ICICI Direct Review
ICICI Direct is counted among the best rated full-service stock brokers in India. ICICI Direct is basically a retail investment and trading extension of ICICI Securities, which is a part of the world-renowned financial service group – ICICI. ICICI Securities is the largest retail stock broking firm in India and offers a vast range of investment products & services to retail and corporate clients.
As it is backed by the world-renowned ICICI group, the broker leverages superior technology support and enjoys a great client base. The extensive range of products & services is another factor that gives ICICI Direct a competitive edge in the domain.
Established in the year 1994, the broker enjoys a remarkable presence across 87 locations within India and over 200 offices in various forms and capacities for its clients.
ICICI Direct’s unique 3-in-1 account allows seamless trading experience to investors and traders who can trader in shares without facing the annoyance of tracking settlement cycles, preparing cheques and transfer instructions. Trading becomes absolutely hassle free!
The biggest advantage of having a 3-in-1 account is that traders get a seem-less trading experience since their bank account is directly integrated to your trading account which helps in rapid funds transfer.
ICICIdirect Knowledge Programs provide investors with an insight into a wide variety of financial products such as derivatives, shares, mutual funds, IPOs, small savings and insurance to make your money grow and meet your varying needs across different stages of life.
Backed by a client base of whopping 3 lakh customers, ICICI Direct offers a range of trading and investment products including:
- Derivative Trading
- Mutual funds
- Fixed Deposits
- Non-convertible Debentures (NCDs)
- Currency Trading
- ICICI PMS
The membership details of ICICI Direct are given below.
Process to Open an account at ICICI Direct
To perform investment and trading in Indian stock market, you need to open an ICICI Direct 3-in-1 account with them. If you already have a demat or bank account with ICICI Bank, the same se can be integrated to make it a 3-in-1 account. Please understand that with ICICI it is mandatory to open all 3 accounts with them. You cannot link other bank account or other demat account with ICICI trading account.
After you open trading account with ICICIDirect, you can choose to invest in Equity, IPO, Mutual Funds, Derivative Products (Equity F&O and Currency F&O), Systematic Investment Plans (SIP), Fixed Deposits, NCDs etc.
Note: A minimum average montly balance of INR 5000 needs to be maintained in ICICI Bank Saving Account linked with 3-in-1 account.
To open account with ICICIDirect, following steps need to be followed.
- Make a visit to any ICICI Bank branch in your city and fill in the application form to open an account. ICICI Bank has the largest network of branches all around India. Most of the branches of ICICI Bank offer ICICIDirect 3-in-1 account opening. This is the fastest way to open an account with ICICIDirect.
- Fill an online registration form on ICICIDirect website. Just choose ‘Apply On Line – Resident Account’, fill the online application form and submit it. Once submitted, an ICICI Bank representative will get back to you within 2 working days to complete the other account opening procedures.
ICICI Direct Account Opening Status
After you submit the account opening form in the ICICI Bank branch or filled the application through web, you could easily check the status of account opening online by visiting the ‘See Your Application Status Online’ on the Customer Service page of icicidirect.com. You would need ‘Application/Form Number’ and ‘Date of Birth’ to check the application status online.
Please note that it takes at least 2 days to update the ICICI Bank account opening status.
If you have registered online and no executive visited your home, you can make a visit to the local ICICI Bank branch or call customer services helpline to expedite the ICICIDirect account opening process.
ICICI Direct Account Opening Form
ICICIDirect Account Opening Forms are easily available in ICICI Bank branches. You could also call ICICI Bank sales helpline to arrange an executive visit to your home and get the forms right there.
Account Opening Charges
ICICIDirect Account Opening Charges
- ICICIDirect Account Opening Charges (Trading Acct): ₹975
- ICICIDirect AMC Charges (Trading Acct): ₹0
- ICICIDirect Account Opening Charges (Demat Acct): ₹0
- ICICIDirect AMC Charges (Demat Acct): ₹450
Here is a list of documents that are required to open an account with ICICI Direct:
- Proof of Identity (POI) (Driving license)
- Proof of Address (POA) (Passport)
- Proof of Income (For trading in derivatives such as F&O) (Copy of ITR Acknowledgement)
- Proof of Bank Account (Cancelled cheque)
- PAN Card
- 1 to 3 passport size photographs
ICICI Direct Brokerage Plans
The full-service has diverse plans for its clients that carry different brokerage structure. They include
Recently ICICI announced a new plan – ‘ICICIdirect Neo’ – a zero brokerage plan. ICICI Direct Neo is its kind plan based on traders that offers limitless trading with zero brokerage on all Futures trades, Flat Rs. 20 per order for Margin and Options trades.
ICICIdirect Neo customers will get host of additional distinctive features like Instant liquidity and customers get cash within 30 minutes of selling stocks according to their picked plan.
This plan is based on the concept of the total turnover you develop within a span of 3 months. There are multiple slabs varying between ₹25 Lakhs and going as high as ₹5 Crore. Higher the turnover, lower the brokerage you pay to the broker (across segments).
There is no promise of turnover under this plan and you are supposed to pay a fixed brokerage rate in all your trades. It is suggested to have a detailed discussion before you open your account and negotiate on the brokerage since it will be applicable in all your future trades.
Prepaid Brokerage Plan
Under this brokerage plan, an investor is supposed to make an upfront payment to the broker. Higher the payment, lower is the brokerage applicable on your trades. The commission emerging from your trades will be auto-deducted from this upfront amount. You need recharge again once the initial deposit gets exhausted.
All these plans have some level of pre-conditions to each and based on your preference(s), you can make a choice.
ICICI Direct Trading Platforms
Considered among the top-rated full-service brokers in India, ICICI Direct enables its investors to make the optimum use of technology to experience unprecedented ease in stock trading. Let’s take a look at the major trading platforms offered by ICICI Direct.
ICICI Direct Trade Racer
Trade Racer is a terminal-based trading software that is available as an executable file and needs to be downloaded and installed on a computer. It is designed to offer full-fledged stock trading experience to users.
Some of the main features the trading application has are:
- Watch all prevailing scrips under a single screen or interface
- With Live scanner feature, clients can quickly identify stocks that are trending high or low
- With Heatmap feature, stocks high or low can be found straight with color coding without watching the data
- Option to modify color layouts and market charts
Clients who have the ability to generate monthly brokerage of more than ₹750 can get free access to this trading platform while those who cannot are supposed to pay ₹75 per month as subscription cost of this software.
It clearly reflects that the stock broker promotes traders who trade regularly and consistently. However, small investors or beginners may get penalized for low brokerage in the form of this un-necessary subscription cost.
Eventually, do ensure that the computer or laptop you use for using this trading software on, must have a good configuration in regard to RAM, processor, memory and so on. Otherwise, you may face mediocre-level trading experience.
ICICI Direct Trade Racer Web
It is basically the web browser-based version of Trade Racer. There is no need to download and install the software as this trading platform can be access on almost any browser. Its main features include:
- Live and streaming quotes
- Drag and drop widgets enablement
- Up to 5 watchlists
- User alerts and notifications
- Multiple watch lists with live streaming quotes
- Check Current Limit, CMP with Best 5 bid/offer, modify allocation in a single window and more
ICICI Direct Mobile App
As its name sound, the trading applicable is meant to help users perform stock trading on the go. The app has lots of features including:
- Latest quotes, scrips, market updates can be analyzed
- Portfolio tracking and market movement
- Live research calls and market tips
However, there are few concerns related to the app like lower updated frequency, average user experience and others. It means that the broker doesn’t have excessive focus on the mobile trading segment.
ICICI Direct Customer Care
The bank-based full-service stockbroker in India offers customer services to its clients through following communication channels:
- Offline Branches
- Online assistance through web form/chat
As the broker is associated with ICICI bank, traders and investors carry high level of expectations. Furthermore, the high brokerage charges support this as no investor would love to pay more for average trading services. As far as ICICI Direct’s customer service is concerned, the quality is average, particularly in terms of communication personalization.
The biggest problem with ICICI Direct is that seems to give higher attention to high net worth individuals or heavy traders. Therefore, users that are small to medium in regard to turnover or the investors who are beginners willing to make a foray into stock trading space, get lesser attention. Make sure you do understand that aspect before opening an account.
ICICI Direct Pricing
ICICI Direct features charges that are percentage-based and there are difference plans once can subscribe to. For example, if you invested ₹1,00,000 at Equity Delivery level, that carries 0.55% brokerage charge, you are expected to pay ₹550 as brokerage charges excluding taxes and any transaction charges.
The portion is quite high an amount of brokerage when we compare it to some other competitive full-service brokers and definitely with discount stock brokers.
ICICI Direct Account Opening Charges
ICICI Direct Brokerage Charges
ICICI Direct Brokerage Plan – 3-in-1 Account (I-Secure Plan)
Demat Account Charges
ICICI Direct Transaction Charges
ICICI Direct Margins
The exposure or margin details of ICICI Direct are mentioned below.
ICICI Securities IPO
ICICI Direct, an ICICI Securities Ltd investment portal presents IPO’s as a major product offering. With ICICIDirect.com, customers can apply in Initial Public Offers (IPO) and (Follow-on public offers) FPO at BSE & NSE.
Online IPO Application of ICICI Bank is the simplest, fastest and easiest way to apply for IPO shares.
Below are few easy steps to apply in an IPO with ICICI:
- Login to ICICIdirect.com
- Go to ‘Trade & Invest’ >> ‘IPO’. This will reflect the list of IPOs available.
- Click ‘Go’ (in the last column) of the IPO you wish to apply for.
- Fill the quantity and price and click ‘Submit’.
- Confirm the application by accepting the terms & conditions. Click ‘Confirm’.
- Assign the required fund and click ‘Submit’.
- Check the order book for application no. and status.
Once you submit the online IPO form, ICICIdirect.com will do the all the formalities with respect to the submission of your IPO form, utilizing the Power of Attorney assigned by you at the time of account opening.
ICICI Direct IPO Charges
ICICI Bank Online IPO Application comes at no cost for all its customers who have 3-in-1 account. Customer do not need to deposit any kind of fee, charges or taxes when it comes to apply for IPO shares.
Note: Customer needs to pay brokerage and taxes when they choose to sell the shares assigned to them through IPO. The changes are similar to when you sell any shares bought straight from the stock market.
ICICI Direct is most high cost stock broker in India and its brokerage are highest in the industry
ICICI Direct Research
Being the country’s leading full-service stockbroker, ICICI Direct provides its clients with a wide range of research and recommendation offerings. No matter what kind of trader or investor you are, the broker provides different kinds of tips to its clients.
Some of the research offerings provided offered by ICICI Direct are:
- Market Insights
- Opening Bell
- Market Commentary
- Special Reports
- Market Outlook
- Monthly Derivative Reports
- Monthly MF Reports
- Trading Recommendations
- Momentum Pick
- Daily Support & Resistance
- Derivative View
- Investment Recommendations
- Equity Model Portfolio
- Quarterly Review
- Top Picks
- IPO Reports
- IPO Diary
It is quite evident from the above table that the broker’s range is quite varied when it comes to ICICI Direct Research. The broker provides good long-term investment tips and market research reports. However, for intraday or swing trading, it is suggested that you carry out a detailed evaluation before placing the trade.
ICICI Direct NRI Account
ICICI Bank provides lucrative trading and investment opportunities in India stock market to NRIs through its NRI 3-in-1 account. It is a mix of an NRI saving bank account, an NRI Demat, and an NRI trading accounts.
The ICICI 3 in 1 Account for NRI allows foreign nationals to trade online in BSE & NSE without the hassle of watching the settlement cycles, transfer funds from bank to trading account, etc. It offers a variety of services including online investment in Equity, Derivatives (F&O), Mutual Fund, Bond, NCD, FD, IPO, and ETF.
ICICI Bank offers trading and investment services to Non-resident Indian (NRI) customers through its subsidiary ICICI Securities. The online trading and services are offered via its flagship website ICICIDirect.com.
ICICI Direct NRI brokerage charges varies from 0.50% to 1.25% for Equity Delivery trades, from o.03% to 0.05% for Equity Futures trades and flat Rs 70 to Rs 95 for Equity Options trading. The ICICI NRI trading account charges differ by the total trade volume by the customer.
ICICI Securities offers a range of online trading software to its customers. This includes ICICIDirect.com website, ICICI Direct Mobile Trading App and Trade Racer, an installable trading terminal.
ICICI also offers online mutual funds to NRIs. Investors can pick from a wide pool of schemes and invest without facing any kind of documentation.
Benefits of NRI 3-in-1 Account
- Integrated 3-in-1 account for hassle-free trading experience
- Online trading feature with next-gen trading platforms and tools.
- Access to a wide range of investment options such as stocks, derivatives, mutual funds, and IPOs.
- Flexibility to invest through repairable and non-repatriate funds.
- Open both PIS (Portfolio Investment Scheme) and non-PIS trading account.
ICICI Direct Centre for Financial Learning (ICFL)
It is actually a learning initiative of ICICI Securities Limited. It features different financial learning programes, that intend to help students and professionals reach their career goals and investors and traders build expertise to invest and trade.
ICICI Direct offers offer high-quality education programmes varying from Investor and Trader focused skill improvement programes on Stock investing, Technical Analysis and Derivatives Trading to certification programmes on Financial Planning and Wealth Management.
The Conclusion – ICICI Direct Review
First and foremost, ICICI Direct broking firm is best suited to those involved into high frequency trading. From trading platforms to brokerage plans, the broker’s strong inclination towards high value traders is visible to everyone.
Just like HDFC Securities, ICICI Direct might not be a feasible trading option for beginners who may feel under pressure due to high brokerage. On the other hand, customer service response is quite average, however, there is always a scope of improvement particularly in mobile app segment.