Canada-based global FX broker, OANDA has announced it officially introduces today the OANDA Marketplace, which the company describes as an online directory of tools, software, and products for “self-directed investors to augment their trading strategies and to grow their knowledge of FX trading.”
Forex Magnates examined the current state of the new marketplace offering by OANDA and talked to Trevor Young, Vice President of Product Management at the brokerage about the future development plans for it.
The marketplace is said to be featuring products developed by OANDA’s engineers as well as what the company calls its trusted partners. OANDA states that all of the products listed in the marketplace are vetted to ensure they meet its standards. The site also offers a contact where third party programmers can submit and ask to add their apps developed specifically for OANDA’s platform based on its API.
Mr. Young commented: “For new and experienced traders, it can be cumbersome wading through all the technologies available to clearly understand what tools may truly add value to their trading strategies. The OANDA Marketplace will help our clients quickly find the tools they need from a trusted source. The online store concept ecosystem that you see happening across all industries worldwide has proven to be successful. As we continue to expand our partner program, we believe our focused approach to providing our clients with a dedicated online store containing the tools and services needed to improve their trading strategies will prove equally successful.”
Any marketplace is usually judged by the quality and variety of the products on offer. The OANDA Marketplace features categories of risk management, charting, technical analysis resources, mobile apps, MT4 plugins, copy-trading, browser extensions, trading books and educational videos. But at this early stage at least, the number of offerings is quite limited with, for example just one MT4 plugin and one VPS provider.
Forex Magnates asked Mr. Young about the pace OANDA plans to add more options, he answered: “We’re starting slowly and targeting to add 1-2 partners a month initially. We are hand-picking partners that we feel will add the most value for our customers and do not intend to add anyone and everyone to the marketplace just because they have an app or platform. As with Trade Leaders that we include in the OANDA Trade Leaders program, we want to curate this list to ensure it maintains a high quality. Of course, the OANDA Marketplace will focus more on tools, platforms and services that we feel can help our our customers with their trading goals.”
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Right now the marketplace mostly provides a centralized location for its clients to get to several products OANDA offered before. An example of this is are the training videos which some are just links to the main OANDA site or to youtube where they have been available for some time.
The trading books are an interesting addition to the offerings of any retail broker for the education of its clients. Unfortunately at this time the books listed on the marketplace are not original or developed specifically for FX traders but rather just links to very popular finance books on Amazon, such as Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker.
In comparison to other marketplaces, such as the FXCM Apps site, OANDA has a lot more focus on training than on actual trading tools such as Expert Advisors (EAs) for MT4. Forex Magnates asked Mr. Young about this and he said: “Initially we are focusing more on platforms and tools (which will offer access to strategies, either built-in or through other channels) instead of strategies themselves. If something is in our OANDA Marketplace it means that numerous OANDA staff have reviewed and tested it and we fully endorse it. If we’re going to offer a strategy to a customer that executes trades, we’d want to be confident that it performs well and fits with the customers risk profile, experience level, etc. Many off-the-shelf EA’s and strategies that you find make promises and present incomplete or inaccurate data about the returns and we want to avoid that. Initially we want to focus on providing customers with the tools to understand what strategy might work best for them and educate them on how best to apply it so they can make their own decisions. We’re not ruling it out in the long-term, but we want to start slowly and don’t promise any magic formulas for success.”
Gordon McArthur, CEO, BeeksFX said: “The OANDA Marketplace is an important distribution channel for partners to showcase their world-class tools and services, like our Cross Connected Virtual Private Server services. Building on our partnership with OANDA, the Marketplace gives BeeksFX the visibility and opportunity to offer our robust, fully managed, and low-latency services to OANDA’s clients to help them achieve their trading goals.”
Forex Magnates asked Mr. Young about the developments of the marketplace in comparison to the competition and he answered: “Generally, other app stores are solely focused on automated strategies that you can use on the platforms that broker offers, and have traditionally been a closed systems that only offers apps built by that broker. As mentioned, our focus is less on strategies and more on platforms, tools and services that our partners provide. We want to focus on the entire solution for a customer. If you’re a beginner to Forex, you don’t need an automated strategy. You need a combination of introductory books, educational videos or mentors, and an easy to use platform. If you’re an experienced trader you may need a sophisticated platform with automated trading capabilities, a VPS server for hosting algorithms, a programming service to build your strategy, etc. We are working with multiple partners right now to fill those gaps across different experience levels of customers.”
Lastly we did not find any prices for the products listed on the OANDA marketplace yet. An option to pay directly onsite for offerings, like on FXCM Apps, will be needed associate a price to a product and thus be able to run promotions based on free offering or special sales for new clients and new deposits.