Zerodha vs Upstox Comparison: Owing to their cheap rates, easy accessibility, and strong customer service, Discount brokerages are giving Full-Service brokerages a run for their money.

As the name indicates, discount brokerages aim to serve investors with quality trading services at a discounted price.

To put things in perspective, a typical full-service brokerage charges as much as 0.50% of the trade value as the brokerage fee.

However, Discount Brokerages supply the same services for a flat fee.

This flat fee is meager, and can even be as low as Rs. 10 per trade, regardless of the volume of the trade.

The Indian stock market industry alone is worth 2 Trillion Dollars!

It is only wise to expect people to look for cheaper and cheaper ways to participate in the market, and earn their share of the cake so to speak.

Furthermore, with the surge in new investors in the stock market, the demand for discount brokerages is only going to increase.

However, with new discount brokerages popping up every other month almost, investors now have to tackle the ordeal of choosing the right discount brokerage.

Zerodha and Upstox are household names in discount broking and are best suited for active investors, both new and veterans alike.

To help you pick between them, in this article, we will go over all the aspects of these two brokerage giants and find out what they do right, and where they go wrong.

Background

Zerodha vs Upstox Comparison Background: Zerodha is the first discount brokerage company in India and is given credit for revolutionizing discount broking.

Founded in 2010, Zerodha surprized the well-settled market with the then-new discount broking approach.

Being one the first discount brokerage certainly gave Zerodha an edge over the others.

By introducing flat-fee trading, they switched up the whole game for investors. At a flat brokerage of Rs. 20 per trade, investors of all backgrounds could not resist the fantastic deal.

Another bold move was to make delivery trades free. It allowed for limitless trading experience.

It gained much momentum in the second half of the 2010s. It has since been awarded for providing best-in-class services to its customers.

Upstox, formerly known as RKSV, was founded in 2009. However, for the first three years, they only did proprietary trading in the US.

In 2012, they moved to India and opened up to the general public via retail brokering. They too followed a flat-fee, pay-as-you-go model which received a great response.

Headquartered in Mumbai, the company holds memberships with the NSE, BSE, MCX, and MCX-SX. The company is funded by big names in investing like Ratan Tata and GVK Davix.

It enables both individual investors and corporations in India to invest in stocks, futures, options, commodities, and currencies.

Even with a slight time advantage, Upstoxs lack behind in size. However, it makes up for it in quality and has one of the best customer services. On the other hand, Zerodha is a behemoth in trading, both in size and quality.

With an almost equal quality of service, they are set up to go head-to-head and compete for customers on a large scale.

In a market packed with alternatives, it is difficult to pick a brokerage without comparing the value they offer since the prices are almost the same.

Account Types:

Zerodha:

Zerodha allows investing via two kinds of accounts:

  • Demat account
  • Trading account

The Demat account is utilized only for investing in mutual funds or making SIP investments.

The trading account is what is primarily used by most investors – since it is used to buy and sell stocks, options, commodities, and futures.

It is easy to switch between the two accounts via the clean and modern interface.

Zerodha also enables NRIs to trade with their exclusive NRI account. All that needs to be done is to link the NRIs NRE/NRO account to their Zerodha Demat account.

However, the Indian Government does not permit Intraday trading for NRIs. The charges are slightly higher for NRIs. However, they remain very affordable.

Open zerodha demat account
Open zerodha demat account

Upstox:

Unlike some other prominent discount brokerages, Upstox does not supply a 2-in-1 account. The accounts available for creation are:

  • Securities account
  • Commodities account

A securities account helps one trade in equities, options, futures, and currencies on NSE and BSE.

On the other hand, a commodities account lets you trade commodities and futures on MCX.

It is easy to keep track of progress on both accounts since having them open in separate browser tabs is allowed.

It is effortless to open an account with either of the brokerages. All that is needed is the investor’s necessary details and a phone number, which is linked to their Aadhaar number.

It is very straightforward, and there is no need to supply any documents physically.

Another important detail – discount brokers are not permitted to deal with IPOs, FPOs, and OFSs. If you wish to invest in any of them, having an account with a full-service broker is the way to go.

Open Upstox demat account
Open Upstox demat account

Charges:

Opening Charges:

ZERODHA
TRADING ACCOUNT OPENING FEE Rs. 300 (one-time only)
TRADING ACCOUNT MAINTENANCE CHARGES NONE
DEMAT ACCOUNT OPENING FEE Rs. 100 (one-time only)
DEMAT ACCOUNT MAINTENANCE CHARGES Rs. 300 per annum
UPSTOX
TRADING ACCOUNT OPENING FEE Rs. 150 (one-time)
TRADING ACCOUNT MAINTENANCE CHARGES NONE
DEMAT ACCOUNT OPENING FEE NONE
DEMAT ACCOUNT MAINTENANCE CHARGES Rs. 150 annually

Brokerage Charges:

The following tables depict the fee charged for different segments of trading.

ZERODHA
SEGMENT CHARGES
EQUITY DELIVERY NO CHARGE
EQUITY INTRADAY 0.01% / Rs. 20 per trade (whichever is lower)
EQUITY FUTURES 0.01% / Rs. 20 per trade (whichever is lower)
EQUITY OPTIONS 0.01% / Rs. 20 per trade (whichever is lower)
CURRENCY FUTURES 0.01% / Rs. 20 per trade (whichever is lower)
CURRENCY OPTIONS 0.01% / Rs. 20 per trade (whichever is lower)
COMMODITIES 0.01% / Rs. 20 per trade (whichever is lower)

Upstox has different plans to match the needs of traders of different temperaments. The plans are:

  • Basic plan
  • Priority plan

The priority plan is curated for more aggressive traders and offers better benefits for a slightly higher fee.

UPSTOX
SEGMENT CHARGES
UPSTOX BASIC UPSTOX PRIORITY
EQUITY DELIVERY FREE OF CHARGE FREE OF CHARGE
EQUITY INTRADAY Rs. 20 / 0.01% per trade (whichever is lower) Rs. 30 / 0.05% per trade (whichever is lower)
EQUITY FUTURES Rs. 20 / 0.01% per trade (whichever is lower) Rs. 30 / 0.05% per trade (whichever is lower)
EQUITY OPTIONS Rs. 20 / 0.01% per trade (whichever is lower) Rs. 30 / 0.05% per trade (whichever is lower)
CURRENCY FUTURES Rs. 20 / 0.01% per trade (whichever is lower) Rs. 30 / 0.05% per trade (whichever is lower)
CURRENCY OPTIONS Rs. 20 / 0.01% per trade (whichever is lower) Rs. 30 / 0.05% per trade (whichever is lower)
COMMODITIES Rs. 20 / 0.01% per trade (whichever is lower) Rs. 30 / 0.05% per trade (whichever is lower)

The benefit of the priority plan is that it supplies up to 25x leverage on the cash segment, whereas the basic plan provides up to 20x leverage on the cash segment.

The brokerage charges for NRI traders on Upstox are 0.1% or Rs. 200, whichever is lower.

However, both account opening charges and brokerage charges are higher for NRIs that opt for Zerodha.

ZERODHA CHARGES FOR NRIs
A/C OPENING CHARGES (2-IN-1 A/C) Rs. 500
BROKERAGE (FUTURES / OPTIONS) Rs. 100 per order
BROKERAGE (EQUITY) 0.1% OR Rs. 200 per order (whichever is lower)

The low fees in comparison to a full-service brokerage is a massive advantage for NRI traders.

Also Read: Zerodha Vs 5Paisa

Additional Charges:

Transaction Charges, STT, GST and SEBI Charges are mentioned below.

These charges apply to both Indian residents and NRIs.

ZERODHA
SEBI GST TRANSACTION CHARGES STT/CTT
EQUITY DELIVERY Rs. 10 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE:0.00325% BSE:0.003% 0.01% (both buy and sell)
EQUITY INTRADAY Rs. 10 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE:0.00325% BSE:0.003% 0.025% (both buy and sell)
EQUITY FUTURES Rs. 10 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE:0.0019% BSE:0.003% 0.01% (both buy and sell)
EQUITY OPTIONS Rs. 10 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE:0.05% BSE:0.003% (both charged on basis of premium) 0.05% (both buy and sell)
       
CURRENCY FUTURES Rs. 10 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE:0.0009% BSE:0.00022% NONE
CURRENCY OPTIONS Rs. 10 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE:0.0007% BSE:0.001% NONE
       
COMMODITIES FUTURES AGRI: Rs. 1 / Crore NON-AGRI: Rs. 10 / crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) GROUP A: 0.0026% GROUP B: PEPPER:0.00005% CASTORSEED: 0.0005% RBDPMOLEIN:0.001% 0.01% (on sell side)
COMMODITIES OPTIONS Rs. 10 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NONE 0.05% (on sell side)
UPSTOX
SEBI GST TRANSACTION CHARGES STT/CTT
EQUITY DELIVERY Rs. 15 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + Demat + transaction charges) NSE:0.00325% (buy and sell) BSE: vary as per scrip group   0.1% (buy and sell)
EQUITY INTRADAY Rs. 15 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE:0.00325% BSE: vary as per script group   0.025% (sell)
EQUITY FUTURES Rs. 15 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction and clearing charges) NSE:0.0019% (exchange turnover) Clearing charge: 0.0002%   0.1% (sell)
EQUITY OPTIONS Rs. 15 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction and clearing charges) NSE:0.05% (exchange charge) 0.005% clearing charge 0.1% (sell)
       
CURRENCY FUTURES Rs. 15 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE:  Exchange turnover charge: 0.0009% Clearing charge: 0.0004% BSE: Exchange turnover charge: 0.00022% Clearing charge: 0.0004%   NONE
CURRENCY OPTIONS Rs. 15 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) NSE: Exchange turnover charge: 0.04% Clearing charge: 0.025% BSE: Exchange turnover charge: 0.001% Clearing charge: 0.025%   NONE
       
COMMODITY FUTURES Rs. 15 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) Non-Agri:  Exchange turnover charge: 0.0026% Clearing charge: 0.0005%   0.01% on sell trade (Non-Agri)
COMMODITY OPTIONS Rs. 15 / Crore 18% (on brokerage + transaction charges) Exchange turnover charge: 0 Clearing charge: 0.002% on buy + sell [Rs. 200/crore]   0.05% on a sell trade

Stamp duty is charged according to the state mentioned in the address.

Optional Charges:

Zerodha provides additional services which carry an extra charge:

  • Call and trade feature costs Rs. 20 per call.
  • An extra Rs. 20 is charged for every MIS/BO/CO order that is left unsquared.
  • For investors that require physical copies of their contracts, an extra fee of Rs. 20 per contract is charged, plus courier charges.
  • SMS alerts cost extra too, at Rs. 1 for Equity, Futures and Options updates. Currency trade alerts are charged Rs. 0.5 per update.

Upstox follows suit with these charges:

  • Call and trade costs Rs.20 per call.
  • Physical contract notes cost Rs. 25 per contract, plus additional courier charges.
  • The instant Money Transfer fee is Rs. 7 per transfer.

Both companies have practically the same fees.

However, the low account opening charges and the flexibility to choose a plan according to your trading style gives Upstox an edge.

Trading Platforms:

Zerodha vs Upstox Comparison Trading Platforms: Zerodha and Upstox aim to provide the trader with a sleek and modern interface that makes for a secure trading.

Mobile

Since Zerodha has two account types, it also has separate apps to operate the different accounts.

Kite Mobile has a bubbly interface that scintillates with a “right down to business” vibe. A trade can be made in just a few taps.

For Demat account holders – “Coin Moblie” can be used to invest in mutual funds on the move.

Upstoxs’ Pro Mobile app is lightweight and has a dark-themed interface. They do well in keeping the promise of providing all the tools that would be available to a trader on desktop.

Web Interfaces

Zerodha’s Kite 3.0 web interface is seen as a portable terminal by investors. Super effective in its execution, it can be accessed from anywhere.

Pro Webby Upstox follows a similar theme from the phone app and does a great job of keeping controls consistent. Investors will love the availability of pointers and other advanced features on this web interface.

Desktop

“Console” by Zerodha keeps the tools at hand and has a straightforward, but excellent looking interface.

Investors feel in control since you have access to all your information right after the splash screen.

Upstox created “NEST” – a robust platform that supplies advanced traders with all they will ever need. It has a customizable interface, doesn’t use much bandwidth and allows investors to spot trends with ease with their advanced charting features.

It is challenging to discriminate either company based on its software. Both do a great job of keeping customers in the loop and control.

Zerodha vs Upstox Comparison User Support:

Zerodha has great support. They have a support library that documents well over 600 answers to frequently asked questions.

This ‘forum’ is open to be used by all the Zerodha users. There is also a help ticket system if a customer needs a question answered about a trade made by them.

It makes for a faster and easier problem-solving process.

Upstox has a support library too. It’s called ‘Help Center’. The crisp interface makes it easy to navigate and read answers or ask a question – on the forum or from a phone.

The library is multifaceted and covers almost everything a customer might ever need help with.

With amazing interfaces and rich collections of information, both the sites provide formidable user support.

Educational Services and Research Services:

Both Zerodha and Upstox provide learning resources free of charge.

Zerodha’s ‘Varsity’ page covers the basics and enhances the reader’s knowledge – by supplying material teaching even more advanced topics like management trading.

Varsity can be accessed from the site, and even from mobile phones via the Varsity app.

Upstoxs’ Learning Center provides ten distinct and informative courses that teach the reader everything from the different types of stockbrokers to concepts like Intraday trading and NRO trading.

Both Zerodha and Upstox give out excellent resources that can educate novice investors and up their skill level.

Zerodha also curates pocket-friendly value-added services that enable investors to make smart decisions about investing their money.

StockReports+ by Zerodha is an excellent example of an inexpensive and useful tool that pushes investors to make better judgments about investing.

Upstox does not have any value-added services as such. However, they do have a tool called Option Strategy Builder, which allows you to enter all the details about the trade you’re planning to make and the outlines a ‘Payoff graph’.

This free tool is super helpful in clutch situations where a decision needs to be made soon.

Pros and Cons:

Zerodha:

Pros:

  • The excellent value offered for the money
  • Formidable trading platforms
  • Amazing user support

Cons:

  • No plans – less flexibility for aggressive investors
  • Annual Maintenance is not free
  • Software do not support macOS or Linux

Upstox:

Pros:

  • Features like AMO, BO, and OCO available on all platforms.
  • Support for AmiBroker AFL editor
  • Has a separate platform for Mutual Funds
  • Highly flexible – provides more leverage for aggressive investors.

Cons:

  • No margin funding on delivery trades
  • 2-in-1 account not available
  • No 24/7 support
  • No stock tips or research whatsoever

Verdict:

Zerodha vs Upstox Comparison: Looking at the pros and cons and the backgrounds, it is clear that Zerodha is better rounded than Upstox is.

However, Upstox has lower fees and is more flexible.

Zerodha has more experience and has mastered the art of client satisfaction, where Upstox is lacking. Upstox is the best option for aggressive traders looking for more leverage at competitive prices.

For novice traders and entrants who’re looking to get a taste for discount broking, Zerodha will serve them better.

If you pick the wrong brokerage – one that does not match your style of trading – you risk losing capital gained on return unnecessarily.

However, with all the details highlighted and circumstances mentioned, choosing between Zerodha and Upstox will become a linear decision.