you’d be stuck paying the starting rate if the CD rates aren’t adjusted.
  1. Liquid CD: Liquid CDs allow the depositor to withdraw funds prior to maturity without incurring early withdrawal penalties. It is adaptive enough to transfer funds from one CD to another, which yields a higher interest rate. It has a lower certificate of deposit rate than a fixed-term standard CD.
  1. Brokered CD: Broker-dealer CDs can be purchased through brokerage accounts – where brokers may represent banks or another financial institution. A single brokerage firm may occasionally work with multiple banks. Brokered CDs have a higher risk than conventional CDs since they can be bargained and exchanged on the secondary market.

Who Should Invest in a Certificate of Deposit?

CDs are offered by scheduled commercial banks and a few other businesses in the country as long as the RBI approves it, and there is a cap. Certificates of Deposit are issued to a wide range of entities, including individuals, corporations, businesses, and funds.

It is critical to understand that banks and other financial organisations cannot make CD-secured loans. Furthermore, banks would only purchase their own CDs after the latter had matured.

Certificates of Deposits may also be given to NRIs for non-repatriable purposes only. It is critical to remember that banks need to maintain the essential cash reserve and liquidity ratios when calculating the cost of a Certificate of Deposit.

Most importantly, these investment vehicles become a useful tool for safe or traditional investors to choose from.

How to Buy a CD?

Purchasing and selling a bank CD is comparable to purchasing stock. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: The buyer and seller need to agree on the price and quality of the transaction.

Step 2: The seller must authorise the depository participants via the distribution instructions sheet.

Step 3: The slip contains instructions and processes for debiting monies from the seller’s account and transferring them to the buyer’s account via the CD.

Step 4: You can also hire an expert to assist you with the procedure.

What are the Limitations of CDs?

  • It is not a liquid asset because the funds are locked for a predetermined length of time. In most cases, any withdrawal of deposits made before maturity would be subject to a penalty.
  • Fixed CD interest rates do not account for fluctuating inflation rates. It diminishes earnings in comparison to costs.
  • When compared to stocks or bonds, returns are lower.


CDs are known to be conservative investments – so don’t let the market scare you in terms of investment anymore. A CD can be a great investment for anyone to get started with.