Best Day Trading Platform in South Africa in 2021

Which is the best trading platform in South Africa? Is the best trading platform also best for beginners and day trading?

We have, in July-Aug 2020, reviewed a great number of online trading platforms and found the answer in the list below. A few of the best platforms that didn’t make the list were trading platforms from BDSwiss, Nord FX, HotForex, CMC Markets and Saxo Bank. The winner from our comparisons and these reviews: AvaTrade’s trading platform is the best trading platform in South Africa. AvaTrade is great for day trading, and we would say that FXTM is available in 16 languages. BlackBull Markets together with ETX Capital also made the top three trading platforms in the South African market.

The wonderful news for you as a trader is that all the eleven trading platforms in the list below are completely free. The 11 best trading platforms in South Africa are:

  1. AvaTrade Trading Platform
  2. ETX Capital Trading Platform, trade 5,000 markets
  3. BlackBull Markets Trading Platform
  4. Capex Trading Platform
  5. FXCM Trading Platform
  6. Trade Nation Trading Platform
  7. FBS Trading Platform
  8. VT Markets Trading Platform
  9. MarketsX Trading Platform
  10. FXTM Trading Platform
  11. Plus500 Trading Platform

Of course, all the top eleven trading platforms are run by brokers that are correctly regulated. The top nine are regulated by South Africa’s local regulatory body, the FSCA. FSCA will protect market participants, ensuring that traders will be treated fairly and also implementing measures to prevent money laundering. The other seven trading platforms are regulated by other well established regulatory bodies such as CySEC and FCA. This means that you can feel safe about your money with all of the trading platforms in our top list. To see FSCA’s warning list of fraudulent forex brokers click here. However, as always with trading, never invest more than you can afford to lose. Below you can read our more in-depth reviews of the best eleven trading platforms for the South African market.

1. AvaTrade Trading Platform

Best Trading Platform - AvaTrade

AvaTrade supports a wide variety of trading platforms. The brokers’ proprietary client-side AvaTrader trading platform works on Windows XP, Vista and 7, and a Macintosh version is also available. Of course, all of them are very easy to download and install directly on your desktop or laptop computer.

The screenshot below shows the extensive functionality of AvaTrader, including technical and fundamental analysis, reports, tutorials and account management features.

Also, the AvaOptions Web platform and the MT4 WebTrader allow you to sign in to your AvaTrade account using any Internet browser without having to install it on your computer. Lastly, the AvaTradeGo app allows you to trade in an AvaTrade account using an iPad, iPhone or Android phone and/or tablet so you can manage and view your AvaTrade trading account while away from home. Read more about the AvaTradeGO app here.

In addition to its own AvaTrader trading platforms, AvaTrade nicely also supports the following trading platforms: Metatrader 4, Metatrader 5. DupliTrader, and ZuluTrade. For those already using MetaTrader, AvaTrade also offers their own version of this popular forex trading software to make your account installation easier.


2. ETX Capital Trading Platform

ETX Capital Trading Platform Screenshot

The centerpiece of the ETX Capital platform offer is ETX TraderPro, the proprietary platform of the broker.

The award-winning platform offers multiple charting tools and the possibility to split them. It features several chart types, and drawing tools, together with more than 60 technical indicators.

The platform allows traders to trade directly from the chart. Right-clicking opens a trade ticket. From there, you are only a couple of clicks away from launching your trade.

ETX TraderPro also allows traders to set stops and limits, managing their risk dynamically. In addition to supporting these options, the broker also offers detailed education on how traders can best manage their risk.

TraderPro allows a high degree of personalization. Traders can set personalized watchlists and drag and drop charts to create a unique workspace. The platform supports up to 10 such workspaces.

Besides TraderPro and its mobile versions, the broker also supports the popular MT4 trading platform. MT4 is well-known throughout the trading community. Offering unparalleled charting, with ETX Capital, it also offers outstanding execution speeds of 30 milliseconds or less. The broker is responsible for the price feeds on its MT4 platform. MT4 allows clients to trade micro-lots and hedge. ETX Capital’s version of the platform also supports Expert Advisors for automated trading. To take full advantage of the capabilities of these advanced auto-traders, the broker also offers access to Virtual Private Servers, so traders can keep their EAs running around the clock.


3. BlackBull Markets Trading Platform

BlackBull Markets Trading Platform Screenshot

BlackBull Markets offers three trading platforms.

  • MT4 is a fully customizable online trading environment most traders know and love. The broker has made it available in a range of versions for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

BlackBull’s version of the platform offers an institutional-grade experience. It supports EAs (Expert Advisors), and together with the VPS service the broker also offers, this sets the stage for profitable algorithmic trading.

Like most of its other features, MT4’s EAs are fully customizable. You do have to be handy with MetaScript, however, if you intend to program your custom EAs.

In addition to EAs and superb charting/technical analysis tools, BlackBull’s MT4 supports multiple order types and analysis tools. Other noteworthy features/functionalities of the platform are enhanced order execution capabilities and a market watch window.

  • MT5 is another popular MetaQuotes trading platform, covering slightly different needs than MT4.

MT5’s main strengths are fast order processing, support for advanced pending orders and hedging, as well as a bevy of trading tools and technical indicators.

The version available for download at the BlackBull Markets website comes equipped with more than 30 preinstalled technical indicators, covering more than 20 time frames. The platform also features an integrated economic calendar to help with fundamental analysis.

Traders looking to access MT5 need to talk with the BlackBull Markets support first and obtain permission.

  • The BlackBull Markets Web Trader is a simplified version of the MT4 platform. Its trading interface is intuitive, and it offers a great selection of drawing tools and technical indicators.

According to the broker, its Web Trader delivers all the benefits of MT4, in a highly compatible no-download package.


4. Capex Trading Platform

Capex Platform Screenshot

While most of their industry peers seem set on offering a bewildering array of trading platform options, CAPEX have apparently decided to keep things as simple as possible in this regard. They only feature two trading platforms, though these two platforms cover all the possible devices/needs their traders may have.

The advantages of the CAPEX Web Trader are obvious: unlike downloadable platforms, the web trader allows users to access the markets from anywhere, through any device. Needless to say, the compatibility of this trading platform is outstanding: it works with all the major browsers. The web trader covers all the trading instruments available through the downloadable platform, and it offers an impressive range of indicators and trading tools. In fact, the web trader has more built-in indicators than the downloadable MT5 platform: some 90 such indicators are available by default, and again: nothing has to be downloaded. A total of 3 chart styles are available through the web trader and online help can be accessed at the click of a button.

Web trader users also gain access to Trading Central, which delivers intraday analysis and recommendations from an actual financial analyst. In addition to all the above, the web trader also features streaming live quotes, so traders can make good decisions on the go.

Navigating through the platform interface is simple and intuitive. One-click trading straight off the charts is available too.

MT5 is the flagship trading platform of the brokerage. It can be downloaded directly from the CAPEX website and it is the natural evolutionary iteration of the popular MT4. Through MT5, traders will find it easier to build their own custom indicators and expert advisors.

Needless to say, all the perks and features one would expect from a platform like MT4, are indeed available through MT5. The trading interface as well as the charts are highly customizable. Traders can create chat templates and save them for later use. Advanced analytics are a given with MT4 as well as MT5. The platform comes with more than 30 preinstalled technical indicators, but users can pick up an additional 2,000 for free, and install those too. A total of 9 time frames are featured by MT5.

The high level of automation has always been one of the main attractions of the MetaTrader suite. The CAPEX platform features EAs, trading position alerts and embedded tick charts. Trade execution through MT5 is said to be instant and multiple payment services are supported.

The MT5 offered by CAPEX is available in several versions. It can be downloaded for Windows, as well as iOS- and Android-based mobile devices. The Demo account offered by the site works on the Web Trader as well as on MT5.

In addition to the trading platforms detailed above, the broker also offers a handful of extra trading tools. CAPEX traders can access Trading Central and there is an Economic Calendar at their disposal, to help out with the fundamentals.


5. FXCM Trading Platform

FXCM Trading Platform

The trading platform selection of the broker is superb. It does not feature countless choices. Its two platform options cover all possible needs.

Trading Station is the proprietary web-based platform of the broker that anyone can launch in seconds. The broker offers a superb Demo account, with 50,000 units of virtual money. FXCM considers Trading Station to be its ‘main platform’. Unlike other proprietary trading platforms you might encounter, Trading Station is surprisingly powerful. If features scores of technical indicators, superb charting, and outstanding trading tools, such as Trader Sentiment, Market Depth, and Real Trading Volume indicators.

The platform is fully customizable. Users can add an impressive array of widgets and they can optimize the layout of their trading interface. Trading Station features support for automated trading strategies. In addition to strategy optimization, the platform also offers back-testing for various strategies. Through the Trading Station interface, users can trade directly off the charts. They also have access to technical- as well as fundamental data concerning the asset of their choice.

MT4 is the well-known and liked workhorse of the online FX/CFD trading industry. Charting- and features-wise, MT4 is certainly unbeatable. Those who download FXCM’s version are free to use any trading strategy, like scalping. The broker supports EAs as well as the VPS needed for the proper functioning of the Expert Advisors.

MT4 is also a fully customizable trading environment. Users can download and install it in a few seconds. The broker offers a Demo option for this platform as well.

As far as trading tools go, FXCM is probably one of the top destinations. In addition to access to Trading Central, the broker also offers trading tools such as:

  •  Social Trading
  • ZuluTrade.

6. Trade Nation Trading Platform

Trade Nation Trading Platform

Trade Nation’s bespoke trading platform is the embodiment of simplicity. According to the broker, it features everything traders need and nothing they do not.

Signing up for a practice account takes a few seconds. On a computer, the app launches through a browser, presenting a simple, almost barren trading interface.

On the left, there is a section presenting the tradable asset categories. Using the search tool, traders can look for their preferred tradable assets. The main section taking up most of the interface features a wide range of information on the listed assets. Using this interface, traders can gain a quick idea about the price of the asset, the direction of the price change, and the daily lows and highs. Users can open trades and orders directly from this interface.

They can also:

  • Check additional information on trading hours, margin requirements, commissions, spreads, market expiry, etc.
  • Set trading alerts with just a couple of clicks.
  • View charts.
  • Create watch lists and add assets to them.

Charting is surprisingly powerful. As traders click on the chart icon of their preferred asset, the platform opens a new window. This window can then be maximized.

The chart supports scores of technical indicators and time frames. An impressive number of drawing tools are also available. Launching trades is possible directly from the charts.


7. FBS Trading Platform

FBS MT4 Platform screenshot

FBS has based its trading platform offer on MetaQuotes’ popular MT4 and MT5. Both trading platforms are well known among traders worldwide. Although MT5 may seem like the natural evolution of its predecessor, it is a solution focused on different trading needs than MT4. Thus, it complements MT4 and does not supplant it.

FBS’ offer of the two trading platforms covers a wide range of operating systems and mobile devices. MT4 and MT5 are available for Windows, Android, and iOS. For macOS only MT4 is available.

The broker offers a web trader, which is also an MT4 version.

MT4 is the most versatile and powerful platform for online trading. It offers outstanding charting features within a fully customizable trading environment. FBS’ version supports Expert Advisors, giving traders the possibility to automate their profitable trading strategies. The downloadable version of the platform comes with scores of preinstalled technical indicators.

The newest version of MT5 offers improved charting, a great trading interface, and the possibility to manipulate trades at will. The platform supports 21 time frames and eight types of pending orders. An economic calendar is part of the platform as well.

Geared toward day traders and advanced users, some of MT5’s features may be intimidating for beginners.

The tools available to clients are a copy-trader that can copy Micro and Standard Accounts, an ECN Account option for those outside the EEA, as well as a zero-spread account. The FBS website features an economic calendar and a currency converter as well.


8. VT Markets Trading Platform

VT Markets Trading Platform

This broker has kept its platform options simple but solid. As mentioned, VTMarkets’ offer is based on the tried-and-proven MT4 platform. The platform is available in WebTrader, full desktop, and mobile versions.

The desktop version is the one that guarantees a full trading experience. MT4, as popular and complex as it is, only takes a few seconds to download on any reasonably fast connection.

VTMarkets’ MT4 is a fully customizable trading environment, which allows traders to adopt any strategy that they wish and automate it through Expert Advisors.

MT4’s charting capabilities are second to none. The platform supports three chart types and up to nine time-frames for proper technical analysis. In VTMarkets’ case, the platform features 70 tradable assets, covering FX pairs, as well as various commodities and indices.

In what other ways does VTMarkets’ MT4 platform stand out?

  • It offers superb order execution. The broker uses a proprietary MT4 bridge and high-performance data centers all over the world to facilitate execution speed.
  • Through this platform, traders get superb trading conditions. The spreads on the ECN accounts start from 0.0 pips.
  • VTMarkets’ MT4 does not impose any restrictions on your trading style.

Perhaps the most appreciated feature of the platform is that it offers free expert advisors and a VPS service to match the generosity of that offer. When using EAs, the speed of execution depends on the network/servers. According to the VTMarkets website, the broker has built a fiber-optic network that connects its servers, to offer optimal execution speeds. While the connection from the client to the server remains a legacy one, the server-to-server fiber-optic network can still hasten execution.

The WebTrader mimics the functionalities of the full desktop MT4, in a browser-based package. The compatibility of the platform is great. It allows users to access it from more than 5 different browsers. And it copes well with the expectations of the modern trader.

It offers great charting, a decent package of technical indicators for analysis, off-the-chart trading, etc.

In addition to the WebTrader, VTMarkets’ MT4 is also available in mobile versions for iOS and Android devices.

As far as trading tools go, in addition to its Expert Advisors, the broker also lists a Forex signal service. Through this service, experts of the broker deliver actionable trading recommendations in an easy-to-read format. The service uses the expertise of signal services such as MetaQuotes, Acceage, and Trading Central.

The broker’s Economic Calendar is a great tool for fundamental analysis. It lists all major upcoming economic events, as well as the impact these events are likely to have on the markets.

9. MarketsX Trading Platform

MarketsX Website Screenshot

The go-to trading platform of MarketsX is a proprietary web trader. Besides being surprisingly powerful charting and analysis-wise, this platform is also available in mobile versions, for Android- as well as iOS-based devices.

Scores of technical indicators are included in the MarketsX package and there is a unique feature called a trading cube too. Real-time news feeds are also delivered for those keen on trading the fundamentals in combination with technical analysis.

MT4 is also part of the MarketsX platform offer. The world’s most popular (and arguably: best) trading platform hardly needs an introduction. It offers superb charting and analysis, with scores of technical indicators pre-installed in the freely downloadable version. Traders are free to add additional indicators and those so inclined, can even code their own.

MT4’s favorite feature is its support for EAs and for EA creation. EAs work best when coupled with a proper VPS service.


10. FXTM Trading Platform

Best Trading Platform - FXTM

In addition to offering the option of using MT4 or MT5 with your FXTM trading account, FXTM offers customers their proprietary FXTM MT4 WebTrader platform. This web based platform requires no download and can be accessed directly from any browser. The WebTrader platform supports all operating systems and has a simple to use interface available translated into 16 different languages.

In addition to one click trading, which allows a trader to make a transaction with a single mouse click, the web platform offers nine chart time frames with trading available directly from the charts. The web platform, which is based on MT4, has all the advanced analysis tools and can be used in both a live account and a demo account.

The screenshot below shows FXTM’s proprietary MT4 WebTrader page with real time market pricing, deal execution, and tools for technical and fundamental analysis.
FXTM now also provides clients with facilities to conduct copy trading on their series of MetaTrader trading platforms. With the copy trading service, FXTM traders can access a wide array of trading signals they can subscribe to. Once subscribed, every trade executed by the signal provider can be automatically copied. With the copy trading service, even novice traders can begin trading like pros.

11. Plus500 Trading Platform

Best Trading Platform - Plus500

The trading platforms offered by Plus500 are very simple to operate and seem especially suitable for those interested in dealing in multiple markets. From one single screen, traders can obtain quotes in real-time for any of these asset markets and can execute transactions as well.

The Plus500 trading platform is available in a desktop version called Windows Trader and a web-based version called Web-Trader. In addition, a popular mobile version of the Plus500 platform is available that works on Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple Watch. Plus500 apps also exist for mobile devices using the Android and Windows Phone operating systems. Read more about the Plus500 mobile trading app here.

The screenshot shown below displays the functionality of the Plus500 CFD trading platform, which includes trade execution, market pricing overview, a basic chart, position and account balance reports. The platform also has fund management capabilities, which give you as a trader the ability to make deposits and withdrawals from your trading account.

In addition to being able to watch various markets and execute trades, Plus500’s trading platform lets traders easily review past transactions and keep track of current positions. The software also includes a rather basic charting facility with multiple time periods available. Unfortunately, only one chart can be displayed at a time since the system does not support the simultaneous display of multiple charts.

In addition to the functionality provided by offering different versions of the Plus500 trading platform, the broker has also made some nice extra tools available for you as a trader.

One such tool is the Economic Calendar and the platform also offers a Trade Alerts service, as well as a Trader’s Guide.

Nicely there are also several tools available for risk management. Plus500 supports Guaranteed Stops and Trailing Stops, as well as Close at Profit and Close at Loss rates. For your convenience, these tools and their peculiarities are thoroughly explained at the broker’s website.


Happy trading!

Please share all the comments you might have on these online trading platforms in the comment field below. Which is the best trading platform in South Africa according to you? And would you say that the same platform is also best for beginners?

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