Are Share Market Apps Really Free? Decoding the Hidden Charges

Using the stock market apps is the most popular way of trading and investing in the stock market. The ease of using these apps and the insights they provide make them the choice of most people. However, not all stock market apps are free of charge.

Let us decode the share market app hidden charges in this article to help you make more informed decisions while using these apps. These charges can be divided into different categories based on your transaction. We will break down these charges for you based on the different types of transactions.

Are Trading Apps Actually Free?

A trading app is an online application that allows investors to easily manage the purchase and sale of securities. However, these apps are not actually free.

The downloading of the stock market apps for Android and Apple is free but using the app has certain charges. No stock market app, irrespective of its popularity or claims, is completely free of cost.

The two main charges – account maintenance charges and transaction fees are the most common. Additionally, there are more charges such as STT, SEBI charges, stamp fees, etc.

What are the Different Charges Associated with Trading Apps?

Some of the common hidden charges applied by different stock market applications are:

  • Brokerage and Transaction Charges

A brokerage charge is imposed depending on the type of transaction being carried out. The changes vary on the broker. For example, Dhan has no changes on Equity (Delivery) but Equity (Intraday) and Equity (MTF) generally have a brokerage charge of ₹ 20 or 0.03% per executed order whichever is lower.

Additionally, there are transaction charges as well charged at 0.00375% for BSE and 0.00322% for NSE.

1. GST and STT

GST is also charged on transactions, calculated as 18% on brokerage + SEBI charges + transaction charges. The Securities Transaction Tax (STT) is generally charged at 0.1% on buy & sell for Equity (Delivery) and Equity (MTF) and 0.025% on sell transactions for Equity (Intraday) transactions.

2. SEBI Charges

Generally, the SEBI charges are applied at ₹10 / crore for all types of transactions and the SEBI turnover fee is applied as 0.0001% of the turnover for all types of transactions on the Dhan platform.

3. Stamp Charges

The stamp charges are generally applied at 0.015% or ₹1500 / crore on buy side for Equity (Delivery) and 0.003% or ₹300 / crore on buy side for Equity (Intraday).

Besides these charges that almost all trading apps impose, there can also be other charges. These include account opening fees, annual maintenance charges, DP transaction charges, pledge charges, platform charges, payment gateway charges, CUSPA Charges, interest charges and Call and Trade.

It is crucial to understand the types and amounts of charges that different share trading apps can apply before opening an account and using them to trade.


Stock market apps are not entirely free. Investors and traders incur different types of charges, such as brokerage fees, transaction charges, maintenance costs, interest charges, DP transaction fees, etc. You must carefully consider the pricing of stock market apps before making a transaction. Dhan, one of the best trading and investing apps in India, has minimal charges and zero opening and maintenance charges.

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