Recommended for traders and investors (including beginners) focusing on the Indian market and looking for low fees
Zerodha was founded in 2010 in India by Nithin Kamath. His aim was to create 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).
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. With Zerodha you will not have any investor protection.
|• Low fees||• Slow account opening process|
|• Great trading platforms||• Only Indian market covered|
|• Solid research||• No investor protection|
|🗺️ 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/debit 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|
Zerodha has low trading fees and low non-trading fees. On the other hand, it charges an INR 300 annual account fee.
|• Low trading fees||• INR 300 annual account fee|
|• Low non-trading fees|
|• Low stock and ETF fees|
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|US stock||-||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.
- Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
- Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.
In this section, 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. This comparison is based on objective factors such as product offers, client profile, or fee structure. See a more detailed rundown of Zerodha alternatives.
To have a clear overview of Zerodha, let's start with the trading fees.
Zerodha trading fees are low. For equity delivery, it doesn't charge any commission. You can find very transparent fee information on Zerodha's website, supplemented by an easy-to-use fee calculator
As Indian brokers usually offer only a few types of products, we compare brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for two assets.
For the assets we chose:
- 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 stocks, and $20,000 for the USDINR.
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.
|USDINR benchmark fee||$0.6||$4.0||-|
The brokerage fees differ between the asset classes, and between trading scenarios. For example, they are not the same if you hold the positions overnight or not. The broker fees are calculated as per the table:
|Asset class||Brokerage fee per trade|
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.
|Securities/Commodities transaction tax||Transaction/Clearing charges||GST||SEBI charges|
|Equity delivery||0.1% on buy and sell||
|18% of the brokerage and transaction charges||INR 10 / crore|
|Equity intraday||0.025% on sell||
|Equity futures||0.01% on sell||
|Equity options||0.05% on sell||
|Currency futures||No STT fee||
|Currency options||No STT fee||
|Commodity options||0.01% on sell||Ranges between 0.0026% to 0.00005%|
|Commodity futures||0.05% on sell||No fees|
Zerodha has low non-trading fees. It charges no inactivity fee and withdrawal fee, but 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.
The account opening at Zerodha could be better. It's not fully digital and very slow. As a plus, there is no minimum deposit.
|• No minimum deposit||• Slow|
|• 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
There are two account types available:
- Demat & Trading account - for equity and currency trading
- Commodity account - for commodity trading
How to open your account
The account opening process is not fully digital, and it took a long time until our account was approved. On average, the account opening should take ~5 business days, however, it took more than 1 month for us, as we had to send multiple documents for approval.
The 7 steps of Zerodha account opening:
- Register an account by giving your email address
- Enter your PAN number (Permanent Account Number)
- Pay the account opening fee
- Link your identification details with the Online Government website (Digi Locker Facility) and the website automatically pulls the required online documents.
- Upload your bank statements.
- Sign your documents digitally and then provide a Webcam IPV (In-Person verification)
- Finally, mail required documents to Zerodha
The following documents are needed for the account opening:
- Aadhar Card (which can be taken from the Digilocker online website)
- Pan card
- Bank Statements (issued within the last 6 months)
Deposit and withdrawal
Zerodha's deposit and withdrawal are user-friendly and free. However, the only account base currency is INR, and you can only use bank transfers for deposits and withdrawals.
|• Free withdrawal||• Credit/Debit card not available|
|• No deposit fee||• Only one account base currency|
At Zerodha the only base currency is the Indian Rupee (INR). This is the same as at Sharekhan, but lags behind Interactive Brokers.
|Number of base currencies||1||1||19|
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 by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Revolut or Transferwise both 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.
Deposit fees and options
Zerodha charges no deposit fees. You can deposit through bank transfers, and through the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), an instant payment system. Unfortunately, you cannot use credit/debit cards.
You can only deposit money from accounts which are in your name.
Zerodha withdrawal fees and options
Zerodha charges no withdrawal fees, however, you can only withdraw money through bank transfers.
How long does it take to withdraw money from Zerodha? We tested the credit card/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?
- Login to your account through the Kite platform
- Click "Funds" on the top
- Choose "Withdraw"
- Choose amount, account and pay method
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Web trading platform
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 available.
|• User-friendly||• No two-step (safer) login|
|• Clear fee report||• Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)|
|• Good search function|
Disclaimer: In the last couple of weeks due to heavy market volatility, Zerodha had a platform outage. We have experienced this ourselves, and also got info about this from news and other outlets.
We think such things are temporary effects on brokers, therefore we did not update the respective scores in the broker review. If you happen to experience another outage at this (or any) broker, contact us at [email protected].
In this review, we tested Kite, Zerodha's own trading platform for all available asset types other than mutual funds. For fund trading, you need to use Coin, which is a separate Zerodha trading platform.
Overall, Kite is beautiful and very easy to use. However, multiple functionalities, such as portfolio reports and notifications, can only be accessed through other platforms provided by Zerodha. These are not integrated in the platform.
Look and feel
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 a 6-digit numerical code.
The search functions are okay. When you start typing the name of a product, a relevant list of recommendations appears. However, you can't see the asset type unless you click on a result, and you also can't filter for asset types.
You can use the following order types:
- 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:
- Immediate or Cancel (IOC)
Alerts and notifications
You can set alerts and order notifications through Zerodha's own Sentinel app. The alerts are available for prices, intraday changes, top sell quantity, etc.
Portfolio and fee reports
Zerodha has clear portfolio and fee reports through its app, Console.
Mobile trading platform
Zerodha's Kite mobile platform has the same amazing user-friendliness and functionalities as the web trading platform.
|• 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 assets except for 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.
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 was built on the same basis as the web 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.
You can log in using biometric authentication. It's a convenient feature.
The search functions are okay. The results are relevant, but you cannot filter for the asset types, and you can't see this feature of a product in list view, unless you click on it.
You can use the same order types and order terms as on the web trading platform.
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.
Desktop trading platform
Zerodha doesn't offer a desktop trading platform.
Markets and products
Zerodha provides trading with a lot of asset classes, from stocks to futures. However, this product offer covers only the Indian market.
At Zerodha, you can trade with plenty of asset classes. However, Zerodha generally offers a smaller number of products for each 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). 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).
|Stock markets (#)||2||2||78|
At Zerodha, you can trade with currencies in the form of 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.
|Currency pairs (#)||4||6||105|
The mutual fund offer is lower than at Interactive Brokers or Sharekhan.
|Fund providers (#)||39||50||260|
Zerodha offers fewer bonds than Sharekhan or Interactive Brokers.
You can trade with options on the NSE and MCX stock exchanges. This is the same as with Sharekhan, but IB provides trading on a much higher number of exchanges.
|Options markets (#)||2||2||33|
You can trade on the same stock exchanges as with options.
|Futures markets (#)||2||2||32|
Zerodha has great research. From trading ideas to APIs, you can find a lot of tools. On the negative side, using many of them incurs a monthly fee.
|• Good interactive chart||• Fees charged for many research tools|
|• Trading ideas|
|• Data on asset fundamentals|
Zerodha research tools can be found on its web trading platform. The research tools are available only in English.
Zerodha provides both technical and fundamental analysis-based trading ideas. Stock reports are provided by Thomas Reuter, however, these have a monthly INR 150 fee.
You can also find trading ideas through an app called Streak. These ideas are based on technical indicators as well, but just like the stock reports, using Streak also has a monthly fee.
Through Zerodha's app, Pulse, you can get the latest news on financial markets, stocks, funds, and banks. It's updated every hour, and it's well-organized with tables and global indicators.
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.
|• Phone support||• No live chat|
|• Fast response time||• No 24/7 support|
|• Relevant answers|
You can contact Zerodha via:
Through phone, we got fast and relevant answers in most cases. We only had one negative experience, where regarding 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 has a lot to offer if you want to improve your financial knowledge. You can access articles, webinars, and educational videos. However, there is no option for a demo account.
|• Trading platform tutorial||• No demo account|
|• Educational videos|
At Zerodha you can learn in the following ways:
- Platform tutorial videos
- General educational videos
- Quality educational articles
You can find educational resources in two places: Varsity and Zerodha Educate. Varsity covers 11 modules on investing, each of them 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 be found on Zerodha's YouTube channel.
Zerodha is a fast-growing discount broker regulated by the top-tier Securities and Exchange Board of India. On the negative side, it provides no investor protection and negative balance protection.
|• 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
|Country of clients||Protection amount||Regulator||Legal entity|
|India||-||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.
Zerodha was established in 2010 with the goal of creating an affordable and high-tech trading platform for Indian investors. Its in-house technology and its pricing model has made Zerodha attract 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 great signs for Zerodha's safety.
Zerodha is a newly established discount broker in India.
On the plus side, Zerodha has very low fees. Furthermore, the web and mobile trading platforms are superb, and they provide a wide range of research tools.
There are some drawbacks though. The account opening process is slow, and not entirely online. You can only access Indian markets, and lastly, there is no investor protection.
As there are low fees, no inactivity fee charged, and if you are interested in Indian Markets, feel free to try Zerodha.