Binary Options Platform Features: What You Need to Look for

The entrance of retail online trading in the mid-990s created a buzz in the financial markets and expanded the markets tremendously. This period marked the formation of many trading software companies and the development of trading platforms. At this time, web-based trading platforms were non-existent. It was not until the middle of this decade that the first web-based trading portals turned up. The entrance of smartphones into our daily lives marked another period of trading software transformation: the era of mobile-based trading platforms. This enabled traders to bet on their favourite binary options assets from any location, with their phones.

The commencement of retail binary options trading caught up with the last two developmental phases of the trading platforms. This made it easy for the platform developers to adopt the latest trading innovations for use in the market as far as trading platforms were concerned.

To date, majority of binary options trading platforms are of the web-based and mobile varieties. But what are the types of binary options platforms the market today?

 

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Types of Binary Options Platforms

There are several ways of classifying binary options trading platforms. However, the best classification would be to classify them based on the origin of the platforms. This gives us two types of platforms:

  1. Turnkey (white-label) platforms
  2. Proprietary platforms

Turnkey Platforms

The turnkey platforms are customizable platforms designed by software development companies for binary options brokers. The essence of these platforms is to provide a cost-effective trading client for brokerage firms on a leaner budget, so that they can easily customize the software to their brands without re-inventing the wheel. Characteristics of white-label solutions are as follows:

  • The software tend to be mass produced for a mass market, without any options for specific brand identity. A particular brand in the binary options market has more than 300 brokers using its software and still counting.
  • Turnkey platforms reduce to the barest minimum, the need for the binary options brokers to design trading software and the infrastructure on which they run anew.
  • They are easily adaptable. A company can actually launch several binary options brands and use the re-brandable software for these brands without clients knowing that these all belong to the same company.
  • They are cheaper to obtain than the proprietary platforms. This frees up financial and human resources for the brokerage firm which can be deployed to other areas.
  • They tend to offer similar trade types across board. This makes it easy for a trader who wants to learn to trade binary options on one platform to transfer the skills to trade live with another broker running the same turnkey solution.

The advantages to the broker are evident from what has been stated above.

  • They are cheaper to obtain and maintain.
  • They are easily re-brandable. A company can buy off an existing brand and convert to its own brand seamlessly.
  • There is no need to make costly investments in technology and infrastructure.

For traders, these are the advantages:

  • Skills learnt on one platform can be transferred to another platform of the same turnkey solution.
  • A trader can decide to move to another broker entirely. If the new broker uses the same technology as the old one, the trader can hit the ground running and not have to learn other trade types or try to master how to navigate around a new platform.

Despite the advantages, there are also disadvantages. These disadvantages could jeopardize a firm’s profitability if not well managed.

  • Brand fatigue on the part of users can easily develop due to the lack of brand distinction. Such traders may decide to shop for something more interesting or different from what they have been used to.
  • Turnkey platforms do not leave room for innovation. As binary options brokers do not own the licenses to these platforms, they cannot implement any changes that are intended to achieve brand distinction in the market.

These disadvantages are what have prompted a few binary options brokers to tow a different path by developing their own proprietary software as part of their unique brand identity. Recently, one of the leading Cyprus binary options brokers decided to jettison their turnkey platform for a proprietary platform, causing the share price of the technology company behind the turnkey software to crash. This shows how serious companies view the market impact of their trading platforms.

Proprietary Platforms

Proprietary platforms are trading applications that are developed and built in-house to suit the specific needs of binary options brokerage firms. This arrangement allows the binary options brokers to structure their trade types according to their own preferences and that of their clients.

Some advantages are:

  • Proprietary platforms allow the brokers that own them to express their creativity and market innovations fully for the benefit of their clients and for maximum revenue growth.
  • Proprietary platforms make room for maximum improvement and growth. There are a few proprietary platform brokers that have continuously changed their trade types, expiry times and put in other innovations several times in order to achieve maximum client acquisition and retention. Such is not possible with turnkey platforms.

Perhaps the major disadvantage is that proprietary platforms are more expensive to develop and maintain. This is why they are usually adopted by firms with deeper pockets.

Uses of Binary Options Platforms

Many traders are unaware of what they can do with their binary options platforms. Many courses that teach binary options for beginners hardly mention what trading platforms can be used for. It is essential to ensure maximal platform utilization on the part of traders. Some of what can be achieved with the binary options platforms are:

  1. Technical Analysis: Trading platforms of the turnkey variety come with rudimentary line charts. While not very suitable for technical analysis, they can be used to monitor price action. Proprietary platforms tend to feature more advanced charting tools which can be used for technical analysis before trades are applied on the binary options accounts.
  2. Fundamental Analysis:  many binary options brokers are now placing news feeds on their websites. Some of these news feeds can be used for rudimentary fundamental analysis, especially for those who trade binary options commodities and stocks assets. In addition, the economic calendar is now a staple on many platforms.
  3. Simulated Trading: The role of demo trading in the success of any trader in the financial markets is no longer in doubt. Sadly, the provision of demo accounts has been too slow in the binary options market. With 9 years into retail trading, less than 20% of brokers provide facilities for simulated trading. Where you can get a demo account, it is important to use it to learn to trade forex assets, binary options commodities as well as other assets.
  4. Trading Signals

The provision of API has enabled programmers to do things with trading platforms that were otherwise thought to be impossible. Perhaps one of these magical innovations is the development and use of binary options robots. Binary options robots can be used by individual traders for self-trading of their binary options accounts, or to provide binary options trading signals to other users.

Conclusion

Anyone who wants to learn how to trade binary options has to really understand the options of binary options platforms available in the market. Having read this guide we hope you will now know what you can use your platforms for, but  also make informed choices of whether to use turnkey platform providers or stick to brokers that offer proprietary platforms. The field of binary options is constantly evolving, and the binary options platforms are evolving with it as well.