Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct – 15 Comparison Points To Know Who Is Better?

  • Post category:Stock Market
  • Reading time:24 mins read
  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:August 4, 2023

In this Zerodha vs ICICI Direct comparison, we will try to find out who is best amongst two and why? Having said that if we talk about both this broker, zerodha is a discount broker whereas ICICI is a full-time broker, so to be honest comparing both on one scale can’t be the right thing to do.

However, they both are in same business and industry and functioning among same group of people, therefore a comparison can be made on the different services offered by them in every segment.

By the way if you want you can read the separate review of zerodha and Icici direct by clicking on this links.(Zerodha Review, ICICI Direct Review)

If you ask me why we are comparing Zerodha and ICICI it is because they both hold the top 3 positions in India. Zerodha being at the top with more than 66,91,059 active clients, second in the list is Upstox who recently dethroned ICICIDirect from 2nd position with more than 5.8+ million active clients whereas ICICIDirect is at third with about 3.9 million ,39,56,887 clients as per NSE data. (the no. keeps on changing)

Many of you might be aware that this was not always the case, ICICI Direct have hold the top position for a long period of time until the Zerodha dethroned them in last 3 years.

I am ready to give credit to zerodha for their hard work put as they have reached to the top position at the same time you can’t take away the credit from ICICIDirect too.

There are many other banks in India who offers the broking services, but ICICI is at the top amongst them due the major changes they do internally time to time, few of them I have tried to show you below as well while comparing.

Let us see now through comparing Zerodha vs ICICIDirect on different parameters see what both has to offer to their clients and which is best for you as an individual trader and investor.

Just to let you know this review guide is going to be long, you can switch from table of contents to look for the relevant info you want to know.

However below is overall comparison points between ICICIDirect Vs Zerodha to tell you in short about who is best by which you can make instant decision to open account instantly instantly.


Zerodha Vs ICICIDirect Overall Comparison:

I have already used both their services as well as wrote the reviews about them in detailed way separately, based on my experience and facts below are things you can consider before opening an account with them.

  1. You can trade and invest in all segments i.e. stocks (equity) FnO, Commodity, Currency, at NSE, BSE, MCX on both ICICIDirect and Zerodha.
  2. Both stock brokers ICICIDirect and Zerodha, have best trading platform for desktop/mobile app, you can do fundamental as well as technical analysis quite easily.
  3. Both stockbrokers have also partnered with third party service integration as well such as Smallcase for portfolio based investments and, Sensibull for option based strategies.
  4. Other than this Zerodha also have other service integration such as Tickertape, Streak, Sentinel, Refinitiv, keep in mind most of them are paid.
  5. ICICIDirect is a full time broker so it also gives it users Stock/mutual fund/IPO/Derivatives recommendation, Research reports etc. for free. This service is not available with Zerodha.
  6. ICICIDirect has option for you to make investment in US stocks such as Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. using ICICI Direct trading platform whereas Zerodha does not have this feature as of now.
  7. Zerodha brokerages are little lower than ICICIDirect brokerages when comparing. ICICIDirect NEO Plan charging Rs.20 per executed order whereas Zerodha charging Rs.20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower). Zerodha also offers free delivery i.e. brokerage free trades, ICICIDirect charges 0.05% for same.
  8. Zerodha offers brokerage or say commission free mutual funds investment and platform for its users. ICICIDirect charges 1-1.5% commission for same. Having said that they do give free recommendation on which mutual funds to invest.
  9. If we talk about Margin at Zerodha vs ICICIDirect, after SEBI Rules on Intraday margin every stockbroker is giving same margin in equity throughout India, hence this does not matter anymore.
  10. ICICIDirect also gives 5x leverage in delivery based trades which is not available with Zerodha.
  11. With Zerodha and ICICIDirect you can also invest and trade in IPO’s, NFO’s, ETF, SGB, G-sec and many other financial products with so much ease.
  12. ICICI Direct is much better for people who not only do intraday trade but make other investments, such as investment in ELSS, PPF, SIP’s, FD, RD, ETF’s etc., or looking for Loans or credit cards, Insurance etc.
  13.  Zerodha charges one time account opening fee of Rs.200 only for equity and Rs.300 for (Equity, FNO, Currency, commodity) and Rs.300 for AMC (Annual Maintenance Charge) at the year end.
  14. ICICIDirect, there is no AMC (Annual Maintenance charges) for Demat Account for the first Year. However, charge of ₹300 (excluding taxes) is levied from 2nd year onwards.
  15. For a limited time period you can open a Free trading/demat account with ICICIDirect, although they do charges one time account opening fee of Rs.975. 
  16. Overall, ICICIDirect when compared on all parameters is better than Zerodha as a broker.

Now, it is up to you to decide which one you choose as both have everything that is needed to trade and invest in stock market hassle free online.

ICICIDirect is a one stop solution for trading and investing in any financial instruments in India. It has everything setup at one place, if you open account with them there is no need to look for any extra service here and there.

Where as if you want to do all by yourself than zerodha is a better choice.

Click here to open an Zerodha trading/demat/mutual fund account online within minutes.

Click here to open an free trading/demat/Bank Account (optional) at ICICIDirect online within minutes

Now, let us go dive deep to cover all different services and features of Zerodha and ICICIDirect step by step and see who is best between Zerodha Vs ICICIDirect by doing in-depth analysis.


About Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct:

Before we dig deeper to understand the various services offered it becomes utmost import to know in brief about zerodha and Icici direct history and present facts.


About Zerodha Vs Icici Direct  


Zerodha and Icici both are depository participant (DP) for both NSDL and CDSL.


Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Margin Comparison:

Margin in stock market refers to buying/selling of securities (shares) by borrowing money from your broker. This is very much similar to taking loan for short period of time. This helps traders in buying or selling more with less money in intraday trading.

If you are an active trader or a beginner who knows what exactly going on with recent changes brought by SEBI, Higher Margin won’t be a factor anymore, now the competition among the broking industry is in terms of better trading platforms and lower brokerages plans.

The upfront margin collection in cash segment has been kept at flat 20%, which means now the leverage for all stocks would be 5x also the penalty provision for short-collection/ non-collection of upfront margin in cash segment.

This means regardless of any broker you won’t get more than 5X times margin in equity cash segment and in FNO you need to have the full margin span+exposure to take any position.

You can read more about it here.

Therefore, the margin or leverages offered will be equal irrespective of the stock brokers in India going forward. Keep in mind this also applies to Currency and commodity derivatives as well.

For example: if there is a 20% margin requirement on a particular stock, then you will have to pay only Rs.20 to buy a stock of Rs.100. Another way to look at it is that if you have Rs.100, you will be able to buy five stocks instead of one.

Hence, the margin requirement will be same for all brokers including Zerodha and ICICIDirect for intraday trading in equites and derivatives.

One need to understand taking more margin means more risk and chances of your money getting wiped out is even more, so it is always advisable to use it in limited way.

So going forward please choose stock broker not in terms of margin or leverage as it is same for all brokers through out India.


Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Brokerages Comparison:

To be very honest I can’t compare and show you the brokerage for both the brokers inside one image, reason being with zerodha the brokerage structure is same for all users but with ICICI they have multiple brokerage structure depending on the plan you take.

Therefore I have tried to explain them step by step in order to not confuse you much and in the end of this brokerage comparison I have put the verdict about whose brokerage is lesser. So, let us start with zerodha followed by ICICI Direct.

Zerodha Brokerage Charges:


Zerodha Review On Brokerages


Zerodha brokerage is what make them ahead in the game, as you can see there is no charge for taking delivery of the trades to your demat account. Whereas for intraday trades across equity, currency, commodity, it is flat Rs.20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower).

What they mean is, suppose you bought stock xyz priced at Rs.100, quantity 100 on intraday basis,

so the total turnover would be bought 100, sold 100(100*200) =  20,000 on this amount they will charge either whichever amount is lower as 0.03% of 20000, is Rs.6 so they will charge that instead of flat Rs.20.


ICICI Direct Brokerage Charges:

I think ICICIdirect have listened to the people demands and have slashed the brokerage in every segment. They have come up with new brokerage plan termed as NEO,

Here is the new brokerage structure as per ICICIdirect:

ICICI Direct NEO Plan Brokerage Charges Review:


ICICI Direct NEO Brokerage Plan Review


New brokerage would be @ ₹20 per order only. There would not be any brokerage on lots. 

Open your ICICI direct bank, Trading & Demat A/C Free With NEO Brokerage Plan Here


ICICIdirect Prime Brokerage Structure:

ICICIdirect Prime Membership Plan us the new addition this plan gives you.

  • More than 50% Brokerage reduction
  • Instant payout for your stocks sold (eATM)
  • Exclusive Research
  • Access to exclusive ‘Research content’ and ‘Website’ for all Prime cards
  • Complimentary ‘Bullet Plan’ i.e. Zero brokerage on intraday Stop Loss products for trades squared off within 5 minutes
  • Special reduced ‘Interest’ on delayed payments/MTF carry forward positions in Equity Margin Product
  • NCD/Bonds transactions along with penny stocks charged at a lower brokerage as that of cash


ICICIdirect Prime Membership Plan


So, overall if we see in terms of brokerage Zerodha is still have a little lower rate than ICICI direct.  


Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Account Opening Charges:

No, it was not always the case, Icici direct used to charge for trading and demat account opening, however after facing tough competition from Zerodha as well as other discount brokerages such as 5Paisa, Fyers, upstox, they have decided to lure the customers with free 3 in 1 account, which is great by the way.


Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Trading and Demat Account Opening Charges:


ICICI Direct offers 3-in-1 accounts which includes ICICI bank account, ICICI trading account, and ICICI demat account. The 3-in-1 trading account gives you the convenience of opening a demat, trading & bank account.

You can seamlessly trade in Shares, Futures & Options, Currencies, commodities, invest in Mutual Funds, IPOs and Life Insurance.

  • Trading Account Opening Charges: Free for limited time period
  • Demat Account Opening Charges: Free
  • Demat Account AMC: Rs 300 PA (Waived for 1st year) Excluding taxes

However, if the Demat account is under Basic Service DEMAT Account (BSDA), no AMC is levied for holding value up to 50000.

Overall, ICICIDirect is beating Zerodha in its own game by offering no charges to open the account for a limited time period.

Moreover, for people who not only do intraday trade but make other investments, such as investment in US markets or ELSS, PPF, SIP’s, FD, RD, ETF’s etc., or looking for Loans or credit cards, Insurance etc.

ICICIDirect is a one place shop for them, you can get research reports related to stock market, stock recommendation, IPO/NFO reports and much more, There are so many things you can do with ICICIDirect at one place which is really not possible at Zerodha or any other broker.

Click here to open an free trading/demat/Bank Account (optional) at ICICIDirect online within minutes

Where as Zerodha charges one time account opening fee of Rs.200 only for equity and Rs.300 for (Equity, FNO, Currency, commodity) and Rs.300 for AMC (Annual Maintenance Charge) at the year end.


No.1 broker in india


Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Account Opening Process Online:

The account opening process is online and it’s very seamless and smooth. Here is what you need to do:

To open an account with Zerodha online, you can sign up using your mobile number through this link.

Similarly, to open an account with ICICI Direct just click on this and do the registration by entering your name, mobile no. and email.

You will receive an OTP to your number and you can get started with the process.

You will be required to enter your PAN, Bank account details and personal details to continue with the sign-up.

Once you sign up you need to upload certain documents listed below:

1. Your PAN card

2. Your Aadhaar

3. To complete the e Sign process, you will have to authenticate it with an OTP. So, make sure you have the number linked to your Aadhaar handy. If not, you will not be able to complete the process. If the number linked to your Aadhaar is inactive, or if you don’t have any number linked, then you can visit your nearest Aadhaar Seva Kendra to get it updated.

4. Cancelled cheque/Bank statement to link your bank account –
If your cheque is not personalized then the bank statement you upload should have both the IFSC and MICR code printed on it. If not then your application will be rejected. The bank statement has to be self-attested.

5. A photo or scanned copy of your signature proof will be required to be uploaded.

6. Income proof
It is mandatory to submit income proof if you wish to trade in Futures and options – Equity, Commodity, and Currency.  You can submit one of the below documents.
Income tax returns acknowledgment
6-month Bank statement
Latest salary slip
Demat holding statement, or
A CA certifying your net worth

Note: The documents mentioned are for a Resident Individual Account.

Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Trading Platform Comparison:


Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Trading Platform Comparison:


The most important part of any trading platform is the tools and resources it has to technical analysis. Zerodha and ICICI Direct both has all the indicators and types of chart required to make it possible.

Although in the image above I have mentioned that there are no API’s offered by ICICIDirect but with new  features getting launched by brokers every other day to be at a better position in comparison to other brokers, ICICIDirect have also launched Breeze.

You can build, backtest, and trade your strategy in live markets at zero cost with the most secure and simple to use API from ICICIdirect.

Whether you want to use:

MACD indicator

Bollinger Bands indicator

RSI indicator

Volume Indicator

Support and Resistance indicator

Different Candlestick patterns etc. you name the indicator and it will be there, so all in all zerodha and ICICI Direct has everything what is needed for a hassle-free trading platform.

You can add- withdraw funds directly, create or back-test trading strategies and lot more.

The reason I am not involving all the features of different trading platform, because unnecessary post will be long, however you can read them in detail if you want here for Zerodha trading platform for ICICI Direct trading platform.

Having said that Zerodha trading platform offers much better user interface as well as they have many other services integrated within the platform such as Sensibull, small case, Refinitiv, tickertape, sentinel, streak etc.

ICICIDirect have also tied up with third party service such as Sensibull for ready made options trading strategies and Smallcase. smallcases are the easiest way to buy & manage multiple portfolios of stocks/ETFs.

Overall, if you see Zerodha trading platform user interface may be better but ICICIDirect has better features inbuilt.


Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Other Services Comparison:

In this section you can see the comparison regarding all the various services offered by zerodha and Icici direct at one place.


Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Other Services Comparison


Other than this ICICI direct recently announce launch of their Global Investment Platform.

Now you can invest in your favorite brands listed in US markets and create an intelligent portfolio. Access to global markets helps diversify your portfolio and reduce overall risk. Below are some of the features:


icici direct option selling margin


Get additional benefits with ICICI Direct now:


icicidirect offers


Whereas Zerodha is yet to launch their global investment platform in market. So overall if you see, Zerodha on one hand covers all the services a discount broker should have, on the other hand ICICI Direct being a full time broker offers all different financial services. 


No.1 broker in india


My Opinion On Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct:

I hope you have now thoroughly understood most of the services offered by Zerodha and ICICI Direct, if you ask me in Zerodha vs ICICI Direct who is better?

Zerodha in itself is the universe, whether you are a beginner or experience trader and investor, zerodha has all resources set at one place for you. Having said that Zerodha as of now is only limited to stock market and does not offer any other financials services.

Expressing my opinion in terms of all technological tools, advanced platforms, robust management I would rate Zerodha 9.4 out of 10.

So, if you are more of a trader making intraday trades on daily basis and not looking for other segments such as Fixed deposits (FD), Recurring deposits (RD), PMS services, Loans like personal loan, home loan, insurance etc. than you should go with Zerodha without any doubt.

To open an account with Zerodha right away click on this link.

Whereas if we talk about ICICI Direct it is more suitable for trading, investment as well as banking purpose.

However with the new brokerage structure that ICICIdirect have launched and slashed the brokerages to somewhat similar to zerodha, now you can do intraday trading without worrying about much higher brokerage charges like previously.

If I have to rate the ICICI Direct in comparison with Zerodha, I will give 9.5 out of 10.

Moreover there are no charges for opening an account as of now with ICICI Direct so nothing to lose. So don’t wait, go ahead and open an account now with ICICI Direct.

So, all in all It really depends on what exactly are you looking to do, ICICIDirect is like a supermarket where you will find everything related to financials services, where as Zerodha as of now is only dedicated towards intraday trading and investing in stock market.

If you are a beginner in trading and investing, please read this amazing guide on How stock market works in India?

Learn the basics of option trading step by step here.

If, you have liked the content please do share it with your friends or on social media, as sharing do bring the good karma. If you have any questions or feedback you can leave them in comment box below.

Note: Please do your own research and make investment. Moneycontain will not be responsible for any of your losses at all. The point made is for educational purpose only and intended to give information. All investments are subject to risks, which should be considered prior to making any investments.

Leave a Reply