ECN broker is a type of broker that is often considered to be a step-up for some traders. But how to choose the best ECN broker for you? Find out the answer in this article.
There are a handful of new traders who join and participate in the currency market each day. Thanks to the internet, nowadays it's very easy to get access to crucial information about trading tips and recommendations. Many traders end up looking for ECN brokers because they are considered more beneficial and low on spreads. However, this does not guarantee that your trading will be completely safe and free of scams. Even now, scammers are still around, trying new tricks to manipulate traders, especially those who just started.
Many brokers claim to be an ECN broker, but not all of them are true to their words. Most of them are actually market maker brokers that only change a little bit of their system to imitate the ECN system. This is why it is incredibly important for traders to dig as much information as possible before choosing a broker.
Table of Contents
What is an ECN Broker
ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network, meaning it connects the market via the electronic network. ECN Brokers use this network to give their clients direct access to other participants in the currency market. In this network, individual traders are not the only participants, since banks and institutional players are also in the game. They will be provided a marketplace where they can trade against each other, sending asks and bids into the system.
In other words, an ECN broker is a Non-Dealing Desk type of broker. Instead of making their own market and act as the liquidity provider, they only provide access to the already existing market. An ECN Broker would electronically find a trade match for the clients' orders and pass those orders to the liquidity providers. The network is specifically designed to match the buying and selling orders currently present on the table. When a specific order match is not available, it provides prices reflecting the highest bid and the lowest ask orders.
Now since ECN brokers only provide access to the market and match the traders' orders, they cannot trade against their clients. Also, by combining price quotations from several market participants, ECN brokers can't artificially inflate the spread. That is why, compared to other types of brokers, ECN brokers usually give lower spreads. Instead of making income from spreads, ECN brokers usually charge fixed commission fees for each transaction.
To sum up, here are the benefits of using an ECN broker:
- The first advantage of using an ECN broker is that it allows traders to instant trade or trade outside of the traditional forex trading hours, providing a mechanism for those who are not always available in front of the screen and actively involved during regular market hours. In other words, the ECN broker is suitable for traders who prefer higher flexibility and broader availability.
- It also provides a lower spread than the other type of brokers because they can't control bids like dealers. Although traders will be charged with fixed commission fees per transaction, the value is mostly still reasonable, and it is possible to calculate the total amount of trading cost beforehand so traders can do plane their trades accordingly.
- It allows traders to trade anonymously. For those who are concerned about their privacy, ECN brokers can provide the solution. This feature can be desirable for investors who are interested in more massive deals.
- Price transparency is reliable because all ECN brokers have access to the same feed and trade at the specified prices provided. There are several specific price histories available, allowing traders to find and analyze a specific trend in the market. This system can also limit price manipulation, as current and past information are available for everyone. Therefore, every participant in the market is trading equally without any distinct advantage over the others because they all have access to the same information.
How to Identify a Fake ECN Broker
As we already mentioned before, some brokers claim as ECN brokers. At first glance, it's not easy to find the difference between the real and the fake ones. But it is not an impossible feat if you acknowledge the criteria of a true ECN broker. To find out which broker is the true ECN, there are a few aspects that you must check:
If a broker offers a fixed spread, then it is most likely to be a fake ECN broker because the real one will only offer variable spread as they can't control the spread of the market. Instead, ECN brokers gain money from the traders by charging commission fees per transaction.
Dealing Desk or Non-Dealing Desk
All ECN brokers are Non-Dealing Desk brokers. Any mention of a dealing desk condition on the company's website or client reviews actually shows that the broker is not a trustworthy ECN broker. Opening an account (either a real or demo account) could help you observe the difference in pips offered during news releases. If the broker is an ECN broker, there will be no extreme difference.
Positive and negative slippages should happen fairly. An ECN broker should not be controlling the slippage and make it always comes as negative for clients and benefit the broker. So if you trade during high volatility and the slippages happen quite unfairly, it's better to not regard the broker as a true ECN broker.
See also: The Dangers of Forex Broker Slippage
Recommended ECN Forex Brokers
Once you found a broker that matches an ECN broker's criteria, don't get tempted to agree with the terms and conditions just yet before you understand them completely. Make a comparison with a few other ECN brokers to figure out the best features and specifications for your trading strategies. We've got you covered in the area. Here is the list of several ECN brokers for you to consider.
Variable and Fixed
DFSA (Dubai), F004307
Trading by telephone
Islamic accounts available
Founded in 2004, Geneva-based Dukascopy Bank offers trading spots, including forex, metals, binary options, CFDs on bonds, commodities, indices, stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies through the same platforms. After the development of the Swiss FX Marketplace, Dukascopy acquired a Swiss banking license in 2010 and launched Dukascopy Bank.
They try to provide trading services based on the following main principles: equal trading rights and a transparent pricing environment. Dukascopy is licensed in Switzerland through the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and in the EU through the Financial and Capital Market Commission of Latvia (FCMC).
This ECN-Marketplace represents the advanced generation of liquidity aggregators in the industry. Dukascopy has a unique technology to hedge instantly any clients' trades directly with other liquidity providers. The company is currently connected to Bank of America, Commerzbank, Nomura, Barclays, Currenex, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, and other liquidity providers.
All trades are usually executed in milliseconds. Dukascopy offers the deepest source of liquidity in the industry resulting in tight spreads.
Opening an account in Dukascopy would allow you to trade in its proprietary platform called JForex, which can be accessed by desktop and mobile. In desktop experience, traders can get several features including hundreds of indicators, advanced charting, historical testing, real-time news, and embedded customer support.
On the other hand, customization is weak as there are no pop-out charts or built-in complex desktops and watchlists. The web version of the Java-based software triggers security warnings in Chrome and other browsers, while JForex mobile versions allow easy syncing between platforms.
Not only JForex, trading in Dukascopy also offers access to MetaTrader 4 platform that is appreciated by many traders around the world. It has main features such as expert advisors and customizable templates.
Furthermore, Dukascopy provides two types of accounts including Mobile Current Account (MCA) and Standard Current Account (SCA). For private use, traders can choose both account types. But for business use, SCA is more suitable. The minimum acceptable order size is 1,000 units of the primary currency.
Depending on Dukascopy services used by the clients, commissions may apply. Commissions and spreads are calculated through a declining tier system, with clients categorized by monthly trading volume and net deposit.
Dukascopy has won several awards including Best Forex Trading Apps 2019, Best Platform & Tools 2018, and Best Mobile Trading. Besides, the company also gets awarded as Best Forex Bank 2018 by China (Shenzhen) Forex Expo, Best Forex ECN/STP Broker 2018 by London Forex Show, and Best Provider of Liquidity 2017 by IAFT Awards.
Traders will get multiple ways of funding account, including credit and debit cards, wire transfers, and bank transfers. Each client is protected up to CHF100,000 against the insolvency risk of Dukascopy Bank. However, Dukascopy charges a $20 fee in addition to possible bank or credit card charges for withdrawals.
Dukascopy's clients have the opportunity to get more profit through bonus programs, including Equity Bonus, Discount Program, Experience Sharing, and Anniversary Bonus.
The minimal deposit size of the account with Dukascopy Europe is $100, while the minimum for Dukascopy Bank SA is $1,000. Deposits accepted in 23 currencies. Several additional features are available depending on the clients' profile and the type of account.
Dukascopy Bank provides a wide range of free financial information and other attractive resources through its website, Dukascopy TV online television, Freeserv products, and its active online Dukascopy community that hosts over 130,000 members. Based on the review of their clients, product sections and trading platforms point to limited "how-to" articles and videos about forex, CFD, indices, and cryptocurrency trading venues.
The members of Dukascopy may exchange in several languages on trading experiences, market views, trading strategies, may win prizes in various contests, and freely communicate through advanced and secure chat and video conference systems developed by Dukascopy.
The company provides a 24/6 support team through phone and live chat. Traders also can send questions via email. They maintain active social media portals as well as a dedicated support forum for JForex and automated trading.
Overall, Dukascopy is suitable for the highly experienced and high-volume traders. Higher than average trading costs could undermine beginner and retail accounts, who may have to look elsewhere for building skill levels due to weak educational resources.
Variable and Fixed
Islamic accounts available
The choice of broker is adjusted to the needs of each trader. If you are a trader who only needs a basic platform and trading features with the best attributes, then Exness can be your best choice.
Exness covers its lack of feature variations with other advantages like low spreads starting from only 0.1 pip. This is very suitable for traders who use scalping strategies (Scalper). Spreads on major pairs in certain account types can also be as low as 0.0 pip, depending on market conditions.
Not only that, but traders can also enjoy other advantages such as an automatic fund withdrawal system. If a trader withdraws funds through the e-Payment facility provided by Exness, the processing time is instant and goes straight into the account. This means that when traders make a withdrawal, everything happens automatically without human intervention.
The safety of traders' funds is also guaranteed as Exness is one of the European-based STP/ECN brokers. Exness's ability to become an official partner of the Real Madrid soccer team for 3 years, starting July 2017, also provides evidence that the company has high solidity.
Deposits and withdrawals may be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, it is important to note that the company shall not be liable for delays in processing deposits and withdrawals if such delays are caused by the payment system.
Traders do not need to worry about transaction fees when depositing and withdrawing. When trading on Exness, transaction fees are not charged to traders. A variety of payment methods are provided for traders, including Wire Transfer, Bank Card, Neteller, Skrill, and many others.
All information displayed on the Exness website is tested and proven. Their business is audited quarterly by Deloitte, which is an audit company for financial services.
Moreover, Exness is one of the mote transparent brokers in the online trading industry. Traders can find out all information about this company on the website, such as trading volume, number of active clients, client deposits, company funds, and many more.
The platforms provided by Exness vary in MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Web, and Mobile platforms. This makes it easy for traders when trading on Exness, as they can also access Exness platforms anywhere and anytime.
Over the years, Exness has developed into a broker that attracts traders. Trader's trust is further enhanced by its compliance with financial regulations like the FCA and CySEC.
One measure of client confidence can be put on the trading volume. By December 2018, their clients' monthly trading volume reached USD348.4 billion and active traders around the world surpassed 50,342.
Through the program offered by Exness, traders also have the opportunity to earn extra income by becoming their partners. From the Introducing Broker (IB) program, partners can earn up to 33% spread commission from every new client that registers with them.
Additional income can also be obtained from Exness Partners. Traders can get a spread commission of up to 25% per transaction made by traders who register through an affiliate link.
When trading with Exness, profit opportunities generated by traders also increase with VPS hosting services. This feature helps to maintain trading activities to progress smoothly and without interruption in the event of unexpected troubles such as lost internet connection or electricity problems that shut down traders' PCs unanticipatedly.
From the review above, it can be concluded that Exness is a favorite broker for traders because of low spreads and flexible account types. This condition is very suitable for traders with limited funds but is in need of more opportunities to get maximum profit. This broker is also well known for its maximum support on both new and existing partners.
Variable and Fixed
Trading by telephone
Islamic accounts available
FXTM was initially launched in 2011 with a unique vision to provide unparalleled superior trading conditions. Opening an account in FXTM would also bring about access to advanced education and sophisticated trading tools in the forex industry.
Now, FXTM is registered under the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK with the number 600475. The company is also regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission with CIF license number 185/12, and is licensed by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa, with FSP No. 46614
FXTM has 1 million registered accounts with more traders joining every day. The company continually tries to improve their performance and have got many awards such as Best Trading Experience 2019 by World Finance Awards, Best Online Forex Trading Company Nigeria 2018 by International Finance Awards, Reputable Investor Education Forex Broker Award 2018 by Hexun.com, Forex Brand Of The Year China 2018 by Fxeye.Com, and many more.
As a responsible broker, they determine leverage (expressed as a ratio of transaction size relative to trader's buying power) according to the trader's level of knowledge and experience in trading, which is evaluated by the Appropriateness Assessment. The company also enables trading with leverage up to 1:1000.
As for spreads, FXTM offers low spreads starting from 0.1 pip, so traders can withdraw profits at the start of trading. The company, which has headquarters in several countries, uses No Dealing Desk (NDD) technology and partners with credible liquidity providers to provide the best bid and ask prices.
For beginners, there is an automatic trading facility called algorithmic trading provided. When trading in FXTM, traders can develop their trading strategy or adopt other traders' strategies. Furthermore, the strategy is applied to automated trading systems, such as Expert Advisors. The purpose of this system is traders do not have to worry about losing opportunities while not observing the market so that profits can still be earned.
Three types of ECN accounts use the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms. There are also mobile and Tablet Apps trading platforms. Aside of providing many account variants, FXTM goes above and beyond to ensure that their client receives excellent support that they deserve, making their trading experience optimal and user-friendly.
FXTM also provides a diverse range of products. In addition to over 50 currency pairs, they provide gold, silver, CFD on commodity futures (oil), CFD on ETFs, and indices.
Education about the basic concepts of the forex industry is also accessible in this broker. Traders can read all the concepts provided in the form of e-books, video tutorials, articles, webinars, and forex seminars. There are 17 languages provided on the FXTM website to make it easier for traders to learn about forex.
Traders are also given various choices for payment methods, including Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro) and E-Wallet (Neteller, Skrill, Western Union). For withdrawing funds, traders are not charged a fee with a length of 2 hours to 2 days. Traders can live chat to ask further questions and contact the admin via email. There is also a question and answer page about forex trading on FXTM.
Interest rate on funds
Trading by telephone
Requires sending documents via postal mail
FXCM (Forex Capital Markets) is a brand name of a retail broker for trading on the financial market, especially the foreign exchange market. The broker was founded in 1999 and was originally headquartered in the United States. After a series of lawsuits from customers and case settlements by the US regulator (CFTC), FXCM moved from the US and became a UK-based broker, authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 217689).
Trading with FXCM is supported by enhanced execution with the Liquidity providers' stream pricing through the FastMatch Electronic Communication Network.
FXCM works with several global banks, financial institutions, and other market makers as their Liquidity providers including Barclays Bank, Citadel Securities, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, FASTMATCH, XTX Markets Limited, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Commerzbank, and Jefferies Financial Services.
This, in turn, enables FXCM to present its clients with fast trade execution, competitive spreads, low negative slippage, no re-quotes, no stop/limit restrictions, and up to 89% of orders are executed at the requested price or better.
For the trading platform, FXCM is remarkably known for its proprietary product called Trading Station. The latest version of this platform's web display is claimed to be built in Mac Friendly HTML5. It features a range of trading appliances such as integrated news, economic calendar, FXCM's top trading tools, social trading functionalities through FXCM Cloud, customized trading analytics, automated strategies, and advanced charting for better analysis. For flexible traders who prefer trading on-the-go, FXCM has also provided Trading Station in mobile version, both for iOS and Android users.
However, the company's in-house platform is not the only option presented for clients. FXCM also gives the choice to use MetaTrader 4 for clients who are more familiar with MetaQuote's product. Also, ZuluTrade access is enabled for clients with keen interests in copy trading schemes that transcend across brokers.
Instead of classifying account types based on minimum deposits, FXCM chooses to offer trading accounts based on the instruments traded. For FX traders, this broker provides Active Trader and Institutional accounts.
Active Trader is the ultimate account type for retail traders with two-tier pricing. Tier 1 applies a minimum deposit of $25,000 with a $30 commission for 1 million volumes traded, while Tier 2 has no detail on deposit requirement but gives better fee conditions. Spreads in both tiers start from 0.2 pips.
Institutional account, also known as FXCM Pro, is marketed as a wholesale execution and liquidity solution for retail brokers, hedge funds, and emerging market banks. The account presents trading spreads from 0.1 pips and other competitive benefits like API solutions as well as prime brokerage services.
For non-FX traders, FXCM provides a CFD trading account with low spread costs from 0.37 pips (in XAU/USD) and a wide range of class assets from precious metals, soft commodities, and indices.
Last but not least, a collection of in-depth articles is provided to help traders' knowledge and insights on the forex market. Trading tools like FXCM Plus, Market Scanner, Trading Signals, and Technical Levels are also developed to support traders who open accounts in FXCM.
In conclusion, FXCM is an experienced retail broker with a lot of "ammunition" to help traders with its best version of execution, pricing, and tools. It is a well-regulated broker backed with a long history in the financial market, even though it has a dark history in the United States' brokerage industry.
Still, the relatively high standard on minimum deposit ($25,000) puts FXCM as a broker suitable for experienced traders with good money management. It is not recommended for new traders with limited capital.
Islamic accounts available
FXOpen started its operation as an online trading provider for retail clients since 2005. The company was founded by a group of traders with a mission to provide services that refer to the interests of traders. FXOpen claimed to be one of the firsts to offer ECN trading via MetaTrader 4 (MT4). With FXOpen's unique proprietary price aggregating technology, their clients can benefit from the industry's most competitive spreads (from 0 pips) and low trading commissions.
In 2006, FXOpen also became the first broker to offer a micro account and a swap-free account. After that, they continue to be the pioneers of several new and high-tech services, including the first Crypto account that can provide trading facilities on 24 Cryptocurrency pairs such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
Furthermore, the company provides One Click Trading and Level 2 MT4 plug-ins, enabling traders to place trades with just one click of the mouse. Traders do not need to worry about trading security at FXOpen. They have registered in Nevis, the UK FCA, and ASIC Australia.
A variety of trading accounts are provided such as STP, Micro, ECN, and free unlimited demo accounts. The minimum deposit for each account depends on the account type; USD1 in Micro Account, USD10 in STP and Crypto Accounts, and USD100 in ECN Accounts. As for leverage, FXOpen offers up to 1:3 (for Crypto Accounts), and up to 1:500 (for Micro, STP, and ECN Accounts).
Besides, traders can enhance their trading capabilities with Myfxbook and Zulutrade automated trading systems. Both of these services allow anyone to copy the transactions of experienced traders. Thus, traders can replicate the results of professional traders' strategies.
The FXOpen PAMM Service allows copying trades from a Master account to one or more than one Follower account and automates the distribution of profits and losses. The Master operates personal capital through a PAMM account, and his trading strategy is replicated to the Follower's capital. The owner of the Follower account can view and analyze the performance of the PAMM account with the help of advanced analytics. There are 3 PAMM accounts in FXOpen, namely STP, ECN, and Crypto PAMM.
On ECN accounts, traders will get direct price quotes from leading liquidity providers, including Dresdner, SG Paris, Standard Chartered, Barclays Capital, Bank of America, CRNX, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG, RBS, CITI, and UBS. This is one of the reasons why FXOpen's ECN account has become a trader favorite.
After seeing the various advantages offered by FXOpen, traders can easily register an account, simply by filling out the form in the registration menu on the FXOpen website. Traders will be asked to verify documents in advance if the trader will make a deposit or withdrawal of funds. Based on traders' experience and information since FXOpen was founded, there have not been any major complaints about payments (depositing or withdrawing funds) from clients.
Once registered with the FXOpen broker, traders also have the opportunity to get other benefits. One example is the FXOpen cashback program for the first 90 days from registration as a new client. The minimum cashback is USD5 and the maximum is USD1,000.
Furthermore, free VPS is available for ECN, STP, and Crypto account holders. Traders can use FXOpen VPS without any fees for 1 month if they can maintain equity of USD5,000 at the end of the month or trade with a trading volume of USD10,000,000 per month. The advantages of VPS on FXOpen are excellent accessibility, flexibility, and speed.
Trading on FXOpen is made easier because traders can add insight into trading by entering contests. FXOpen Broker offers weekly and monthly trading contests on demo accounts through the ForexCup.com site. Traders can join competitions that are free of charge to hone their skills. If a trader wants a bigger challenge, there is also a trading contest on a real account.
The company also offers Forex partnership programs to traders, Forex brokers, and website owners who publish information about fiat and crypto-currency trading. There are 3 types of partnership levels, including Forex IB (Forex Agent) that attracts new clients to FXOpen using a referral (affiliate) link, Forex Rebate, and individual partnership conditions.
In Conclusion, FXOpen is a well-rounded forex brokerage for traders with a desire to try various trading instruments, a trading environment in ECN account, low minimum deposits, the best cryptocurrency trading condition, as well as interesting trading features like PAMM and demo contests.
Trading by telephone
Islamic accounts available
HotForex is an award-winning forex and commodities broker. Established since 2010, the company provides trading services and facilities to both retail and institutional clients. For more than 9 years in business, HotForex has around 1,500,000 live accounts opened and 200 employees globally.
Based on its services, HotForex can be regarded as middle-class category. Clients do not need to prepare a big deposit for joining to trade in this broker. Also, there are various accounts types, trading softwares, and tools to facilitate individuals and institutional customers to trade forex and CFD online.
HotForex is a registered brand name of HF Markets (Europe). Based on the location, the company is regulated by various financial regulators. Here are the details:
- HF Markets (SV) Ltd, registered in St. Vincent & the Grenadine as an International Business Company with the registration number 22747 IBC 2015.
- HF Markets (Europe), authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) with Licence Number 183/12.
- HF Markets SA (PTY), authorized and regulated as a Financial Service Provider (FSP) from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa, under the licence number 46632.
- HF Markets (Seychelles), incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Seychelles with registration number 8419176-1, regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) under Securities Dealer Licence number SD015.
- HF Markets (DIFC) Ltd, authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) under licence number F004885.
- HF Markets (UK) Ltd, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under firm reference number 801701.
If traders have more experienced, knowledgeable, and sophisticated trading environment, they can join to become Professional Clients, who can manage and assess their own risk. For that reason, this kind of clients are granted access to more favorable rates but afforded with lesser regulatory protections than of retail clients.
Trading with HotForex can enable traders to access a variety of trading instruments like CFDs on Forex, Cryptocurrencies, spot metals (gold, silver, and others), energies (oil and gas), commodities (such as coffee, copper, and sugar), indices, bonds, and popular shares such as Google, Apple, and Facebook.
HotForex offers some of the tightest spreads in the market, starting from 0 pips in Zero Account. This broker quote major foreign exchange currency pairs to five decimal places. Therefore, traders have the opportunity to get more accurate in pricing and the best possible spreads.
HotForex receives numerous highly prestigious titles, including the huge honor of being selected to join the ranks of the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies. Others are Best Client Funds Security Global by Global Brands Magazine, Best Global Forex Copy Trading Platform by Global Forex Awards 2019, Fastest Growing Forex Broker Mena 2019 by International Business Magazine, and many more.
After opening an account in HotForex, traders will obtain various forex trading platforms to accommodate all of their trading demands. Whether traders like to trade from desktop or prefer to trade on-the-go, they can use MetaTrader 4 in desktop (terminal, multi-terminal, and web terminal) and phone (iPhone, iPad, and Android).
Clients’ funds are held in segregated accounts. Only major banks are used by HotForex because they believe that successful traders have to give their full attention to their trading rather than worrying about the safety of their funds.
Traders do not need to worry about transaction fees when depositing and withdrawing. Transaction fees are not charged, and diversity of payment methods enable them to choose between Wire Transfer, Bank Card, and online payments (Neteller, iDeal, Sofort Banking, and Skrill). HotForex ensures that traders make fast transactions 24/5 during the standard hours.
Traders can earn extra income by joining the affiliate program offered by HotForex. Clients who join this program will get some advantages, such as 60% of Net Spreads based on the volume traded by sub-clients, up to $15 per a lot of net revenue, and many more. More information about HotForex can be obtained on their official website which is supported in 27 languages.
From the review above, it can be concluded that HF Markets is one of the award-winning forex and commodities brokers. There are various account types traders can choose in HotForex, and the broker itself becomes a favorite among traders for its low spreads. This condition is very suitable for traders with limited funds and a desire to get more opportunities to gain maximum profit.
ASIC, ACN 123 289 109
Interest rate on funds
IC Markets is an online forex broker operating under the company of International Capital Markets Pty Ltd. Traders under the Australian jurisdiction are provided with the trading service of IC Markets AU that is headquartered in Australia and licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
On the other hand, non-Australian traders who open an account in this broker are registered under IC Markets SEY that is based in Seychelles, and regulated under the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (SFSA). The dual operation is a result of the relatively new rules from ASIC that prohibit their regulated broker to offer trading services outside Australia.
Classified as an ECN broker, IC Markets provide clients with MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader as platform trading options. This broker also follows market trends to include Cryptocurrencies as one of its products, enriching its already wide selection of trading assets that include Currencies, Indices, Metals, Energies, Softs, Stocks, as well as Bonds.
The minimum deposit in IC Markets is in the middle range compared to other ASIC-regulated brokers, as it reaches $200 for every client. Market analysis materials are also prepared regularly for trading insights on IC Markets's official website, proving their competence to serve their traders with important contents created by market experts that work specifically for them.
For payment methods, IC Markets allows funding and withdrawal via wire transfer, credit card, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, FasaPay, UnionPay, as well as Bitcoin via BitPay. The more interesting aspect from this broker is its multi-base currencies that include USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, SGD, NZD, JPY, CHF, HKD, and CAD.
As the trading technology in IC Markets is highly equipped with co-located servers and extremely low latency (especially on cTrader), the broker is widely known for its capability in hosting traders with the special needs for high-frequency trading as well as scalping.
To sum up, IC Markets is a fitting destination for active traders looking for a well-regulated broker. IC Markets is also flexible in terms of base currency and payment methods, signaling their commitment to welcome traders beyond their home country. As of late 2019, IC Markets provided their website in 18 international languages including English, Korean, Indonesian, French, Spanish, Italian, Malay, German, and Chinese.
Trading by telephone
Islamic accounts available
Pepperstone was founded in 2010 by a team of experienced traders with a shared commitment to improve the world of online trading. Based in Melbourne, Australia, they grew to become one of the largest forex brokers in the world. If traders want to find a broker that provides low spreads, fast execution, and award-winning support, then the answer is Pepperstone.
Pepperstone has a strong legality guarantee because it has been licensed by the Australian regulator ASIC and FCA. Traders' funds can be deposited in segregated accounts at top Australian banks, one of which is the National Australia Bank (NAB). Therefore, the safety of funds is not a concern if a trader chooses to open an account in Pepperstone.
They succeeded in collaborating with 23 top banks to bring Bid to investors instantly via optical fiber. This allows all orders to be executed 100 percent automatically with low latency up to 0.05 milliseconds, without dealing desk intervention and requotes, as well as with super low trading costs.
Trusted by over 73,000 traders around the world, Pepperstone processes an average of USD12.55 billion of trading volumes every day. Because of that, they have many awards such as:
- The Best Global Forex ECN Broker 2019 and Best Forex Trading Support-Europe
- Best Australian Broker and Best Trading Platform 2018 by Compareforexbrokers.com
- Best Forex ECN Broker, Best Forex Trading Support, and Best Forex Trading Conditions by UK Forex Awards 2018
With the many rewards gained, Pepperstone hopes to attract more and more traders from all over the world. The rising performance of Pepperstone is not only due to the super-tight spreads and fast execution that it provides, but also because many traders are interested in trading with deposits in currencies other than US Dollars.
For this reason, Pepperstone is one of the most market-responsive brokers because it is willing to accept deposits in 10 currencies, which include AUD, USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, CHF, JPY, NZD, SGD, and HKD.
Trading in Pepperstone would allow traders to choose between 11 trading platforms: MT4 for desktop, MT4 Mac, MT4 iPhone, MT4 Android, MT4 iPad/Tablet, MT5, WebTrader, cTrader WebTrader, cTrader cAlgo, and cTrader Mobile. The choice of trading platforms may seem confusing to novice traders, but actually, it is very useful because it has fast execution.
When trading forex, traders can enjoy raw spreads from 0.0 pips on Razor accounts, over 61 currency pairs, and commission-free account funding on a wide range of deposit options. In addition to currency pairs, Pepperstone provides many types of trading instruments, including CFDs for indices and shares, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
Instruments in commodity trading are pretty much diversified. Not only metal, gold, and silver, but traders can also trade with soft commodities such as cotton, sugar, coffee, cocoa, and orange juice. Pepperstone also provides trading on energy (oil and gas).
There are two types of accounts provided by Pepperstone, namely Razor accounts, and Standard accounts. If you area beginner, it is recommended to choose a Standard account with an average EUR/USD spread of 1.0-1.3 pips and free commission.
Those with particular trading styles such as scalpers and algorithmic traders may enjoy the lower cost setup traditionally seen in a Razor account, with a commission from AUD7 round turn of 100k traded. The initial deposit starts at USD200 with a minimum lot of 0.01 (micro) and 1:500 leverage.
As a Pepperstone client, a trader can fund and withdraw with alternative methods including Visa, Mastercard, POLi internet banking, bank transfer, BPay, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, and Union Pay.
If you are new to trading or looking to practice your trading strategies in a risk-free environment, you can create Demo Account in Pepperstone. But if you are an experienced trader or prefer to learn by doing, Pepperstone provides a Live Account that allows you to trade with live executions and pricing.
Traders can also follow and copy strategies from popular traders using third-party services while learning how to improve their trading abilities. Pepperstone has partnered with a range of social trading platforms that traders can choose from, such as Myfxbook, ZuluTrade, Mirror Trader, MetaTrader signals, and Duplitrade.
Trading by telephone
Islamic accounts available
As a multi-asset online brokerage, ThinkMarkets present a wide range of trading assets starting from Forex to Precious Metals, Commodities, Indices, Shares, and Cryptocurrencies. The Australian-based broker is established in 2010 and has since opened additional headquarters in London and throughout Asia-Pacific, Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America.
Average FX spreads for traders opening an account in ThinkMarkets start from 1.2 pips for the standard account, while ThinkZero provides the best trading experience with 0.1 pips spread. Still, traders may need to consider that ThinkZero applies commission from $3.5 per side for every 1000,000 trading volumes.
As a global online brokerage, ThinkMarkets operates under various financial regulatory institutions. For example, ThinkMarkets Australia is managed by TF Global Markets (Aust) Limited and is licensed by the Australian Financial Services as well as the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) with ABN: 69158361561. On the other hand, ThinkMarkets UK is registered under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by the company name of TF Global Markets (UK) Limited (number: 09042646).
ThinkMarkets consistently try to improve their trading environments with various advanced products. Automatic trading fans are provided with free VPS Hosting, while passionate traders who'd like to experience beyond MetaQuote platforms can try ThinkMarkets' proprietary platform called ThinkTrader.
The trading platform is available on 3 different interfaces specifically designed for Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile displays. Furthermore, customized tools such as 80+ drawing tools and indicators for technical analysis accessible even through Mobile screens would certainly provide a brand new trading on-the-go experience.
As far as market updates go, trading in ThinkMarkets would be accompanied with news from FX Wire Pro that is known for its strict policy toward upholding objective journalism and delivering critical, trusted information in real-time. Information segments covered by FX Wire Pro include Economic Commentary, Technical-level Reports, Currency and Commodities, Central Bank Bulletins, Energies and metals, together with Event-driven Flashes.
For payment methods, ThinkMarkets offer the gateway via bank transfer, credit card (Visa and MasterCard), Skrill, Neteller, POLi internet banking, BPay, and Bitcoin wallet.
All in all, it is safe to say that for a company that started business since 2010, ThinkMarkets is an accomplished broker in terms of legal standing and innovation in trading technology. As an additional safety assurance for traders, this broker underlines its commitment to provide a $1 million insurance protection program which is made possible by ThinkMarkets' insurance policy with Lloyd’s of London that protects clients' funds for up to $1 million in the unlikely event of insolvency.
What You Need to Know About ECN Brokers
When choosing the best ECN broker, always keep in mind that an actual ECN broker does not profit from the spread but charges a commission fee per lot traded. Meanwhile, the spread on ECN accounts will always fluctuate according to market conditions, in line with the liquidity provider's price connected to the broker.
The next important factor is a matter of regulation. Those who deserve to be labeled the best ECN broker must be a broker that has been legally regulated by a credible regulator. Prominent regulators usually have stricter rules and, therefore, can ensure the broker's safety even more.
Other than that, it should be noted that usually, forex brokers provide an ECN account as an option alongside several other accounts. This means a broker can offer account options with instant execution (where it acts as a dealer) alongside another option with market execution (ECN-mode). So, before you register with a broker, pay close attention to what type of account you choose because the trading conditions in each account can be very different.
Lastly, consider the trading platform that the broker uses. Some traders think that the best true ECN broker shouldn't use MetaTrader 4 because the platform can be intervened by brokers. However, MetaTrader 4 is still a favorite among traders, so many ECN brokers on the list offer MetaTrader 4 as their standard platform and provide other platforms at the same time.