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Forex Brokers publishes list of best trading platforms in South Africa for 2020

Leading South African broker comparison website forexbrokers.co.za published its annual listing of best trading platforms for 2020.
Forex Brokers SA reviews the trading apps offered by Forex Brokers in South Africa every year, and gives them score, ratings and ranking based on its unique ranking factors and system. Traders can compare each broker’s features side by side checking their upsides and downsides. Traders can also leave their user reviews, which is also used in the ranking criteria.

This year’s comparison was done on 50+ CFD brokers operating in South Africa based on the nine proprietary broker trust factors and five platform feature related factors.

Rahul Sharma, who is an editor at Forex Brokers SA explains “For a trading platform to be considered reliable and credible, there are many things one needs to consider like - its trust score, history, reputation, reliability, overall user reviews, ease of use, unique features, good service and support, withdrawal/deposit options and ease, accounts/instruments types on offer, trading tools, market data feed and news availability, technologies offered/used by broker etc.”.

“We looked at all the possible factors that a trader should look for while choosing an Online CFD trading platform.” he added.

Here are top five trading platforms which were released in this year’s Broker comparison and review:
  • MT4 App by Hotforex
  • Plus500 WebTrader and Mobile App
  • AvaTrade Go Platform
  • Tickmill Metatrader
  • FXCM Trading Station
Below table shows comparison of features of these top trading platforms.

Forex Brokers publishes list of best trading platforms in South Africa for 2020
click to enlarge

The Comparison factors: How Forex Brokers SA chose the best trading platforms

The comparison was based on research of 10+ factors. These include:
  1. Trading tools offered
Trading Tools is an important factor that should be looked into before choosing trading platforms. Examples of various trading tools including social and copy trading tools like Zulutrade, Charting Tools like Metatrader, Risk Management Tools like Limit Order, Stop Loss, Negative Balance Protection etc.

Very few platforms in SA offer all of these trading tools.

  1. Multi Device Support
Multi Device Support is an important consideration for traders, but not all brokers in South Africa offer support for all devices. Like, Plus500 offers its own proprietary platform for web and mobile, but it is not available for desktop.

Most brokers in SA offer 3rd party platforms I.e. MT4 and MT5 platform by MetaQuotes which is available on all devices including Desktop, web and mobile. While some brokers also offer cTrader, Zulutrade platforms.

Very few brokers offer their own proprietary platform like FXCM, Etoro and Plus500.
  1. Instrument Availability
We researched the number of trading instruments and asset classes available on the broker’s platform. These include Forex Trading, and CFDs on global stocks/shares, cryptos, metals, indices etc.

We looked into the exact number of asset classes offered by the brokers, and their fees of each of these instruments, as listed on under the broker’s latest ‘Spread data’ on their website and platform.
  1. Ease of Use
The platform available at the broker should be easy to use with 1 click orders, ease of access, no hanging or freezing etc. We compared the broker’s app based on some of these factors.
  1. Fees
Trading fees and commission is another factor that is important for traders. According to ForexBrokers.co.za, “The trading fee should be compared for each instrument at every broker and broker choice should be made based on the fees of instruments you want to trade which should be lowest”.

Some brokers offer fixed spread platform, which means the fees per trade is the same for an instrument, depending on the instrument being traded. For example, the broker Avatrade South Africa has a fixed spread of 0.9 pips for EURUSD currency pair, for USDZAR It is 85 pips, on their platform (as per their spread data).

While most brokers in SA offer floating spread accounts, the fees/spread per trade dependent on the market conditions.
  1. Broker’s Regulations
Broker’s regulation should be the most important factor while choosing a trading platform. For online trading in SA, FSCA or JSE license of the broker should be checked. If you are trading forex, your broker must be authorized with FSCA with a verifiable FSP number with an online derivatives license.

Eg: The broker Hotforex is licensed with FSCA in South Africa, under the FSP Name ‘HF Markets SA (PTY) Ltd’ and FSP No. ‘46632’.
  1. Credibility and Trust Score
How long the broker has been in business for? Is it regulated by multiple Top-Tier regulators including with FSCA in South Africa? Is the broker or its parent company publicly listed on a major Stock Exchange? Is the broker also a public sector or private bank?

We have checked for these above listed in our research to check a broker’s credibility.
  1. Other Factors
Other factors include but are not limited to Order Types offered on the platform, available Account types, Order Execution Speed, Security Features, Updates, Alerts, Reports and Data.

Online Trading Trends: South Africa’s Trading Figures grew

As part of our research, we found online trading figures overall grew in South Africa in 2020 and major publicly listed brokers I.e. Plus500, IG Markets reported higher growth numbers in Q1 and Q2 of 2020, than last years.

Trading volumes grew across all instruments like Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptos as retail trading demand and interest grew among new and existing investors. These investors were mainly driven by the volatility in the markets due to Covid-19. This pattern was seen in financial markets across the globe including in SA.

SA’s Forex market volume stood at $12.48bn USD per day in July 2020 as per SARB data. ZAR (Rand) Trading volume in SA’s forex market stood at around $9.1bn USD in July 2020.

JSE reported 33.15% growth in number of trades for the period 1st Jan – 31st Aug 2020 from the same period in previous year. And the volume grew 55.47% in the same period from previous year.

We also found that most forex traders in South Africa open ZAR base currency account. Few brokers offer ZAR trading accounts to traders in South Africa, these include Hotforex, XM Broker, FxPro.

Another major trend was seen with growth of mobile trading platforms and apps. SA and rest of Africa has huge penetration of mobile internet. And most new investors are using mobile trading for investing in the financial markets.

Bottomline: Risks and caution of trading online

Trading online through trading apps and platforms carry risk for your capital. You must read and understand the risk disclosures of brokers and the instruments you want to trade before investing.

29 Sep 2020 12:56

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