A demat account, short for dematerialized account, allows you to hold financial securities like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs in electronic form instead of physical certificates. Just like you need a bank account to store your money, you to open demat account to invest in the stock markets.
Opening a demat ac is easy, fast and can be done online. It has become very popular among investors in India due to the convenience and security it offers. In this simple guide, we will understand what is demat ac and step-by-step process to open one.
What is a Demat Account?
A demat (dematerialized) account is an online account that allows retail investors to store their financial securities like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in electronic format rather than holding physical certificates. Similar to how a bank account digitally stores your cash balance and transactions, a demat account enables the digitization of traditional paper share ownership into electronic shares.
Just like your bank account number uniquely identifies your money transactions, your demat account has a unique account number that identifies your electronic security transactions. By holding securities in electronic demat form instead of physical certificates, the possibilities of theft, mutilation or loss of certificates is eliminated. Buying and selling of securities also becomes faster and more convenient as the ownership transfer happens electronically through the digital demat account by transferring shares from one demat account to another based on market trades. Online access provides investors portfolio monitoring, tracking dividends and other benefits at their convenience through their demat account dashboard.
Step 1: Choosing a Depository Participant
A Depository Participant (DP) provides the demat account. Some popular DPs are banks, financial institutions and large brokers. Choose one with easy online access and low brokerage charges.
Step 2: Filling Account Opening Application Form
Visit the DP branch or website to fill up required details in account opening form. Provide personal details like PAN card, address proof, email id, mobile number etc.
Step 3: Signing Documents
Sign the Client Master Agreement form and Schedules at the DP office. Or upload online if doing eKYC. This sets rights, duties and obligations for investor-DP relationship.
Step 4: Account Activation
The DP will verify documents and KYC details. Once done, your account gets opened with a unique Client ID and DP ID. Account activation may take 2-3 days.
Step 5: funding your Account
Once your demat ac is activated, you need to transfer money from your linked savings or current bank account to the trading account associated with your demat account. This trading account funds will be used to buy stocks and other securities in electronic form in your demat account.
A Demat ac enables investors to hold financial assets in electronic format. Opening trading account is very easy and convenient through online or offline channels. After KYC verification by Depository Participant, account gets activated within few days to start transacting seamlessly. So, digitize your investments for better transparency, security and risk mitigation.
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