IC Markets and Axi (Axitrader) are two leading forex brokers with an offering of 63 and 80 currency pairs respectively, low ECN spreads from 0.0 pips and the MT4 trading platform. Axi has a minimum deposit of $0 compared while IC Markets requires $200 but also offers MT5.
Our table below of the IC Markets vs Axi ‘ECN’ style accounts for average spreads suggests that IC Markets has better spreads.
IC Markets and Axi offer Electronic Communication (ECN) pricing. ECN brokers connect you directly with “liquidity pools” to provide you with the best spreads possible. The broker can provide low spreads because there is no dealing desk or requoting during the trading process. The quotes for the currency pair you buy or sell are exactly what the liquidity providers have quoted.
Below is a summary of the ECN trading account types each broker offers.
Features of IC Markets Raw Spreads Account:
Features of the IC Markers Standard Account
View our IC Markets standard vs raw account guide to learn more about the differences of the two account mentioned above.
Features of IC Markets Islamic account:
Axi Pro Account:
Features of Axi Standard Account:
The differences between the accounts can be summarised as
The other main difference our Axi review found was the online broker offers more trading pairs. Most traders will only be concerned with traditional pairs. Niche pairs offered by Axi will only be of benefit to a very small subset of traders. The extra pairs offered are unlikely to be a consideration for most traders. Axi also has one-click trading to speed up executions.
We recommend IC Markets for its low trading fees based on average spreads reported by both brokers.
Open a demo account >>Visit IC Markets >>
Both IC Markets and AxiTrader offer MetaTrader 4 (called MT4). IC Markets also offers MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader while AxiTrader is an MT4 specialist.
MT4 has long been the most popular trading platform in the world. The trading platform is great for all types of traders. Beginners that only need basic tools and experienced users require more advanced features. One great benefit of using MT4 is that traders can easily change from one broker with MT4 to another broker using the same platform as so many brokers offer the platform.
MT4 popularity can be attributed to a number of reasons including:
Both brokers offer an add-on which gives you access to extra MT4 features.
NexGen is an enhancement tool offered by AxiTrader. NexGen enables better trading by offering very useful additional functionality for both beginner and experienced traders. It is free to all traders. Features on offer by NexGen consist of:
Overall, NexGen gives traders invaluable tools to assist with decision making, trade management and execution.
Advanced Trading Tools is an enhancement tool offered for the MT4 IC Markets. This tool offers traders 20 advanced features to assist with decisions, trade management and execution. Advanced Trading Tools consists of many of the same features that NexGen however there are some additional features. This includes Market Manager and Smart Lines. Market Manager is a watch list of open positions. Smart Lines utilises objects drawn on charts that can be used to become a take-profit or stop-loss positions.
Advanced Trader Tools is a feature-rich tool that gives traders an invaluable edge when trading. It assists with trade decision making and trade execution. Advanced Trader Tools offers more features than NexGen.
IC Markets offers MT5 as a trading option.
MT5 is MetaQuotes successor to MT4. Takeup of MT5 has been slow because MT4 is such a good product however MT5 offers everything MT4 does and more. There are a few good reasons to consider MT5 over MT4 there include:
Here is our comparison of MT5 vs MT4. You will see that MT5 offers more analytical and graphical tools, Timeframes, Order types than MT4.
If MetaTrader platform is not to your liking, then you can consider cTrader. cTrader is a newcomer compared to MetaTrader and offers many features no available in MT4. MT5 has more of the features that made cTrader unique. One thing to be aware of with cTrader is you can only use if for trading forex.
As Advanced Trading Tools offers more trading tools than NexGen we recommend IC Markets when it comes to choosing a platform.
Some of the fastest execution speeds in forex broker industry are achieved by IC Markets. This is because IC Markets uses a dedicated fibre optic cable to interconnect Australia to liquidity providers at major financial centres. Faster execution speeds prevent “slippage” occurring. Our Axi review found they offer execution technology is acceptable for most traders but also offer Virtual Private Servers (VPS) for trader needing additional execution speed.
Lags due to average execution speed can result in large losses. This makes IC Markets fast execution a very valuable asset when trading.
Use of VPS server provides numerous benefits over provided infrastructure include guaranteed 24 hours connectivity, minimal data congestion and fast execution however with this comes a price. Axi has an arrangement with multiple VPS providers. While this is not free, discounts are available provided a certain number of trades are executed each month.
VPS is best for traders using automation to trade at all hours of the day and don’t want to risk downtime with their connection.
Our comparison shows IC Markets provides some of the best technology to achieve the highest execution for Australian traders. The average trader will not require VPS infrastructure. The average trader is not likely to will want to worry about the required setup and expenses associated with VPS. With this in mind, we recommend IC Markets over Axi when selecting a broker based on execution.
Indeed IC Markets and also Axi is lacking in specialised risk management tools. Both brokers do offer some risk tools but these are standard features all brokers offer. These include:
Both IC Markets and Axi offer the same basic risk management approaches. The only real difference between each broker is that Axi falls under the regulation of two different financial regulatory bodies. FCA regulation might not matter so much for traders in Australia but the peace of mind offered with the security two financial regulation bodies is why we are recommending you on an account with Axi when it comes to risk management.
Open a demo account >>Visit Axi >>
Both IC Markets and Axi offer various Contracts for Difference (called CFD for short). IC Markets, however, offers a more extensive range. Both ECN brokers offer the following:
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, IC Markets offer the following – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin and Ripple with leverage of 5:1. Axi however only offers Bitcoin and this is with leverage of 10:1.
IC Markets offers the following CFDs that are not offered by Axi:
IC Markets CFD range is more extensive than Axi. If traders are looking for an ‘all in one’ type product then IC Markets is the product we recommend.
Both IC Markets and Axi offer live chat, phone and email support that all brokers typically offer.
IC Markets trader support team has quite a few selling points. These are:
In 2017, Axi was awarded the most reliable broker by atoZforex.com. Axi has a reputation for being one of the most trustworthy brokers. Part of the reason Axi is considered trustworthy is because of the excellent customer service they provide.
Axi offers toll-free local phone support in numerous countries in Australia, Europe and Asia. Very few brokers offer support for such a range of companies.
IC Markets offer 24/7 customer service which is unique among forex brokers. In addition to this, they have a useful library so users can search for answers they may have questions for without needing to contact customer service. Therefore we recommend IC Markets.
Both IC Markets and Axi offer the standard deposit and withdrawal methods however there are some differences in the range of funding available.
IC Markets offers the following deposit and withdrawal methods; Debit card and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard), Skrill, Wire Transfer, Neteller VIP, Local Bank Transfer (outside Australia), WebMoney, BPAY Deposit (Australia Only), PayPal, Branch Cash Deposit (Australia Only), China UnionPay, Neteller, Broker to Broker Transfer, Fasapay, Qiwi. IC Markets does not charge deposit or withdrawal fees however providers may charge fees at their end. IC Markets minimum deposit requirement is $200. View more on IC Markets deposits here.
Axi, by contrast, accepts the following deposit and withdrawal methods; Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill/Moneybookers, Local to International Bank Transfers, BPAY, China Union Pay, WeChat and Bank Wire. Broker to Broker transfer is also available for select few companies. Axi minimum deposit requirement is $0.
Those having accounts in Australia will not have to pay a commission. International bank transfers, however, are subject to a $15 to $25 commission.
Neither fx broker offers a joining bonus. This is common for an ECN forex broker as margins are tighter.
IC Markets offer a wider range of funding methods. We, therefore, recommend IC Markets as one of the top Australian Forex Brokers.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.