Nowadays, almost everything is online – and trading software solutions are also no exception, as a result. A software solution for trading stocks, currencies, bullions and commodities has been encountered by most internet users today, with many now taking the initiative to sign up and trade online. Extreme ease of use and the alleviation of a stock broker i.e. the middleman are key driving factors of the adoption of stock trading software. As a result, stock market software development has also skyrocketed in demand, along with numerous other niches associated with overarching fintech in general.
The market of software outsourcing in Sri Lanka has long since focused on building custom software for practically any industry, for both local and international clientele. Likewise, EFutures is also a software development company that specialises in the very same, so that any business requirement can be met with optimal and scalable solutions – no matter how unique those requirements may be.
Owing to the prolific rise in demand for online stock trading, custom trading software development has also been making waves among software development companies, since numerous fintech organisations want to be at the forefront of capturing the vast audiences that lie interested, in this particular market sector.
If you are a fintech entrepreneur who is looking to expand into building a custom stock trading platform, or someone who manages an online stock trading platform, this article will help shed some light on the key things that need to always be remembered, when it comes to building and/or upgrading a custom online stock trading application. For those who are already aware, the points below shall serve as a reminder on what to always be mindful of, so your stock trading app is engaging, as it is lucrative.
Stock trading software enables the online buying and selling of stocks, currencies, bullions, mutual funds and a host of other investments, via a user-controlled, web-based platform. What was once done at the stock market in person via the services of a stock broker is now done individually online, so users have all the autonomy they need to buy and sell what they want, and when.
Although stock trading software can differ from vendor to vendor (as well as depending on what’s being offered for trading) certain features and functionalities serve as a common base. These include (but aren’t limited to) deal opening/closing, real-time portfolio mapping, analytics, real-time newsfeeds, and trading recommendations.
The user profile will be the first component that a user will create in the trading application. In turn, this shall serve as the centralised hub for connecting a variety of other resources, mainly bank accounts or cards (to facilitate trading) as well as determining the country that the user is from, so the app can correspond with monetary regulations serving said country.
Security is of massive importance here, since every login attempt needs to be verified prior to authorising access. Identity and password management solutions can therefore be integrated to ensure only genuine login attempts are being made, so fraud and theft can be prevented.
Opening and closing stock trades is the key feature of any stock trading platform, without a doubt – and the reason why users engage with it. Upon connecting a source of funds and being within the bounds of national compliance, users need a simple means of opening and closing a deal, over a stock of their choice.
Leverage, which is a means of amplifying the potential of a stock, is a popular feature in online stock trading platforms. Deal open/close sections also need to feature leverage – along with clarifying the many boons as well as risks associated with it.
Other features include stop loss and take profit, which offer users the ability to create thresholds on how much loss and profit can be incurred, as a means of hedging.
Of course, no deal can be opened without sourcing the stock of a user’s choice. A comprehensive search tool needs to be incorporated for this very purpose, so users can find relevant stocks to research, buy and sell. Corresponding statistics pertaining to each stock need to also be displayed, such as performance candle graphs and popularity with other users, so maximum data is available for investor analysis and subsequent trading.
Newcomers who don’t have any knowledge or experience with trading any kind of stock, currency, bullion or commodity constitute a significant user base for most trading platforms. As much potential lies in this demographic for conversion into an active trader base, trading apps feature a variety of educational tools to enlighten this otherwise novice audience.
Demo accounts are one such feature – and a very popular one, at that. A demo account features virtual currency, while functioning just like a live account – complete with actual data from individual stocks. Users can then practise trading with this virtual currency, so that they can build the skills and confidence they need to finally plug their own source of funds, and trade live.
Once deals are opened and active, real-time portfolio monitoring offers users a comprehensive view of how their deals are performing. Common reporting tools such as pie charts show portfolio diversification, while historical analyses provide retrospective insight on past performances.
While current and historical stock prices can be relevant indicators for buying or selling a stock, it isn’t the only variable that can determine stock success (or failure, for that matter). News on updates such as mergers & acquisitions, IPOs and business expansion can also heavily influence stock trends – thereby offering much insight to traders well before they decide on investing in a particular stock or not.
Although business-related news can be sourced separately by searching on the web, users will gain additional value from your stock trading app if such news updates are brought straight to them within the app itself – so they need not toggle between multiple programs in order to do so.
What are other fellow traders talking about, when it comes to a particular stock, or the economic climate surrounding a specific industry? Having a community or forum where users can engage in discussions with one another will not only create a sense of togetherness, but will encourage constructive discourse around trading and related topics.
Again, this goes in line with the concept of newsfeeds, where users need not head elsewhere to engage in such discussions; they have all the resources they need to trade, research and share, under one unified trading platform.
With stock trading platforms specialising in the flow of funds from users across multiple states (and even internationally), compliance needs to be maintained on a state and/or national level, depending on how extensively the application spans. With each state and country having their own set of regulations, trading platforms need to take each of these into consideration, so users from said state or country can trade lawfully. Integrating compliance management systems as part of a GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) solution is possible, along with automating audit trails so no errors are made due to manual intervention.
Similar to most facets within today’s digital landscape, the fintech industry and online trading niche are also significant recipients of AI technology, especially in the context of making sense of raw, unfiltered big data. By training algorithms with regular streams of new data, trading platforms can offer predictive analyses as well as intelligent recommendations on which stocks will perform, and vice versa.
The decentralised nature of blockchain’s distributed ledger has paved the way for smart contracts in the stock market to be automated, with little to no manual intervention from an intermediate third-party. In turn, the clearance of stocks have become faster, thereby also saving investors time and money when it comes to commissions.
Add to this the high level of transparency that a distributed ledger can encourage; with every transaction done in a centralised manner, all entities will be aware of changes that occur to the ledger. Coupled with automatic fraud detection capabilities, blockchain can therefore enhance the security of transactions which take place when trading stocks.
As even the smallest of stock trading applications experience significant turnovers on a daily basis, developers are under pressure to secure network perimeters, and ensure no malicious actors are able to gain access to confidential personal and financial data. Cybersecurity, therefore, is of high importance in the online trading market, and across fintech at large.
Trading apps need to begin strengthening security from the very first step of a user’s journey i.e. at the login page. By enabling strong access authorisation protocols such as multi-factor authentication, role-based access control and bot mitigation, only authentic attempts to gain access will be allowed.
Deploying round-the-clock threat detection together with threat intelligence can detect possible breaches, so action can be taken immediately, before any damage is done. Cybersecurity can be infused within the software development lifecycle as well, by testing preliminary software versions for gaps in security and fixing them accordingly – well before live deployment.
Just like building any other custom software or mobile application, your custom stock trading platform also requires a detailed business assessment. Start by gathering various members of your organisation to determine the problems that plague your existing system (if you already have a trading platform in place) or understand what customers are looking for.
Prepare a brief with all these findings, which can then be used to discuss requirements with your vendor or software developer.
Based on the findings logged in your brief, discuss how existing problems can be solved, or a brand new platform can be created. Both require the mindful use of various technologies in specific proportions, in order to build a trading platform that is truly aligned with the expectations of your customers.
Starting with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) can reap big benefits for your trading application, since only the most essential of features will make it into the initial version. Not only will an MVP reduce time to market, it will also offer an application that is less cluttered, and therefore easier to get accustomed to.
For successive iterations, your business and software developer can gather feedback both programmatically as well as from anecdotal sources (such as customer reviews) to add/improve features. As a result, every software update will be precisely attuned to the needs of users, while eliminating the likelihood of unpopular or unused features.
The fintech market is a massive one, with every internet user having some form of exposure to it via its many niches. Stock trading is one such niche, which consists of all the resources required to open, close and monitor stocks – all at a user’s fingertips. Thanks to stock trading mobile apps, users are able to trade autonomously, and without the intervention of a stock broker. From real-time portfolio monitoring to smart, AI-driven recommendations, stock trading apps have much to offer to investors of all levels – beginner or advanced.
Building a stock trading platform requires a detailed assessment of your customers, in order to be able to stand out from the plethora of competitor options that are out there. By providing the right value propositions, a significant audience base awaits you, so that they choose your stock trading app over the rest – while continuing to use it owing to an adaptive model that is in tune with their changing needs. This also includes novice traders, who are looking to practise with demo accounts, before they build the confidence to eventually invest their own money, to start trading.