The main distinction between CDSL (Central Depository Services Limited) and NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) is their ownership structure. NSDL is owned by a consortium of financial institutions, while CDSL is owned by various market participants, including stock exchanges, banks, and depository participants.


What Is NSDL And CDSL?

NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) and CDSL (Central Depository Services Limited) are two depositories in India that hold securities in electronic format, including stocks, bonds, debentures, mutual funds, etc. They facilitate the trading and transfer of these securities and provide services such as trade settlement and dematerialization.

  • NSDL and CDSL are registered with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • They operate under the Depositories Act of 1996.
  • They both aid in reducing the paperwork involved in buying, selling, and transferring securities.

NSDL Meaning

National Securities Depository Limited, also known as NSDL, was founded by the National Stock Exchange in 1996. Its main purpose is to store securities in electronic form, such as shares, bonds, debentures, and mutual funds, making securities trading more streamlined and effective.

CDSL meaning

The Bombay Stock Exchange established CDSL, or Central Depository Services Limited, as the country’s other main depository, in 1999. It also maintains securities in electronic form, facilitating easier transactions and ensuring investor security.

Difference Between NSDL And CDSL

The primary difference between NSDL and CDSL is ownership structure. NSDL is owned by a group of banks and other financial institutions, while CDSL is owned by a broader range of market participants. 

Let’s have a look at more such differences between NSDL and CDSL:

Basis of DifferencesNSDLCDSL
EstablishmentEstablished by NSE in 1996Established by BSE in 1999
NetworkA larger network of DP (Depository Participants)A smaller network of DP (Depository Participants)
Market ShareHolds a larger market shareHolds a smaller market share
Fee StructureThe fee structure varies based on transaction type and volumeFee structure varies based on transaction type and volume
UsageSome companies list exclusively with NSDL, others choose bothSome companies list exclusively with CDSL, others choose both
OwnershipOwned by a consortium of financial institutionsOwned by various market participants including stock exchanges, banks, and depository participants
TechnologyUtilizes advanced technology and infrastructureUtilizes advanced technology and infrastructure
InnovationKnown for introducing innovative services and featuresKnown for introducing innovative services and features
ReputationHighly recognized and widely used in the industryWell-established and trusted in the industry

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NSDL Vs CDSL – Quick Summary

  • The main difference between CDSL (Central Depository Services Limited) and NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) is ownership. A group of financial institutions owns NSDL, while stock exchanges, banks, and depository participants own CDSL.
  • NSDL and CDSL are both depositories that hold securities in an electronic format but were established by different stock exchanges (NSE for NSDL and BSE for CDSL).
  • NSDL stands for National Securities Depository Limited, the first depository in India.
  • CDSL stands for Central Depository Services Limited, and it was established a few years after NSDL.
  • The main differences between NSDL and CDSL are their establishment, network size, market share, and fee structure.
  • Both NSDL and CDSL facilitate smoother and secure securities transactions.
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NSDL And CDSL Difference – FAQs

1. What is the Difference Between NSDL And CDSL?

The primary difference between NSDL and CDSL is their founding bodies. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) started NSDL, and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) started CDSL. There are also differences in how big their networks are, how much of the market they have, and how they charge. 

2. Which Is Better, CDSL And NSDL?

Investors can choose between NSDL and CDSL based on their preferences and the broker’s network. Both depositories are safe and make it easy for securities to be traded.

3. What Is The Difference Between NSDL And CDSL Account Number?

The NSDL account number (also known as Beneficiary Owner ID or BO ID) has 16 digits. In contrast, the CDSL account number has 16 digits preceded by the DP ID, making it a total of 16 characters. For example, an NSDL account number may look like IN30047643256790, and a CDSL number may look like 1208160002471234.

4. How Do I Know If I Have CDSL Or NSDL?

You can determine whether you have a CDSL or NSDL account based on the account number. NSDL accounts start with “IN,” followed by a 14-digit numerical code, while CDSL accounts start with a numerical code of 16 digits.

5. Can I Transfer Shares From CDSL To NSDL?

Yes, you can transfer shares from CDSL to NSDL or vice versa. The process involves filling out an Inter-Depository Transfer Form and submitting it to your Depository Participant (DP).

6. Is Alice Blue A CDSL Or NSDL?

Alice Blue is a depository participant (DP) of CDSL. This means Alice Blue holds its clients’ securities electronically at CDSL.

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