Kotak Securities Vs ICICI Direct: Brokerage Comparison

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They say earning money is easier than saving and making it grow. Generally, investors are faced with two major dilemmas with regards to their investment decisions:

  • Choosing an appropriate investment strategy to grow their wealth and
  • Choosing the right broker or mediator to implement those investment strategies.

Sure, choosing an investment strategy is challenging, but choosing the right broker is even more difficult. A lot is at stake. You’re giving your money to a broker and depending on them to make investments on your behalf and reap gains on such investments. And trust is one luxury people find it difficult to afford these days.

We are writing these blog articles to help the investors in choosing the appropriate brokers. In the follow-up to our previous article on Zerodha vs Upstox, we look into Kotak Securities vs ICICI Direct today.

Kotak Securities

Kotak Mahindra Bank’s subsidiary, Kotak Securities Limited, was founded in 1994 to offer stockbroking services and distribute financial products in India. It is a full-service broker. Known as an innovator in the industry, Kotak Securities was the first to provide margin financing to its customers and enable investing in IPOs and mutual funds on the phone. 

Their broking app allows the customers access to markets across various platforms, mobile devices, and tablets, allowing the registered and guest users to view live prices, track portfolios, and trade.

ICICI Direct

ICICI Direct is one of the largest retail broker and financial products distributor in India, which has revolutionized the world of online investing. It is an online share trading platform that provides seamless and hassle-free electronic trading. 

ICICI Direct offers more than fifty products and services, which include (but are not limited to) mutual funds, derivatives, ETFs, insurance, and tax services. ICICI directly stands apart from its competitors because of its unique research desk that offers various research-based products designed to meet different investors’ investment needs. Since its inception, the ICICI direct research teams have had a 75% strike rate.

How are they different from each other?

Let’s critically differentiate between Kotak Securities and ICICI direct:

Company details:

ParticularsKotak SecuritiesICICI Direct
Incorporation year19942000
Type of brokerFull-service brokerFull-service broker
Supported exchangesNSE, BSE, MCX, NCDEXBSE, NSE
Account type offeredFixed brokerage plan3-in-1 account (I-secure plan)
Product offeringEquity, commodity, currency, futures, optionsEquity, commodity, currency, futures, options
Other investment optionsMutual funds, IPO platform, bonds, and debt, exchange-traded funds and insuranceMutual funds, IPO platform, bonds and debt, exchange-traded funds and insurance
Additional features3 in 1 account, free trading calls, free research reports, SMS alerts, margin funding, and margin against share3 in 1 account, free trading calls, free research reports, SMS alerts, margin funding, and margin against share

Differentiating Kotak Securities and ICICI Direct based on their brokerage plans and charges

*Kotak – Cash Back and ICICI – Prime

ParticularsKotak SecuritiesICICI Direct
Basic chargesAccount openingFreeFree
AMCRs. 600 per annumRs. 700 per annum
Plan chargesRs. 1179 per annumRs. 299 per annum
Call & trade chargeRs. 50 per orderFree
Brokerage chargesEquity delivery0.39% on order value0.75% as low as 0.15%
Equity intraday 0.04% on order value0.25% as low as 0.009%
Equity futures0.04% on order value0.03% on trading value
Equity options0.01% on order value, up to Rs. 300Rs. 20 per order
Currency futures0.04% on order valueRs. 20 per order
Currency options0.03% on order value, up to Rs. 15Rs. 20 per order
Commodity futures0.025% on order value, additional Rs. 250Rs. 20 per order
Commodity options0.049% on order value, up to Rs. 25Rs. 20 per order
MarginsEquity delivery2x as per exchange2x as per exchange
Equity intraday 2x as per exchange7x as per exchange
Equity futures2x as per exchange4x as per exchange
Equity options1x/50x – Buy: 1x, Sell: 50x4x/2x – Buy: 4x, Sell: 2x
Currency futures2x as per exchange4x as per exchange
Currency options1x/50x – Buy: 1x, Sell: 50x0x as per exchange
Commodity futures2x as per exchange2.5x as per exchange
Commodity options2x as per exchange0x as per exchange
Transaction & Other Charges:  
For equity deliveryTransaction chargesNSE – 0.00325%BSE – 0.00325%NSE – 0.00325% 
Demat transaction chargesSell-side, Rs. 18.50 per scripSell-side, Rs. 18.50 per scrip
Clearing charges
GST18% on brokerage + transaction + Demat
STTas per exchangeRs. 100 per lakhs
SEBI ChargesRs. 15 per croreRs. 15 per crore
For equity intradayTransaction chargesNSE – 0.00325%BSE – 0.00325%NSE – 0.00325%
Demat transaction charges
Clearing charges
GST18% on brokerage + transaction
STT0.10%Sell-side, Rs. 25 per lakhs
SEBI ChargesRs. 15 per croreRs. 15 per crore
For equity futuresTransaction chargesNSE – 0.0019%NSE – 0.0019%
Demat transaction charges
Clearing chargesNSE – 0.0002%
GST18% on brokerage + transaction + clearing
STT0.025% – sell sideSell-side, Rs. 10 per lakhs
SEBI ChargesRs. 15 per croreRs. 15 per crore
For equity optionsTransaction chargesNSE – 0.05%NSE – 0.05%
Demat transaction charges
Clearing chargesNSE – 0.005%
GST18% on brokerage + transaction + clearing
STT0.01% – sell sideSell-side, Rs. 50 per lakhs
SEBI ChargesRs. 15 per croreRs. 15 per crore
Commodity futuresTransaction chargesMCX – 0.0026%NCDEX – 0.0006%0.0026% non-agri
Clearing charges0.00%
GST18% on brokerage + transaction18% on brokerage + transaction
STTSell-side, 0.01%Sell-side, 0.01% non-agri
SEBI chargesRs. 15 per croreRs. 15 per crore
Commodity optionsTransaction chargesWaived off
Clearing charges0.00%
GST18% on brokerage + transaction18% on brokerage + transaction
STTSell-side, 0.05%Sell-side, 0.05%
SEBI chargesRs. 15 per croreRs. 15 per crore
Currency futuresTransaction chargesNSE – 0.0009%BSE – 0.00022%NSE – 0.0009%BSE – 0.00022%
Clearing chargesNSE – 0.0004%BSE – 0.0004%
GST18% on brokerage + transaction18% on brokerage + transaction
STT
SEBI chargesRs. 15 per croreRs. 15 per crore
Currency optionsTransaction chargesNSE – 0.035%BSE – 0.001%NSE – 0.04%BSE – 0.001% 
Clearing chargesNSE – 0.025%BSE – 0.025%
GST18% on brokerage + transaction18% on brokerage + transaction
STT
SEBI chargesRs. 15 per croreRs. 15 per crore

A Look at the Pros and Cons

ParticularsKotak SecuritiesICICI Direct
ProsWide range of investment options.Daily alerts, market pointers, research reports, stock recommendations, etc.PMS services & foreign investment.NRIs can open accounts with Kotak Securities.Valid till cancelled (VTC) option allows the customers to place buy or sell order limits which remain valid for 45 days.Offers intensive research-based financial advice on almost all asset classes.Free of cost provision of technical and stock tips and analysis to customers.
ConsHigher account opening charges compared to other full-service brokers.Huge variance in call and trade charges with the frequency of investing.Minimum account to be compulsorily deposited to open an account.Higher brokerage charge – to subvert these charges, customers are required to subscribe to ICICI Direct Prime or prepaid brokerage plans.The minimum brokerage charged under the I-secure plan is high for irregular traders.Higher brokerage for traders who trade in penny stocks.Higher charge for call & trade (after the first 20, free calls in a month).

What do Customers Think?

ParticularsKotak SecuritiesICICI Direct
ChargesRating – 3/5 Low brokerage charges.Higher equity delivery charges.Various tools & services with premium plans are a plus.Rating – 2.5/5Low brokerage charges available at extra charges and conditions.Higher equity delivery charges.Minimal call & trade charges with unlimited order placing facilities.
UsabilityRating – 2.8/5User-friendly platform & easy to navigate.Easy account opening process.Time-consuming offline process.Limited bank support for online process.Rating – 3/5User-friendly platform & easy to navigate.Free trade calls & research reports via mail.Single platform for FDs, insurance, home loans.Well organized educational content for beginners.
Customer ServiceRating – 3.5/5 Excellent call and email support.Prompt customer support.Automated chat and option to raise tickets.Presence of physical branches in various cities.Rating – 3.5/5No chat support and no option to raise tickets.Prompt customer service responses over call and mail.Dedicated RM provided to all the customers.

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