ICICI Direct Review
ICICI Direct is one of the topmost bank based full-service broking company in India. It is a retail investment and trading arm of ICICI Securities which is further part of India's top financial service provider ICICI group. Without a doubt, the brand equity gained by ICICI banking services in the past 2 decades helps ICICI Direct but at the same time, ICICI Direct is famous for its incredible customer service and vast offline presence across the country.
With more than 35 Lakh customers across the country, it offers a range of trading and investment services. These segments include:
- Mutual funds
- Fixed Deposits
- Non-convertible Debentures (NCDs)
One of the unique features of ICICI Direct is the 3-in-1 account which includes the Bank account, Demat account, and the Trading account. This feature is only available with stockbroking companies that have the leverage of a banking services parent company.
The advantage of having a 3-in-1 account is that you get a seem-less trading experience since your bank account is directly integrated to your trading account which helps in instant money transfer.
"ICICI Direct boosts of having an active client base of 6,18,359 - the highest in the country."
In case of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) such as Angel broking or Sharekhan money transfer from your bank account to your trading account takes some time that might elude you from making money at specific lucrative opportunities.
ICICI Direct Trading Platforms
ICICI Direct offers state-of-the-art trading platforms for desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. Here are the details:
Trade racer is an executable file that can be installed on your machine and then from there clients can carry out their trading from their desktop or laptop. Some of the features this trading platform carries are:
- View all trending scrips within a single screen or interface
- With Live scanner feature, clients can instantly identify stocks that are making high or low
- With Heatmap feature, stocks high or low can be identified directly with colour coding without looking at data
- Customisable colour layouts and market charts
"Clients who are able to generate monthly brokerage in excess of ₹750 gets free access to this trading platform while the ones that cannot are required to pay ₹75 per month as subscription cost of this software."
The above lined above suggests that the broker favours the traders who trade on a regular basis and consistently generate business for them. However, small investors or beginners are, in a sense, penalized for low brokerage in form of this un-necessary subscription cost.
Trade racer web is a browser-based version of Trade Racer software where users do not need to install and can be accessed from anywhere. Some of the top features of this platform are:
- Live and streaming quotes
- Drag and drop widgets facilitation
- Up to 5 watchlists
- User alerts and notifications
Other features include:
- Multiple watch lists with live streaming quotes
- Observe Current Limit, CMP with Best 5 bid/offer, modify allocation in a single window and more
Only concerning factor in this browser-based application is its user experience. For users, especially beginners, it may become difficult to understand the navigation and feature usage easily.
This mobile app is one of the top trading mobile apps in India. The app comes with the following features:
- Latest quotes, scrips, market updates can be analyzed
- Portfolio tracking and market movement
- Live research calls and market tips
Thus, looking at the rating, update frequency cycle, and customer feedback, it seems pretty clear that the broker does not seem to have much focus when it comes to its mobile trading application. In this day and age, when users are gradually moving towards mobile apps for day to day trading, it does not seem to be a promising news for the clients of ICICI Direct.
ICICI Direct Customer Service
ICICI Direct provides you with the following communication channels for service:
- Offline Branches
- Web help
The expectations from the clients of such a huge brand name such as ICICI Direct are generally high. This gets fuelled by the fact that it is a full-service stockbroker that charges premium brokerage charges in lieu of quality customer service and research. As far as the former is concerned, the quality is pretty mediocre, especially in terms of turnaround time.
The biggest concern of all is that the broker seems to give major attention to high net worth individuals or heavy traders. Thus, users that are small to medium in terms of turnover or the ones who are beginners looking to enter into stock trading space, get miniscule attention. Make sure you do understand that aspect before opening an account.
"ICICI Direct has a repository on user education around basics and fundamentals of trading, Mutual funds, Futures, and options as well as investing. This is available for free and can be accessed from their website. The complete course consists of 11 modules divided into 2 chapters. Although content-wise, its good but the way it has been structured, could have been improved."
ICICI Direct Pricing
The account opening for this full-service stockbroker is free while the AMC is pretty high at ₹700.
"The Call and Trade facility is charged at ₹25 per executed trade."
ICICI Direct Brokerage Charges
This full-service stockbroker charges these brokerage percentages, however, it really depends on the kind of plan you subscribe to.
Use this ICICI Direct Brokerage Calculator for complete understanding of charges and your profit
For more information, check out this complete ICICI Direct Review.