ICICI Direct Review 2022 (Brokerage, Margins, Annual Charges, Pros & Cons)

ICICI Direct Overview- ICICI Direct is the broking brand of ICICI Securities Limited and both, ICICI Direct & Securities, are a part of ICICI Bank Limited. 

ICICI Direct home

ICICI Direct is a full-service stockbroker. The full-service products and services offerings include;

  • Investing/ trading in equities and derivatives
  • Comprehensive research  advisory &  reports 
  • ETF, IPO, SIP, and mutual fund investment
  • Insurance and wealth management services
  • Financial planning & investment
  • Portfolio management services
  • Loans, FD, and bond products

However, the brokerages for trading high volumes are much higher at ICICI Direct. The charges are 0.275% for intraday trades. 

This comes to Rs. 275 (1,00,000 x 0.275 / 100) for a single intraday trade of Rs. 1 Lakh which is very high when compared to discount brokers who charge a flat Rs. 20 brokerages. 

About ICICI Bank

ICICIdirect is the largest full-service broker in India with more than 50 lakh customer base. ICICI Direct has 170+ branches across India.

ICICI Direct provides more than 50 services such as Stocks, IPOs, Mutual Funds, and Wealth Management. You can also apply for a loan with ICICI Direct for your funds requirements. ICICI Direct 13 types of loans like home loan, personal loan and gold loan.

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ICICI Direct Brokerage Charges 

ICICI Direct offers three brokerage plans;

  1.  i-Secure Plan
  2. Prepaid Brokerage Plan
  3. ICICI Direct Prime

Brokerage charges for  i-Secure Plan;

A variable percentage of brokerage is charged on the basis of quarterly turnover. Higher the turnover, lesser will be the brokerage.

Trading TypeBrokerage Charges
Equity Delivery0.55% (including buy and sell)
Equity Intraday0.275% ( the second leg is not charged)
Equity Futures0.050% plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg
Equity OptionsRs. 95 per lot plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg
Currency Futures 0.050% plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 10 on the second leg
Currency OptionsRs. 25 per lot plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 10 on the second leg

The brokerage for Margin and Margin Plus under the  i-Secure Plan is 0.050%.

Brokerage charges under Prepaid Brokerage Plan;

Prepaid PlanCash Intraday  FuturesOptions (per lot)Currency F&OCommodity Futures
5,000.000.25%0.025%Rs. 35Rs. 20 per orderRs. 20 per order
12,500.000.22%0.022%Rs. 30Rs. 20 per orderRs. 20 per order
25,000.000.18%0.018%Rs. 25Rs. 20 per orderRs. 20 per order
50,000.000.15%0.015%Rs. 20Rs. 20 per orderRs. 20 per order
1,00,000.000.12%0.012%Rs. 15Rs. 20 per orderRs. 20 per order
1,50,000.000.09%0.009%Rs. 10Rs. 20 per orderRs. 20 per order

Brokerage charges under ICICI Direct Prime Plan;

Prime PlanScheme validity Delivery brokerageIntraday
Equity OptionsCurrency
Rs. 299365 days0.27%0.027%Rs. 40 per lotRs. 20 per order
Rs. 999365 days0.22%0.022%Rs. 35 per lotRs. 20 per order
Rs. 1,999365 days0.18%0.018%Rs. 25 per lotRs. 20 per order
Rs. 2,999365 days0.15%0.015%Rs. 20 per lotRs. 20 per order

ICICI Direct Account Opening & Annual Charges 

You can open a 3-in-1 (demat + trading + bank) account with ICICI Direct. You need to have an account with ICICI Bank. 

The trading account will be with ICICI Securities Limited. Whereas, the bank and the demat account will be maintained with the ICICI Bank.  

Charges for opening an account are as under;

Trading and Demat account opening chargesRs. 0
Trading account annual maintenance chargesRs. 0
Demat account annual maintenance chargesRs. 700

ICICI Direct Available Margins

The information on margins for various trade types is not available on the ICICI Direct website.

The below information on the margins is collected from different websites. Please take due care for the while using the below information. 

Equity Delivery5X
Intraday EquityUp to 25X depending on the stock
Equity Futures4X
Equity Options2X

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ICICI Direct Demat & Trading Account Features 

#1. High Brokerage Charges

ICICI Direct is a full-service broker with a lot of other value-added products and services such as research advisory and portfolio management. 

All of which helps you in handholding, trading and investing smoothly. This involves a higher cost of services. 

The brokerages on delivery trade are 0.55%. That means if you do trading of one lakhs of rupees (both buy & sell), your brokerage comes to 1,00,000 x 0.55 / 100 = Rs. 550. 

This is far more than the Rs. 20 x 2 (for buy & sell) = Rs. 40 at discount brokers.

#2. Research Advisory

ICICI Direct offers research reports and services that include:

  • Pre-market views on momentum pick and derivatives
  • Intraday recommendations on derivatives strategies and trends
  • Monthly outlook on technicals, derivatives, and mutual funds
  • Long-term recommendations on companies, investments & model portfolio

The period of different reports is from daily to yearly. 

#3. A Lot of Services & Products

ICICI Direct has a whole range of trading services. One can trade in Equity, Stock derivatives, Currency, Bonds, and ETFs.

Apart from that, you can invest in Mutual Funds, IPO/FPO/Buybacks, and Insurance products. ICICI Direct also helps you to get loans, tax assistance, eLocker and opening an NPS account.

ICICI Direct offers Financial Planning, Wealth Management, and Portfolio Management services. It has NRI & Corporate services too. 

#4. Trading Platform

Traders have access to ICICI Direct’s “Trade Racer” trading platform. Trade Racer platform is available:

  • In the webform
  • Desktop application form
  • Mobile App form  

ICICI Direct Trading Platforms

#1. Trade Racer 

ICICI Trade Racer

You get a “Trade Racer” trading platform when you open an account with ICICI Direct. You have to download the software in your system (laptop or desktop).

Trade Racer has Trend Scanner to help you identify real-time trading opportunities. The scanner tools are based on pre-defined technical parameters that you can set according to your trading needs. 

Trade Racer also offers “Heat m Maps” for spotting price movements. 

Further, the Live Scanner tool on the Trade Racer helps you identify scrips nearing days, week, month, 3 month and year high or low prices. 

However, the platform is bulky and loads slowly. ICICI Direct also sends too many trade calls and tips that can be overwhelming.

#2. Trade Racer Web


Trade Racer Web is a browser based trading platform that provides you the most of the features that Trade racer software offers such as Trend Scanner to analyse trading opportunities.

You can shortlist up to 100 stocks in 5 watchlists (20 scrips per watchlist) for quick analysis of your favourite stocks.

You can also check Current Limit, Best 5 bid/offer under a single window for quick order placement in Stocks and F&O.

#3. ICICI Direct Mobile

icici direct mobile

ICICI direct Mobile (earlier ICICI Trader) allows you to view latest quotes, track your portfolio and analyze market movements on the go.

You can also get live research calls and heat maps to spot price movements in your smartphone. ICICI direct Mobile can map your fingerprint for login that enhances the app security.

App is lightweight and fast but you may face automatic log outs at times.

ICICI Direct Customer Care 

#1. Customer Service

Indian Customer HelplineNRI Customer Helpline
1860 123 1122 +91- 22-3914 0422

Enter your trading account number in IVR to connect with the representative.

You can contact the helpline between 8.30AM to 6.00 PM from Monday to Friday.

#2. WhatsApp Service

You can message “Hi” on 9833330151 to avail Whatsapp service if you have subscribed to the WhatsApp service. If not, you can use this link to subscribe.

ICICI Direct has introduced WhatsApp 24 x7 service that allows you to resolve your investment related queries through chat.

You can chat about different services information such as your holdings summary across different segments, live stock prices, and many more.

#3. Grievance Redressal 

Benefits of ICICI Direct Demat and Trading Account

  • 3-in-1 trading account
  • Instant payout of the stock sold through eATM
  • Research  advisory & reports
  • Other value-added services

Cons of ICICI Direct Demat & Trading Account 

  • High brokerages
  • Need to have ICICI Bank account
  • Rs. 700 annual AMC charges

ICICI Direct Account Opening

The account opening can be completed online. Existing ICICI Bank account holders need to link their existing accounts while opening a 3-in-1 account.

For a person new to ICICI the process is a bit lengthy, requiring you to open a new bank account, register for a Digi locker and then open the broking account. 

The S steps for opening a new trading account is as follows:

Step 1: 

ICICI Direct account opening Step 1

First, you need to create an account at ICICI Direct website for an application and. Provide details of PAN, date of birth, and name to create an account. The account so created can be used to make an application for a 3-in-1 trading account.

The benefit of the application account is that – if you are not able to complete the application then you can log-in the next time and resume the application for from the point you left.

Step 2: 

Next, you will be prompted for ICICI Bank account details. Existing ICICI b Bank account holders can provide the details, link their existing bank account a proceed ahead with the opening of the trading account.

ICICI Direct account opening Step 2

Persons new to ICICI Bank need to select the option “Don’t have ICICI Bank Account” and click continue. 

Step 3:

ICICI uses DigiLocker to retrieve your KYC documents for verification.

ICICI Direct account opening Step 3

So, before you proceed any further you need to either provide your DigiLocker information if you have one or create a DigiLocker account and upload your KYC documents. 

DigiLocker is a government cloud service that digitally stores all your documents safely that can be accessed anywhere anytime. 

Step 4:

After that you have to You have to proceed with Aadhaar eKYC for online Aadhaar Verification

icici direct aadhaar ekyc

Enter your mobile number linked with Aadhaar card, you’ll get OTP on your registered mobile number. 

Once submitting the OTP, a XML file will be downloaded to your laptop or desktop from where you are filling the form.

Upload the file as shown below.

icici upload offline aadhaar file

Step 5:

Now upload your documents such as PAN Card, blank cheque and signatures. You can do signatures on a blank paper and then scan the image.

icici upload documents

Now scroll down to enter your personal details and click on “Submit””.

Step 6: 

Capture your Live Photo using webcam if you are applying from your system (laptop or desktop) or you can use your smartphone front camera if you are applying from mobile phone.

icici live photo

After capturing your image, click on “submit”.

Now you’ll have to enter your email address for verification, you’ll get an OTP on your given email address.

Step 7:

Final step is to eSign your application as shown below. Click on “I Accept & eSign”.

icici esign

By this time the bank account gets created simultaneously and you can proceed ahead with the trading & Demat account opening.

Next, you need to link your bank account, open a new or link an existing d Demat account, fill in the personal details and be ready for in-person verification on the webcam.

After which you will be required to digitally sign documents using Aadhaar OTP. 

Also read – Kotak Securities Review (in detail)

Comparison Between ICICI Direct and Zerodha

In 2020, Zerodha overtook ICICI Direct to become the largest stockbroker in India with more than 50 lakh client base. Let’s have a quick comparison between Zerodha vs ICICI Direct.

ZerodhaICICI Direct
Broker TypeDiscount BrokerFull-Service Broker
Brokerage offerLow BrokerageHigh Brokerage varises with plans
Account opening chargesEquity – Rs. 200
Commodity – Rs. 100
No account opening charges
Maintenance chargesRs. 300 per yearRs. 700 per year
Services availableStocks, Mutual funds, IPOsStocks, Mutual Funds, IPOs, Loans & NCDs
Trading plansNo Yes. Multiple plans
Branch officesNo 175 branches in India. 
Margin on Equity Delivery No Yes

Conclusion (Final Review)

You should consider ICICI Direct broking only if you are an existing account holder with ICICI Bank. That way you have all the three accounts (demat, trading, and bank) at a single entity.

New traders who require hand holding, research services and do not mind paying a higher brokerage fee, also can opt for an ICICI Direct trading account.


#1. Can I open an ICICI Direct account online?

Yes, you can open an ICICI Direct account completely online. I have explained the process under account opening head above in the article. 

#2. How to close an ICICI demat account online?

ICICI hasn’t provided any direct online process to close the demat account. You can read our complete article on “how to close ICICI demat account online and offline” for better understanding the process.

About Raghav

Raghav is an investment analyst with a commerce education background who loves to write & share his investment ideas.

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