Zerodha vs ICICI Direct

Trading or investing in the capital or equity market is risky but if you have good knowledge of the same, you can make handsome profits. In the 1990s and early 2000s, it was difficult to trade or create a Demat account. Now, you can create a Demat a/c within a few minutes. These days, banks are not the only organizations that let users create a Demat account.

You’ll find a bunch of firms that are not subsidiaries or under the ownership of large banks that let you buy/sell stocks, options, futures, etc. Today, we’ve compared the features and pricing of India’s leading online brokers i.e. ICICI Direct and Zerodha. Zerodha was started in 2010. ICICI Direct is owned by ICICI Securities Limited. Let’s find out which service is better or more affordable between the two.

ICICI Direct vs Zerodha

Getting started

The first step to start trading online is to create a Demat account. Zerodha and ICICI Direct ask users to fill an online form. This form prompts you to enter the name, PAN card number, upload your picture, etc. You may also be asked to upload proof of income (ITR) and address proof. Once you fill the form, your account will be approved within a day or a few days and you can start trading online.

Interface

Zerodha has a better interface than most of the online stock trading platforms. ICICI Direct website is good but it can be better. When it comes to user experience, ICICI Direct makes you interact with forms multiple times. For example, if you’re selling an option you have bought, you must click the square off button. When you click this button, ICICI Direct will open another form that shows the sale amount and some other details. In Zerodha, you can square off an index option quickly. To square off an option, click on the Zerodha’s menu icon displayed next to the option and click the “Exit” option. In the case of the stock option, you’ll see a popup box in Zerodha with details such as quantity, price, etc. This popup has a button. When you click this button, your position will be squared off.

Brokerage and charges

When the capital is low, the profit you make or loss that incurs during trading can be low. The companies will charge their brokerage no matter how much you earn or lose. Zerodha charges 20 Rs per equity/derivate order. The brokerage on ICICI Direct depends on the plan you’ve chosen. The company has launched 3/4 plans. If you subscribe to the Neo brokerage plan, you won’t be charged any brokerage for purchasing Futures and the brokerage for intraday equity and options trade would be Rs 20.

The online broker has introduced 4 plans in the prime category. The plans cost 299, 999, 1999, 2999 Rs respectively. Users who go for the Rs 2999 plan will be charged 20 Rs brokerage per option 0.15% brokerage for cash orders and 0.015% brokerage for margin/futures trade. The brokerage for options, margin/futures, and cash trading is 25, 0.018%, and 0.18% respectively in the Rs 1999 plan.

Rs 999 ICICI Direct plan subscribers will be charged 0.22%, 0.022%, and 35 Rs for cash, futures/margin, and options trading. The eATM limit for the Rs 2999, 1999, 999, and 299 plans are 1 crore, 25 lakhs, 10 lakhs, and 2.5 lakh Rs respectively. The subscription fee of ICICI Direct we’ve mentioned above is exclusive of GST. GST will be charged on each plan. Zerodha and ICICI Direct charge Rs 300 AMC.

eATM

When you buy a stock and sell it after a few days, you won’t get the money to your bank account instantly. As per BSE/NSE rules, the money is deposited to the client’s account after T+1 days where T is the day on which you sold the equity. ICICI Direct provides a special service called eATM. If you place an eATM order, the broker will deposit the money to your bank account within 30 minutes of placing the order. ICICI Direct doesn’t let you place eATM orders for all stocks. The company allows you to see the list of eATM enabled stocks.

Withdrawals and adding funds

If you link your bank account with ICICI Direct, you can withdraw funds from the Demat account to the bank account within seconds. In Zerodha, you must make a withdrawal request. The requested amount would be transferred to your bank account within 12 to 20 hours by 12 PM on the next day. ICICI Direct and Zerodha let users add funds via UPI.

Reporting

ICICI Direct and Zerodha let you see the graph of stocks and indexes in real-time. Zerodha enables users to choose one of these 2 chart providers – TradingView and ChartIQ. It doesn’t display charts in the popup box. ICICI Direct can display the basic chart of equity or an advanced chart that lets you apply various functions. It can show the chart in a popup box or inside the webpage. The two trading platforms allow users to see vital parameters of stock. ICICI Direct gives you free access to various types of reports such – stocks reaching their 52 weeks high/low values, mega movers, volume toppers, and more. I haven’t found such report in Zerodha to date. The two online trading platforms can generate and display the profit and loss report within a few seconds.

Watchlist

The two online brokers enable users to track the price of stocks with the help of a watchlist. Zerodha and ICICI Direct let users create and manage watchlists.

Stop loss

Zerodha provides a special feature called GTT that triggers when the price of the stock reaches a certain level. ICICI Direct offers a stop loss feature and it also lets users set a “Protection percentage”.

Closing words: Zerodha and ICICI Direct are excellent stock trading platforms. Zerodha doesn’t have complicated pricing like ICICI Direct. If you choose the right pricing on ICICI Direct, you won’t find any major difference between these two services.

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