feed linkedin-square facebook-square twitter-square question-circle-o

Zerodha Review 2019

4.4 4 stars · Jul 2019
Compare to best alternative broker
Zerodha logo

Zerodha was founded in 2010 and it is an India-based discount broker. It is regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Zerodha is considered safe because it is regulated by India's top-rated regulator.

Recommended for beginners, traders, and investors focusing on the Indian market and preferring low fees.

Pros
  • Low fees
  • Great trading platforms
  • Solid research
Cons
  • Slow account opening process
  • Only Indian market covered
  • No investor protection

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 are a lot of research tools you can choose from and they have high-quality as well.

The account opening is slow and not fully digital. The product portfolio covers only the Indian market. With Zerodha you will not have any investor protection.

Compare to other brokers

Zerodha review
Fees 5 stars

Zerodha has low trading fees and average non-trading fees.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
Cons
  • INR 400 annual account fee
Zerodha Fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee - Not available
EURUSD fee - Not available
US tech fund fee - Not available
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

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 relating to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

We also compared Zerodha's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Sharekhan and Interactive Brokers. This selection is based on factors like products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

Zerodha trading fees are low. For equity delivery, it doesn't charge commissions. On their website, it's very transparent how the fees are charged. There is even an easy to use fee calculator.

As Indian brokers usually offer only a few products, we compare brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for two assets.

For the assets we chose cleverly and arbitrarily:

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

We compared the fees for an equity delivery trading in case of Reliance and currency futures trading at USDINR. The typical trade means buying a position, holding for one week, and selling it. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stocks and $20,000 for the EURUSD.

This super catch-all benchmark includes spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers.

Here is the verdict. Zerodha has low stock and currency futures fees. Both Interactive Brokers and Sharekhan have higher fees.

Zerodha fees benchmarked
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Reliance benchmark fee $0.0 $0.4 $0.7
USDINR benchmark fee $0.4 $4.0 -

The brokerage fees differ among the asset classes and trading scenarios like you hold the positions overnight or not. The broker fees are calculated as per the table:

Zerodha brokerage fees
Asset class Brokerage fee per trade
Equity delivery Free

Equity intraday

Equity futures

Currency futures / options

Commodity options / futures

0.01% of the trade value or INR 20, whichever is the lower
Equity options INR 20

However, beyond the brokerage fees, you should take into account other fees, like taxes or the SEBI charges.

Zerodha non-brokerage fees
  Securities/Commodities transaction tax Transaction/Clearing charges GST SEBI charges
Equity delivery 0.1% on buy and sell

NSE: 0.00325%

BSE: 0.003%

18% of the brokerage and transaction charges INR 10 / croe
Equity intraday 0.025% on sell

NSE: 0.00325%

BSE: 0.003%

Equity futures 0.01% on sell

NSE: 0.0019%

BSE: 0.003%

Equity options 0.05% on sell

NSE: 0.05%

BSE: 0.003%

Currency futures No STT fee

NSE: 0.0009%

BSE: 0.00022%

Currency options No STT fee

NSE: 0.0007%

BSE: 0.001%

Commodity options 0.01% on sell Ranges between 0.0026% to 0.00005%
Commodity futures 0.05% on sell No fees

Financing rates

Financing rates are charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than a day. It can be a significant proportion of your trading costs.

We didn't find any information on the website and Zerodha customer service couldn't tell us how the financing rates are calculated.

Non-trading fees

Zerodha has average non-trading fees. It charges no inactivity fee and withdrawal fee, but there is an account fee. 

The account fee is INR 400 + 18% tax per year for Demat accounts, while INR 1,000 + 18% tax per year for corporate accounts.

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

There are also fees for extra services, like an advanced alert tool or stock reports.

Zerodha review
Account opening 2 stars

Account opening at Zerodha can be improved. It's not fully digital and could take quite long. As a plus, there is no minimum deposit.
Pros
  • No minimum account balance
Cons
  • Slow account opening
  • Not fully digital
  • Only Indian citizens can open an account

Can you open an account?

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 $0. However, there is an INR 300 fee for opening a Trading & Demat account, while INR 200 for Commodity account

Account types

There are two account types you can open:

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

How to open your account

The account opening process can be improved as it's not fully digital and took quite long until our account was approved.  On an average the account opening should take ~5 business days, however, it took more than 1 month for us because the documents were sent to and fro. t should take about 3 days.

The 7 steps of Zerodha 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) and the website automatically pulls the required online documents.
  5.  Upload your bank statements in the fields for the same.
  6. Sign your documents digitally and then provide a Webcam IPV (In Person verification)
  7. Finally, mail required documents to Zerodha headquarter

The following documents are needed during the account opening: 

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

Zerodha review - Account opening

Zerodha review
Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

Zerodha charges neither withdrawal nor deposit fees. It's also easy to deposit and withdraw through Zerodha's interface. However, the accounts can be opened only in INR and you can use only bank transfer for withdrawal.
Pros
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Only one account base currency
  • Only bank withdrawal

Account base currencies

At Zerodha, you can choose from one base currency, which is the Indian Rupee. This is the same as at Sharekhan, but lags behind Interactive Brokers.

Base currencies at Zerodha vs similar brokers
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Number of base currencies 1 1 21

Why does this matter? Two things. First, if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, you won't be charged a currency conversion fee. Second, if you trade assets in the same currency as your account base currency, you will not have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on the currency conversion fees can be to open a multi-currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. The account opening only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

Zerodha charges no deposit fees. You can deposit through banks, e-wallets and credit cards too.

Zerodha deposit options
  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes 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 which are in your name.

Zerodha review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Withdrawal fees and options

Zerodha charges no withdrawal fees, however, you can only withdraw your equity through bank transfers. This is similar to the competitors.

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? We tested the bank transfer withdrawal and it took 2 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from Zerodha? You can withdraw money from Zerodha by following these steps:

  • Login to your account through Kite web
  • Click "Funds" on the top 
  • Choose "Withdraw"
  • Choose amount, account and pay method

Compare to other brokers

Zerodha review
Web trading platform 4 stars

Zerodha's web trading platform offers something completely fresh: user-friendly and simplistic design. However, it has limited customizability and there is no two-step login available.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good variety of order types
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Zerodha Platforms to Choose From
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 5 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop - No

Zerodha uses its in-house built trading platform called Kite. On Kite, all asset classes can be traded, except the mutual funds. If you would like to trade with mutual funds, you need to use Coin, a separate trading platform. In this review, we tested the Kite.

We liked that many other tools and applications are integrated with the Kite. For example, the alert feature is available through an app, called Sentinel, and it's quite easy to access Sentinel through Kite.

The web trading platform is only available in English.

Look and feel

The Zerodha web trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed. On the negative side, the platform is hardly customizable.

Zerodha review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Zerodha does not provide a two-step login, which makes the platform a bit less safe. 

When you log in, it requires the standard user name & password combination. There is also a 6 digits pin code you need to add.

Search functions

The search functions are great. When you start searching for a product, a relevant search recommendation appears. 

Zerodha review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types:

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

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

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 notifications through Sentinel application. You can set alerts for price, intraday changes, top sell quantity, etc.

Portfolio and fee reports

Zerodha has a clear portfolio report and fee report through an app, called Console.

Visit broker

Zerodha review
Mobile trading platform 5 stars

Zerodha's Kite mobile platform has the same great user-friendliness and functionalities as the web trading platform.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Looks nice
  • Well designed application
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login

Zerodha uses in-house developed mobile trading platforms, the Kite and Coin. On Kite, you can trade with assets except the mutual funds. If you would like to trade with mutual funds, you have to use Coin. In this review we tested the Kite mobile trading platform.

It's available both on Android and iOS. In this review, we tested on Android. 

Zerodha review - Mobile trading platform

Visit broker

Zerodha review
Desktop trading platform

Zerodha doesn't offer a desktop trading platform.

Visit broker

Zerodha review
Markets and products 1 stars

Zerodha offers a lot of asset classes, from stock to futures. However, this product offer covers only the Indian market.
  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 plenty of asset classes. However, within each asset classes, Zerodha lags behind international competitors.

Stock and ETF

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

  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Stock markets (#) 2 2 74
ETFs (#) 130 130 20,000

Forex

At Zerodha, you can trade with currencies only as futures. There are only a few currency pairs provided: EURINR, USDINR, JPYINR, GBPINR.

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

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

Fund

You will find enough number of mutual fund providers. It is not as much as at Interactive Brokers or Sharekhan though.

  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Fund providers (#) 39 49 200

These fund providers cover mostly local mutual fund providers, like ICICI Prudential but you will also find international fund providers, like Axa or HSBC.

Bond

Zerodha offers a few bonds. You'll find multiple bond types, like governmental bonds, NCDs and Tax-free bonds too. Interactive Brokers has a broader bond offer, while the available number of bonds is not transparent for Sharekhan

  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Bonds (#) 145 - 110,000

Options

You can trade with options on NSE and MCX stock exchanges. This offer is similar to Sharekhan's offer but lags behind Interactive Brokers.

  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Options markets (#) 2 2 45

Futures

You can trade on the same stock exchanges as at options.

  Zerodha Sharekhan Interactive Brokers
Futures markets (#) 2 2 36

Zerodha review
Research 5 stars

Zerodha has great research. From trading ideas to APIs, you can find a lot of research tools. At charting, you can even use the superb Tradingview. On the negative side, many of these research tools have a monthly fee.
Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Analyst recommendations for stocks, bonds, etc.
  • Data on asset fundamentals
Cons
  • Fees charged for many research tools

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

Trading ideas

Zerodha provides both technical and fundamental analysis-based trading ideas. There are stock reports provided by Thomson Reuters which based on fundamentals. However, these reports have a monthly INR 150 fee.

You can find trading ideas through an app, called Streak. These ideas based on technical indicators as well. Just like the stock reports, Streak has also a monthly fee.

Zerodha review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

Zerodha offers fundamental data. It includes financial statements, balance sheets, PE ratio, etc.

Zerodha review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

Zerodha has a good in-house developed charting tool, but you can use Tradingview, a third-party charting tool. With both, you can choose from around 110 technical indicators.

Zerodha review - Research - Charting

News feed

Through Zerodha's Pulse, you can get the latest news on financial markets, stocks, funds, banks. It's hourly updated, and well organized with tables and global indicators. 

Other research tools you will enjoy

Zerodha offers some advanced tools as well. For example, you can use a Black & Scholes Options pricing calculator. 

There is also an advanced API tool, called Kite Connect. However, it has a monthly INR 2,000 fee.

Compare research pros and cons

Zerodha review
Customer service 4 stars

You can reach out to Zerodha through e-mail and telephone. You'll also get fast and relevant answers. However, there is no live chat support, neither 24/7 availability.
Pros
  • Phone support
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
Cons
  • No live chat
  • No 24/7 availability

You can contact Zerodha via:

  • telephone
  • email

On the telephone, we got fast and relevant answers in most cases. We had only one negative experience. During the account opening, we didn't get a clear and accurate answer to what documents and in what form we should mail to Zerodha.

The e-mail support works well. We got answers within 1-2 business days and they 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

Visit broker

Zerodha review
Education 4 stars

Zerodha has a lot to offer to improve your financial knowledge. There are a lot of articles, webinars, educational videos. However, there is no option for a demo account.
Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial videos
  • Educational videos
Cons
  • No demo account

At Zerodha you can learn in the following ways:

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

You can find educational resources in two places: Varsity and Zerodha Educate. Varsity covers 11 modules, each averaging 10 to 20 chapters of study material.

Through Zerodha Educate, there are a few videos which are integrated into the website, but the majority of the videos can be found through Zerodha's YouTube channel.

Zerodha review - Education

Visit broker

Zerodha review
Safety

Zerodha is a fast-growing discount broker regulated by the top-tier Securities and Exchange Board of India. On the negative side, no investor protection and negative balance protection are provided.
Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
Cons
  • No investor protection
  • No negative balance protection
  • Does not hold a banking license

Is Zerodha regulated? Yes, it is regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Zerodha is based in India and was founded in 2010. Is Zerodha safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes wrong and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity.  This is not an issue in this case as all the customers are covered by Zerodha Broking Ltd. Because of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulation, the clients are not eligible for any investor protection amount.

Zerodha does not provide negative balance protection as well.

Background

Zerodha was established in 2010. The longer the track record of a broker, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Filter the brokers by investor protection

Zerodha review
Bottom line

Zerodha is a newly established decent discount broker in India.

On the plus side, Zerodha has very low fees. The web and mobile trading platforms are superb. There are many research tools you can use.

There are some drawbacks though. The account opening process is slow, and not entirely online. Furthermore, you will get access only to Indian markets. Lastly, no investor protection amount provided.

As there are low fees, no inactivity fee charged, and if you are prone to have a go on Indian Markets, feel free to try Zerodha.

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 credit card 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

Visit broker

Zerodha logo

Zerodha was founded in 2010 and it is an India-based discount broker. It is regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Zerodha is considered safe because it is regulated by India's top-rated regulator.

Recommended for beginners, traders, and investors focusing on the Indian market and preferring low fees.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 4 stars

Pros
  • Low fees
  • Great trading platforms
  • Solid research
Cons
  • Slow account opening process
  • Only Indian market covered
  • No investor protection

Fees 5 stars

Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
Cons
  • INR 400 annual account fee

Account opening 2 stars

Pros
  • No minimum account balance
Cons
  • Slow account opening
  • Not fully digital
  • Only Indian citizens can open an account

Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

Pros
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Only one account base currency
  • Only bank withdrawal

Web trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good variety of order types
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)

Mobile trading platform 5 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Looks nice
  • Well designed application
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login

Markets and products 1 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Stock
  • ETF
  • Forex
  • Fund
  • Bond
  • Options
  • Futures

Research 5 stars

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Analyst recommendations for stocks, bonds, etc.
  • Data on asset fundamentals
Cons
  • Fees charged for many research tools

Customer service 4 stars

Pros
  • Phone support
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
Cons
  • No live chat
  • No 24/7 availability

Education 4 stars

Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial videos
  • Educational videos
Cons
  • No demo account

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
Cons
  • No investor protection
  • No negative balance protection
  • Does not hold a banking license

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

METHODOLOGY

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

Follow Brokerchooser on Twitter

Share

Comments