Arriving in the beginning of 2013, binary options provider O-Systems came on the scene aiming to offer new features to the binary options industry. At the time, most provider platforms were more or less similar in their structure and end user appearance, with O-Systems’ social trading features being unique. Since then, the industry has become less homogenic, with several providers launching differentiating features on their platforms, such as forex trading, mobile-centric products, signal trading and unique graphic layouts. At the same time, providers have also been working on creating distinguishable back office solutions to differentiate their products from competitors. For its part, O-Systems offers longer dated options (those more than several hours) without a fixed expiration time. This means that rather than having a fixed time such as 14:00 GMT that all EURUSD options expire on, each option has its own multi-hour ticking clock. According to O-Systems the result is that broker risk is less concentrated.
Continuing on the concept of creating features aimed at improving performance for brokers, O-Systems is currently launching the O-Box conversion tunnel. According to Haim Lagziel, CEO at O-Systems, explaining the new product to Forex Magnates, he stated, “Most of the value created by brokers comes from retention, so we created a product to promote sign ups and self-conversions, for brokers to focus on retention.” O-Box is a customizable promotional tool for firms to offer new customers free accounts, while gathering their contact info, as well as a working cell number. The product works as a pop-up sign up box that can be accesed by clicking a link such as “Free $50 Account” on a landing page or on an affiliate site. Lagziel explained that its key feature is that the sign up form is available as an iFrame pop up. As such, this provides an advantage to affiliate sites in that their viewers remain on the site without being sent to a broker landing page.
As a customizable product, O-Box can be configured to provide different values or currency type free bonuses depending on region or language. The overall idea of O-Box is to create an incentive for online viewers to sign up, thus improving initial conversion rates.
Speaking further with Lagziel about the state of affairs of online marketing, he explained that they are seeing a shift of sales practices, with many online firms among different industries putting more effort into converting new clients using data driven practices and incentives. Within the forex industry, a prime example is Plus500, which offers aggressive rates to its affiliates as well as no deposit sign up bonuses, but whose contact with clients is nearly all via emails. Lagziel though stated that he believed that at least with binary options calls are necessary for retention, and it isn’t a product that can be maximized with just emails.
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Binary Options and Forex
Perhaps the most controversial product in terms of the diverse feedback from readers is binary options products. Are they a financial trading product, form of gambling, a bit of both? Regardless of the answer, they exist as a ‘love them or hate them’ product. However by now, consensus is that they aren’t going away anytime soon, and will continue to be an ever more important piece in the retail forex market.
In this regard, we asked Lagziel his opinion of where binary options fit as a marketable product for forex brokers. He explained that in his opinion, binary options customers were more likely to become forex traders than vice versa, as once being introduced to financial trading they could be upsold to forex.
In terms of industry interest for binary options, Lagziel mentioned that firms from the gaming field are entering the market. He attributed this to their model of migrating from product to product based on providing fresh marketing to their leads. (It is worth noting that several forex brokers have also privately stated to Forex Magnates that they are achieving success with affiliates from the gaming world by creating product specific campaigns that appeal to their readership.)