See our comparison of 8 crucial factors including fees, regulations, ease of use, features of the popular forex trading apps for traders in South Africa.
In order to trade forex, you would need access to a trading platform or an app using which you can place & monitor your trades. This trading platform usually also allows you to make informed analysis before entering into trades by viewing charts, news, indicators and other data.
Most forex brokers offer their trading platforms on mobile for both Android & iOS.
7 Best Forex Trading Apps in South Africa for Beginners in 2021
Before you start trading currency, you should be aware that large fluctuations can take place in the price of a currency in a very short period of time. Also, the forex market is open 24 hours during weekdays, so you need to be constantly alert to monitor your trades & make informed decisions.
This is where the mobile app by a broker can help.
A good forex trading app will be easy to use, and allow you to have multiple time frames, charting tools, and fast execution. To make this list, we have comprehensively reviewed mobile apps by several brokers that are available in South Africa.
Below we have compared the regulations, fees, features, trading conditions of each trading app in our list:
Ranked #1 Forex Trading App in South Africa
Hotforex’s trading app is available on all devices. We found their app easy to use for charting & managing multiple orders.
Hotforex is considered to be a safe broker to trade with because it is regulated by the FSCA (FSP No.46632).
Trading App Features – Hotforex’s trading app is compatible with almost all mobile devices. You can use this app to manage your account through functions like making a deposit, withdrawal, or a transfer.
This app allows you to access analysis features with various types of graphs, timeframes, technical indicators, and the news. You can use their trading calculator to find out risk percentages, position sizers, pivot points, pip values, and so on.
You can use this app to monitor your trades using live quotes on currency, commodities, stocks, and indices. They have a trader’s board where you can get the latest information on currency movers and the volume traded along with live charts on various currency pairs.
Trading Conditions – Hotforex has ZAR trading account option too, so you can have account with Rand as your base currency to enter into trades. You need to make a minimum deposit of $5 (R70) to open your account, which is a quite nominal. The trading app & account will allow you to trade in a range of markets like 53 forex currency pairs & 1000+ CFDs on commodities, stock CFDs, metals and energy, indices, and bonds. But crypto CFDs are not available at Hotforex.
Hotforex App Pros
Hotforex App Cons
Ranked #2 Forex Trading App in South Africa
XM Broker offers Metatrade 4 & MT5 platforms for mobile, web & desktop.
XM Trading is considered a low risk forex broker because they are regulated by 2 Top-tier regulations ASIC & CySEC. Also they are a reputed CFD broker that have been in operation since 2009.
Trading App Fees – The trading fees at XM with Ultra Low account is low compared to most other brokers. For example, the average spread for XAU/USD CFD is 25 pips, which is lower than Exness, Hotforex, FXTM & other brokers. Similarly the typical spread for EUR/USD is 0.8 pips with Ultra Low account, which is highly competitive. Except from their spread, there is no other fees like commissions per trade. Deposit & withdrawals are free.
Trading Conditions –XM is a spread only broker, they don’t charge any extra commission on trades. XM have ZAR base currency option with all their 3 trading accounts. They offer 57 currency pairs, and 1000+ CFDs on Stocks, Commodities, Precious metals, Equity Indices & Bonds. But they don’t have Crypto CFDs on their app.
XM Trading App Pros
XM Trading App Cons
Ranked #3 Forex Trading App in South Africa
Exness offer their Metatrader 4 & 5 trading apps for Android, PC & iOS. Webtrader is also available.
Exness is considered a safe CFD & forex broker as they are regulated with FSCA & FCA. They are licensed with 3 Top-tier regulations.
Trading App Features – Exness has a low trading fees for trading currencies & other CFDs compared to other forex trading apps. They only charge spread with their Standard account, there is no other commission per lot. Deposit & withdrawals are free for most methods.
The spread is variable depending on the instrument being traded. For the benchmark, we checked their EURUSD spread, it is on average 1 pip with their Standard account.
Trading Conditions – Exness offers ZAR base currency trading account. They have 107 currency pairs, which is more than most other platforms. And Exness offers trading on 100+ other CFD instruments.
Exness App Pros
Exness App Cons
Ranked #4 Forex Trading App in South Africa
Tickmill only offers MT4 trading platform for web, mobile & desktop. They are a FSCA regulated forex broker, so we consider it safe to trade on their Metatrader app. Tickmill is also regulated with FCA & CySEC..
Tickmill trading app has spread of as low as 0 pips for major currency pair like EUR/USD with their Pro Account. There is a commission of USD 4 per lot (USD 2 per side for open & closing) with Pro Account
Trading App Features – Tickmill offer MetaTrader 4 trading app with all their account types. But they don’t offer the latest MT5 platform.
Trading Conditions – Traders in South Africa can trade upto 62 currency pairs & 100+ CFDs stock indices, commodities, precious metals & cryptos. They are one of the few brokers that offer Crypto CFDs in SA.
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Ranked #5 CFD Trading app in South Africa
Plus500AU Pty Ltd is authorized to operate in South Africa by the FSCA (FSP No. 47546) & regulated by multiple other top tier regulators including FCA & ASIC. They are also listed on the London Stock Exchange. Hence, they are considered to be a trusted broker to trade CFDs.
Their trading app allows you to view real-time quotes and it is user-friendly once you get the hang of it. You can also use their app to perform your analysis through live charts that are available in different time frames.
Note: Plus500 is a CFD trading platform, that is suitable for experienced traders only.
Trading Conditions – Plus500 offers ZAR trading accounts option. They require a minimum account opening balance of ZAR 1500. You can choose to trade CFDs on any of 71 forex pairs, 1000+ CFDs on stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and more available on Plus500’s platform.
They offer a leverage of 1:300 as well as negative balance protection. You also set guaranteed stop loss for full protection that your stop loss will be fulfilled at your set price without having to pay any extra fees.
Plus500 is a variable spread CFD trading platform, the exact spread depends on the trading instrument and varies according to the market conditions. But, Plus500 does not charge any commission per lot.
They have a responsive customer support team that you can reach through phone, chat, or email. When we tried to contact them through email, they responded within a couple of hours. But their chat support is only available to signed in customers, so it is a bit of a hassle.
Plus500 App Pros
Plus500 App Cons
read our detailed Plus500 review
Ranked #6 Forex Trading App in South Africa
AvaTrade is regulated by multiple Top tier global financial regulators i.e. the FSCA in South Africa and the ASIC. Hence, it is considered to a be safe broker to trade with.
We like the user interface of Avatrade’s trading app, which is quite easy to use and understand. This app provides real-time feed of prices along with social trends. You can use a variety of charts to make an informed analysis. They also have a tutorial features that you can refer on how to use their app.
You can open and manage several MT4 accounts through this app. You can make your deposits and withdrawals through the app itself.
Trading Conditions – To start trading, you need to make a minimum deposit of $100. But on the downside, there is no dedicated ZAR account for South African traders.
The Avatrade’s app allows you to trade with more than 1000 different financial instruments including forex & CFDs on commodities, stocks, cryptocurrencies.
AvatradeGo App Pros
AvatradeGo App Cons
read our detailed Avatrade review
Before you select a trading app, you need to know what to look for in a good app. Here are the most considerations that matter for us & should go into your decision.
1. Regulation – The first thing that you should check if whether the broker who’s app you are downloading is regulated or not. If you are trading with an unregulated broker, then there is a huge risk that the broker is a scam & would take your money, without any grievance redressal in case of disputes.
A regulated broker can be held liable for the damages in case of any bad practices which are not allowed by the regulators. Always choose an app of a broker that is regulated by more than one major regulations i.e. FSCA, FCA, ASIC, CySEC & NFA.
If a forex & CFD broker is regulated by more than one of these top-tier regulators, then it is generally a good sign of trust & safety of that broker.
You can verify the broker’s regulatory information from the Regulator’s website. For this you need the broker’s license number. All regulated brokers mention their license number on their website.
For example, below is screenshot a from Tickmill’s website (Tickmill Group Licenses & Regulation page), and here they mention Tickmill Group’s licensed with multiple regulators including with the FSCA.
Once you have the broker’s license number, then you can verify it from regulator’s public search (FSCA in this example).
Also, you must make sure to verify that the broker’s license is genuine. Some brokers may claim to be regulated with FSCA while using FSP No. of another broker that is actually licensed.
So you must make sure that the FSP No. of the broker & claim of regulation is actually genuine, and this can be checked by matching the broker’s FSP Name on FSCA’s public search. Also check if the broker is fully authorized to offer the products which they are offering.
2. Order Execution Speed – The speed of your trading app can be the difference between a profit and a loss, since currency fluctuations are high. A fast order execution speed means that your trade is executed at your desired price.
Some forex trading apps offer instant order execution, while others offer market execution. Forex Trading apps that offer instant order execution are usually market markets & there may be a conflict of interest. It is preferred that the broker is a STP broker that offer quick market execution.
For example, HotForex is a STP broker & the average order execution time on their trading app is good. While XM is a market maker broker they have a no re-quotes and no rejection policy.
3. Real Time Data and News Feed – Getting real-time price feed & data on your trading app means that you can make an informed decision on the go. Live charts and technical indicators allow you to make quick trading decisions based on real time facts & price.
The trading app should also have a news feed so that you are abreast of the latest market developments.
You will find news feed in trading app at most of the brokers. Many forex brokers offer MetaTrader app, and they have a section for news built in the app.
4. Advanced Charting and Full Functionality – Easy to understand charts are the lifeblood of a financial trader. You need to ensure that your trading app has a variety of charting options. The charting options should include popular technical indicators and a variety of timeframes.
You should download the broker’s trading app & create a demo account. Then check if the tools & indicators that you use are available in the app or not.
Most MetaTrader based brokers will have wide range of indicators & ability to customize, including Expert Advisors. But for brokers that offer their own proprietary trading apps, you should check if your charting tools & indicators are available or not. And if you can extend the functionality.
5. Range of Trading Instruments Available – If you’re looking to trade only a few instruments, then you may give this one a skip. However, ensure that the trading instruments you want to trade are available on your trading app at the lowest fees.
For example: Some CFD brokers don’t offer crypto CFD trading instrument like Bitcoin, Ethereum etc. You should check if the broker offers the CFD financial instrument you want to trade.
All Forex Trading apps will list the information regarding their exact number of CFD trading instruments on their website. You will generally find the exact fees & number of instruments under ‘Contract Specifications’ on the broker’s website.
Like Exness has listed all their trading instruments under ‘Contract Specifications’ page.
If you don’t find this information on broker’s website, you can also talk to the broker’s support team & ask for the link to list of all CFD trading instruments available on their app. All reputed apps share this information.
A wider selection of trading instruments means you can analyze multiple assets & trade them if there is a trade opportunity based on your analysis.
6. App Security and Safety – Your trading app needs to be secure. In order to ascertain how safe it is, check out user ratings and reviews. Do not opt for a trading app that is less secure or has lower ratings on Google Play & App store than acceptable standards.
There have been incidents in the past where the data of users have been leaked online due to security vulnerabilities in the broker’s app. So, it is important to check if there has been any such incident in the past against the broker.
7. Ease of Access – Make sure to check by installing the demo app that a trading app is compatible with your device before opting for it. Always start with a demo account to get used to the platform before trading live.
All the good forex & CFD trading apps offer their free demo account which you can use for unlimited period.
8. How Good is the Customer Support – You never know when the need for quick customer support may arise. You may have an open position which you are unable to close.
At such times, you need the fastest available customer support, preferably from within the app. Only trade with forex brokers who understand the need for good customer service.
Talk to the live chat support before signing up, and also test by sending an email to support. Do you get prompt & helpful response. Normally as a benchmark, you should receive response within few hours in case of email.
In the table below, we have compared the 7 best forex trading apps for beginners & experiences traders in South Africa.
|Forex Trading App||Tier 1 & 2 Regulation(s)||Trading Fees (EUR/USD ex.)||Leverage||Minimum Deposit||Availbility||Start Trading|
|Hotforex Metatrader Apps||FSCA (FSP No.46632), FCA||From 1.2 pips with Premium Account||up to 1:1000 (for Micro), 1:500 (for Premium account)||$5 (R85)||PC, iOS & Android.||get started|
|XM Broker Metatrader apps||ASIC, CySEC||From 0.8 pips with Ultra Low account||1:888||$5 (≈R85)||iOS & Android||get started|
|Exness App||FSCA||On average 1 pip with Standard Account||up to 1:2000||$1||PC, Android, iOS||get started|
|AvatradeGo||FSCA (FSP No. 47546), ASIC||Fixed spread 0.8 pips||up to 1:300||$100 (for Retail account)||Android & iOS.||get started|
|Plus500 App||ASIC, FCA, CySEC||Variable||up to 1:300||R1500 (or $100)||Android, iOS||get started|
|Tickmill||FCA, FSCA, Cysec||From 0 pips + $4 commission per lot with Pro Account.||Variable (1:500 for majors)||$100||Android, iOS||get started|
|FXTM Trader App||FSCA (FSP No. 46614)||From 2.1 pips with Standard account.||1:1000||$5||Android & iOS.||get started|
As per our research, we have rated these 3 trading apps to be better than other brokers for forex & CFD trading:
Here is a quick checklist of most important factors you should compare in your trading app:
Almost all brokers offer their trading apps for Free. The only trading fees that their charge is the spread or commissions for every trade that you make. Some brokers also have extra charges for funding, withdrawals & inactivity.
XM (as low as 0.8 pips spread for EURUSD with Ultra Low trading account), Plus500 (spread from 0.8 pips for major like EURUSD) & Avatrade (fixed spread of 0.9 pips for EURUSD) offer very competitive trading fees starting .
Hotforex has the #1 Forex Trading AppVisit