The coming revolution in online trading platforms

For many, the risk of taking a new platform is often deemed higher than the opportunity of reaching a wider contingent of traders. This ignores the evidence we’ve seen from the dominant market players who offer proprietary platforms as opposed to ageing solutions that promise no future development or improvement” – Conor O’Driscoll, VP of OTC Platform at Devexperts

Trading platforms are an ongoing topic of contention in the online CFD market, with many newcomers having failed to gain traction. It’s rare to find such devotion to the old products of incumbents in other industries, save perhaps for certain businesses that still use outmoded operating systems. Online brokerages still like to play it safe when it comes to the platforms they offer, reasoning that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

This has made it an uphill struggle for many development firms seeking to bring new platforms to this market. We recently caught up with Conor O’Driscoll, VP of OTC Platform at Devexperts, to discuss the lay of the land in this interesting space.

“As a vendor in the platform market, Devexperts has been building custom development platforms for over 18 years, and we always have our ear to the ground when it comes to what brokers are interested in adding to their platform offerings” said Conor.

Having long-focused on the creation of bespoke platforms for businesses, the company has gained insights into what brokerages really want from their platforms and noticed a disparity between what is commonly requested and what is currently available. UI design, configurability and more powerful back end solutions appear to top the lists of brokerages in the market for something new. However, the dearth of competition in the SaaS trading platform space means that most brokerages are forced to go with the usual suspects.

“We have observed that brokers in today’s market are often driven by price and familiarity as opposed to current market demand and innovation, especially when it comes to their trading platform selection. We believe this can have negative long-term implications that are all too often ignored for short-term gains” Conor explained.

This gap, between where the leading edge is, and where off-the-shelf solutions currently find themselves, is a space that Devexperts believes is ripe for disruption. 

“Of course, this is not true of all brokers, and those with the necessary budget will often employ companies like Devexperts to build custom trading platforms that they will then manage” said Conor.

However, the relatively high cost of custom development is often prohibitive for smaller brokers, with many instead sacrificing control for cheaper White Label solutions, which prevent any real opportunity for such brokers to differentiate. This raises the important question, if everyone is offering the same platform, with the same spreads and the same products, how do you separate yourself from your competitors?

It also begs the follow-up question: if the online trading space is so competitive, with many brokers resorting to the same tried and tested marketing channels in order to attract new traders, why hasn’t greater platform selection offered brokers more of an opportunity to differentiate themselves? For Conor, this is a clear case of the known versus the new.

For many, the risk of taking a new platform is often deemed higher than the opportunity of reaching a wider contingent of traders. This ignores the evidence we’ve seen from the dominant market players who offer proprietary platforms as opposed to ageing solutions that promise no future development or improvement” – Conor O’Driscoll, VP of OTC Platform at Devexperts

Conor believes that the industry is quickly reaching a tipping point, where the risks of opting for a new platform and the perceived safety of resorting to tried and tested, though outdated, solutions is about to be overturned. This is particularly so with younger generations of traders, who have grown up used to much more intuitive and functional interfaces than the online CFD industry has been known for.

“At Devexperts, we are big believers in giving greater control and functionality to brokers, our technology has always reflected this, and it will continue to do so as we begin to roll out new platforms for the CFD market” he said.

When asked whether Devexperts has anything in store for us, Conor smiled and had the following to say:

“We have actually been working on something very cool, but it’s all hush-hush at the moment, so you’re going to have to wait for more details from us in the coming weeks. Stay posted!” 

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