Zerodha V/s Upstox – This is not an advertisement for either broker and this answer is a sum of my experience.
I have traded with Zerodha for 4 years and Upstox for one month now. Note that I was with traditional brokers for about 8 years before I switched to low cost brokers. here are my key observations with respect to the two
Zerodha is the best discount broker for Day Trading !!
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Zerodha V/s Upstox
Here is the explanation:
Zerodha is India’s largest and most popular stock broker. It offers online flat fee discount brokerage services to invest and trade in Equity, Currency, Commodity, IPO and Direct Mutual Funds. Zerodha charge INR 0 brokerage for equity delivery trades. For intraday and F&O, it charges flat INR 20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower) per executed order. With Zerodha, the maximum brokerage you pay for any transaction is INR 20 for an order.
Zerodha is the safest, most reliable & trustworthy broker in India. Zerodha ratio of complaints to active clients is among the least on the exchange. It is a zero-debt company. It doesn’t offer Margin Funding, doesn’t keep client securities in the pooled account and doesn’t do proprietary Trading. This makes it the least risky stock broker in India.
Incorporated in 2010; Zerodha is first and the leading stock broker in India by volume, the number of customers and growth. As of April 2020, Zerodha has 12+ lakh active clients. Zerodha contributes to over 15% of daily retail trading volumes across NSE, BSE and MCX.
Zerodha is the most technologically advanced stock broker in India. Zerodha has built its own trading software Zerodha Kite (web and mobile trading app), Coin (mutual fund investment platform), Varsity (investor education program), Trading Q&A and many other tools. Zerodha also offers Smallcase (thematic investment platform), Streak (algo & strategy platform), Sensibull (options trading platform) and GoldenPi.
Zerodha brokerage charges are simple and very easy to understand. Customer who moved to Zerodha from full-service brokers saves 80% to 90% in brokerage fees. Zerodha is suitable for all kinds of investors including active and passive investors, beginners, active traders and algo traders.
Zerodha Charge / Fee Structure:
Securities Transaction Tax : This is charged only on the sell side for intraday and F&O trades. It is charged on both sides for Delivery trades in Equity.
Stamp Duty: Charged as per the state of the client’s correspondence address.
Goods and Services Tax (GST): This is charged at 18% of the total cost of brokerage plus transaction charges.
SEBI Charges: This is charged at INR 10 per Crore.
Other Charges (Zerodha Hidden Fees):
1. Call and Trade feature is available at an extra cost of INR 50 per call.
2. Additional charge of INR 50 per executed order for MIS/BO/CO positions which are not square off by the customer.
3. Digital Contract notes are sent via Email. Physical copies of contract notes can be ordered at additional charge of INR 20 per contract. Courier charges are extra.
4. Trade SMS alerts (optional) are charged at INR 1 for Equity, F&O, and Currency trade alerts and INR 0.50 for Commodity trade alerts.
5. Instant payment gateway charges for over 22 banks – INR 9 per fund transfer.
6. DP charges for delivery based equity selling – INR 8 per transaction.
7. Standard NSE charges, transaction charges and statutory levies are charged.
Zerodha Trading Software.
A customer can trade with Zerodha in following ways:
1. Kite 3.0 (Web-based Trading Platform)
Launched in November 2015, Zerodha Kite Web is a web-based HTML 5 lightweight & fast trading platform which can be used for trading on mobile, tablets as well as on a web browser. Kite is developed in-house by Zerodha and since its launch has undergone various updates. Currently, Kite 3.0 web platform is offered by Zerodha. It offers full market watch, extensive charting with over 100 indicators and 6 chart types, advanced order types like Brackets and cover, millisecond order placements, and much more for trading at BSE, NSE and MCX. Kite Web 3.0 is available for free to all its customers.
2. Kite Android / Kite iOS (Mobile Trading App)
A smartphone application for Android and iOS. This app allows customers to trade from their mobile phones. Kite Mobile app is available for free all its customer for trading & monitoring stocks and commodity markets in India. With live streaming data from BSE, NSE and MCX, Kite Mobile App is the most advanced trading app available in India.
3. Console (Reporting Dashboard)
Console is the back-office platform of Zerodha. It’s a trade and reporting dashboard wherein Zerodha customers can view and monitor all their investments- stocks, derivatives and mutual funds etc. They can also access various reports, get account statement, place withdrawal requests and download contract notes. The ‘Console’ also offers analytics tools such as tradebook and heatmap.
4. Zerodha Sentinel (Price Alert Tools)
Sentinel is a cloud-based tool which allows Zerodha customers to set up price alerts on stocks, futures and options. The unique feature of Sentinel is that unlike other similar price alert tools that are machine dependent and only trigger when the computer is on, here price alerts can be triggered for any time, even when the computer is off. Notifications are sent on Kite and e-mail every time a price alert is triggered. With Sentinel, a trader can set real-time price alerts on 80,000 stocks, derivatives and bonds etc., across exchanges.
5. Coin (Mutual Fund Investment)
Zerodha Coin is a Mutual Fund investment platform by Zerodha. Coin allows people to invest in Direct Mutual Funds. This means you could do commission-free direct MF investment. It offers savings of over 1.5% on commissions every year. Mutual Funds are deposited in Demat account linked with Zerodha trading account.
6.Call & Trade
Customers who are not online; can use Call & Trade service for an additional cost of INR 50 per trader.
Moving to Upstox now.
- Lowest brokerages that are on par with that of Zerodha.
- Fast processing of account opening : They do this really fast and the online account can be opened in less than 48 hours.
- Freebies on joining such as a 1 year moneycontrol premium subscription (at-least for now), and ‘supposedly’ free brokerage for a month (which is slightly misleading and I’ll come back to this).
- A very simplistic and easy to use Phone App that’s easy to trade for those who trade from their mobile mostly. The app also helps you create custom notifications for prices for individual watch-list items. This is actually good for newbies and seasoned traders alike.
- Referral bonus- Upstox keeps advertising they will give 400,500,600 in referral (keeps changing from tine to time).
Note: I have only referred one friend ONLY because of the account opening speed and because I wanted the friend to capitalise on to imminent commodity trades. Will not be referring anybody for now because I’m a bit disappointed with the broker overall and don’t want the ill-will of anybody.
- Customer support is incredibly poor and SLOW. If Zerodha’s support can be rated 5/10, then Upstox certainly doesn’t deserve a 2/10. Phone support isn’t reachable on time and for email support, customer executives sometimes don’t even realise what a problem is. For example when I reported that I wasn’t getting a brokerage reversal, they took 3 days to simply acknowledge ticket, 5 days for first response and 2 weeks to finally convey that free brokerage doesn’t apply for commodity trading only equity. Another instance, they took 1 week to give the response to logout and login when I had an error in modifying orders.
- Misleading advertising: When I opened an account I was assured of free brokerage for a month. However, later I got to know it is NOT free brokerage for commodities. Secondly even for equities (where they give free brokerage), as per the clarification provided by the customer executive, the brokerage is charged first and then credited back in ledger – I have used this for a month and nothing has been credited back in my ledger. After multiple customer support interactions, they talked about using ‘virtual money’ and gave me 5000 worth of virtual money that they said will be used in lieu of brokerage for stock trades.
- Complex unfriendly Browser-based platform with many issues : Using Upstox pro is really a pain first time around because of numerous reasons.
- Order modification works differently for different types of orders. For modifying cover orders you have to go to the open order screen select individual orders, whereas deliver order types, you have to modify from positions screen. The error messages thrown are also unhelpful – I tried to get customer support and they took a week to give the standard response ‘logout and login’.
- The cancelled orders and executed/completed orders are all clubbed together in an all-in-one screen and there is no filter you can apply to sort on trade types to isolate what you need – this makes it incredibly difficult to see your open orders when you have done multiple trades in a day. This is really poor design.
- There are not enough tutorials or guidance for using the platform (unlike Zerodha which has plenty of that online). So you have to go by trial and error and actually might lose some money (because you are slow to react) by the time you simply get familiar with the workings of the platform.
- There is no single-sign on for backoffice and the trading platform (I’m actually using two sets of passwords for them).
- Once you place a separate stop loss order for an intraday order, you can’t modify it (you get an error), you have to create another SL order and cancel the previous one (such a pain and waste of time)
- Another seriously annoying problem – if you want to trade a particular scrip, you can not watch the bid/ask spread and place the order at the same time – because one screen replaces the other. Say for example, you are watching a stock option to watch the bid ask spread and want to quickly exit based on the highest bid, the moment you try to place the order, the screen that shows the details of option (bid/ask/last traded price etc) disappears and is replaced by the buy/sell screen. So you end up placing your order blind without being able to simultaneously see details of the bid ask spread and LTT . This is probably one of the worst features of the UX design and I’m finding it appalling that nobody in Upstox actually thought about this.
Concluison : Over all conclusion is that Zerodha is well equipped in its Sofware support as well as services support. Thus Zerodha has maintained the Maximum No of active as compare to any other brokerage Firm.
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