Summary

Recommended for traders and investors (including beginners) focusing on the Indian market and looking for low fees

Indian stock brokerage Zerodha was set up in 2010 by entrepreneur and stockbroker Nithin Kamath. His aim was to establish a high-tech trading platform with affordable pricing. Today Zerodha has over 1.5 million active retail clients, accounting for over 15% of India's retail trading volume.

Zerodha is considered safe because it is regulated by India's top-rated regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Overall Rating
4.2
Fees
4.8
Account opening
1.8
Deposit and withdrawal
2.8
Trading platform
4.0
Markets and products
2.0
Research
4.8
Customer service
3.9
Education
3.5

Zerodha pros and cons

Zerodha has low fees, it even offers free equity delivery trading. The web and mobile trading platforms are easy-to-use and well-designed. There is a wide range of high-quality research tools.

The account opening is slow and not fully digital. The product portfolio covers only the Indian market. At Zerodha, you will not be covered by investor protection.

Pros Cons
Low fees Slow account opening process
Great trading platforms Only Indian market covered
Solid research No investor protection
Zerodha main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation India
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account >3 days
💳 Deposit with bank card Not available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 1
🎮 Demo account provided No
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Forex, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures

Author of this review

Ádám Nasli

Author of this review

Ádám is a motivated finance expert with over two years of experience in banking and investment, and a professional degree in this field. He's eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible.

Ádám Nasli

Broker Expert

Ádám is a motivated finance expert with over two years of experience in banking and investment, and a professional degree in this field. He's eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

Zerodha review
Fees

4.8
To find out more about its trading and non-trading fees, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
Fees at Zerodha are low. On the other hand, expect to be charged for the account opening and for account maintenance.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees Account opening and maintenance charges
Low non-trading fees
Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading
Zerodha fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock - Not available
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund - Not available
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

How we ranked fees

We ranked Zerodha's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of Zerodha for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.

We also compared Zerodha's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Sharekhan and Interactive Brokers. The selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Zerodha alternatives.

To have a clear overview of Zerodha, let's start with trading fees.

Zerodha trading fees

Zerodha trading fees are low. For equity delivery, it doesn't charge any commission. There is exceptionally transparent information on fees on Zerodha's website, supplemented by an easy-to-use fee calculator. As other charges may apply, we have put together a table featuring catch-all costs.

Given that Indian brokers usually offer only a few types of products, we compared the brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for two assets.

We chose the following assets:

  • Reliance, a large-cap Indian stock
  • USDINR, a popular currency pair

We compared the fees for an equity delivery trading for Reliance and a currency futures trade for USDINR. In both cases, a typical trade means buying a position, holding it for one week, then selling it. For volume, we chose $2,000 for stocks and $20,000 for the currency trade.

The resulting catch-all benchmark includes spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers.

Now, let's see the verdict. Zerodha has super low stock and currency futures fees. 

Zerodha benchmark fees for a $2,000 stock and $20,000 USDINR trade
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Indian stock $0.0 $0.02 $0.20
USDINR benchmark fee $0.6 $4.0 -

Zerodha non-brokerage fees

  Brokerage charge Securities/Commodities transaction tax Transaction/Clearing charges Stamp charges GST SEBI charges
Equity delivery None 0.1% on buy and sell

NSE: 0.00325%/trade

BSE: 0.003%/trade

0.015% or ₹1500 / crore on buy side 18% of the brokerage and transaction charges INR 5 / crore
Equity intraday 0.03% or Rs. 20/executed order, whichever is lower 0.025% on sell

NSE: 0.00325%/trade

BSE: 0.003%/trade

0.003% or ₹300 / crore on buy side
Equity futures 0.03% or Rs. 20/executed order, whichever is lower 0.01% on sell

NSE: 0.0019%/trade

0.002% or ₹200 / crore on buy side
Equity options Flat Rs. 20 per executed order 0.05% on sell

NSE: 0.05%/trade

0.003% or ₹300 / crore on buy side
Currency futures 0.03% or Rs. 20/executed order, whichever is lower No STT fee

NSE: 0.0009%/trade

BSE: 0.00022%/trade

0.0001% or ₹10 / crore on buy side
Currency options 0.03% or Rs. 20/executed order, whichever is lower No STT fee

NSE: 0.035%/trade

BSE: 0.001%/trade

0.0001% or ₹10 / crore on buy side
Commodity options 0.03% or Rs. 20/executed order, whichever is lower 0.01% on sell Ranges between 0.0005% to 0.001%/trade 0.002% or ₹200 / crore on buy side
Commodity futures 0.03% or Rs. 20/executed order, whichever is lower 0.05% on sell No fees 0.003% or ₹300 / crore on buy side


Non-trading fees

Zerodha has low non-trading fees. While the broker charges no inactivity fee and withdrawal fee, there is an account fee. 

The account fee is INR 300 + 18% tax per year for Demat accounts and INR 1,000 + 18% tax per year for corporate accounts. If you open a commodity account, you will be charged INR 100 + 18% tax per year.

Zerodha non-trading fees
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Account fee Yes Yes No
Inactivity fee No No Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

Zerodha review
Account opening

1.8
To experience the account opening process, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
The account opening at Zerodha is far from seamless. The process is slow and not fully digital. As a plus, there is no minimum deposit.
Pros Cons
No minimum deposit Slow
Not fully digital
Only Indian citizens accepted

Can you open an account?

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At Zerodha, only Indian residents and non-resident Indians (NRI) can open an account.

What is the minimum deposit at Zerodha?

The required Zerodha minimum deposit is $0However, there is an INR 200 fee for opening a Trading & Demat account, and an INR 100 fee opening for a Commodity account.

Account types

There are two account types available:

  1. Demat & Trading account - for equity and currency trading
  2. Commodity account - for commodity trading

How to open your account

The account opening process is not fully digital and it took a long time for our account to be approved. On average, expect the account opening to take ~5 business days. For us, it took more than 1 month as we had to send multiple documents for approval.

The 7 steps of the account opening:

  1. Register an account by giving your email address
  2. Enter your PAN number (Permanent Account Number) 
  3. Pay the account opening fee
  4. Link your identification details with the Online Government website (Digi Locker Facility) following which the website automatically pulls the required online documents
  5. Upload your bank statements
  6. Sign your documents digitally and provide a Webcam IPV (In-Person verification)
  7. Finally, mail required documents to Zerodha

The following documents are needed for the account opening: 

  • Photograph
  • Aadhar Card (which can be taken from the Digilocker online website)
  • Pan card
  • Bank Statements (issued within the last 6 months)
  • e-Sign

 

Zerodha review - Account opening

Zerodha review
Deposit and withdrawal

2.8
To find out more about the deposit and withdrawal process, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
Zerodha's deposit and withdrawal processes are user-friendly and free. However, there is only one account base currency, and you can only use bank transfers for deposits and withdrawals.
Pros Cons
Free withdrawal Credit/Debit card not available
No deposit fee Only one account base currency
User-friendly

Account base currencies

At Zerodha the only base currency is the Indian Rupee (INR).

Base currencies at Zerodha vs similar brokers
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Number of base currencies 1 1 22

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Digital banks offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

Zerodha charges no deposit fees. You can deposit via bank transfers and the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), an instant payment system. Unfortunately, credit/debit cards are not supported.

Zerodha deposit options
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets Yes No No

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

Zerodha review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Zerodha withdrawal fees and options

Zerodha charges no withdrawal fees, however, you can only withdraw money through bank transfers. 

Zerodha withdrawal fees and options
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from Zerodha? Our bank transfer took 2 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from Zerodha?

  • Login to your account through the Kite platform
  • Click "Funds" on the top 
  • Choose "Withdraw"
  • Enter the amount, account number and payment method

Compare to other brokers

Zerodha review
Web trading platform

3.8
To try the web trading platform yourself, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
Zerodha's web trading platform has a beautiful, simplistic design, and it's very user-friendly. However, it has limited customizability and there is no two-step login.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good search function
Zerodha platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3.8 stars Yes
Mobile 4.3 stars Yes
Desktop - No

We tested Kite, Zerodha's own trading platform that supports all available asset types except mutual funds. For fund trading, you need to use Coin, which is a separate Zerodha trading platform. APIs are also available at Zerodha through Kite Connect API.

Overall, Kite is beautifully designed and very easy to use. However, multiple functionalities, such as portfolio reports and notifications, are not integrated into the platform and can only be accessed through the other platforms provided by Zerodha.

Look and feel

Zerodha's Kite is has a nice touch to it. On the other hand, the elements can't be customized on the platform.

Zerodha review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Zerodha does not provide a two-step login. Having this would enhance Kite's safety.

When you log in, you need to provide your username, your password, and the 6-digit numerical code you set up at the time of account opening. 

Search functions

The search functions are fine. When you start typing the name of a product, a relevant list of recommendations will be displayed. However, you can't see the asset type unless you click on a result. You also can't filter for asset types.

Zerodha review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types:

  • Market
  • Limit 
  • Stop-loss
  • Bracket
  • Cover
  • After Market

To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Day
  • Immediate or Cancel (IOC)
Zerodha review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and order notifications through Zerodha's Sentinel app. There are various types of alerts, including prices, intraday changes, top sell quantity, etc.

Portfolio and fee reports

Zerodha has clear portfolio and fee reports on its app, Console.

Zerodha in times of volatility

In March 2020, Zerodha had a platform outage due to heavy market volatility. We have experienced this ourselves, but also learnt about it from the news and other outlets. We think such events have temporary effects on brokers, therefore we did not update the respective scores in this review. If you happen to experience an outage at this (or any) broker, contact us at [email protected]

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Zerodha review
Mobile trading platform

4.3
To try the mobile trading platform yourself, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
Zerodha's Kite mobile platform has the same user-friendly functionalities as the web trading platform.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good variety of order types
Price alerts

Zerodha offers two mobile trading platforms: Kite and Coin. On Kite, you can trade with all available assets except mutual funds. If you would like to trade with mutual funds, you have to use Coin. We tested the Kite mobile trading platform.

Kite and Coin are both available for Android and iOS.

Look and feel

The Zerodha mobile trading platform is user-friendly and neat. Its design is similar to that of the web trading platform.

Zerodha review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

Zerodha provides only a one-step login. Just as on the web, you have to provide your user name, your password, and the 6-digit pin code. Having a two-step authentication would be safer.

Nevertheless, you can log in using biometric authentication, which is a highly convenient feature.

Search functions

The search functions are okay. The results are relevant, but you cannot filter for asset types, and you can't see the asset class of a product in list view unless you click on it.

Zerodha review - Mobile trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the same order types and order terms as on the web trading platform.

Zerodha review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You cannot set price alerts on the Kite platform itself, but you can do so through the Sentinel app. Order notifications are available directly in the app. 

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Zerodha review
Desktop trading platform

Zerodha doesn't offer a desktop trading platform.

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Zerodha review
Markets and products

2.0
To dig even deeper in markets and products, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
Zerodha's product lineup comprises a lot of asset classes, ranging from stocks to futures. However, the portfolio covers only the Indian market.
Zerodha products
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes
Crypto No No Yes

At Zerodha, you can trade with a wide range of assets, however the broker offers fewer products in each asset class than its competitors.

Stocks and ETFs

Zerodha gives access to two Indian stock exchanges, the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The number of markets is the same as Sharekhan's offer but lags behind Interactive Brokers, which provides access to a lot of stock exchanges globally (including minor ones).

Zerodha stock and ETF selection
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Stock markets (#) 2 2 78
ETFs (#) 66 130 13,000

Forex

At Zerodha, you can trade currencies in the form of futures. The lineup of available currency pairs is slim: EURINR, USDINR, JPYINR, GBPINR.

Interactive Brokers has a much wider forex offer, however, it doesn't provide currency pairs with INR.

Zerodha forex selection
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Currency pairs (#) 4 6 105

Funds

Zerodha mutual fund selection
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Fund providers (#) 39 50 260

Bonds

Zerodha bond selection
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Bonds (#) 145 1,000 60,000

Options

You can trade options on the NSE and the MCX stock exchanges. 

Zerodha options selection
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Options markets (#) 2 2 33

Futures

The same stock exchanges are available as with options.

Zerodha futures selection
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Futures markets (#) 2 2 32

Zerodha review
Research

4.8
To check the available research tools and assets, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
Zerodha's research tools are great and varied, ranging from trading ideas to APIs, but many come with a monthly price tag.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart Fees charged for many research tools
Trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals

Zerodha's research tools can be found on its web trading platform and are available in English only.

Trading ideas

Zerodha provides trading ideas based on technical and fundamental analysis. Stock reports are provided by Thomson Reuters at INR 150 per month.

You can find further trading ideas based on technical indicators on an app called Streak, which also has a monthly fee.

Zerodha review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

Zerodha review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

Zerodha review - Research - Charting

News feed

If you want to be up to date with the latest news on financial markets, stocks, funds, and banks, check out Zerodha's app, Pulse. The feed is updated every hour, it's well-organized, the items include tables and global indicators. 

Compare research pros and cons

Zerodha review
Customer service

3.9
To find customer service contact information details, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
You can reach out to Zerodha through e-mail and telephone, and they will give you fast and relevant answers. However, there is no live chat support or 24/7 availability.
Pros Cons
Phone support No live chat
Fast response time No 24/7 support
Relevant answers

You can contact Zerodha via:

  • telephone
  • email

The phone support is fast and efficient, we received relevant answers in most cases. We only had one negative experience, where we didn't get a clear and accurate answer as to what documents we should submit and in what format if we want to open an account. Sadly, customer service is only available to clients.

The e-mail support works well. Our questions were answered within 1-2 business days and the replies were helpful.

We missed the live chat and 24/7 availability. Customer support is available from 9 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Saturday.

Zerodha review - Customer Service

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Zerodha review
Education

3.5
To check the available education material and assets, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
Zerodha has a lot to offer if you want to improve your financial knowledge. You can read articles, watch webinars and educational videos. However, there is no option to open a demo account.
Pros Cons
Trading platform tutorial No demo account
Educational videos

At Zerodha you can learn in the following ways:

  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational articles

The educational resources are located in two places: Varsity and Zerodha Educate. Varsity has 11 modules on investing, each containing 10 to 20 chapters of study material.

On Zerodha Educate, you can watch videos which are integrated into the website, but the majority of the videos can also be found on Zerodha's YouTube channel.

Zerodha review - Education

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Zerodha review
Safety

To find out more about safety and regulation, visit Zerodha

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan
Zerodha is a fast-growing discount broker regulated by the top-tier Securities and Exchange Board of India. On the negative side, it provides neither investor protection nor negative balance protection.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority No investor protection
No negative balance protection
Does not hold a banking license

Is Zerodha regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Zerodha is based in India and it was founded in 2010.

Is Zerodha safe?

To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

Zerodha investor protection
Country of clients Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
India No protection SEBI Zerodha Broking Ltd.

Zerodha does not provide negative balance protection. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you will not be protected.

Background

Zerodha was established in 2010 with the aim of creating an affordable and high-tech trading platform for Indian investors. Thanks to its in-house technology and pricing model, Zerodha has attracted the biggest active retail clientele in the country. 

Zerodha is funded by Rainmatter, a reputable Indian fintech fund and incubator.

Being regulated by a top-tier financial authority and having transparent management and ownership are all testament to Zerodha's safety.

Find your safe broker

Zerodha review
Bottom line

Visit Zerodha if you are looking for further details and information

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Sharekhan

Zerodha is an Indian discount broker offering very low fees. Its web and mobile trading platforms are superb, featuring a wide range of research tools.

The broker has some drawbacks though. The account opening process is slow and not entirely online. You can only access Indian markets and clients are not covered by investor protection.

If you are interested in Indian markets, we recommend Zerodha as the fees are low and the broker doesn't charge an inactivity fee.

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