Kotak Securities vs ICICI Direct – Compare Brokerage Charges, Demat, AMC, Mobile App

By TBS Team | May 18, 2024

A broker is a company that charges a fee or commission for executing buy and sell orders submitted by an investor. When it comes to choosing a broker, there are many factors to consider such as fees, account minimums, customer service, and investment options.

Two of the most popular brokers in India are Kotak Securities and ICICI Direct. Both brokers offer a variety of investment options and have reasonable fees. However, they differ in terms of account minimums and customer service. In the article, we list out some of the crucial factors that can help you differentiate between the two. Also, you can find the one most suitable to your needs.

Kotak Securities

With an overall rating of 8 out of 10, Kotak Securities is a leading bank-based Full-service stock broker in India, catering to retail and institutional investors across all capital market segments. It was established in the year 1994 by Pratik Gupta. This is the only stockbroker in India that offers zero brokerage on equity intraday under the “trade-free plan”.

It offers a 3-in-1 account (Bank + Trading + Demat Account) to retail investors in India and investment in equities, derivatives (equities, commodities, currency) and mutual funds.

It also offers Portfolio Management services (PMS), research, margin trade funding, depository services and third-party products like insurance. Besides that, the company provides direct access to the US markets, through a tie-up with partner brokers.

Kotak Securities offer its services to 59 lakh customer accounts making over 5 lakh daily trades. It has 1281 branches, franchisees, and satellite offices in around 377 cities across India.

What makes this firm different from its competition, can be as follows:

  • More than 25 years of experience.
  • A subsidiary of the prestigious Bank – Kotak Mahindra.
  • Offers a 3-in-1 account
  • Physically present in more than 350 cities.
  • Free Technical, Fundamental, Derivatives, Macroeconomic and mutual fund research.
  • Different brokerage plans suit the needs of the investors.

ICICI Direct

With an overall rating of 8.2 out of 10, ICICI Direct stands as the 2nd largest full-service stock broker in India. It offers a wide range of investments to retail and institutional customers. It is a retail investment and trading extension of ICICI Securities, which is a part of the world-renowned financial service group – ICICI.

This stock broking firm was established in the year 1994 by Vijay Chandok. It enjoys a remarkable presence across 87 locations within India and over 200 offices in various forms and capacities for its clients. They also have a website that offers a great bunch of investment products such as – Mutual Fund Apps & IPO, Online Equity Trading, Fixed Deposits, Derivatives Trading, wealth products, Home Loans, etc. It provides an online trading platform and investment services to more than 20 lakhs customers.

What makes this firm different from its competition, can be as follows:

  • Provides a straightforward and efficient way to invest in various financial instruments.
  • Customers can visit any ICICI Bank branch or the ICICI Direct offices if they seek in-person help on financial products.
  • Provides pay-in and pay-out in a timely and hassle-free settlement.
  • Imposes brokerage fees which are worth Rs.20 per order or relatively free.
  • Has a market demand that is highly proportionate to the best brokerage plans available in the market.
  • They have made it mandatory for their respective traders and investors to maintain a minimum balance of 75% Margin concerning the Margin Money to trade seamlessly.

Kotak Securities vs ICICI Direct

Types of accounts :

Kotak Securities offers different types of accounts as per user’s requirement:

Auto Invest

an Online Trading Account which allows investors to plan their investment in Gold ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), Equities and Mutual Funds. The firm’s advisor provides recommendations for investors’ risk competence and investment plans. There is a minimum investment cap of Rs 5000 for this kind of account.

Kotak Gateway

this account discloses the gateway to a landscape of investing opportunities for novices. Kotak Gateway users can trade anywhere, anytime with the help of the internet. The investor can also sell Currency Derivative using this account.

Kotak Privilege Circle

is the premium investment account provided by Kotak Securities. Together with Kotak Gateway account benefits, Kotak offers independent market expertise and full-fledged support through a manager and a special customer service desk which provides help concerning account opening, day-to-day problems handling, and more. One can activate this account by choosing any amount more than Rs. 10,00,000 as a margin, by way of cash or stock.

Kotak Freedom for Mutual Fund Investments.

Kotak Super Saver

It is a Flat Brokerage and a Low Margin account.

PMS (Portfolio Management Service) –

It is an account for individuals who look for an expert to help to manage their investments.

NRI Account

Online trading and Investment account for NRI investors in Indian stock markets. The 3-in-1 NRI account offers triple the benefits of savings, trading, and a Demat account. With this account, these NRI investors can trade in bonds, ETFs, ESOPs, equity, derivatives, etc.

Trinity Account [3-in-1 Account]

A combination of a savings bank account, trading account, and a Demat account. This kind of account offers a hassle-free trading experience to trade or invest in IPO, bonds, ETFs, derivatives, and equity.

ICICI Direct deals only with a Direct 3-in-1 account. If the investor already has a Demat or bank account with ICICI Bank, the same can be integrated to make it a 3-in-1 account. After opening a trading account with ICICI Direct, one can choose to invest in Equity, IPO, Mutual Funds, Derivative Products (Equity F&O and Currency F&O), Systematic Investment Plans (SIP), Fixed Deposits, etc.

Also, a minimum monthly balance of INR 5000 needs to be maintained in the ICICI Bank Saving Account linked with the 3-in-1 account.

However, this full-service broking firm has diverse plans for its clients that carry different brokerage structures, like :

ICICI Direct Neo

A zero brokerage plan based on traders that offer limitless trading with zero brokerage on all Futures trades. The customers get a host of distinctive features like – Instant liquidity and cash within 30 minutes of selling stocks according to their planned plan.

Saver Plan

Secure Plan

under this plan, there is no promise of turnover and the investors are supposed to pay a fixed brokerage rate in all their trades.

Prepaid Brokerage Plan

under this brokerage plan by ICICI, the investors are supposed to make an upfront payment to the broker. The higher the price, the lower the brokerage applicable on their trades. The commission emerging from the trades will be auto-deducted from this upfront amount. The investors would need to recharge once the initial deposit is exhausted.

Trading account opening charges

ICICIdirect Kotak Securities
Trading Account Opening Charges Rs 0 (Free) Rs 750
Trading Account Annual Maintenance Charges Rs 0 (Free) Rs 0
Demat Account Opening Fees Rs 0 (Free) Rs 0 (Free)
Demat Account Annual Maintenance  Charges Rs 600 Rs 600


Transaction charges

ICICI direct Kotak Securities
Equity Delivery NSE Rs 310 per Cr (0.0031%)
BSE Rs 280 per Cr (0.0028%)
NSE: 0.00325%, BSE: 0.00325%
Equity Intraday NSE Rs 310 per Cr (0.0031%)
BSE Rs 280 per Cr (0.0028%)
NSE: 0.00325%, BSE: 0.00325%
Equity Options Rs 5000 per Cr
(0.05% on premium)
NSE: 0.05% on Premium
Currency Options Rs 5000 per Cr
(0.05% on premium)
NSE: 0.035%, BSE: 0.001%
Minimum Brokerage Charges Rs 35 per trade


Disclaimer: This blog is written for educational purpose only. Data, Securities, Advisory and Quotes mentioned here are for guidance only. Doing research by investors itself is highly recommended.

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