Pepperstone and Axi are Australian ECN forex brokers. Each offer MetaTrader 4 trading platform with Pepperstone also offering MetaTrader 5 and cTrader. Spreads begin at 0.0 pips for EUR/USD and both brokers are regulated by the FCA and ASIC.
There are significant differences when viewing Pepperstone vs Axi (formerly AxiTrader) based on their most popular accounts ‘Razor’ vs ‘Pro’ account’. The table below shows Pepperstone and Axi along (with other traders) and average spreads.
When we compare currency pairs for the brokers ‘ECN style’ account type, one can see that spreads on Axi are wider than Pepperstone spreads each currency pair in the sample.
In our table, EUR/USD is 0.12 pips wider, which means you will pay $1.2 more for each standard lot. While Axi is wider on average for the period sampled, if a sample was done for a different period, the result might be different.
While neither broker is a ‘true’ ECN broker, both Pepperstone and Axi offer ECN pricing. This means the spreads are sourced directly from a deep pool of liquidity providers. This allows the broker to offer you low spreads as they do not requote, involve a dealing desk or manipulate prices.
This is different from market makers who will be your counter-party when you trade with them.
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If you are using MetaTrader 5, the Pepperstone Razor account has low commissions of $3.50 per $100k USD side trip. This commission will vary depending on what currency your account is in:
*Commission is per side. Round-turn will be double. This means you pay a commission when you buy and again when you sell. If you are using MetaTrader 4, the commission will be the same except for USD where you will be charged $3.76 per $100k USD.
cTrader commission fees are calculated differently to MetaTrader 4 and 5. Rather than a flat rate charge, you pay a fee equal to 0.0035% of the base currency of the fx pair you are trading. For instance, if you are trading 100,000 units of the EUR/AUD, you will pay €3.50 per side or €7 round turn.
Other features include:
Pepperstone further reduces prices with their Price Improvement Technology. This technology applies the better price in the event spreads change to be more favourable for the trader during execution.
Pepperstone also offers two other trading account types. These are the Standard account and Islamic account.
The Standard account widens your spread by 1 pip in place of commission. Spreads will be 1 pip wider if you trade in standard lots. This is equal to $10. If you trade in micro-lots, then the pip value will be 0.10.
See our comparison of Standard and Razor account, in this comparison, we explain how charges for lots of work.
The Islamic account is not listed on the Pepperstone website however is available on request. This account has no swap fees, which are also known as rolling or overnight fees. To be eligible for an Islamic account, you will be required to prove you are Muslim.
Axi has an ECN account similar to Pepperstone’s Razor called the MT4 Pro account. It has the following features:
Axi also has a Positive Price Improvement Program, which is the same as Pepperstone’s Price Improvement Technology.
For the lowest spreads and fees, we recommend Pepperstone. This is one of the reasons we consider Pepperstone to be the best Australian forex broker.
Pepperstone and Axi both offer MetaTrader 4 (MT4). Despite increasing competition, including the introduction of MetaTrader 5, MetaTrader 4 remains the most used forex platform worldwide. MT4 is the world’s most popular forex trading platform, and using the platform means you can easily switch to other brokers that use the same platform. MetaTrader 4 is designed for traders of all levels. Both Pepperstone and Axi offer tools that will be of benefit to basic and advanced users.
Key features of MetaTrader 4 include:
Smart Trader Tools is the Pepperstone add-on, while Axi has the MT4 enhancement tool. Both offer the same 10 features including:
Smart Trader Tools and NexGen give traders using MetaTrader 4 the tools to make a trading decision. Market sensitive data is also sent to traders to alert them to events that impact market volatility.
While MT4 remains the most popular trading platform, MetaQuotes now offers an upgraded platform known as MetaTrader 5 (MT5). MT5 offers everything MT4 does and more. If you are new to trading, you may wish to consider MT5 over MT4 as MT5 will cease having support in future and new brokers may stop offering it.
MetaTrader 5 offers the following:
cTrader is an alternative platform for MT4. This is offered by Pepperstone only. Its main difference is the ability to personalise the interface for personal preference. Benefits include a more modern and attractive interface compared to MT4. This interface that can be customised and has detachable charting options.
Both Pepperstone and Axi online brokers offer the same range of features on the MT4 platform. Pepperstone, unlike Axi, also offer MetaTrader 5 and cTrader. MetaTrader 5 in time will supersede MT4, so in time is likely to become the premier trading platform. For this reason, we recommend MT5. Overall, our best forex trading platform comparison found Pepperstone to be stronger in this area.
ECN Forex brokers are heavily reliant of fast execution speeds to provide you up-to-date quotes from liquidity markets. Lag issues when obtaining quotes and the execution of trades can lead to ‘slippage’ which means prices may have changed from the time of your order. Pepperstone and Axi use different solutions to overcome ‘slippage’ issues.
Pepperstone uses the most advanced infrastructure to achieve the best execution speeds. This means traders in can be confident ‘slippage’ risks are very low.
Axi Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
In addition to solid infrastructure to obtain currency quotes, and fast execution, Axi offers VPS solutions. VPS allows traders access to their own (virtual) servers close major financial centres where liquidity providers are located. This helps overcome latency issues of ‘slippage’ caused by the distance between trader and liquidity provider. Traders can also benefit from VPS because the servers are running 24/7. No downtime is especially handy for traders using automation tools in order to trade at all hours.
VPS providers offered by Axi include ForexVPS, MetaTrader VPS, Commercial Network Services, BeekSFX. Deals with each of the VPS providers are offered if trades reach a certain volume per month. Axi will credit $35 each month more than 20 lots are traded towards ForexVPS or Commercial Network services.
The speed Axi providers are suitable for most everyday forex traders. It’s only those these trade high volumes or use automation that should consider using a VPS to maximise execution speeds helping avoid slippage and delays in filling orders.
Both Pepperstone and Axi offer excellent solutions to achieve fast execution. Axi use of a VPS gives is a slight edge, while our best forex broker comparison found IC Markets to be the category leader. In reality, most ECN forex brokers have fast execution speed in a Pepperstone vs Axi head-to-head, Axi may have a slight edge on speed.
Maximum leverage will vary depending on where you are trading from. Axi is regulated by two tier-1 financial authorities being the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Pepperstone is overseen by seven regulators including ASIC and the FCA, as well as the DFSA (Dubai), CMA (Kenya), SCB (the Bahamas), CySEC (Europe) and BaFin (Germany).
If you are a retail client from the UK (FCA), Europe (CySEC) or Australia (ASIC), the Pepperstone or Axi subsidiary will be required to cap your leverage due to local trading rules. This means the following maximum leverage is permitted
Retail traders with FCA, CySEC and ASIC regulation will have guaranteed negative balance protection.
If you are a UK trader, you will not have access to either broker’s selection of cryptocurrency CFDs. Recently, the FCA amended regulation to ban crypto trading for retail investor accounts.
While Axi is only regulated by ASIC and CySEC and therefore restricted to 30:1 leverage, Pepperstone operates offshore subsidiaries with higher leverage limits:
Pepperstone and Axi use automated ‘margin call’ (also sometimes called ‘minimum balance protection‘). MT4 has a feature which seeks to exit forex traders before their account balance goes into negative. There is however no guarantee traders will be able to exit before the account goes into negative. Conservative and inexperienced traders will want to avoid forex trading when the forex market appears extremely volatile.
Both Pepperstone and Axi also offer a stop loss feature within the MetaTrader 4 platform. A stop-loss order is an instruction to close your forex position when the forex reaches a set price. This can minimise a trader’s losses if the forex market does not move in their favour. Like with minimum balance protection, this is not guaranteed. easyMarkets offer guaranteed protection.
Lastly, both Pepperstone and Axi have a take-profit option. Similar to stop losses, this feature works on the same principle but in reverse. This means exiting after a position has been hit at a favourable pre-determined level.
Both Pepperstone and Axi offer the same ‘default’ features that are available on the MT4 platform. Neither broker offer specialised risk management tools. If you require guaranteed protections, then consider brokers such as easyMarkets and Plus500.
Pepperstone and Axi have the same risk management features. Pepperstone, on the other hand, have a higher leverage level of up to 500:1 via its offshore entity in the Bahamas.
When trading CFDs (contracts for difference) in our Pepperstone vs Axi review, both brokers were found to offer the following Contracts for Difference:
Pepperstone also offers some CFDs that Axi does not. These include:
When we compared Pepperstone and Axi for their CFDs offering, we can make the following basic conclusions:
For this reason we feel that Pepperstone present a better option when it comes to choosing an online broker for CFDs.
A head-to-head Pepperstone vs Axi on the surface seems to be a tie, with both offering:
The difference comes to the quality of the service provided with Pepperstone having a reputation for its outstanding customer service. In 2016 and 2017 their outstanding customer service was recognised when ‘Investment Trends’ awarded them number #1 for this category. Pepperstone customer support team consists of real traders therefore, they can help answer questions from both beginner and expert traders.
atoZforex.com found Axi was the winner when it came to the 2017 industry award for the most reliable forex broker. This highlights the strong customer service offering provided by Axi. Below shows some other awards and key dates since Axi was founded in 2007.
While this category may seem close, the fact that Investment Trends which is judged by real Australian forex traders consistently awards Pepperstone as the leader for customer service led to them been awarded first.
Our Pepperstone vs Axi comparison found Pepperstone having a greater range of financial providers for deposits and withdrawals. While both brokers offer POLi, Skrill, bPAY, Visa, Bank transfer, and MasterCard for debit cards and credit cards, only Pepperstone offers PayPal and Union Pay.
When it comes to funding costs, with the exception of a $20 fee for bank wire with Pepperstone, neither broker charge fees for deposits or withdrawals
When a withdrawal request is made before 7:00 am it will process the amount the same day. After this time-slot, the forex trader will need to wait until the following working day. Withdrawals need to be made to the same account that funded the account. Withdrawals can take up to five working days to clear and be sent overseas.
Axi doesn’t offer same-day withdrawals, rather all transfers will take one to two days to clear. International accounts like with Pepperstone can take up to five business days. Funds can only be withdrawn back into your account via Neteller or directly into the bank account you used to fund it.
No. The UK’s main regulator of the financial industry recently prohibited retail traders from accessing crypto markets. Cryptocurrency trading is only available to professional traders in the United Kingdom. If you want to trade cryptocurrency, check out an ASIC regulated broker in Australia.
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.