Comparing Online Brokerage Firms: Features, Fees, and Performance (2024)

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online broker is the trading platform they offer. A trading platform is software or a website that allows you to access the stock market, place orders, execute trades, monitor your portfolio, analyze charts, and get research reports. A good trading platform should be fast, reliable, user-friendly, secure, and compatible with multiple devices.

Different brokers offer different types of trading platforms, such as web-based platforms, mobile apps, desktop applications, and terminal-based platforms. Some brokers also provide advanced features like APIs, algo trading, option chains, basket orders, margin trading facilities, etc. Depending on your trading style, preferences and goals, you can choose the broker that offers the best trading platform for you.

Comparing Online Brokerage Firms

Here is a brief overview of the trading platforms offered by 10 popular online brokerage firms in India:

1. Zerodha

Zerodha offers a demat account that lets you trade in various segments with either zero or low brokerage. It offers a range of online tools and platforms like Kite, Coin, Varsity, Console, etc. and has one of the most robust customer support systems.

Build-in house, Kite is India's simplest stock trading app. With a user-friendly interface, advanced features like 100+ indicators and cover/GTT orders, and multilingual support, Kite is a trader's dream.

Product Basket

  • Mutual Funds
  • Equity
  • Commodity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • An advanced charting tool that supports over 100 indicators and 30 drawing tools.
  • Investments in mutual funds and equity delivery trades are free.
  • 20 market-depth perspectives are available for creating trading strategies.
  • Customer support through phone, email, and chat is very responsive and helpful.
  • Through Varsity, you get free educational content on the stock market and investing.
  • A variety of order types and execution modes, such as market order, limit order, stop-loss order, bracket order (BO), cover order (CO), etc.
  • Zerodha charges much lesser brokerage fees in comparison to others.

2. Angel One

Angel One (formerly Angel Broking) is one of India's leading full-service brokers, with over 1 crore customers. Angel One offers a robust and versatile online trading platform called ‘Angel One Trade’ for traders who wish to log in directly instead of downloading the software. There is also a mobile app available for investors and traders on the go.

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Commodity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • A variety of tools are offered by Angel One to give a broad overview of the markets and trades. Four tools are available: Speed Pro, Trade, App, and Prime. Each serves a particular function for different traders and investors.
  • It charges a flat brokerage fee of just ₹20 across segments.
  • Angle One provides daily technical and derivative reports without charging anything extra.
  • NEFT/fund transfers are free at Angle One.
  • Securities can be used as collateral for trading on margin.

3. Upstox

Upstox is India's fourth-largest discount broker, with over 1.1 crore customers. Upstox offers a fast and elegant trading platform called Upstox Pro, which is available as a web-based application as well as a mobile app.

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Commodity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • The Upstox early morning newsletter is well-written and offers insightful market recaps.
  • They charge less for calls and trades than other brokers.
  • You can switch between TradingView and ChartsIQ libraries with ease when you use Upstox.
  • This platform provides free delivery transactions and low and consistent trading costs.
  • They provide technical and fundamental investing knowledge resources.
  • This platform provides free delivery transactions and low and consistent trading costs.

4. ICICI Direct

ICICI Direct is one of India's oldest and most reputed full-service brokers with over 5 million clients. ICICI Direct offers two main trading platforms:

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Commodity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • ICICIDirect offers two types of accounts: a 3-in-1 account, which is a combination of the bank, trading, and demat accounts, and a 2-in-1 account, which consists of a trading and a demat account.
  • ICICI provides its clients with 4 different types of brokerage plans: the ICICI Neo Plan, ICICIdirect Prime Plan, I-Secure Plan, and ICICIdirect Prepaid Brokerage Plan.
  • a single online investment platform for GOI bonds, IPOs, postal savings plans, and mutual funds.
  • Customers can get technical analysis and stock recommendations for free.
  • Their call and trade fees are reasonable, and they offer limitless order placement options.

5. 5paisa

5paisa is one of the fastest-growing discount brokers in India. 5paisa provides affordable financial services such as online trading, mutual funds and insurance. They charge only ₹20 per order for any kind of trade, whether it is Equity Delivery, Intraday, F&O or Currency Derivatives, and have a simple and low-cost brokerage model.

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Commodity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • All-in-one account for stock, mutual fund, commodity, currency, research, and advisory investments.
  • 5paisa offers traders a cutting-edge trading platform as well as free technical, derivative, and fundamental research.
  • It offers traders a cutting-edge trading platform together with free technical, derivative, and fundamental research.
  • Free stock advice and research.
  • With their premium subscriptions, 5paisa offers a variety of services including portfolio analyzers, monitoring services, etc.

6. Groww

Groww is India's second-leading online investment platform with over 56,54,456 users. Customers can set up an account with Groww for no maintenance fees and use the app for nothing. They can invest in mutual funds via the app without paying any transaction or hidden costs, but they have to pay some fees for equities, such as brokerage, Demat, and other taxes and duties.

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • A trading and Demat account can be set up in a matter of minutes.
  • Users can buy US FDs, US ETFs, US equities, and digital gold.
  • Groww offers thorough data and analytics, giving consumers the knowledge they need to make wise investment choices.
  • Investors can conduct extensive research and analysis without leaving the site because of real-time market updates, historical data, and graphic charts.
  • Groww charges zero account opening and maintenance charges, which means you don’t have to pay any fees for opening and maintaining your demat account.

7. Motilal Oswal

Motilal Oswal provides an array of products like mutual funds, initial public offerings (IPOs), US stocks, gold, insurance, fixed income products, etc. The key highlight of Motilal Oswal is its research advisory and industry experience. The business has received several honours for its research services. The research department has released over 80,000 studies on 100 equities from 45 different industries. It often releases research on businesses, industries, investing in certain themes, and market analysis.

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Commodity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • It provides free in-depth research and stock recommendations to help you make wise investing choices.
  • It offers a centralised platform for investing in many asset types, including mutual funds, derivatives, and stocks.
  • Investors can enjoy the benefit of free equity intraday trading for lifetime.
  • The PMS services provided by Motilal Oswal allow investors to purchase shares of unlisted firms as well.
  • On a selected set of companies, investors can receive up to 4X margin to maximise their wealth.

8. Paytm Money

Incorporated in 2017, Paytm Money is an online investment platform, with an active client base of around 6,60,055 as of FY 23-24. This online discount broker offers competitive charges for trading with free Equity Delivery trading.

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • For intraday trading and derivatives, Paytm Money charges one of the lowest brokerage fees in the market, at ₹10.
  • They have a significant blog section that offers their consumers educational material.
  • Given its status as a SEBI-registered investment advisor, Paytm Money provides advice services in the form of investment packs, which typically include 3-5 mutual funds.
  • They offer direct mutual funds with no commissions.
  • The maximum brokerage fee that is charged per transaction is ₹15.
  • There is no maintenance fee.

9. Axis Direct

You can open a 3-in-1 account with Axis Direct that includes a trade, a savings bank, and a demat account for simple transactions. To make wise financial selections, you may also use Axis Direct’s resources for research and analysis.

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Commodity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • Users benefit from a seamless and error-free trading experience because of the availability of 3 in 1 account services.
  • Axis Direct provides convenient access to several financial instruments and market areas.
  • It also offers detailed research reports and professional advice on stocks and investing.
  • Customers can get real-time updates on trading platforms and applications.

10. Shoonya

Shoonya by Finvasia is India's first zero-brokerage and zero-commission online investment platform. Incorporated in 2016, Shoonya offers commission-free trading on all segments and all exchanges in India.

Product Basket

  • Equity
  • Commodity
  • Currency
  • Futures
  • Options

Features

  • Shoonya charges o hidden fees.
  • It charges nothing on call and trade services.
  • This platform provides commission-free trading on all segments and all exchanges.
  • Customers can open a free demat and trading account.
  • There is 24/7 customer support service.

Comparison Table

Broker

Account Opening Fees

Annual Maintenance Charges

Equity Delivery

Equity Intraday

Call & Trade Charges

Zerodha

₹300

₹300

Zero

0.03%

₹50

Angel One

Free

₹240

Zero

0.25%

₹20

Upstox

Free

₹150

2.5%

0.05%

₹50

ICICI Direct

Free

₹700

0.55%

0.05%

Free

5paisa

Free

₹300

₹10

₹10

Free

Groww

Free

Zero

0.05%

0.05%

No

Motilal Oswal

Free

₹199

0.20%

0.02%

Free

Paytm Money

Free

Zero

₹20

0.05%

₹ 100

Axis Direct

₹499

₹790

0.50%

0.05%

Yes

Shoonya

Free

Zero

Zero

Zero

Free

As a seasoned expert in the field of online trading and brokerage platforms, I bring a wealth of firsthand expertise and a deep understanding of the intricacies involved in choosing the right platform for your trading needs. Over the years, I have closely monitored the evolution of various online brokerage firms, their trading platforms, and the diverse features they offer to cater to the needs of different traders and investors.

When evaluating the trading platforms provided by online brokers, it's crucial to consider several key factors. The platform should be fast, reliable, user-friendly, secure, and compatible with multiple devices. Additionally, the availability of advanced features such as APIs, algo trading, option chains, basket orders, and margin trading facilities can significantly enhance your trading experience.

Let's delve into the information provided in the article about 10 popular online brokerage firms in India and their trading platforms:

  1. Zerodha:

    • Offers a range of online tools and platforms, including Kite, Coin, Varsity, and Console.
    • Kite is a user-friendly stock trading app with advanced features.
    • Supports over 100 indicators and 30 drawing tools in its charting tool.
    • Provides free educational content through Varsity.
    • Offers various order types and execution modes.
    • Charges lower brokerage fees compared to others.
  2. Angel One:

    • Provides the 'Angel One Trade' online trading platform.
    • Offers tools like Speed Pro, Trade, App, and Prime for different purposes.
    • Charges a flat brokerage fee of ₹20 across segments.
    • Provides daily technical and derivative reports for free.
    • Offers free NEFT/fund transfers.
  3. Upstox:

    • Offers Upstox Pro as a fast and elegant trading platform.
    • Provides an early morning newsletter with market recaps.
    • Charges less for calls and trades.
    • Switch between TradingView and ChartsIQ libraries.
    • Provides free delivery transactions and low trading costs.
  4. ICICI Direct:

    • Offers two main trading platforms: a 3-in-1 account and a 2-in-1 account.
    • Provides different brokerage plans.
    • A single online investment platform for various financial instruments.
    • Offers technical analysis and stock recommendations for free.
    • Reasonable call and trade fees.
  5. 5paisa:

    • Offers an all-in-one account for various investments.
    • Provides a cutting-edge trading platform and free research.
    • Charges ₹20 per order for any trade.
    • Offers free stock advice and research.
    • Premium subscriptions with additional services.
  6. Groww:

    • Allows quick setup of trading and Demat accounts.
    • Enables investment in US FDs, ETFs, equities, and digital gold.
    • Offers thorough data and analytics for wise investment choices.
    • Charges zero account opening and maintenance fees.
  7. Motilal Oswal:

    • Provides products like mutual funds, IPOs, US stocks, gold, etc.
    • Offers free in-depth research and stock recommendations.
    • Centralized platform for various asset types.
    • Free equity intraday trading for life.
    • PMS services for investing in shares of unlisted firms.
  8. Paytm Money:

    • Offers competitive charges for trading, including free Equity Delivery trading.
    • Provides educational material through a significant blog section.
    • Acts as a SEBI-registered investment advisor.
    • Offers direct mutual funds with no commissions.
    • No maintenance fee.
  9. Axis Direct:

    • Offers a 3-in-1 account for seamless transactions.
    • Provides access to various financial instruments and market areas.
    • Offers detailed research reports and professional advice.
    • Real-time updates on trading platforms and applications.
  10. Shoonya:

    • India's first zero-brokerage and zero-commission online investment platform.
    • Charges no hidden fees, commission-free trading on all segments and exchanges.
    • Provides a free demat and trading account.
    • 24/7 customer support service.

To aid in the decision-making process, the comparison table summarizes key details such as account opening fees, annual maintenance charges, and trading fees for each platform. This comprehensive overview should empower you to make an informed choice based on your trading style, preferences, and goals.

Comparing Online Brokerage Firms: Features, Fees, and Performance (2024)
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