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cheapest investing in stock market

What exactly is a discount broker?

Discount brokers offer low brokerage, high speed, and a fast platform for trading in stocks, commodities, and currency derivatives.

The brokerage charge while trading with these discount brokers is way lower compared to the traditional brokers in India like HDFC Securities, ICICI direct, SBI cap, Sharekhan, etc. which charge hefty commissions on each trade.

Besides, the business model of a discount broker is quite straightforward. They offer a flat (fixed) brokerage rate for every trade that their client makes, and it does not depend on the size of the trades. This rate can is usually between Rs 10 or 20 per order.

On the other hand, full-service brokers charge a fraction of the fee on the transaction volume. This commission can be as high as 0.25-0.7% of the transaction volume for delivery transactions.

Therefore, as the volume of the transaction increases, you have to pay more and more brokerage.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the discount vs full-service brokers in India, let us discuss eight of the best discount brokers in India which are worth investigating.

5 Best Discount Brokers in India – Stockbrokers List 2023

1. Zerodha

Zerodha, founded in 2010 by Nitin Kamath, is the biggest discount in India that offers free equity and mutual fund investments and flat brokerage on Intraday & all other traders.

It has over +1 Crore clients and contributes to over 15% of daily retail trading volumes across the Indian Stock Market. Its mobile app ‘KITE’ has got over +5,000,000 downloads on the play store.

Quick fact— According to the Dec 2021 report by NSE, Zerodha is the biggest stockbroking firm in India (based on the total number of active clients), outranking many old and big broking corporates like ICICI direct, HDFC Securities, Sharekhan, etc.

Through its innovation and practical approach, Zerodha has been able to outrank all these big players.

Zerodha brokerage charges

– Free equity delivery: All your equity delivery investments (NSE, BSE), are absolutely free — ₹0 brokerage.

– ₹20 intraday equity and F&O trades: ₹20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower) per executed order on intraday trades across equity, currency, and commodity trades across NSE, BSE, and MCX.

Zerodha Demat And Trading account opening Charges:

For opening a trading and demat account at Zerodha, the total account opening charges will be Rs 200.

Further, the annual maintenance charge (AMC) for the demat account is Rs 300.

Services offered: Zerodha offers trading and investment services in equity, derivatives, currency, mutual funds & commodities.

Trading Platforms: Kite 3.0, Kite Mobile, Console, Pi, Sentinel, Coin

Pros of Zerodha:

  1. Start investing & trading with No 1 Stockbroker in India
  2. Technology First Approach
  3. Free Long-term Equity Delivery Trades
  4. Flat max brokerage per trade is Rs 20
  5. Innovative & User-Friendly trading platform
  6. Big brand value and financial education materials
  7. Direct Mutual Fund Investment from same demat account

2. Angel One (Previously Angel Broking)

Incorporated in 1987, Angel One is a big brand having +30 Years of experience in the broking world and +5 million happy customers. They have a presence in over 1800+ cities in India. Angel Broking offers the trading facility in Equity, F&O, Commodities, and currency across BSE, NSE, NCDEX & MCX. 

Although Angel Broking worked as a full-service broker and offered a percentage brokerage charge to its clients for over two decades. However, they changed their business model (Nov 2019) from percentage brokerage to flat rates to compete with rapidly growing discount brokers like Zerodha, 5Paisa, Upstox, etc. 

Angel Broking now offers a flat rate brokerage plan, named ‘Angel iTrade PRIME’. Here, the delivery trading is FREE of cost. And for all other segments i.e. Intraday, F&O, Currencies & Commodities, they charge a fixed rate of ₹20 per. The same simple rate is applicable across exchanges and segments.

One of the key advantages of trading with Angel Broking is that they provide personalized guidance/recommendations for investing in the stock market along with research reports on companies and many other value-adding tools and services.

Services Offered: Angel Broking offers its services in Equity, Commodity, Currency, PMS, Life Insurance, ETFs, IPOs & Mutual Funds.

Angel Broking Brokerage Charge:

  1. Delivery charges: Rs 0
  2. Intraday Trading: Flat ₹20 Per Trade
  3. Equity F&O: Flat ₹20 Per Trade
  4. Currency F&O: Flat ₹20 Per Trade
  5. Commodity F&O: Flat ₹20 Per Trade

Account Opening Charges with Angel Broking:

  1. Account opening chargeRs 0 (Currently Waived)
  2. Annual Maintenance Charge: Rs 240 (Rs 20 Per Month)

Trading Platform: Angel iTrade, Angel Broking Mobile App, Angel BEE

Pros of Angel Broking: 

  1. Cheapest full-service broker with personalized services
  2. Expert Research Reports & market advisory
  3. Fast account opening process
  4. Zero Brokerage on Long-term (Delivery) Trades, 
  5. Flat Rs 20 per order for all other trades, 

Cons of Angel Broking: 

  1. No 3-in-1 account 
  2. Call & Trade are charged extra

3. Upstox

Upstox is a fast-growing discount broker, backed by a group of leading investors including Kalaari Capital, Ratan Tata, GVK Davix, etc. It is also known as RKSV. Upstox started as RKSV in 2012 and rebranded to Upstox in 2015. As of Dec 2021, Upstox has the second-highest number of active clients on NSE after Zerodha. The startup also became a unicorn in 2021 with a valuation of over $3 Billion.

Services offered: Upstox offers trading services in equity, currency, and commodity

Upstox Brokerage charges

While trading with Upstox, equity delivery trades are free of cost. For intraday trading on BSE, NSE and MCX, and F&O it is 0.05% or up to Rs. 20 per order traded. Irrespective of the order size, the brokerage cost is only Rs. 20 per order traded.

  • Delivery Charges: Rs 0
  • Intraday Trading: Rs 20 per executed trade or 0.05% whichever lower
  • Futures Trading Charges: Rs 20 or 0.05% (whichever is lower) per order
  • Options Trading Charges: Rs 20 per trade

Upstox Demat And Trading account opening Charges:

  • Account opening charges: Rs 299
  • Annual Maintenance charges: Rs 300

Trading Platform: Upstox Pro Web Trading Platform, Bridge for AmiBroker, Developer Console, Option Chain Tool, Upstox MF Platform

Pros of Upstox:

  • Free delivery trading,
  • Fast paperless demat and trading account opening,
  • Margin against share is available,
  • Zero Brokerage on Delivery and Flat Rs 20/order on other trades

Cons of Upstox:

  • Good Till Cancelled (GTC) and Good Till Date/Time (GTD) Orders are not available
  • Margin Funding not available on delivery trades

4. 5Paisa

5Paisa is a part of IIFL (India Infoline) and offers the cheapest stock brokerage in India. IIFL launched 5Paisa to offer a lower brokerage platform for its clients and to compete with the fast-growing discount broking industry. Along with a fast trading platform, 5Paisa also offers advisory reports and recommendations.

Services offered: Apart from trading in equity, currency, commodity, 5Paisa also offers its services in mutual funds, Insurances, Personal loans.

5Paisa Brokerage charges

5Paisa offers free trading in equity and flat brokerage in other segments. Here are the brokerage charges offered by 5Paisa:

— Delivery Trading: Rs 20 per trade
— Intraday Trading: Rs 20 per trade
— Equity Futures: Rs 20 per trade
— Equity Options: Rs 20 per trade
— Currency Futures: Rs 20 per trade
— Currency Options: Rs 20 per trade

5Paisa Demat And Trading account opening Charges:

— Account opening charges: FREE (Rs 650 Waived)

— Annual Maintenance charges: Rs 45 per month (only for months when you trade)

Trading Platform: Investor terminal web platform, trader terminal, 5Paisa share trading mobile app

Pros of 5Paisa:

  1. Free delivery trading
  2. A low brokerage of flat Rs 10 per trade
  3. 100% paperless account investing
  4. Investment in stocks, mutual funds & insurance from the same account
  5. Lower maintenance charges
  6. Multiple brokerage plans available based on clients preferrence offering flexibility
  7. Research reports and advisory (for higher plans)

Cons of 5Paisa:

  1. No 3-in-1 account
  2. Higher exchange transaction charges
  3. No commodity trading facility

5. Kotak Securities (Trade FREE Plan)

Kotak Securities, being a part of the Kotak group is one such broker. Traditionally a full-service broker, Kotak Securities entered the discount brokerage model in November 2020 with its Trade FREE Plan. Here, they announced zero brokerage for intraday training across segments, the first-of-its-kind plan in India. It is also known as Free Intraday Trading (FIT) plan.

In its TRADE FREE PLAN, KSL is offering zero brokerage on intraday trades and Rs. 20 per order for all other future & options (F&O) trades including equity, commodity, and currency. Here are a few of the key points on Kotak Securities Trade FREE Plan to note:

—  Zero Brokerage on Intraday Trades
— All other F&O Trades at Rs 20 per order
—  FREE Demat Account (Rs 499 Opening Charges Waived Currently)
— Full Broker Services at Discount brokerage rate offering a wide range of investment options and research reports.

The following table sheds light on the rates applicable:

  • Account Opening Charges: Rs 0
  • Annual Maintenance Charges: Rs 50 Per Month
  • Intraday Brokerage Charges (Equity): FREE
  • Delivery Brokerage Charges: 0.25% of Transaction

Pros of Kotak Securities Trade FREE Plan

Here are a few of the top advantages of Kotak Securities Trade FREE Plan:

  • Zero Brokerage on Intraday Trading
  • Flat brokerage of Rs 20/per order of F&O Trades
  • Use of Stocks as Margin (Instead of Cash Margin)
  • Full Broker Services at Discount brokerage rate offering a wide range of investment options and research reports.
  • Multiple trading platforms to fulfill almost all customer requirements.
  • In-depth market Market Research Reports

Cons of Kotak Securities Trade FREE Plan

Here are a few of the top disadvantages of the Kotak Securities Trade FREE Plan:

  • Higher Brokerage Charge on Delivery trades compared to discount brokers
  • Higher AMC compared to other leading brokers


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