Mumbai: Farita S Dohadwala hates traveling. But being a stock market trader she had no other choice but to travel almost every day from her home in Kalina, a Mumbai suburb, to her brokers office in downtown Nariman Point.
For Dohadwala, the weary days are over now. She now trades from the comfort of her home, using ICICIs online trading facility, ICICIdirect.com.
My husband and I have been trading daily for the last 20 years. Earlier we had to place orders with the broker and get quotations over the phone. Once the transaction was over we had to go all the way to collect the cheques, which again would take three days to get cleared, says Dohadwala.
Now, she says, it has become easy. We just log on to www.icicidirect.com, see the rates and state our limits. The managers buy and sell according to our instructions. If we gain, our bank account is credited immediately and we can even withdraw the money through ATM.
Dohadwala is not alone. More than 1,30,000 persons, including NRIs in the Gulf, who trade in shares listed on the NSE, are registered with the site, which is Indias largest and worlds tenth share-trading portal. The site was launched last April by ICICI Web Trade Ltd, a fully-owned subsidiary of ICICI. Around 15,000 people trade via ICICIdirect.com every day.
Says Anup Bagchi, the chief operating officer of the portal: The unique three-in-one trading account of the site offers a hassle-free and seamless trading experience for the customer. The customers bank, demat and broking accounts are linked automatically. All that the customer needs to do is to just place the order of the chosen scrip and the desired price - our system does the rest of the work.
The orders are sent to the exchange, the confirmation is immediately conveyed through e-mail and the proceeds or shares are credited (or debited) to the bank and demat accounts, says Bagchi. This integrated online share trading site also offers the cash-on-spot (Spot) facility to its customers. By availing this facility the customer would receive the funds in his bank account on the same day of the sale transaction. Thus, in addition to trading in cash and margin, the customer could trade in Spot too.
Says ICICIdirect CEO Madhabi Puri Buch: We have developed this product based on the feedback we received from our customers. There is a need to provide instant liquidity when our customers require it. Spot orders are also convenient as our customers can withdraw the funds the same day across 589 ATMs of the ICICI Bank.
Under the Spot facility, ICICIdirect customers are given a daily limit of Rs 50,000. These funds can be withdrawn at the end of the day and customers would not have to wait until the payout day of the stock exchange to receive their funds for sales. This would increase the liquidity for the customers and all S&P CNX Nifty and CNX Nifty Junior scrips would be available on Spot.
The Spot facility is available at an additional charge over the normal brokerage. In case of rolling settlements with trading plus five-day scenario, the additional charge would be 0.40 per cent on the Spot value traded. For scrips in rolling settlements there is no delivery period and for weekly settlements, the charges are proportionately applicable.
Online trading through ICICIdirect and the Spot facility compares favourably against the present offline practices as well. Under the present offline circumstances, a customer has to submit the request for instant sales by physically going to the counter of the provider.
In addition to that, the customer has to travel the next day to the counter and pick up the cheque and deposit the same into his bank account. The clearing process takes an additional one to three days for the amount to be credited and only then the customer can avail of the funds.
Says Sajid Contractor, who has been trading since 1986: Earlier it used to take at least five days from the day of trading to get the cheque from the broker; then three more days for the cheque to be cleared. Now, due to online trading, my bank account gets automatically credited or debited the same day and I can also withdraw the cash through the Spot facility.
Contractor says online trading is cheaper, as one has to only pay Rs 25 for one transaction through a demat account while there are no charges for online trading. Through ICICIdirect.com, I can trade online even if I am out of India and I need not worry about how my broker is following up my instructions.
Adrian Gomes, a young executive, echoes the sentiment. The site is easily accessible and transparent as you get to see the prices. I have used the Spot facility to withdraw cash and there is no wastage of time as it used to be when I traded through a broker.
Sachin and Sanchita Bhatkar went a step ahead. The couple, who trades online, says: We could do away with the tension of dealing through brokers and not getting delivery of the scrips or cheque on time. The transactions are executed immediately and our accounts credited or delivery given on time.
Despite the existence of so many online share trading portals how could ICICIdirect capture 65 per cent of the market share and emerge a front-runner? Bagchi has the answer: Many of the companies wanted to make a quick buck through venture funding and as a result did not succeed. But institutions that entered this business realised that they need long-term goals and only then they could survive in this competitive field. At ICICIdirect, we always seek long-term goals.
Moreover, ICICIdirect has many other sops for its customers throughout the country. Other than these facilities, the minimum trade value is as low as Rs 1,000, and there is no minimum brokerage. Says Bagchi: You need not have a bank account with ICICI to trade through our portal. All you got to do is to register with us and start trading. Our personnel will visit your home and open a bank and demat account for you. You need not even step out of your home.
Another reason for the immense popularity of the site is due to ICICIs countrywide network, which comprises 110 branches, 93 centres and 589 ATMs.