By Manish Kedia, Managing Director,  FX Trading Solutions,  FlexTrade Systems
By Manish Kedia, Managing Director, FX Trading Solutions, FlexTrade Systems

Elevating the FX mobile trading experience

Exploring a mobile trading app from FlexTrade Systems

In today’s volatile and uncertain markets, mobility has emerged as important extension of desktop FX trading functionality.  We recognize that FX traders are not always tethered to their desktops and are seeking new ways of trading. 

We want to empower FX traders with the most robust mobile FX trading platform that is an extension of our full desktop FX trading solution. Our vision is to offer the convenience of mobile trading with access to the same liquidity sources, connectivity and straight through processing that we provide on the desktop.

While retail investors have had access to mobile platforms for many years to meet their margin calls, hedge funds and banks have not had institutional-grade functionality on mobile apps. 
However, FlexTrade has invested in building out a robust mobile trading platform and has taken the technology to the next level.  As part of this commitment, we have upgraded our mobile trading app with the latest security features, ensuring that compliance officers are comfortable with these safety measures.

We started giving a mobile app for FX trading to our bank and hedge fund clients more than two years ago. This was well-received in Asia, where traders are on the move, and executing positions into the late evening hours. Unless an institutional trader has the same exact desktop setup at home as they have their office, there is no elegant way to trade. It can take many steps to open a laptop, connect to a corporate VPN, and open other industry chat applications. If they cannot confirm the trade over chat, they end up doing a voice trade with a dealer or a bank. Alternatively, when the FOMC announces a policy change and it’s 2:00 am in Singapore, traders can easily login into their FlexTrade mobile app to manage their positions quickly. 

Staying on top

Providing a robust mobile trading app to our institutional clients is also about staying on top of the FX markets. When FX volatility and trading volumes surged in March, COVID-19 became a perfect test case for mobile trading app. As FX markets exploded with record-trading volumes, big banks and large hedge funds relied on MaxxGo, our mobile trading app as volumes surged. Tried and tested, our mobile trading app proved it was resilient under severe market conditions.  

But it’s not only about operating in an emergency. Today’s FX traders are demanding full functionality. Our clients have access to the same market data, depth of liquidity, algo order types, and connectivity on the mobile app as they have access to from our desktop platform, Maxx Trader. This means that our clients can execute trades in spot FX, forwards, NDFs, swaps,  precious metals and CFDs, 24 -hours a day from anywhere. Anytime someone is trading on the web app or mobile app, orders automatically flow to their back office.

Even pre-COVID, FX traders needed convenient access to live currency markets and execution platforms when they are off the desk or out of the office. 

Typically, traders in Asia or Europe use their desktop computer during the day, but when they are out to dinner, attending a meeting, or at home -- they are looking for a convenient and safe way to access the U.S. market activity.  While our Web app using HTML 5 performs well for remote access, many clients find the mobile app is more convenient.  We are noticing that FX traders who enjoy the robustness of the desktop during the day, prefer the mobile apps’ convenience. 

Hedge funds and banks have not had institutional grade functionality on mobile trading apps - until now

Security is Top of Mind

We understand there are concerns about security and risk, but large hedge funds and banks are using this mobile trading apps today. A change in mindset has helped them, but so have improvements in security.

To allay any concerns, we have secured our mobile app with a range of technologies, including two-factor authentication, biometric identification, automatic logout, antivirus, and anti-malware programming.  In case a device is stolen or lost, we can use device controls to restrict which device the mobile app is running on.  To prevent excessive or unauthorized trading, we can also place different limits on a mobile app versus the desktop system.  If a trader leaves the company, we can disable access to the mobile device. If the mobile trading app is kept open without any activity, the app will timeout and require the trader to login again.

While some compliance officers are apprehensive about entrusting mobile devices with large positions, with security protections in place and robust technology, hedge funds and asset managers can trade FX very safely; this is why we are seeing more adoption from professional traders.

Liquidity Aggregation & STP 

Of course, we realize that FX traders rely on access to liquidity. A key differentiator from other mobile apps is we aggregate liquidity from multiple dealers and banks. As an aggregator, our job is to bring transparency to the market because we’re aggregating liquidity from 100 different liquidity pricing providers, including banks, ECNs, and exchanges. 

A lot of fintech companies are not taking mobile FX trading as seriously as we do. While many FX traders are using mobile apps, some lack complete functionality.  With MaxxGo, there is full integration between the mobile app and the desktop. While we do not expect mobile trading to replace your main desktop trading platform, we view a strong mobile trading app as an extension of our FX solution. Now more than ever, traders need connectivity and workflow extended into the app. At FlexTrade, we see this seamless integration between mobility and the enterprise solution as key to our strategy. 

This is how we are thinking about mobile FX trading and we’ve delivered on it. Everyone wants the convenience of trading on the go, but no one should compromise on functionality or security. 

Call your institution and take mobile trading seriously.