Astha Trade is an online discount broker with headquarters in Bhopal. It has physical locations in 100 locations across India. It was incorporated in the year 2005, almost five years before its competitor Zerodha. In this review we analyse key features of Astha Trade and see if it’s a viable solution.
Astha Trade is one of the oldest discount brokers in India. It is a member of depository participant NSDL and the commodity exchange MCX. One can also trade on the BSE and NSE exchanges using Astha Trade. Also, it is estimated to have over 25,000 active clients.
Fee Structure – 4/5
Customer Service – 3/5
Usability – 3.5/5
Variety of Offerings – 3.5/5
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Astha Trade offers its clients a range of trading platforms. However, most of these platforms are third-party software packages.
ODIN Diet is a downloadable software program developed by Financial Technologies. It is a well-known trading terminal package and can be downloaded on a desktop or laptop.
ODIN Diet provides real-time information from multiple indices on the stock exchanges. The user can place an unlimited number of scrips on the watch list. Furthermore, the terminal can be easily integrated with mutual fund investments and IPO purchases. One can also customize the terminal interface to a certain degree.
IWIN Trading App
For those users who do not wish to trade on a desktop or who want a trading app on their mobile phones as well, Astha Trade offers the IWIN App. Also developed by Financial Technologies, IWIN offers some useful features to Astha Trade users.
With IWIN, one can place an unlimited number of securities on the watch list. Also, technical analysis followers and traders can get relevant charts on the app. Orders for trading securities can also be placed via the app.
The app can be found on the Google Play Store and its size is only 37.4 MB.
Web Trading Software
Astha’s partnership with Financial Technologies covers the full spectrum of internet-based platforms. Astha Trade also offers its users a web-based trading platform developed by Financial Technologies.
One only needs a web browser to access this trading platform. One simply has to open the link of the trading app, enter the login credentials, and voila! The trading app launches itself from the browser.
Astha Trade users will automatically get a license for the web trading platform. Hence, there is no need to download or install anything.
Financial Technologies’ web trading app supports multiple languages. Users can place orders across various exchanges and segments. The web-based app is developed with cybersecurity in mind. It is highly secure and users can trade on their browsers with confidence.
Keeping with the web-based theme, Astha Trade users have another option besides Financial Technologies when it comes to trading via a browser. Astha Trade has tied up with NSE to offer its users the NSE Now platform.
It works similarly like the other web-based platform offered by Astha Trade. The user has to open the link, enter the login details, and the app will launch itself. Hence, no downloading or installing is required. Easy as you like.
The NSE Now the app is developed by NSE and licensed to Astha Trade. Users can enjoy great features like smart order routing, historical, intra-day, and real-time charting tools for trading and technical analysis. Furthermore, it has a robust risk-management setup that makes the entire trading experience safe and secure.
NSE has not only developed a web-based platform, but they also have a mobile-based trading platform. It is called NSE Mobile and Astha Trade users get access to this handy app.
NSE Mobile is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry (in case anyone still uses the classic Blackberry phones).
The NSE Mobile app has a smooth user interface. It also offers company news and real-time market data. Consequently, traders and technical analysis followers will have access to various charts and charting features as well.
The NSE Mobile app is not very large in size. You only need to download about 37.4 MB of data. Also, the app has pretty good reviews as well. It gets over 4 stars on Google Play Store.
NSE Now Terminal
For those users who like to set up a full-fledged terminal for heavy and regular trading, Astha Trade, in its partnership with the NSE, offers the NSE Now Trading Terminal.
Now, the Trading Terminal first needs to be downloaded and then installed on one’s desktop or laptop. The trading terminal is known for its high speed and performance. Hence, it allows the user to quickly access various features and execute orders.
Account opening charges
Astha Trade charges (paying) Rs.500 for opening an account. The charge applies to equity, F&O, and commodity accounts. However, there is no charge for the annual maintenance of trading accounts.
Demat account charges are Rs.300 per year. This per year fee is charged as the annual maintenance charge.
Astha Trade paying is a discount broker. The following are its brokerage charges for various services that Astha Trade offers:
|Equity Futures||0.01% of Turnover|
|Equity Options||Rs.10 – Buy ; Rs.30 – Sell (for index option, Rs.10 for Buy and Rs.15 for Sell)|
|Currency Futures||0.01% of Turnover|
|Currency Options||Rs.15 per lot|
for MCX Intraday|
0.01% for MCX Carry Forward
Astha Trade also offers a Low Brokerage Plan as follows:
|Equity Intraday||Rs.500 per crore|
|Equity Delivery||Rs.50 per lakh|
|Equity Futures||Rs.500 per crore|
|Equity Options||Rs.10 per lot|
|Commodity||Rs.500 per crore|
In addition to the brokerage charges, government charges and transaction charges are also applicable. They are listed below:
|STT||Transaction Charge||GST||SEBI Charges||Stamp Duty|
|Equity Intraday||0.025% on Sell Side||Rs.325 per crore||18% on Brokerage + Transaction charges||Rs.15 per crore||As per user’s state|
|Equity Delivery||0.1% on both Buy and Sell||Rs.325 per crore||18% on Brokerage + Transaction charges||Rs.15 per crore||As per user’s state|
|Equity Futures||0.01% on Sell Side||Rs.325 per crore||18% on Brokerage + Transaction charges||Rs.15 per crore||As per user’s state|
|Equity Options||0.01% on Sell Side||Rs.190 per crore||18% on Brokerage + Transaction charges||Rs.15 per crore||As per user’s state|
|MCX Intraday|| 0.017% on Sell Side
0.125% to buyer (on exercise)
|Rs.5000 per crore||18% on Brokerage + Transaction charges||Rs.15 per crore||As per user’s state|
|MCX Carry Forward||0.01% on selling turnover||Rs.390 per crore||18% on Brokerage + Transaction charges||Rs.15 per crore||As per user’s state|
|Call and Trade||FREE|
|Delay Payment Charges||15% per annum (debit disallowed after T+5 days)|
|Pledge and Unpledge Charges||0.04% or Rs.50 whichever is higher|
|Payin Securities Charges||0.05% or Rs.25 whichever is higher|
|UPI Payin Charges||Rs.10 per transaction|
Astha Trade offers margin trading accounts. Only experienced investors should think about trading on margin. Margin is like borrowing money from the broker at high-interest rates. Therefore, only sophisticated investors truly understand the risks behind margin trading.
The following are the margin exposure levels for various segments:
|HIGH LEVERAGE PLAN|
|LOW BROKERAGE PLAN|
How to open an account
In order to open an account with Astha Trade, you first need to visit Astha Trade’s website and fill out a form on the account opening page.
Secondly, you can either schedule a call-back or continue with the process. If you choose the call-back option, then a relationship manager, who is assigned to you, will guide you with the KYC process.
If you are doing the application process online, then you will have to fill out information like name, date of birth, contact info, etc. on the KYC form.
You will then have to submit your identification documents like PAN card copy and Aadhar card copy. Passport-sized photos are also required. You can submit these documents online.
Once Astha Trade receives these documents and processes your application, you will get a call from the sales team for verification purposes. Once all your details are verified, you should be ready to trade in about 24 hours.
Pros and Cons of Astha Trade
Astha Trade is a well-rounded trading platform for anyone interested in investing in the stock, commodity, and futures markets. There is plenty to like about Astha’s offerings. However, there are some minus points as well.
- Astha Trade’s charges are low. While some segment charges are not as low as its competitor’s offerings (e.g. Zerodha), they are still more economical than what full-service brokerages charge.
- Astha Trade does not charge anything extra for using various platforms that the company offers its users. Hence, investors can trade on a fixed machine, on a web browser, or on a mobile phone using Astha’s platforms. The setup of these apps/software packages is minimal and quite simple.
- Astha has physical branches besides an online presence. It has over 100 physical locations all over India.
- The Call and Trade option is FREE.
- Astha has an interesting Association Program (similar to Amazon associates). Those experienced investors who review the Astha trading platforms and are social media influencers can get a share of the profits via this program. Similarly, there are other ways to earn some money via Astha’s “Refer and Earn” scheme.
- The customer service section of Astha Trade has a live chat option which can be useful to get answers right away.
- As the trade offers higher margins than many of its competitors in certain sections of equity trading.
- All of Astha’s platforms are third-party creations. Astha has not developed anything in-house. This indicates a lack of innovation when compared to companies like Zerodha.
- Astha had a relatively higher number of complaints from its users. While the industry complaint percentage is 0.01%, for Astha it was 0.02% for the year 2019-20.
- There is no section on finding industry reports, analyst reports, and other educational tools. While Astha Trade has a Knowledge Hub section on its websites which is full of blogs and news, it does not have the kind of extensive offering that Zerodha offers.
Astha Trade is a barebones discount broker. It offers users a way to trade in the markets using multiple platforms. The fees are low as compared to a full-service broker.
However, all of Astha’s platforms are third-party developed. Astha also does not have much in terms of educational resources. Someone who is new to trading may find Astha Trade slightly more challenging in terms of moving up the learning curve.
For experienced investors, Astha seems to have the right incentives. It has an Associates Program and a Refer and Earns scheme. Education professionals will also find it useful to onboard their students on Astha’s platform. However, they will still have to provide all the educational resources themselves.
Overall, Astha is a decent second option when exploring other discount brokers like Zerodha and 5paisa.