[App Fridays] Kite by Zerodha marries speed with simplicity to pull in first-time stock traders
Zerodha needs no introduction in the startup universe.
For the uninitiated, however, the Bengaluru-based startup pioneered discount broking in India, pulling in scores of first-time retail investors, and eventually, becoming the country’s largest retail broking platform by trade volumes.
Earlier in 2020, the bootstrapped startup also became a unicorn.
But Zerodha’s biggest contribution lies in the fact that it brought trading to the fingertips of the common man like never before. In that sense, it is to online stockbroking in India what Flipkart was to ecommerce.
Zerodha appeals to both beginners and seasoned traders through its bouquet of user-centric products, one of which is Kite — its flagship trading and investment platform.
Kite has existed since 2015. However, its app version, Kite Mobile, launched in 2019, and since then, there’s been no looking back.
Founder Nithin Kamath recently revealed that demat account openings on Zerodha hit the roof during the lockdown. Needless to say, Kite’s availability as a multilingual app enabling first-time traders may have had a role to play in it.
In a year since its launch, Kite has crossed one million downloads on Google Play Store, and is one of the top five apps in the 'finance' category. It is rated 4.1 out of 5.
Key features of the app
Kite is a near-antithesis to the clunky trading platforms of yore, and is built for the modern, millennial trader. The lightweight app rests on the ‘3S’ principle - speed, simplicity, and sleekness, and enables trading at almost zero latency.
It lets traders buy, sell, analyse, and manage their portfolio with just a few clicks. Kite also allows them to invest in IPOs after linking UPI ids with demat accounts.
Online account opening requires PAN and mobile number (linked to Aadhaar). Users have to pay for account opening — Rs 200 (for BSE/NSE) and Rs 100 (for MCX).
Meanwhile, existing account holders can log in to Kite with their Zerodha id and password, and set up a biometric two-factor authentication for enhanced security.
Kite offers a selection of over 90,000 stocks and F&O contracts across exchanges like NSE, BSE, MCX, and MCX-SX. (Futures & Options contracts lets investors buy or sell a stock at a fixed price for delivery on a later date.) There's a dark mode too.
The app comes with clean and intuitive keyboard shortcuts that make navigation seamless. Kite also offers tonnes of charting tools and interfaces, data widgets, real-time alerts, push notifications, nudges, marketwatch across sectors.
Kite allows third-party app integrations too, and developers can build their own trading applications with Kite Connect APIs.
In a recent tweet, Nithin singled out nudges as “the most exciting thing” Zerodha is working on. Nudges “warn users when they're about to break basic trading rules”.
A nudge shows up after traders swipe to buy a stock.
Users even get free access to extensive historical data on stocks, derivatives, P&L statements, insights on market liquidity, etc. that help them develop sophisticated intra-day trading strategies.
“Nobody else offers as much data as we do,” Zerodha claims.
The Kite fund transfer feature lets users deposit or withdraw money from their account. Deposits can be made via UPI, payment gateways, or IMPS/NEFT/RTGS.
Verdict: Kite is disrupting stockbroking
Zerodha’s USP is its discounted pricing. That alone makes Kite one of the leading trading apps in India. By users’ own admission, Kite's vast range of trading tools and market guidance have helped them make consistent profits.
More importantly, Kite is tailored for beginners — unlike most other stockbroking apps — and puts a premium on uncomplicated design, ease-of-use, and education of the user.
Add to that, there are regular feature upgrades that create a holistic UX on Kite.
One user wrote on Quora, “As a beginner in trading, one finds the app too good. Simplicity is the main thing. One more feature that attracts me to the app is the use of design and colours which, unlike other websites, do not interfere with our concentration on numbers.”
Kite has also been praised for offering user delights like zero brokerage on ‘muhurat trading’ (a special trading session held by stock exchanges on Diwali), and stock-gifting options on festivals.
There is room for improvement, of course.
Kite doesn’t offer foreign stocks on its platform yet. That may be a future plan though. Some users have even complained of failed log-ins and inconsistent nudges.
A few bug fixes here and some new features there can go on to make Zerodha’s Kite a one-stop trading and investment app, with little or no cons.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai