ICICIdirect Review

Category: Reviews | Author: Trading Brokers | Date: October 16, 2023

ICICIdirect, a comprehensive online trading and investment platform, operates under the umbrella of ICICI Securities, a subsidiary of ICICI Bank. Offering a diverse array of financial products and services, such as equity, derivatives, currency, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, insurance, and loans, ICICIdirect aims to cater to its customers’ diverse financial needs. Additionally, the platform provides research and educational resources, aiding users in making informed financial decisions. With a substantial customer base exceeding 5 million and a network of over 200 branches across India, ICICIdirect stands as a notable player in the financial landscape. In this article, we will objectively assess ICICIdirect across key aspects, including regulation, platforms and tools, education, markets, accounts, and funding.

Pros & Cons

  • Diversified product portfolio across markets
  • Educational resources and programmes
  • Low brokerage plans under Neo and Prepaid accounts
  • Advanced trading platforms and tools
  • Strong customer support and research services
  • No direct market access or ECN/STP execution
  • High account opening charges
  • No forex or crypto trading
  • Limited margin trading facility
  • Variable spreads and commissions

Summary

ICICIdirect Review

ICICIdirect Review

ICICIdirect operates as a full-service online trading and investment platform, functioning under ICICI Securities, a subsidiary of ICICI Bank, and established in 1994. It adheres to regulatory oversight by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), ensuring compliance and customer security. The platform offers a spectrum of financial products and services encompassing equity, derivatives, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, insurance, and loans. Additionally, it provides research and educational resources to aid customers in making informed financial decisions.

With a substantial customer base exceeding 5 million and a presence spanning over 200 branches across India, ICICIdirect holds a notable position in the market, describing itself as the largest online retail broker in India with a market share of over 40%. To support trading and investment activities, ICICIdirect offers various platforms and tools, including ICICIdirect Mobile, Trade Racer Web, Trade Racer, and F&O Trading Tools. These platforms feature essentials such as live-streaming quotes, multiple watchlists, technical analysis tools, and more.

In response to diverse needs, ICICIdirect presents different account types, each delivering specific benefits, including competitive brokerage plans, advanced trading platforms, and customer support. Furthermore, ICICIdirect provides funding options such as Margin Trading Funding (MTF), Margin Plus, eATM, Flash, Bank Transfer, and Credit/Debit Card. These funding methods cater to various preferences and offer features like leverage, instant credit, and seamless fund transfers.

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Regulation

ICICIdirect operates under the regulatory purview of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the overseeing authority responsible for regulating all financial intermediaries in India. SEBI’s mandate extends to the supervision of mutual fund schemes, pension fund schemes, and online trading and investment platforms, including those offered by ICICIdirect. SEBI’s role is to establish stringent guidelines and regulations, mandating that ICICIdirect adheres to them while managing its suite of products and services. These guidelines encompass transparent disclosure of fund value, expenses, fund utilization, portfolio holdings, fees, charges, and advertising practices. Furthermore, SEBI sets forth specific requirements concerning minimum corpus, independent directors, trustees, and custodians for various schemes and funds. To ensure adherence, SEBI conducts annual assessments of ICICIdirect’s compliance with these regulations and guidelines. For alternative options, you may explore a list of regulated brokers.

Platforms & Tools

ICICIdirect offers a diverse range of platforms and tools designed to empower its customers in navigating the complexities of the financial markets. Among these offerings are:

  • ICICIdirect Mobile: This user-friendly mobile trading app provides customers with the flexibility to execute trades, access real-time quotes, monitor their portfolios, stay updated on market movements, and access live research calls. Available on both Android and iOS smartphones, it offers on-the-go convenience.
    ICICIdirect Mobile

    ICICIdirect Mobile

  • Trade Racer Web: This web-based platform ensures accessibility from any browser, granting customers access to a trading terminal equipped with advanced features. These features encompass live streaming quotes, the ability to maintain multiple watchlists, technical analysis tools, heat maps, and market scanners, among others.
    Trade Racer Web

    Trade Racer Web

  • Trade Racer: For a robust trading experience, ICICIdirect offers desktop trading software. This software empowers customers with a customizable interface, real-time market data, trend-scanning capabilities, live research insights, and an option strategy builder.
    Trade Racer

    Trade Racer

  • F&O Trading Tools: Focused on the futures and options market, these tools are invaluable for customers. Notable tools include i-Track, Payoff Analyzer, Advance Charts, and F&O Insights. They provide crucial data and insights on open positions, payoff charts, moving averages, implied volatility, greek values, open interest, and put-call ratios.

These platforms and tools collectively equip ICICIdirect customers with a comprehensive toolkit to make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of financial markets effectively.

Education

ICICIdirect is committed to offering a range of educational resources through its ICICIdirect Centre for Financial Learning (ICFL). As an initiative under ICICI Securities Ltd., ICFL focuses on promoting financial literacy and nurturing individuals for potential roles within India’s financial markets. ICFL operates within two distinct categories: Investment Education and Professional Certification and Development. Over the years, it has successfully trained a substantial number of students and investors, surpassing 1.5 lakh individuals, utilizing various educational formats including seminars, workshops, certifications, and online courses.

To make learning more accessible, ICFL provides select online courses through the iLearn app. These courses encompass straightforward investment lessons, informative videos, and insightful podcasts. ICFL has also earned recognition as an authorized education partner for the Financial Planning Corporation of India Limited, particularly for the CFPCM Certification Programme. In this professional capacity, ICFL plays a role in contributing to the advancement of financial knowledge and skills within its audience.

Markets

ICICIdirect offers its customers a diverse range of opportunities to engage in various financial markets and access a broad spectrum of financial products through its online platforms and tools. One avenue for customers is Equity Trading, which provides access to a substantial market featuring over 3,000 stocks and more than 1,000 derivatives contracts on both the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). This includes trading options in derivatives like futures and options contracts across stocks, indices, currencies, and commodities.

Another avenue is Mutual Fund Investments, where customers can choose from over 2,000 mutual fund schemes offered by more than 40 fund houses. These encompass diverse categories, including equity, debt, hybrid, liquid, and tax-saving funds. Moreover, customers can efficiently manage their investments through features like the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), Systematic Transfer Plan (STP), Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP), and Switch.

For those seeking diversified investment options, ICICIdirect provides access to Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). These ETFs, numbering over 70, track the performance of indices, commodities, currencies, or a diversified basket of securities. They offer liquidity, cost-efficiency, and diversification similar to stocks. Additionally, customers can explore Bonds as fixed-income instruments. The platform offers access to a portfolio exceeding 100 bonds from various issuers, including corporates, governments, PSUs, and NBFCs. Bonds offer regular interest income and prioritize capital protection.

For individuals looking to secure their financial future, ICICIdirect offers a comprehensive selection of Insurance Solutions, including over 200 policies from more than 20 reputable insurance companies. These policies provide financial security and protection against a range of risks. Lastly, ICICIdirect facilitates access to Loan Facilities with options such as home loans, personal loans, car loans, education loans, and more. These loans are available through ICICI Bank and its partner banks, offering competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options. In essence, ICICIdirect empowers customers with a multitude of avenues to access financial markets and products, enabling them to align their choices with their financial goals and preferences.

Accounts

ICICIdirect offers various account types and brokerage plans to cater to the diverse needs of its customers. Here are the main types of accounts and plans offered:

  • Trading Account: A trading account with ICICIdirect allows you to trade in a variety of financial products and services such as Equity, Mutual Funds, Derivatives, Futures and Options Currency, Commodity, ETF, Insurance, IPOs, Corporate Fixed Deposits, Loans, NPS, Wealth Management, Corporate Services, NRI Services, Portfolio Management Services, Global Investment, Financial Learning, Tax Services, and more.
  • Demat Account: This account is for Indian residents who want to trade in securities within India. It is the most common type of Demat account and is used by people residing in India and holding Indian citizenship.
  • Repatriable Demat Account: This account is for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who wish to trade in Indian securities and transfer funds to another country. To open a Repatriable Demat Account, the NRI must have an NRE (Non-Resident External) bank account linked to the Demat account.
  • Non-Repatriable Demat Account: This account is specifically for NRIs who want to trade in Indian securities but do not want to transfer funds to another country. To open a Non-Repatriable Demat Account, the NRI must have an NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) bank account linked to the Demat account.
  • ICICIdirect Neo: This is a revolutionary new-age brokerage plan where you pay zero brokerage on Futures, only ₹20 per order on unlimited Options and Equity Intraday trades, and ₹20 per order for Currency and Commodity trades.
  • ICICIdirect Prime: This membership plan is designed to reduce brokerage charges and provide additional benefits such as instant payout for stocks sold (eATM), buy stocks and pay later at reduced interest rates, and access to exclusive research content. The Prime plans range from ₹299 to ₹9,999, offering various levels of brokerage reduction and other benefits.
  • Prepaid Brokerage Plan: ICICIdirect offers a lifetime prepaid brokerage plan for both resident and NRI customers, allowing you to reduce brokerage charges by up to 84% across all products and save on transaction costs. The prepaid brokerage plan comes with lifetime validity, and you can utilize the brokerage amount until it gets exhausted.
  • I-Secure Plan: This is a standard brokerage plan offered by ICICIdirect. The brokerage rates and charges for this plan are higher compared to the Prime and Neo plans.
  • NRI Brokerage Plans: ICICIdirect offers specific brokerage plans for NRI customers, such as the NRI Prime Plan and NRI Prepaid Brokerage Plan. These plans provide individualized support, reduced brokerage, and exclusive research content for NRI customers.

To open an account with ICICIdirect, you can follow the online application process, upload self-attested documents, complete digital In-Person Verification, and print the completed form

Funding

ICICIdirect offers various funding methods for users to fund their accounts. Here are the main methods:

  • Bank Transfer: You can link your bank account to your ICICIdirect trading account and transfer funds electronically. This method is convenient and secure, allowing you to move money between accounts with ease.
  • Cheque Deposit: If you prefer, you can deposit a cheque to fund your ICICIdirect account. Keep in mind that this method may take longer than electronic transfers, as the cheque needs to be cleared by the bank before the funds become available in your trading account.
  • Online Payment Gateway: ICICIdirect provides an online payment gateway for users to fund their accounts using Internet banking, credit cards, or debit cards. This method offers a quick and easy way to transfer funds to your trading account, making it a popular choice for many users.

Please note that the funding methods may vary depending on the type of account and your location. It’s a good idea to check with ICICIdirect for specific funding options available to you. Additionally, be aware of any fees or charges associated with the funding methods, as well as the processing time for each method.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ICICIdirect provides a comprehensive suite of services and resources for traders and investors, offering diverse accounts, funding options, and educational support. However, it’s important to keep in mind that alternative brokers with longer track records are available. For a broader range of choices, we recommend exploring our trading broker reviews.

ICICIdirect Logo

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ICICIdirect is a full-service online trading and investment platform that is part of ICICI Securities, a subsidiary of ICICI Bank. It provides research and education services to help its customers make informed decisions in the financial markets.

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.


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