What is a Demat account and how can you open one?

by Manshu on December 3, 2010

in Investments

What is a Demat Account?

I got an email last week from someone asking about opening a demat account, and in the SBI and IDFC thread you might have noticed that there are several people who don’t have demat accounts, but will have to open one soon because nowadays you need one even to invest in these bond issues.

Let’s start with what a Demat account is, and then we can move on to the several options currently available in India.

My grandpa used to have a black briefcase where he stored all his physical share certificates.

Eventually he dematerialized all his shares and moved them to an electronic briefcase, which is how he described his Demat account, and I think this is quite apt to understand the concept.

A Demat account is like a brief case where you store your shares and bonds electronically.

In India there are two Depositories – NSDL and CSDL – and you can think of these depositories as banks that hold your shares and bonds in electronic form.

A regular investor can’t deal with a depository directly, and you have to deal with their agents which are called Depository Participants (DPs).

Demat Account in India

Demat Account in India

There are hundreds of DPs in India, and you can open a demat account with one that suits you in terms of price and convenience. Normally, people open a Demat and a trading account with the same institution as it makes transactions cheaper, and is more convenient to get started as well.

So you could have a trading account and a DP account with SBI or ICICI Direct. It is in fact better to have trading and DP account with the same organization because in those cases you are waived off the DP transaction fees.

Effectively, you are using an agent in the form of a depository participant to avail the services of a depository which are storing your shares and bonds electronically.

There are hundreds of DPs in India, and NSDL provides a very comprehensive list of DPs along with their fees here and here (this data might not be up to date though).

Partial List of Depository Participants in India

If you clicked through the above links to the entire list of DPs then you’ll notice that there are a large number of DPs in India, so for this post I’m trying to create a list which has got some of the better known DP names with only their annual maintenance charges covered.

There are several other charges, but including all of them here will make comparison difficult. I have included a link to the source in this table so you can go check the details there. Since these prices are relatively low – you should think about convenience also, and see if your bank offers demat services, and if you can open one there.

Name Annual Maintenance Charge Detailed Charges
SBI Rs. 400

Rs. 350 for customers receiving statements by e-mail

ICICI Bank Rs. 500

Rs. 450 for customers receiving statements by e-mail

HDFC Bank Rs. 750 for less than 10 transactions

Rs. 500 for 11 Γ’β‚¬β€œ 25 transactions

Rs. 300 for greater than 25 transactions

Citibank Rs. 250 Link
HSBC Rs. 750 Link
Sharekhan Rs. 75 per quarter (300 annually)

Deposit of Rs. 500

Axis Bank Rs. 500 p.a. for customers authorizing Bank to debit DP charges from bank account maintained with Axis Bank, and 2,500 for others. Link
Karur Vysya Bank Rs. 250 per annum Link
Sharekhan Rs. 300 under two plans, and Rs. 500 under another Link
Bank of Baroda Rs. 350 per annum Link

How to open a Demat account?

Once you decide where you want to open your Demat account – contact their representatives, and they will get you started.

You will need the following documentation in order to open a Demat account, so keep this handy while contacting the DP.

Proof of Identity: This includes PAN card, driver’s license, passport, voter card etc.

Proof of Address: This includes the above documents and bank passbooks, identity cards issued by Centre or State governments etc.

Passport size photo

Pan card copy

You will need the following details while opening the demat account:

  • Name of account holder
  • Mailing address
  • Bank account details
  • Guardian details for minors
  • Nomination declarations
  • Standing instructions

When you contact the DP – their agent will let you know if they need any specific documentation, or if you need answers to any other specific questions.

It used to be that only equity investors cared about having a demat account, but with a lot of bond issues coming out in only demat form – I think more and more investors will need to open a demat account, and if you don’t already have one, then do think about spending this four or five hundred bucks per year to take advantage of electronic stock and bond holding.

This post should get you started on what a Demat account is, how and where you can open one, as well as the documents required to open it. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or other feedback.

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Rajesh December 4, 2010 at 11:30 am

Dear Manshu,

Thanks for this info. Recently we had a 4 days workshop conducted by Dr. Bharath Chandra on how to invest wisely. More than 110 people participated and we formed a little group here in Dubai. We now have almost 55 active new investors who are keen to learn how to invest smartly. Several people who attended this seminar did not have a demat account and this blog from you should help them to open one which I will be forwarding tonight.

Thank you & wish you all the best from Dubai.

Warm regards,



Manshu December 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Wow that’s awesome! thanks a lot!

So, how did the conference go? What themes did you guys touch upon, and I’m curious to know if this is your initiative?


Shah September 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Hi Rajesh,

It’s a year later but hopefully you’ll get this.
I too am in UAE and want to start trading. What do you suggest as the best place and way to go about opening a demat / trading account for NRI’s?



Imran December 4, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Hi Manshu,

This info is really helpful not only to new investors but also existing investors. Rajesh, even i’m curious to know if the initiative was taken by you and hoping that it gives you more than the desired result. I’m also, looking to conduct a small conferenece in Mumbai soon as we offer solutions to most of the financial needs of all including NRI’s. Shall keep you guys posted.


Imran (iikazi81@gmail.com)


Sandip December 5, 2010 at 8:29 am

Hi Manshu,

Nice article on Demat Account. Very nicely presented.
Now I got the concept of Demat Account.
One request, could you please explain, suppose, if I open a Demat Account with DP, how a Transaction take place and how do I make transactions?
Please reply..

Thanks again.

Best Regards,


Manshu December 5, 2010 at 9:41 am

Thanks Sandip. If you want to buy stocks then you will have to open a trading account also, so say you open a Demat account with SBI, and trading account with SBI Caps, and then want to buy 10 shares of Reliance.

You will place your order through your trading account, who will send it to the exchange, and they will execute your order, and after that your Demat account will be credited with the 10 shares. Your bank account will be debited before that.

If you buy things like the Infra bonds that were recently out in that case instead of placing an online order you will fill up the form, and mention your account number in the form, where the bonds will be credited. In order to sell them you will have to wait for the lock in period, and after that you can send a notification to the issuer to buy them back.


pramesh December 5, 2010 at 9:11 am

Dear Manshu,

It is a very useful article for beginers.
Also, can you tell us what will happen to a dmat a/c
opened abroad by a NRI after coming back to India.



Manshu December 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm

As far as I know Pramesh you don’t need to make any changes to your Demat account once you return, and you can continue using the same one. I’m not sure about this though, so you might want to check this with the bank when you open the account.


pushpa December 6, 2010 at 5:21 am

I am also one of the participants in the workshop in dubai and though I do have a demat account with Geojit, I am a bit confused if i need to continue investing through them, because the charges are higher than what others offer. Appreciate if you could advise me ( going through the offers from India infoline and kotak Mahindra too) because in the long run we would be paying a lot to the brokers if we plan to invest every month.


Manshu December 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

If I were in your position, I would choose the same broker and Demat account based on their price and convenience. I think you have already identified the cheaper option.

If you have the demat and trading account with the same company that will work out to be cheaper for you. So if you open one with Kotak or India Infoline or wherever then you can use just that one and get rid of anything else that you have.


Priya December 15, 2010 at 3:36 am


I read the article on Demat, it a very good piece of information for beginners in trading.
I have Salary account with AXIS, I’m planning to open Demat account. When i approached AXIS, they mentioned that Demat account can be opened with AXIS and trading account with Geojit. Since they have some tie up. I also got the information that AXIS will very soon introduce trading account(may be within next quarter). After which Geojit trading accounts will be automatically transferred to “AXIS Direct”.
Now, i’m being a new to trading and Demat operation, please advise me if it wise to go to AXIS in this situation. Or can i go with other DP’s like SBI or ICICI (having both Demat and Trading account) in same institution.



Manshu December 17, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Hi Priya – In this situation I would go for a SBI combination which is reputed, and is slightly cheaper than ICICI Direct. I don’t see much merit in waiting for Axis, so that’s what I would do.


Aditya February 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm


From what I read Axis Bank has launched its Online trading portal. It is http://www.axisdirect.in. Looks nice!


Manshu February 6, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Thanks for that info Aditya.


N. Karmali December 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

Dear Madam,
I m happy to know that young generation like you and more particularly ladies are
interested in stock market.
Prior to starting of on-line trading in shares, share trading was done in physical form
and to complete one transaction, it used to take minimum 6 months to one year.
Now, the trading is done instantly and it takes maximum 3 days to get the shares transferred in ones name.
In India, there are 2 Depositories viz NSDL & CDSL. and there are Depository Participants of both NSDL & CDSL. You can open Demat A/c withe either NSDL or
CDSL Dep Participant.
Demat A/c is the account where the shares/mutual funds are held in electronic form
And Trading A/c is the account where money transaction takes place.
If you open the Demat A/c with the Bank, then you will have to do the transactions on your own. However, if you open the account with the Broker, you have both the
facilities viz trading on your own and placing orders throuhg Call N Trade facility.
The following Charges are charged;-
1. Annual maintenance Charges.
2 Charges to Demat Shares.
3. Charges to Re-mat Shares
4. Charges to Pledge Shares.
Besides there are Brokerage rates.

The Charges differ from Broker to Broker and Depository Participant.

You may check for the same with 2 – 3 Brokers/DPs.
You may also visit our site viz:www.PLIndia.com
For any further clarifications, you may e-mail at: nvkmail@Gmail.com
or call Mob. 9860765955

Best of Luck,

N. Karmali,
Shree Investments, GOA
Progress Partner
Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt. Ltd.


Naresh December 18, 2010 at 4:35 am

Its quite interesting to interact with the persons on the subjects i like & i
would happy to receive e-mails to pass on my knowledge and also to gain more knowledge from others.


siddharth haridas December 24, 2010 at 10:24 am



D. G January 9, 2011 at 10:22 am

thanks for your information. I wanna open demat with axis but here i knew about the cost being higher than other dps . What can i do ?


Manshu January 10, 2011 at 4:59 am

Try an option that’s convenient to you – keep in mind that having the trading and demat account with the same company will be cost effective and convenient in the long run.


Suchitra P January 17, 2011 at 7:12 pm

We have a corpus of Rs 7 lakh which we want to invest in metal etf’s like Gold, Silver and Copper.
Kindly guide us in the same.


Manshu January 18, 2011 at 2:36 am


Right now there are only gold ETFs in the country, so you can only buy gold in the form of ETFs.
There are silver ETF alternatives and I have written about them here:

Copper and Silver can also be bought from NSEL and I have written about them here. Please ensure that you read the last part about unanswered questions about NSEL as that’s important.


Deependra B K January 21, 2011 at 4:51 am

Dear Sir/Madam,

Those who want to open Demat A/C or know about demat A/C Please contact or fill free of cost tomy mobile / email. & my mobile No. 9167878113.


Mubashir February 1, 2011 at 8:21 am

I noticed that all the information written in this column is worth to read. I am an NRI working in Abu Dhabi and would like to buy some shares, as I am new in this field, I wants to know more about.
Can I open trade account and Demat account with ICICI bank in UAE and buy shares from them. What are the benefits opening both account through Geogit (bargeel). Pls. reply.


Manshu February 1, 2011 at 8:26 am

Mubashir – I don’t know if they have a facility in your town to open one, but you can call their toll free number if there is one and check with them. If you open both accounts with the same organisation it will be cheaper, though you must compare rates of Geojit with others to see what kind of deal you’re getting.

Since I am not affiliated with any of these organizations I don’t have an idea on their availability in specific countries etc.


Shah September 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hi Mubashir,

It months later but hopefully you’ll get this.
I too am in Abu Dhabi and want to start trading. What do you suggest as the best place and way to go about opening a demat / trading account for NRI’s?



D.G. February 6, 2011 at 12:29 am


I have a query regarding taxfree infra bonds. Which between the two currenly available bonds L& T and REC will be better in physical formPlease Reply? Also can I change the address afterwardsin the bonds if I change the address in the KYC , as I have already made my KYC in my temporary address and I wanna change it soon with my parmanent address.
Please Reply.


Manshu February 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

There is not much difference between the two infra bonds. You can go to that particular comment thread and read the discussion there, as this question has been asked a few times earlier.

As for address in bonds, it’s highly unlikely that it changes on its own. You will have to write a letter or something to get it done.


MAJEED April 4, 2011 at 5:39 am

Dear Sir/Madam,
The information was very useful.Thank you very much.I shall check with the FEDERAL BANK LTD for the Demat a/c and Trading a/c.


Manshu April 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Glad you found the info useful Majeed. Do leave a comment if you’d like to share your experience or any learning about this.


Hemant May 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Hi, Manshu Sir You are Excellent financial consultant. for Openeing demat, Trading, Mutual fund, Bonds, Ipo, Corporate fixed, Insurance contact me on 9271213638(Mumbai), mail id- hemanttiwa@gmail.com


Manish Singh June 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Sir,I m 19 years old..I have a sbi account..Can i eligible for open demat and trading a/c?


Manshu June 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Yeah, you can open it – call them up and they will send a rep to you and get things done.


SONA July 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Mr. Manshu,
i have savings account in sbi & Federal banks india , n im currently in Kuwait…pls tell me if i can open dmat acct in sbi by simply mailin the NRI division there?& how many days it will take? which is better option sbi or federal based on charges n services.
Mr. Manshu, pls can u advise me if i dont ve share certificate for SBI mutual fund scheme but i ve the details like policy no: etc how do i proceed to make it electronic shares without certifcate.
awaiting ur kind reply
Regards SONA


Manshu July 10, 2011 at 12:06 am

Hi Sona,

Yes, you can contact either of these banks and get your account opened. I think they will ask you to open a NRO account first and then open a Demat account for you that’s linked to the NRO account. This is a lengthy process. I’d say it will take a month to open the NRO account, and I’m not sure if the Demat is parallel or you will have to wait. They need you to send documents to the home branch, so the mailing process takes a lot of time. I have recommendations between the two, please choose the one that’s more convenient to you.


Vicky Bhatnagar July 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Demat a/c refers to a dematerialised account.
It is similar to a bank account where actual money is replaced by shares.
It is needed when you purchase shares from the secondary market or apply for an IPO.

You have to approach a Depository Participant or a registered sub broker to open your demat a/c(remember, they are like bank branches)

Goldleaf Investments
022 65504550


SONA July 10, 2011 at 10:54 am

Thank you so much fo ryour reply …i really appreciate it.
Mr. Manshu, pls can u advise me if i dont ve share certificate for SBI mutual fund scheme but i ve the details like policy no: etc how do i proceed to make it electronic shares without certifcate.
awaiting ur kind reply
Regards SONA


georgesoncharles July 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

dear sir
I am very new to share market but going through your views i think that you made me , under stand every thing TO i open a Demat A C Which bank will will be cheaper


Jubin August 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm

That was quite help ful, thanks for sharing , now i have a demat account with india infoline.


N.K.DHAR September 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

Sir ….i am a new comer in this arena and wanna open demat and trading a/c…what combination of DP u should hav choosed if u were in my position?


Manshu September 28, 2011 at 4:31 am

I would have chosen the DP and trading account of the bank that I already have a relationship with which is what I did also when I opened my account with ICICI Direct.


Yogesh February 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Sir, i have salary a/c in hdfc bank, recently they asked me for dmat a/c , and i accepted but they didnot discussed with me anything about anual or other charges . so plz tell me what will i do , my a/c request is underprosses..


ThoibA October 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I want to know in details of about Demat account and its usage.


Arjun October 10, 2011 at 2:39 am


I want to know, the minimum amount with which trading can be done. I would like to start with low amount, as i will learn, i will invest more. But, tell me can we start with approx Rs 5000 or less amount to invest. Thanks


Manshu October 11, 2011 at 5:27 am

I don’t want to sound defeatist or anything but most people lose money when they trade so you should be careful and start with only as much money as you are comfortable losing – 5k is big enough.


Bhoomi shah October 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I am assistant manager in kotak securities,anyone interested in opening a demat and trading account with kotak,which is a trusted brand in the market,please contact


Puneet Raheja November 3, 2011 at 11:10 am

Hey guys
Welcome to stock market, money must grow.
Its a personal advise to all those who are new in the market and thinking of making big or even a small return. When you take calls for stock from the guy who have openend your account just make sure how much qualified is he and also do paper trading on his call so that you can track his performance. Otherwise I can gurantee you that your money will wipe out very soon and you will join the league of unsatisfied investor and never invest in the market again. This is what is happening in the market from a very long time.
I can only advise you guys to just do paper trading for a month and see the performance of the stocks recommended by your Relationship Manager or Assistant Manager. If You find him good, then trade and make money.
I have been thru this 2 years back. Now I have qualified myself and working with a broker to take calls and invest on my own. But ya like everone I make losses too. πŸ™‚

Enjoy investing
Puneet Raheja


saquib zaidi November 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I am living in qatar (DOHA)
I am intrested in opening new NRI acc.
I want to know, hw many days it will take to open my NRI acc.
let me also know, they provide me debit card or check book.at my india address or doha address (i am employer here)


kamala singh November 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

i want to open a demat account in bank of baroda. i want requirements for open a demat account by online


m.ibrahim November 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm


i am interested to open a demat and trading a/c, need assastance which bank is good.

waiting for reply



Manshu November 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm

No I don’t have any recommendation on any banks – there is very little difference in one from the other and I have never looked at all the costs to see which is the cheapest. You will have to do a bit of research calling a few banks yourself and figuring out what prices they offer you.


ashutosh November 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm

what does paper trading stands for????
what’s ur take on sharekhan as brokerage…..


Manshu November 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm

No idea about paper trading & no experience with Sharekhan so can’t say anything about them.


Akshay Kumar November 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm


I want to invest in the share market, but i have no idea abt this. Can u plz suggest me, where can i get the basic information about ” how to invest in share”.

I need some information as a beginner in trading.

Kindly, help me out..


Manshu November 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm

If you have no idea then you’re better off staying away from trading since most people lose money on trading. This site is not meant for traders and I’m not a trader myself nor do I have any interest in it so you’re probably at the wrong place .Though as I said earlier, you should seriously rethink the whole plan about trading.


Akshay Kumar November 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

For Demat account, HDFC bank is advisable?
what information should be known, before we start actual trading?

Best Regards,
Akshay Kumar


Manshu November 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Yeah they should be okay – most of these platforms are quite similar, and I haven’t seen a cost analysis done anywhere to see which is cheaper, so I feel it okay to go with any one of these big names.

My advice would be to NOT trade as most people just end up losing money on it. Instead buy some diversified mutual funds and invest for the longer term.


Deepak November 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Hi Manshu,
I am new to DEMAT a/c & trading business. Can you Plz tell me after opening my my DEMAT a/c, what should be my next step.??


Manshu November 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Why did you open the Demat account in the first place? Didn’t you have something in mind because of which you opened the Demat account?


Deepak November 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Ya i want to invest in share market, thats why i have opened it but i am confused..


Manshu November 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I would suggest that you invest in mutual funds instead of directly investing in stocks.


vishwanath K M December 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Hi manshu sir, i am very thankful for your information. I came to know many new things but can you plz tell me that, can a share be purchased and sold out on the same day?
And whenever i sell a share will it accept or we have any restriction? plz suggest me sir.
thank you


Manshu December 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

Yeah, you can sell it the same day and that’s what intra – day trading is. The only restriction on sale is that you should actually own the share, if you don’t own it then at the end of the day the broker will automatically buy it on your behalf and square off the transaction.


vishwanath K M December 11, 2011 at 8:29 am



vishwanath K M December 14, 2011 at 8:17 am

Sir, i came to know that When the company is in profit it gives bonus shares for the long term share holders so here long term means how many months? Or wat should be the minimum time period of shares in order to get bonus shares or right shares?


Manshu December 14, 2011 at 11:44 pm

No, no, no! That’s not right at all – who gave you that info? There’s no set timetable on giving out bonuses and right issues.


chandan December 15, 2011 at 10:56 am

From Axis bank and HDFC Bank, who is better for demat & trading a/c? please advice


vishwanath K M December 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

hello sir,
please can you say me that what is P/E ratio?


Manshu December 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm

That’s the price earning ratio and there are plenty of good articles already on that. You can read one here:http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/price-earningsratio.asp


E.Balaji December 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

I have sbi demat account.
I dont know how to invest through online?
so give me idea about share trading


PANKAJ RAJPUT December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

The information given by you very useful to the newer for Demat Account. Thanks for your detailed description and the links. I am from a middle class family and my earnings are very low. I want to see my luck in the share market, So please guide me step by step for the minimum investment in the share market and earn profit.


Pankaj Rajput


Manshu December 21, 2011 at 3:29 am

It’s not a casino where you can try your luck and see if you win or lose Pankaj – in my opinion you should stay away from shares and invest in ultra safe instruments like bank fixed deposits. Lot of people lose a lot of money in shares and if you have low savings then that can be very bad for your finances Pankaj.


vishwanath K M December 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm

hello sir,
can you please say me that, class B shares means which type of shares?


Manshu December 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Sometimes companies issue shares which have lesser voting rights than their main shares, these are called class B shares.


vishwanath K M December 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Thank you sir.


naman January 23, 2012 at 1:56 am

hi manshu
thanks for broadning our horizon on demat. i wanted to know whether i can open 2 demat a/c with 2 different DP’s??


Manshu January 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Yes, you can but you will have to give your PAN and pay for the second account as well. What benefit are you looking for from opening a second account?


Padmendra Singh Rawat January 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I want to open another demat Account,

I want to open another demat account Please show me all center for opening demat account. and details of maintenance charge and opening charge.& procedure of share transfer


Manshu January 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I don’t have that and I have never seen that information anywhere else so I am not very optimistic that you will find that kind of information at one place.

The good thing perhaps is that a lot of these costs are similar across brokers so you can talk to wherever you bank and see what the costs are.


mahesha February 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Dear Manshu,

Thanks for the information. ans i want to know what is the minimum share value that we can buy? what will be the probable disadvantages of opening demat account?


Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: