What are the best ZA Forex trading apps and how to choose one?

Forex traders in South Africa have an abundance of choices when it comes to trading platforms and mobile trading apps, as all the best Forex brokers worldwide provide their services to South African clients, as well. They can choose time-tested, traditional platforms offered by MetaQuotes, try out industry innovations and proprietary platforms of leading brokerages, or utilize the automated trading tools, copy traders, algorithmic traders, and expert advisors. With so many opportunities available on the market, it is often hard to decide which platform or trading app suits your trading needs and requirements the best.

Whether you are trading currency pairs, stocks, cryptocurrencies, bonds, or commodities, it is important to make a wise choice in terms of trading platforms. If you go for a platform that has an execution speed exceeding a second per transaction, then you might lose a considerable amount of money. If you choose an app that has no charting functions or does not allow direct access to market news, you are in trouble, as well. Especially, if you are looking for automated trading tools, you need to be extra picky to avoid unnecessary losses due to malfunctioning software.

This article serves the purpose of delivering a brief overview of the main trading app choices in South Africa. We will explain the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and will also provide the guidelines on which platform works best for a particular trading style, strategy, budget, or goals.

Best Forex trading apps in South Africa

There are not many trading platforms that deserve recognition worldwide. And from the ones that are highly popular, time-tested, and valued not all are available with every single brokerage company. As you cannot trade on platforms and apps without brokers, you need a reliable Forex broker to give you access to the best platform with the best market conditions. Finding such a broker can be a burden sometimes, as first, you have to research the company, its regulations, pricing, available assets and then move to check the available trading platforms. We have done this job for you and can provide the complete list of the absolute best SA trading apps below.

AvaTrade

Review of AvaTrade – Everything this broker has to offer

Starting Capital

$100

Financial License

FSA, FFAJ, CySEC, CBI, BVI FSC, FSCA, FSRA

Promotion

Financial Leverage

1:400

Established

2006

Trading Software

MT4, MT5, WebTrader, AvaTradeGO

XM

All you need to know about XM in this XM review

Starting Capital

$5

Financial License

CySEC, FCA, ASIC

Promotion

$30, 50%+20%

Financial Leverage

1:888

Established

2009

Trading Software

MT4, MT5, WebTrader

Plus500

Plus500 Review – The Broker, The Myth, The Legend

Starting Capital

ZAR 1,500

Financial License

FCA, CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FMA

Promotion

25%

Financial Leverage

1:300

Established

2008

Trading Software

MT4

RoboForex

Roboforex Review – Reliable trading platform

Starting Capital

€/$ 10

Financial License

FSC

Promotion

30%

Financial Leverage

1:2000

Established

2009

Trading Software

MT4, MT5

CM Trading

CM Trading review – How to start trading with this broker

Starting Capital

250$

Financial License

FSCA

Promotion

Financial Leverage

1:200

Established

2012

Trading Software

MT4, Sirix WebTrader, Copykat

Exness

Exness Review: Minimalism at its peak

Starting Capital

$10

Financial License

FCA, CySEC, FsA, FSCA

Promotion

10%

Financial Leverage

1:2000

Established

2008

Trading Software

MT4

IQ Options

IQ Option review – should you trade with the broker or not?

Starting Capital

$10

Financial License

CySEC

Promotion

Not Available

Financial Leverage

1:30

Established

2013

Trading Software

WebTrader

EagleFX

EagleFX Review: Essential Details

Starting Capital

$10

Financial License

N/A

Promotion

N/A

Financial Leverage

1:500

Established

2019

Trading Software

MT4

OspreyFX

OspreyFX Review- fresh brokerage in the industry

Starting Capital

$10

Financial License

N/A

Promotion

N/A

Financial Leverage

1:500

Established

2019

Trading Software

MT4

AMarkets

AMarkets Review – Is it the best to start with?

Starting Capital

$/€ 100

Financial License

FSA

Promotion

15%

Financial Leverage

1:1000

Established

2007

Trading Software

MT4

Forex.com

Forex.com review – is the broker scam or can it be trusted

Starting Capital

$50

Financial License

FCA

Promotion

Not Available

Financial Leverage

1:200

Established

1999

Trading Software

MT4, WebTrader, custom

HotForex

HotForex Review – The most customer-centric broker

Starting Capital

5 USD

Financial License

FCA, FSA, DFSA, FSCA

Promotion

100%, 30%, 100%

Financial Leverage

1:1000

Established

2010

Trading Software

MT4, MT5, WebTrader

ForexMart

ForexMart Review – Best Conditions to Trade

Starting Capital

15 USD

Financial License

CySEC

Promotion

30%

Financial Leverage

1:500

Established

2015

Trading Software

MT4, WebTrader

Tickmill

Tickmill Review – Premium Trading Conditions

Starting Capital

100 USD

Financial License

FSA, FCA, CySEC, FSCA, FSALM

Promotion

30% Welcome Bonus

Financial Leverage

1:500

Established

2014

Trading Software

MT4, WebTrader

FXOpen

FXOpen Review – one of the oldest brokers

Starting Capital

1 USD

Financial License

ASIC, FCA

Promotion

10 USD

Financial Leverage

1:500

Established

2005

Trading Software

MT4, MT5, WebTrader, TickTrader

What are the most popular trading platforms in South Africa?

forex trading apps SAWe have to agree on one thing – most of the South African traders prefer Forex currency pair trading. The choice of the platform highly depends on the financial instrument that a trader chooses to include in his or her trading portfolio. As Forex currency pairs are best traded on MetaTrader 4 system, it is the favorite choice of the South African traders, as well. We will briefly talk about MetaTrader 4 software and its developers later in the article. For now, just remember that if you are manually trading currency pairs, then MetaTrader 4 and the apps built upon the MT4 system are your top choices.

However, more and more SA traders have been switching to automated trading recently. This means that these investors are looking for trading robots, algorithmic trading machines, and Expert Advisors. While most of the EAs and trading bots are operating on MetaTrader 4 software, there are some exceptions that should not be disregarded just because they don’t work on MT4. We will cover these EAs as well in the upcoming paragraphs.

For anyone trading stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, bonds, or anything else, MetaQuotes has designed an upgraded version of MT4 – MetaTrader 5. This is the second most popular trading software not only in South Africa but worldwide, in general. MetaTrader comes with almost the same functionality as MT4, but there are some differences that will be explained in greater detail later.

The beginner South African traders often utilize copy trading and follow or copy the signals of the professional traders. Fortunately, most Forex brokers are offering copy trading platforms to their clients free of charge or for a small payment fee. The purpose of the copy trader is to automatically select and copy the trade of the chosen individual. It means that any trading decision and action enacted by the original trader will be mirrored on a copy trader’s trading account. While this is one of the common beginner trading strategies, it is crucial to choose a proper platform for beginners that copies the traders within milliseconds, otherwise copy trading loses itself, especially in dynamic markets like Forex.

MetaTrader 4

best trading platforms in south africaMetaTrader 4 platform has been available on market since 2005. The software was initially developed and launched by MetaQuotes, a company that still keeps working on various trading platforms and automatic solutions. People mistakenly believe that MT4 can only be used for Forex trading, which is at most a huge misconception. MetaTrader 4 can operate on a wide range of markets including cryptos, commodities, and indices but via the Contracts for Differences (CFDs). Therefore, apart from Forex trading, MT4 is the best platform for CFD trading, as well.

One of the aspects making MT4 extremely popular is its flexibility. The platform allows its users to customize the software according to the trader’s individual preferences. Furthermore, many of the algorithmic trading strategies can be applied within the software. You can use algorithms to automate your trades by simply arranging a set of parameters within MT4.

Among many advanced functionalities, MT4 offers customizable MT4 charts with a range of tools that traders can use to draw on charts (trendlines, equidistant channels, Fibonacci retracement, labels, arrows, crosshair, etc), add technical indicators (RSI, stochastic oscillator, Bollinger bands, moving averages, etc), change timeframes (1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 4 hours, 1 day, a week or month), set up a price alert, and many others. You can also download the reports on your trades or on your chosen markets with ease from the platform.

MetaTrader 4 is freely available on the internet, meaning that you do not have to pay a fee for downloading and using it. However, without a broker you cannot trade on MT4 for a simple reason – there will be no funds available. You have to connect your broker’s account with the MT4 software so that all your account balances and information are available to use within the platform.

MetaTrader 5

top trading apps in south africaMetaTrader 5 belongs to the same family of trading software developed by MetaQuotes. It is the next-generation platform adapted to a much wider range of financial instruments than MetaTrader 4. The main difference between these two trading apps is that MT5 does not limit you to trade with CFDs and currency pairs only, you can invest in cryptos, stocks, indices, or any other asset class you desire. Hence, MetaTrader 5 is often referred to as a multi-asset trading app with enhanced trading experience.

Additionally, the platform comes with 6 different order types, automated trading strategies, powerful and effective new features that were not previously available on MetaTrader 4 along with numerous practical trading tools. Numerous trading robots, trading signals, and even copy trading features can operate in a single interface of MetaTrader 5, which is an incredible comfort for a trading experience not available on nearly any other platform, so far.

Apart from all the benefits we mentioned above, MetaTrader 5 is the perfect trading app for technical analysis. The software comes with over 40 technical indicators, around 50 graphical objects, more than 20 timeframes, and the option to add unlimited charts within the trading space of the user. The indicators are automatically applied to the MT5 charts. Furthermore, these indicators are pre-classified within different groups which tell the users about their application. The main categories of indicators available on MT5 include:

  • Trend indicators
  • Volume indicators
  • Oscillators
  • Bill William’s tools
  • Custom indicators

In contrast to technical indicators, graphical objects available on MT5 have to be applied manually. These tools include geometric shapes, lines, channels, Gann tools, Fibonacci tools, Elliott Wave analysis tools. The software is also highly capable of conducting a thorough fundamental analysis with advanced inbuilt tools such as Financial News and Economic Calendar. With Economic Calendar, users are able to easily track the forecasts, as well as real-time releases of the main economic or political events that are occurring globally and are expected to impact the financial instruments that the trader has chosen to observe or trade with. For the MT5 mobile trading app users, it is possible to integrate the Forex economic calendar and have a separate tab for news and for “Tradays”.

MetaTrader mobile and web trading

forex trading app South AfricaDespite the immense popularity of the MetaTrader platforms (MT4 and MT5), the compatibility of this software was problematic several years ago. It would not work with all the versions of Windows and it was never available for Mac users. Furthermore, the software had to be downloaded and installed on the PC of the traders with a bit more complicated setup. A few years ago, more and more brokers began to introduce MT4 and MT4 WebTrader versions, which intended to allow the traders to use these platforms directly from their browsers. These WebTraders removed the need for downloading and installing the software and there was no need for worry over the computer compatibility requirements anymore.

Later, the mobile trading apps also appeared that include the same exact functionalities as MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 web and PC versions. This innovation allowed the users to “trade on the go” and transformed the way in which we look at trading, in general. Now, traders do not have to sit in front of their computer screens all day not to miss the price alert or a piece of important financial news and trading does not have to be a full-time job, anymore. Instead, they can simply set alerts on their mobile phone trading apps, open, stop, and close the trades from the app directly. Furthermore, they can access various analysis tools and market news within the app. The only drawback, which is also very natural, is that you cannot draw much on the charts due to the smaller screen size of the mobile phone, as well as the operating system capabilities compared to PC.

Proprietary platforms

best forex apps south africaSome brokers will decide to develop their own platforms for a number of reasons. First of all, if their teams of developers work decently and build an efficient system outperforming traditional trading apps in any of the aspects then they will see a massive rise in the number of customers. Secondly, they might find it cheaper after the product is ready to maintain it and avoid the rental fee on the purchased trading software, which also means that the broker will get more clients as the cheapest brokerage company, as well. Furthermore, they can make these platforms compatible with any device they like and add any features they regard as necessary. The flexibility, unique selling point, and cost-efficiency are the main reasons why brokers choose to develop their own South African Forex trading apps, for example.

One of the most famous brokers with several proprietary platforms is AvaTrade. This broker offers both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 but goes further to include its own ground-breaking terminals AvaTrade GO and AvaSocial. While AvaTrade GO is the mobile compatible trading app based on the features of MetaTrader 4, AvaSocial is a social trading platform supporting signal and copy trading for its clients. AvaSocial is relatively cheap compared to other social trading apps. However, the broker also supports two advanced automated trading platforms ZuluTrade and DupliTrade. It is undoubtedly the key benefit of the broker to provide a diverse portfolio of all the Forex trading apps that the South African traders might require.

How to choose the best South Africa Forex trading app

How do you choose forex trading appWell, first of all, it really depends on a few things: your trading goals, your trading capital (budget), how much of the risk are you able to absorb, your skills and trading strategy, the chosen financial instruments, your broker. Let’s oversee each of the aspects.

If your trading goal is to generate passive income through trading Forex you can simply use any of the traditional software-based South African Forex mobile trading apps. You do not need in-depth analysis functions and charting or drawing tools for that. You can trade on the go through your mobile phone or use the copy trading strategy to mirror the trades of successful traders while you relax and chill with friends.

If you are low on budget and do not plan to invest tens of thousands of South African rands in Forex trading then it is better to avoid proprietary or automated trading bots. Usually, these platforms are expensive and have higher minimum deposit requirements, often starting from 1,500 ZAR and eventually reaching 30,000 ZAR in some cases. For low capital trading, it is recommended to use MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, or their web and mobile versions.

Risk-taking is a crucial aspect of Forex trading. All traders must be willing to take certain risks while trading, because as you might already know more than 70% of the investors actually lose their funds while trading. However, if you are a low-risk trader, then we suggest that you use automated trading tools that almost guarantee a little, but stable income throughout the months. However, if you are ready to risk more, you can develop your own trading strategy and trade manually, with complex asset portfolios and in-depth technical and fundamental analysis.

how do you trade forex onlineYour skills and trading strategies are two things that influence your success in the Forex world the most. However, it is true that beginners also manage to earn money while trading currency pairs, but not in a long-term perspective. You need to develop trading skills in order to react quickly to price movements, market news and anticipate the future fluctuations or reactions of other traders. Afterward, you decide to base your trading strategy on your calculations and predictions. If you are using the Elliott Wave trading strategy, we strongly recommend that you use automated bots, as counting waves is nearly impossible manually and might mislead you. Hence, research your strategy and see which platform can suit your needs and requirements.

Finally, the financial instruments that you decide to trade will also have an impact on the platform choice. For instance, stock trading apps in South Africa, Forex trading platforms, and crypto trading software might be all different from each other. For Forex, we always recommend MetaTrader 4 or platforms based on the same functionalities. For multi-asset trading and diversified portfolios, MetaTrader 5 is the top choice. For cryptos, both MT5 and proprietary platforms can work.

FAQs on South Africa Forex trading apps

Which app is best for Forex trading?

MetaTrader 4 is recognized as the best Forex trading platform today. The platform has been available on the market since 2005 and is leading the industry since then. The range of functionalities, including the drawing and charting tools, supported indicators, and compatibility with various automated trading bots and strategies makes it the top choice for Forex traders. However, the platform is not solely dedicated to currency pairs trading only. The stock CFDs, crypto CFDs, and commodity CFDs can be traded on the software, as well. Furthermore, the latest modifications of MT4 allow users to use the platform on their mobile devices or directly from their web browsers.

Where can I trade Forex in South Africa?

XM, AvaTrade, HotForex, and Plus500 along with few other brokerage companies support leading trading platforms – MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 for South African traders. You simply have to register with any of these brokers to access these trading platforms free of charge. You can learn how to use MT4 and MT5 through the demo accounts available with the brokers. However, if you want to start trading with real money, then you would need to make an initial deposit with the broker according to their minimum deposit requirements. The majority of these brokers allow traders to start trading with just 75 South African rands. Others might require at least 1,500 ZAR investments in order to activate the trading account.

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