The retail FX trading platform race is hotting up and ever more sophisticated! Denis Borisovsky reveals all
API business these days is not just the preserve of technologists, but is now a core business activity of non-bank prime brokerages. We speak to platform pioneer Denis Borisovsky, who distinguishes ProTrader from PTMC and looks to the future of platforms and market connectivity
Recently you released your native Mac trading terminal for macOS which will eventually include the same functionality as the Windows desktop terminal. What else is new with PFSoft?
We have a very clear focus during last 10 years as we are working on connecting all markets. It includes all types of markets, regions and participant types. Mac terminal is newest attempt to include another significant group of market participants. We had seen a great demand in this niche but no good solution Mac users, so strategically it was absolutely clear for us to satisfy this demand.
In 2016 you have released Protrader multi-connect called PTMC. It seems that it’s addressed to retail traders instead of brokers. Is this a successor of Protrader 3?
There is a great distinction between PTMC and Protrader that has to be emphasized.
PTMC is our retail product for traders (end users) who would like to trade with brokers that already have their back end solutions with API in place. In the meantime, Protrader is designed for brokers willing to use a complete technology that includes also server and back-end side in addition to front-ends.
Despite PTMC has its roots in Protrader’s front end, these are two separate products for two different types of clients. Both supported and updated on a regular basis.
In the beginning of 2017, the PTMC platform switched to a system of licenses. What were the reasons for the move?
Recently, we have made two huge steps in terms of pricing our products. PTMC received system of licenses as it was planned from the beginning.
We have also remodelled pricing for our end-to-end brokerage solution, Protrader. In this case we have made pricing more broker-friendly in current competitive environment by totally weaving the upfront license fee. This should limit the risk for brokers willing to expand to new markets and asset classes with help of our technology.
…and has it been successful thus far?
The PTMC project is still gaining speed as being in constant development process, but what we can already tell is that the inception phase was very successful. We are feeling the power of the community as we talk with traders and thanks to their voices we are improving. Nobody was really listening to them before.
What’s more is that they are very happy with our front end platform and it’s getting more and more popular each day.
There’s also a great synergy between PTMC and our Protrader solution. While we have created PTMC based on experience we have with Protrader, now PTMC has a chance to impact Protrader front-end in a very positive way as the PTMC community is quickly growing. That’s the great synergy, isn’t it?
PTMC is a platform available with top-notch brokers, more importantly US brokers like OANDA and Interactive Brokers. What does it take to penetrate a very competitive and challenging market like the US?
Great quality of product and community power. We are creating our product together with traders, really, it’s constant improvement. We are helping traders to create the best tool for trading instead of pushing a costly marketing.
We have very small sales and marketing teams, although we work with passionate specialists. 90% of our workforce is engaged in research, development and quality assurance. This way we do not sell aggressively neither we do heavy marketing. We would rather make decent product that sells itself.
But you are looking to connect your platform to as many brokers as possible?
With PTMC, we look to integrate it with technology that brokers already have using their API. In case of Protrader, connectivity becomes complex area with few faces: client side, broker side and liquidity side.
We want people to have a choice to trade with broker and software they prefer. This can make markets and financial technology far more efficient. The freedom of choice is only good when you have various available options to choose from. In such environment, everyone can follow his own reasoning to find the best setup in his particular situation. So, the more brokers and prime brokers we connect with, the better our solutions will be.
How would you describe the typical user of your front-end platform? It seems quite complex for a newbie, with all of the scripts and indicators. Would you say that it is more apt for professional traders?
Not at all. We face this sort of questions from time to time as we usually boast the complexity of our front-end tools. In the same time our solution is very flexible (that’s another area of focus after connectivity), and it can be very easy to start with.
PTMC offers similar selection of tools as Protrader front-end, but in our brokerage solution broker is able to control which tools will be visible and allowed for particular users. It means that some tools can be available (for example) only by client’s request or to professional users only. Any client who has very little experience could be served with very basic front-end. Conversely, more advanced users can be given access to more sophisticated tools, such as DOM, portfolio, algo studio, MAM, etc.
Protrader.org is, to a great extent, a community for traders – they get to communicate in the Forum and to share strategies, indicators and plug-ins in the Codebase section. How important is the social aspect for the Protrader team and will you add new functionalities in this aspect?
We are constantly looking for new ideas for enhancements of our products. Community’s effort and user generated content can never be substituted by corporate processes. We are happy to reward and stimulate the power of our community, understanding that many members would like to be remunerated for their work.
And because PTMC and Protrader front-end are compatible all traders using our solutions will benefit from joining the Protrader.org community.
So we listen to traders. We really want to hear them. And we create this product with them and for them. It’s exciting!
What are your plans and what can we expect from ProTrader in 2017?
More paths to be opened and more opportunities to be created.
To be more specific, I would mention release of numerous new integrations with liquidity providers and exchanges. We will connect new regions and market types. It’s a lot of exciting work.
In addition, we are going to release the production version of Protrader for Mac in the next 1 or 2 months.