In our first article of the “Tips for Startup Brokers” series – Tips for Startup Brokers: Where Do I Begin? we have taken a look at the core elements essential to starting your own brokerage, and learnt the importance of having the right platform, CRM, LP, PSP and website
Now it’s time to dive a little deeper into the elements, starting with one of the most vital ones – the platform. Which questions should you ask yourself before choosing your platform provider?
1. Where do you need your platform to be available?
The fast-paced world we live in today dictates that traders are more in need of universal solutions than ever, choosing to be able to access their trading space from any location and device, as well as to have it in their pocket for a complete on-the-go experience.
Therefore, it goes without saying that ideally your platform should be available on Desktop, Web, IOS and Android for your clients to choose from. Nevertheless, even some of the most reputable providers may not offer web/mobile versions or charge extra for them. cTrader comes with an all-inclusive package at no extra cost.
2. What limitations does your platform provider have?
Understanding the costs you may have to bear is vital, especially when it comes to hidden ones. You have to ask yourself: does your platform provider charge you extra per accounts, managers or groups? Needless to say, it’s in your best interests to pick a provider that supports unlimited accounts, groups and symbols, as not only is this financially beneficial, but also helps you manage your business more effectively.
cTrader Suite offers brokers an unlimited amount of live/demo accounts, groups, managers and even symbols. We believe the broker should have all the tools to reach their maximum potential from the very beginning.
3. What kind of support does your platform provider offer?
This is where the distinction between self-hosted and cloud-based platform providers comes in. Self-hosted providers may grant you control over the platform, but this also means that you will be the one responsible for all the issues, as the platform will be hosted directly on your server. Any downtimes, glitches and other problems – it will be your responsibility to fix and bear the costs related to hosting and maintenance.
Cloud-based platforms, like cTrader, on the other hand, have all maintenance and operation delegated to the platform provider, meaning you can leave your platform in the hands of professionals and focus on other aspects of running your own brokerage. From connectivity to price feeds and liquidity setup – the entire complex, costly and time-consuming process is up to us to take care of, which many intermediaries find not only to be the best technical solution, but also the most economically viable, as these operations typically require highly-qualified (and hence highly-paid) experts.
4. Which trading modes and features does the platform provide?
To appeal to all types of traders, it’s best you offer a vast variety of modes and features. A platform provider that offers Manual, Automated (bots) and Copy trading is a wise choice to consider for a larger client base.
When it comes to Automated trading, cTrader Automate uses the C# programming language, which is the most popular and easy to learn, hence increasing your potential customer base even further. As for copy trading, cTrader Copy grows in popularity, making its presence in the cTrader Suite – a major advantage for clients in search of an all-inclusive brokerage.
On the topic of all-inclusivity, a good platform provider today also offers a solid ecosystem with integrated third-party solutions, helpful to your traders. Trading Central signals, Autochartist, platform-in-built economic calendar and many more are worth taking into account for a profit-maximizing offering to your clients.
5. Can you brand the platform?
If you are looking to imprint your brand in the minds of traders, the inclusion of your name and logo may go a long way.
Indeed, branded platforms are more distinctive and make sure brokers benefit from both loyalty and differentiation in the market. Platforms like cTrader make it possible to have your company branding within the web, desktop and mobile interfaces, providing increased brand value for your business – a feature absent in the majority of even the most well-known platform providers.
6. How long does it take for your platform to be deployed?
Depending on when you want to get started, it’s critical to figure out how long it will take for your platform to come into full operation. A platform that is fast to deploy, easy to integrate and ultra-scalable, while providing the same high level of performance and low latency is likely to be your number one choice as a start-up broker. cTrader, for instance, can be up and running smoothly in as little as two weeks!
7. Is the back-office management as complete as you would like it to be?
Your back-office management is the “control panel” of your business. The more control and room for customization you have – the more complex and thought-through decisions you can make, while never losing sight of the bigger, neatly-organized picture.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to ask yourself: Does the platform offer access to all accounts in your books in a convenient and easy-to-operate manner? Is there the option of setting different markups and commissions, as well as to manage A-Book/B-Book on a group level? Is it fitted with the right risk management tools for you, such as configurable leverage rules, multiple liquidity feed management, different margin calculation types and other useful options?
8. Does the platform have a vibrant and lively community?
Last but not least, does your platform offer a support community of other traders for your clients to take part in? Sharing platform advice and analyzing market opportunities together goes a long way in making your traders feel involved in the trading process and is a fun and easy aspect to promote.
We at Spotware’s cTrader worked hard to create our own community environment, and encourage you to take a look at our Forum and Telegram channels to observe just how much support our traders are getting from the platform and one another on daily basis
Address the questions above and take the time to pick out exactly the right platform for you, as it is one of the most important parts to your offering – a key to start your own brokerage and a major determinant of your traders’ satisfaction, and hence your revenue!
In fact, at Spotware we aim to maximize the satisfaction of both traders and their brokers, which is why our answer to every one of the questions you’ve encountered here is “Yes”.
Want to find out more about opening your brokerage? Get in touch with our team today!