If you intend to invest or trade in stocks, you got to open a stock brokerage account in India. I remember my early days of stock trading – I could call up my broker or sit in his room full of other traders.. glued to the screen with zooming stock prices. If I liked a stock, I would ask the man closest to the screen to purchase it in my account and done. I would be paying the broker a brokerage (which I can faintly recollect as 0.8% and it was considered ‘THE CHEAPEST’ deal in the city).
We have now come a long way since then. The power of trading is now on our finger tips – be it on a website or a mobile app. Post the digitisation of the stock brokerage business, came in ….. ZERODHA – The ‘FREE’ Stock brokerage account. The word ‘FREE’ is good enough in any country to get you customers. Zerodha started attracting new customers like wild fire and today it is India’s largest stock broker. Its top selling point is ‘Free’ stock brokerage. But hold on, there is more to Zerodha then just being Free.
This new boy in the block gave other big stock brokerage houses a run for their money and a much needed wake up call on :
- You can’t take your customers for granted
- You can’t charge them a brokerage which is considered to be high
- You must innovate and add value to customer experience
Other than the word ‘FREE’, Zerodha has quite a few interesting and attractive propositions.
KITE – Zerodha’s most used web and mobile application for ‘Stock Trading’. It is neat, slick, clutter free and a Bright WHITE view. It is a treat to use this platform. Extremely intuitive and well designed. Rocket fast ! You can start getting this feeling from its login screen which has absolutely no design overheads. Just enter your user id and password and get to the business.
The opening dashboard allows you to build your 5 watchlists and track them. Trading from there is just a click of a button. I love the experience where they have designed the platform to allow for swift transactions
The charts allow for performing analysis and other bells and whistles which a technical analyst may understand better.
COIN – Platform for buying mutual funds online. Like its stock broking platform, COIN is free and offers direct only mutual fund plans. Interesting point to note – COIN was earlier chargeable but Zerodha soon realised that its customers didn’t like to use COIN even for a nominal fees.
KITE Connect API – This is for advanced techno-financial users who want to hook their trading platforms to Zerodha’s platform.
Is Zerodha 100% Free – Not really. While its delivery based trading (if you are an investor) is free, you still attract government taxes (STT) at 0.1% on the value of buy / sell and associated GST + Exchange transaction fees. Intra day trading and F&O attracts 0.01% or Rs. 20 per order. NRIs may feel the pinch a bit more ! Please visit to their website for charges.
Some Areas Which I Have Questions / Doubts / Feedback on :
- Unlike other brokerage accounts, where I can purchase stocks and pay next day, Zerodha needs the account to be funded first ! If offers multiple ways to fund the account, which could be from a few seconds to upto an hour. Hence, a bit of planning may be required at times if you intend to purchase stocks
- If you have un-used funds lying in Zerodha’s account, it doesn’t automatically get credited to your bank account.
Sustainability – This is a bit of my concern and I do not know how to address it. Just like your bank account, you do not change your stock broker regularly. You would want your stock broker to be operating a sustainable business to ensure a long term partnership. I don’t know if it can continue to operate a free service and eventually succumb to the pressures by either closing down its shop or finally start charging. It is a super fine tech-platform and only time will tell of its fortune.. would it be the same for the foreseeable future or will start increasing it charges like Jio.
Our Verdict – If you are a new entrant investor and just want to try out stock broking, it may be a good platform to explore. I can tell though, once you are on Zerodha, you may not like other platforms and I am not talking about the fees but rather the functionality.
You can click here to open an account with Zerodha > CLICK HERE
Word of caution – Do not consider this post as an encouragement to invest in Stocks. Please consult your financial advisor before taking any next steps.