Types of Demat Account in India

5paisa Research Team Date: 05 Oct, 2023 01:28 PM IST


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Before choosing the most suitable type of Demat account for you,  you need first understand what a Demat account is. A Demat account, also known as a Dematerialised account, is a type of account that holds and records your shares and securities. It is mandated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).  
You don't physically hold paper certificates for your investments when you have a Demat account, and all of your ownership and transactions are documented electronically. You manage the Demat account with the assistance of a Depository Participant, who works as an intermediary between you and the depository. 

There are certain fees associated with having a Demat account, although they are usually minimal. These charges can include a fee for opening the Demat account, an Annual Maintenance Charge (AMC) to keep it active, a custodian fee for safekeeping your securities, and a transaction fee for buying or selling securities.

3 Primary types of Demat Accounts

There are primarily 3 types of Demat accounts. Demat accounts can be used by Indian residents as well as Non-resident Indians (NRIs). Investors can select an appropriate Demat account based on their residence status.

1. Regular Demat Account

A regular Demat account is recommended for traders and investors residing in India. It is the most commonly used type of Demat account and is ideal for individuals primarily involved in trading equity shares. This allows you to buy and sell shares in electronic form, ensuring convenient and secure storage of your investments.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently introduced a new type of Demat account called the Basic Services Demat Account (BSDA). It's quite similar to a regular Demat account, Regular accounts are standard, while BSDA is for infrequent investors with lower fees. The only difference here is, for this type of account there aren’t any maintenance charges. If the total value of your holdings in the account remains at ₹50,000 or below.  A regular account can become a BSDA, if the total value of your investment portfolio exceeds ₹2,00,000, your BDSA would automatically be converted into a regular Demat account. BSDA is designed to be more affordable for smaller investors, making it easier for them to participate in the stock market.


Let’s understand the distinction between these two accounts.
●    1st Slab: For holdings up to ₹50,000, there are no maintenance charges (AMC).
●    2nd Slab: If your holdings range from ₹50,001 to ₹2,00,000, you'll be charged ₹100 annually for AMC.
●    3rd Slab: For holdings exceeding ₹2,00,000, the maintenance charge rises to ₹25+18% GST per month


Here's a simple example to explain:
If you initiated your 5 Paisa BSDA on January 5, 2022, and your investments amounted to ₹1,50,000 during the first quarter, you'd be charged ₹100 annually in fees, based on slab 2, due on April 5.
Subsequent quarters' fees follow a similar calculation method, according to the highest investment value within that specific period.
In the end, your decision between a Regular Account and a Basic Services Account depends on how much you invest, the size of your portfolio, and how much you're willing to pay in fees. 

2. Repatriable Demat Account

Non-resident Indians also have the option to trade and invest in Indian securities, by using a repatriable Demat account. This type of account allows traders/investors to transfer funds abroad if needed. However, traders/investors must have a Non-Resident External (NRE) bank account linked to this type of Demat account.

Here's the process: When you become a non-resident Indian, you'll need to close your Demat account that you held as a resident Indian. Once that's done, you can transfer your shares to a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account. If you plan to sell your shares, there's a limitation that means, you're allowed to transfer a maximum of $1 million per calendar year from your NRO account to your overseas accounts. 

3. Non-Repatriable Demat Account

A Non-repatriable Demat account, also known as an NRO Demat account, is used by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). However, it comes with limitations on transferring funds to their home country. The investments made through this account cannot be converted to foreign currency. It also necessitates a linked Non-resident Ordinary (NRO) savings bank account. This account is primarily used for managing income earned in India by NRIs, including bonuses and dividends.

With a non-repatriable Demat account, NRIs cannot freely transfer the proceeds from the sale of securities and investment gains. They can only transfer the initial investment amount and interest earned after tax deductions. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the maximum limit of repatriation from an NRO bank account is capped at $1 million per financial year, and this is applicable after paying taxes on the repatriable amount.

What are the documents required for opening all types of Demat Accounts?

The documents required for opening a demat account are as follows:

1.  Proof of Identity

2.  Proof of Address

3.  Proof of Income

4.  Proof of Bank Account (canceled cheque)

5.  Copy of PAN Card

6.  Copy of Visa (for NRIs)

7.  FEMA declaration (for NRIs)

How to pick the right type of Demat Account?

Along with understanding what a Demat account is, investors should also consider their requirements and expectations. NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) need to carefully plan their future investments to determine which NRI Demat account option aligns with their goals. NRIs can choose single or multiple Demat accounts. Many NRIs opt for both Repatriable Demat and Non-Repatriable Demat accounts. However, they can maintain only one NRI PIS (Portfolio Investment Scheme) bank account. To invest in stocks and mutual funds of Indian companies, NRIs must have a PIS-enabled bank account. It's important to note that a Regular Demat account is meant only for Indian residents. All types of Demat accounts provide the option to designate a nominee. In case of the demise of the Demat account holder, the nominee becomes the beneficiary of the shares held in the account.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The benefits of using the different types of Demat accounts in India include the following: 

●    You can hold securities and shares in an electronic format.
●    You can conduct fast and instant security transfers.
●    You will be able to eliminate ‘bad deliveries.’
●    It allows quick disbursement and settlement of Corporate perks like dividends, bonuses, etc.
●    There will be risk elimination by mutilation, theft, loss, etc.

Two popular types of demat accounts in India are repatriable and non-repatriable accounts. Compared to non-repatriable accounts, repatriable ones enable NRIs to transfer their hard-earned funds or money abroad. However, if any NRI invests in mutual funds via an NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account, their income from such mutual funds investment will be non-repatriable. 

Yes, the different types of demat accounts are mandatory, only under certain circumstances. Having a demat account is mandatory only when you plan to invest in stocks and no other type of security. Although a demat account isn’t mandatory to invest in mutual funds, having access to one can simplify things for you. 

A 3-in-1 demat account is one of the most popular types of demat account, which is a combination of a demat, trading, and bank account. This allows individuals to store and save their own funds via savings account, buy or sell securities via trading account, and store those securities via demat account.