The playing field for retail brokers has changed in 2020 with the advent of the Covid-19 outbreak. Unlike many other industries however, the trading industry has seen an uptick in activity, due to increasing numbers of potential clients.
Finance Magnates spoke with Jeffrey Siu, COO of ATFX Group for his perspective on the company’s operations and rapidly expanding client base.
Can you explain the core elements of ATFX’s service suite and how this offering has been tailored to adjust to the needs of a global or regional client base?
ATFX’s entire service suite is built around our customer’s needs and driven by our commitment to serving our clients in the best possible way.
We believe that education is the most powerful tool for our clients to be successful and ultimately turn them into long-term clients.
We’ve therefore designed a comprehensive education programme that targets traders of all levels.
We also offer a high-quality personalised customer service to our clients across the globe. This personal approach allows us to get to know them and understand exactly their needs and any issues they might be having.
We have customer service teams located throughout the world that offer help to customers in their respective languages.
One of our biggest selling points as an award-winning FX and CFD broker is our global presence. We employ over 450 team members that speak 20+ languages in 13 offices across the world.
We cover South-East Asia, Europe, South America and the MENA region. This gives both us and our clients an advantage because we have local knowledge in each region.
ATFX is one of the few global FX brokers who offers its clients a truly bespoke service based on their needs.
We’ve created bespoke payment solutions plus many other niche FX services for businesses and professional traders.
In 2019, ATFX transitioned from being a retail-only broker to an institutional broker, with the launch of its new fintech arm ATFX Connect.
ATFX Connect is aimed at a selected demographic that includes high-net-worth-individuals, asset managers, family officers, and brokers.
The launch of ATFX Connect was one of the major highlights in 2019. And we’re pleased to say that, so far, it has been very well-received.
The aim is to provide a bespoke liquidity solution to all of our clients whilst offering highly competitive rates and a first-class customer service.
We offer competitive spreads on a range of financial instruments, including 65 different currency pairs, with access to over 20 liquidity providers, including tier 1 bank and non-bank liquidity.
With so many service providers to choose from, how does ATFX stay ahead of the competition in what is a cutthroat industry?
ATFX stays ahead by listening to its customers and offering them products and services tailored to their needs. We go to great lengths to respond to our clients’ needs, if it’s a brand new product that’s required, then we will provide it.
For example, ATFX recently added a Gold futures trading contract to its product listing as we received lots of requests from clients.
We communicate constantly with our clients, which gives us a clear picture about what they need, even if they don’t formally request it.
We pride ourselves on our award-winning customer service, bespoke liquidity products and we are constantly expanding our customer service teams to reach even more clients across the globe.
We stand out by offering outstanding personalised customer service. A testament to this is the Best Online Trading Services and Best Broker of the Year 2020 awards we won during the first quarter of 2020.
Education is also one of the core parts of our offering. ATFX wants its clients to fully understand the basics of trading and what is at stake.
We don’t offer a rose-tinted view, instead, we provide accurate, reliable and trustworthy information regarding risk management, trading strategies and market analysis.
We also hold over 1000 seminars and webinars a year, where we educate both new and experienced traders around key topics relating to the financial markets.
IT has been a major pain point for brokers and businesses – how has ATFX helped clients become more efficient?
ATFX has had a significant focus on customer service, product development and IT innovation since its forming.
Our leadership team recognised the important role technology is set to play in the FX industry and ensured it was a key pillar in our business strategy.
We have a team of over 100 top IT professionals in Shenzhen, China, developing new tech products and services that are not on the market yet. In the past year, we have invested a significant amount of capital, technology and time in upgrading and expanding our products.
Over 3 million US dollars has been invested to ensure we’re a technology-driven broker.
We’re in the process of upgrading the service on our MT4 platform, which will go live in the coming quarters.
This will include Autochartist functionality and personalised Dow-Jones news information. More plans include making the MT5 platform available for clients as well as the exciting launch of our very own self-developed trading platform.
All these are designed to improve our clients trading experience, through the use of efficient technology.
What sort of clients is your offering looking to target and are there any segments you wish to expand into that you are not already?
We currently offer industry-leading products and services to both retail and institutional clients and our new offerings are targeted at both categories of customers.
For the retail business, we are looking to clients who want to learn more about trading as a skill. We want clients to fully understand the basics of trading and what is at stake.
It’s really important to us that we are transparent with our clients about the risks associated with trading.
On top of that we want to offer the very best education for all things trading related; technical analysis, strategies, market analysis, psychology, risk management and more.
For the institutional side, we are targeting niche markets like fund managers, proprietary vehicles, smaller banks as late-comers.
We will improve existing products and launch new ones based on our clients’ feedback and needs. ATFX has a presence in many countries across the globe and we are looking to grow our client base in these countries.
We know our products are some of the best in the industry and we would like to offer them to as many traders as possible.
As an established global brand, we have offices in 13 countries but we intend to extend this offering to more markets to service more clients.
An example of our growth plan is in Spanish speaking countries. Throughout 2018 and 2019 our status grew as a brand and we received lots of positive feedback from these countries.
We therefore plan to expand in these areas and strengthen our Spanish language service this year.
Looking ahead, what does ATFX see as industry headwinds or challenges in 2020 to its business?
The biggest industry headwind or challenge in 2020 is likely to be related to the current volatility being witnessed in the markets.
Whilst there is more activity in the markets, the volatility increases the risk. We’re taking measures to counteract the volatility like reducing leverage on certain products.
We’ve also noticed that clients are more demanding of their brokers, they want the ‘full package’. Offering innovative products and services will really pay dividends when it comes to standing out and attracting more clients in 2020.
We have increased the number of deposit options available and offer customer service in many more languages.
We’ve launched several next-generation technologies as part of our services offering such as biometric verification and e-signatures in 2019.
This increased demand will start to take its toll on the industry as clients move to those companies that can service all their needs in one place.
We’re creating innovative technology products that were once reserved for institutional traders to cater for this demand.
For example the sentiment analysis tools that make use of machine learning were only available for professional investors. They are now in the product line of many retail brokerages.
Going forward, we expect to see industry changes continue. We have confidence that by increasing our offering of products and services, not only will we weather the storm but develop into a leader in the field.
You’ll be hearing about our developments very soon.