ICICI Direct Review 2020 : Extraordinary Trading Experience

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ICICI Direct Review 2020

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Established in 1994, ICICI Bank Ltd has become one of the biggest financial institutions in India. In the past 2 decades it has grown itself into a multinational banking and services company with its headquarters in Mumbai. ICICI bank has large no of investors and active traders who use their services to trade in products like equities, commodities, currencies etc.

This ICICI Direct Review 2020 discusses why one should use their institutional and retail broking, merchant banking, and advisory services which is also being used by corporates, financial institutions, high net-worth individuals, and retail investors in India. The Depository Partcipant operates in 3 major segments namely Investment & Trading, Broking & Commission and Advisory services. 

One of its flagship offerings from them on the retail trading side is ICICI Direct. With ICICI Direct, ICICI Securities has become one of the largest retail broking firms in India by providing a wide range of products and services to its retail and institutional customers. ICICI Direct.com is the flagship website of ICICI Securities offering a whole host of products and services like Equity Trading, Derivatives Trading, Mutual funds, Home Loans, Loans against Securities, Insurance, Bonds, NCDs etc.

 In this blog we will discuss whether it is good to invest with them or not by dissecting their products and services on offer to most retail investors. We will also provide the brokerage details being charged by them, customer service and also look at if their existing customer are satisfied by the service being provided to them. 


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Why Invest with ICICI Direct?

3-in-1 Account

ICICI provides a unique 3-in-1 account, which is a combination of its Bank account, trading account and Demat account all in one place. This helps the customers to trade securities with the ease of transferring money conveniently at the click of a button.

Innovative Product Offerings

In addition to share trading in NSE and BSE they also provide their customers with innovative product offerings like Margin, Margin Plus, BTST, SPOT, Overseas trading, Online Life Insurance.

Call n Trade

ICICI Direct also allows you trade in areas with low bandwidth and if you are struggling with your network connection, you can use the Call n Trade facility.

Advisory Services

For investors new to the market, ICICI also provides advisory service where you are guided from trade placement to execution.

Additional Features

The broking firm also provides research reports to its clients to assist them in choosing trades. You can also track your portfolio and create a watch list, which also provides SMS alerts. Moreover, ICICI Direct also provides its customers with knowledge programs on various financial products like derivatives, stocks, mutual funds etc. so that they can make informed investment decisions. They also provide specialized research reports and dedicated relationship managers for traders who like to trade full time in the market. Lastly, their high-performance terminal application “Trade Racer” is specifically meant for active day traders.

ICICI Trading Platforms

ICICI offers technologically advanced trading platforms for its large customer base across all platforms. Here is a detailed view of these applications:

ICICI Trade Racer

Trade Racer is an easily installable software for your desktop using which you can trade at will from the comfort of your home. This trading platform provides you with Live streaming quotes, research calls, and an integrated fund transfer system. Using trade racer, one can check the market depth, Bulk Block deals, corporate announcements, stock charts, and moving averages. The tool is used to perform technical analysis, and access to the Global Indices. Here are some of the features of this application:

  • View the latest market trends i.e. bullish or bearish using the Trend Scanner option.
  • Track the New highs and lows of the stock market by tracking the price movement of stocks using the Live Scanner option.
  • Get a fully Customised Grid layout with personalized color combinations and a trendy look and feel

Note: Clients who generate a higher brokerage to the firm have free access to this software; however those who don’t generate necessary levels of brokerage have to pay subscription cost of Rs 75 per month to use this application.

ICICI Trade Racer
ICICI Trade Racer Web

Trade Racer Web is the browser-based version of trade racer application which can be accessed from anywhere for the purpose of buying and selling stock on BSE and NSE. This application allows Cash Trading, Margin & Margin Plus trading, Buy Today Sell Tomorrow, Derivatives trading etc. Some of the key features are as follows:

  • Create watch lists for at least 5 stocks.
  • Get Live streaming of stock market prices for the stocks of your choice
  • Analyze your favorite stocks using charts and technical indicators.

This browser-based application is best suited for active traders who are aware of the various nuances of the stock market.

ICICI Trade Racer Web
ICICI Direct Mobile App

ICICI’s mobile trading app allows users to trade, view the latest quotes, track your portfolio and market movement, get live research calls. Here is how the app looks like:

ICICI’s mobile is rated at 3.4 out of 5 and its customer reviews on google play are average at best. Kindy check it using this link.

Some important features of this app are as follows:

  • Live streaming of the stock prices
  • In-app order placing for equities, commodities, and FX alike
  • Trade whenever you like from the convenience of your phone
  • Get Live research reports and market tips

Thus looking at the customer reviews, ratings and the look and feel of the app it seems to be pretty average. Moreover, the app seems to be lacking focus on moving their technology to mobile phones, which is very important in today’s world.

ICICI Direct Mobile App

Pricing

Account Opening Charges

For opening an account with ICICI Securities, you will have to pay the below charges:

Trading Account Opening Charges (One Time)₹0
Trading Annual Maintenance Charges₹700
Demat Account Opening Charges (One Time)₹0
Demat Annual Maintenance Charges₹0

ICICI Direct Brokerage Plans

ICICI offers three different brokerage plans to its customers. The Brokerage you pay for trading with ICICI depends on what plan you have subscribed for. Here are the brokerage plans with brokerage structure offered by ICICI in detail:

I- Saver Plan

This plan is beneficial for clients with a lot of experience in the market as you are charged on the basis of the total turnover of your trades created over a span of 3 months. Hence the higher turnover you generate the lesser your brokerage will be. Here is the detailed brokerage structure offered by ICICI under various segments:

Brokerage In Cash
Total Eligible Turnover (Per calendar Quarter)Brokerage (%)Second Leg Of Intraday TradesEffective Brokerage on Intraday Square off
Above ₹5 Crores0.25Nil0.125%
₹ 2 Crores to 5 Crores0.3Nil0.150%
₹ 1 Crores to 2 Crores0.35Nil0.175%
₹ 50 Lakhs to 1 Crores0.45Nil0.225%
₹ 25 Lakhs to 50 Lakhs0.55Nil0.275%
Less than ₹ 25 Lakhs0.75Nil0.375%

(Minimum Brokerage is applicable only on transactions up to ₹4667)

Brokerage in Margin & Margin Plus
Total Eligible Turnover per monthBrokerage (%)
Above ₹20 Crores0.03
₹ 10 Crores to 20 Crores0.035
₹ 5 Crores to 10 Crores0.04
Less than ₹ 5 Crores0.05

(Above brokerage rates only applicable for trades above ₹50000, below that value a flat brokerage of ₹25 or 2.5% whichever is lower is applicable)

Brokerage in Currency Futures
Total Eligible Turnover per monthBrokerage (%)Flat Brokerage on the second leg of Intraday square off (per lot)
Above ₹ 20 Crores0.03₹ 10/-
₹ 10 Crores to 20 Crores0.035₹ 10/-
₹ 5 Crores to 10 Crores0.04₹ 10/-
Less than ₹ 5 Crores0.05₹ 10/-
Brokerage in Options & Option Plus
Total Eligible Lots per monthFlat brokerage per contract lot (₹.)Flat Brokerage on the Second leg of Intraday square off (₹ per lot) – (Wef April 01, 2016)
Above 480035/-₹ 25/-
2401-480045/-₹ 25/-
1201-240055/-₹ 25/-
601-120065/-₹ 25/-
301-60075/-₹ 25/-
51-30085/-₹ 25/-
1-5095/-₹ 25/-
Brokerage in Currency Options
Total Eligible Lots per monthFlat brokerage per contract lot (₹.)Brokerage on the Second leg of Intraday square off (₹ per lot)
Above 150010/-₹ 10/-
601-150015/-₹ 10/-
301-60020/-₹ 10/-
0-30025/-₹ 10/-
I-Secure Plan

 In this plan, the clients are required to pay a fixed brokerage, which is agreed upon between the client and the broker at the time of account opening. Hence, you don’t have to worry about making a specific turnover of trades to pay lesser brokerage. This plan is more suited to new investors or those trying to learn the ropes of stock market trading. Here is the brokerage structure for this plan:

Brokerage In Cash
Total Eligible Turnover (Per calendar Quarter)Brokerage (%)Second Leg Of Intraday TradesEffective Brokerage on Intraday Square off
Irrespective of turnover0.55Nil0.28%

(Minimum brokerage only for transactions exceeding ₹6364)

Brokerage in Margin & Margin Plus
Total Eligible Turnover per monthBrokerage (%)
Irrespective of turnover0.050

For transactions up to INR 50,000, a minimum brokerage of INR 25 or 2.5%, whichever is low, will be charged.

Brokerage in Currency Futures
Brokerage (%)Flat Brokerage on the second leg of Intraday square off (per lot)
0.050₹ 10/-
Brokerage in Options & Option Plus
Flat brokerage per contract lot (₹.)Flat Brokerage on the Second leg of Intraday square off (₹ per lot) 
95/-₹ 50/-
Brokerage in Currency Options
Flat brokerage per contract lot (₹.)Brokerage on the Second leg of Intraday square off (₹ per lot)
25/-₹ 10/-
Prepaid Brokerage Plan

In this plan the one has to deposit a fixed amount as an initial payment and whenever you make a transaction the brokerage is deducted from your initial deposit. Note, higher the deposit the lesser brokerage you will have to pay. The prepaid brokerage plan comes with a life validity of 15 years meaning you can use your money for a span of 15 years.

There are currently 7 different plans from which you can choose from having different initial deposits. Here is a detailed brokerage structure for this plan:

Prepaid Plan (Rs)Total amount with GST (Rs)Cash %Margin / Futures %Options-(per lot)Currency Futures & options(per lot) %eATM Limit
10,000.0011,800.000.250.025350Rs. 10 Lac
25,000.0029,500.000.220.022300Rs. 10 Lac
50,000.0059,000.000.180.018250Rs. 25 Lac
100,000.00118,000.000.150.015200Rs. 1 Crore
200,000.00236,000.000.120.012150Rs. 1 Crore
300,000.00354,000.000.090.0091000

ICICI Direct Customer Care

Dedicated DealerYes
Offline TradingNo
Online TradingYes
24*7 SupportNo
Email SupportYes
Chat SupportNo
Toll Free NumberNo
Branches226

You can easily conclude by looking at the aforementioned table of content that ICICI Direct has a total of 226 branches located throughout the country that provide support regarding a Dedicated Dealer, Online Trading and Email.

ICICI Direct Complaints

Complaints are a way to gauge customer satisfaction among the client base. As per the below table, the number of complaints against ICICI has decreased marginally over the years meaning a reasonably better customer service as compared to other full-service brokers. Here are the number of complaints registered against ICICI Direct over the years:

ExchangeFinancial YearActive ClientsTotal Complaints
NSE2019-20840956196
NSE2018-19830368150
NSE2017-18798335153
NSE2016-17618359132
NSE2015-16560438153
NSE2014-15594714161
NSE2013-14500731150
NSE2012-132103210190

Conclusion

ICICI Direct is one of the most reliable and reputable stock brokers in India. They are a subsidiary of ICICI which is also a big brand in the Life insurance, general insurance and capital markets segments. I-Direct has been able to establish itself as a big player in the online trading markets and has large share of customers in India. Therefore, to serve the needs of the customers, ICICI Direct has shown a tremendous response by keeping itself updated with the latest technology and innovation.

However, they do charge a reasonably high brokerage from their customers which is a trend the industry doesn’t seem to follow and it seems that they might want to change that if they want to survive in this highly competitive market. They also don’t provide their customers with the option of trading in the commodity markets which might hinder the opportunity to profit for some investors.

ICICI Direct Review 2020

Best Broker India

Customer Service
Web Trading Platform
Mobile Trading Platform
Educational Material
Brokerage

Summary

3

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