Forex traders in South Africa looking to minimise brokerage choose ECN brokers with a true ECN account having no dealing desk resulting in the lowest EUR/USD spreads, reduced slippage with faster STP execution speeds reduced conflict of interest from an ECN forex broker.
Compare the top ECN brokers in South Africa below.
By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Monday, February 17th, 2020
Our team of industry experts at Compare Forex Brokers evaluated the top 5 Best ECN Forex Brokers in South Africa 2020 with no dealing desk NDD intervention:
Pepperstone – Best Forex Trading Platforms
IC Markets – The Lowest EUR/USD Spreads
FxPro – The Best WebTrader Platform
FXTM – The Highest ECN Trading Leverage
IG Markets – The Largest ECN Foreign Exchange Broker
Pepperstone is among the best ECN forex brokers in South Africa to give clients direct market access (DMA) without dealing desk intervention. Pepperstone ECN environment can be accessed through the broker’s trading platforms, including:
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
Below you can review a short comparison of the three powerful trading platforms and their main features:
South African traders can combine the benefits that come with the ECN brokers and STP brokers into one trading account. Retail clients can choose between two account types offered by Pepperstone (Standard and Razor accounts). Below you can discover why Pepperstone ECN trading platform is the best forex brokers for spreads and ultra-fast order execution.
Pepperstone display price from a diverse pool of liquidity providers transparently through the use of Electronic Communications Network ECNs. Pepperstone sources and aggregates its Forex quotes from over 22 liquidity providers and tier-one banks.
Additionally to being one of the best ECN brokers operating in South Africa, Pepperstone operates a no dealing desk model NDD. No dealing desk brokers send the orders directly to the liquidity providers without hedging. The Straight Through Processing STP forex brokers come with the following advantages:
Real-time market prices
Direct Market Access DMA
No mark-ups (retail traders will only pay the interbank spread)
MetaTrader 4 Trading Platform with 30ms Speed
The automated ECN solution offered by Pepperstone allows buy and sell orders to be matched with lightning-fast execution speed. Pepperstone clients can be assured that their orders are processed in less than 30 milliseconds. Trading forex and CFDs with no requotes or delays are now possible for South African residents if they open a live trading account with Pepperstone.
Forex Trading Tools
The trading software technology offered by Pepperstone is designed to give retail forex traders an edge. Comparable with the most advanced proprietary trading platforms on the Forex market, SA retail traders can benefit from using a host of trading tools, including:
Flexible order types
Smart Trader Tools Package (28 additional indicators and EAs)
Automated trading (Expert Advisors)
Autochartist alerts integrated with the MetaTrader trading platform
Depth of Market
Summary of Pepperstone Findings
Pepperstone easy-to-use ECN trading environment is accessible with a minimum deposit of $200 (or equivalent in South African Rand). The STP/ECN trading model offered by Pepperstone is equipped with the best forex trading platforms which can unleash the untapped potential of your trading strategy. You’re just one click away from reserving your Pepperstone demo account which mimics the same trading conditions that come with a live trading account. Start trading with the best ECN forex brokers regulated by ASIC and FCA by clicking the button below.
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
10 / 10
10 / 10
10 / 10
7 / 10
Range of Markets
8 / 10
10 / 10
IC Markets Has The Lowest EUR/USD Spreads
IC Markets is a true ECN broker offering the lowest EUR/USD spreads that can go as low as 0.0 pips. Retail traders in South Africa can benefit from the lowest spreads in the world only if they opt for the IC Markets Raw Spread trading account types. At the same time, our team of industry experts found that the average EUR/USD spread is 0.1 pips.
ECN forex brokers use an execution model that can provide several advantages, including:
Lower spreads – On average, 62% of the time IC Markets offers EUR/USD spread equal to 0.0 pips (data compiled from 01 January 2019 to 08 August 2019)
Fast order execution speeds – IC Markets process your orders in 36.5 milliseconds
Price feed transparency – There is no conflict of interest between SA retail traders and IC Markets
Our devoted team of investing professionals hand-checked all forex brokers in South Africa that offers ECN trading accounts. Throughout a meticulous examination, we found that IC Markets advantages are superior. Below we’re going to list the advantages that come with an ECN account.
IC Markets offer institutional grade ECN trading from the world’s leading institutions. The ECN pricings are derived from a diverse pool of 25 liquidity providers you can trade on. The institutional grade liquidity offered by ECN brokers can offer the following advantages:
Better bid and ask spreads
Co-located ECN Trading Servers
IC Markets can offer the best forex quotes because its data feed servers and order machine engines are co-located in the world’s largest financial data centres:
New York Equinix NY4 data centre
Equinix London LD5 data centre
The combination of the world’s major financial centres located in New York and London allows IC Markets to process over half a million orders per day. The secure fibre optic cable that connects IC Markets’ price matching engine with the ECN Liquidity Providers LP translates into the following advantages:
Low Latency (1 millisecond)
Real-time execution of big orders (trade size up to 200 standard lots or 25 million base currency)
Algorithmic trading (High-Frequency Trading HFT accounts for 60% of all IC Markets trades)
Advanced ECN Trading Tools
IC Markets is also equipped with the latest technologies in terms of the trading tools offered to its clients. The most advanced trading tools offered by IC Markets are listed below:
Level 2 Pricing (Depth of Market DoM shows several levels of bids and offers volume)
Inbuilt spread monitor (Allows retail traders to place orders inside the spread, which is good for scalping)
One-click trade module
Trade risk calculator
Summary of IC Markets Findings
IC Markets intermediates transactions between retail clients and the interbank market that is worth over $15 billion daily. Additionally, this online Forex CFD provider is regulated by the most important Forex regulatory bodies, including the ASIC, CySEC and the FSA. Forex traders can trade with no restrictions and with the peace of mind that they are using one of the best ECN forex brokers. Click the button below to claim your FREE demo account.
FxPro Has The Best Online Platform (WebTrader Platform)
Our best-in-industry methodology of ranking the best online platform revealed that FXPro offers the best WebTrader platform. FxPro is authorized and regulated through a total of 33 well-established financial watchdogs, including the FSCA, CySEC and FCA. South African traders can choose between a wide range of desktop, web-based, tablet and mobile trading platforms, including:
MetaTrader 4 MT4
MetaTrader 5 MT5
FxPro offers the option to trade from your browser for both PC and MAC. The browser-based trading platform allows SA traders to trade 7 different CFD asset classes with no dealing desk execution, including:
Forex currency pairs
Trade CFDs on futures
Trade CFDs on spot indices
Trade CFDs on Shares
Trade CFDs on spot metals
Trade CFDs on spot energies
Trade CFDs on cryptocurrency
Our team of industry experts will outline below the advantages that come with the FxPro price execution model. Our team examined the key features of the FxPro ECN model including the:
Different trading conditions
The fixed spreads and variable spreads
Source of liquidity
Award-Winning Execution Speeds
Not many ECN brokers can boost an average order execution speed of 11.06 milliseconds. FxPro advanced trading technology is able to execute up to 7,000 client orders per second. In its best day, FxPro managed to fill 199,397 of client orders.
FXPro has industry recognition for its impeccable trading conditions and its no-dealing desk NDD model. FxPro won over 70 international awards since 2006 when it started providing financial services to retail clients. The most prestigious awards include:
Best FX Execution Global in 2016, 2017 (CFI.Co Awards)
Best Execution Broker Global in 2017 (Global Brands Magazine)
Best FX Provider in 2019 (Online Personal Wealth Awards)
The secret behind FxPro ECN (Electronic Communication Network) execution model relies on its deep network of liquidity providers. The deep liquidity provides SA traders with tight bid and ask spreads.
74.65% of Market Orders Executed at Desired Price
FxPro order-matching technology is able to achieve superior trading conditions for South African residents. We assessed all aspects of their execution engine and found the following advantages:
74.65% of client orders are executed at the requested price
12.81% of client orders received positive slippage
12.53% of client orders received negative slippage
FxPro ECN Forex Brokers – No Requotes
Trading forex through ECN forex brokers it also means reduced requotes. FxPro only rejected a small portion of their client orders. Around 1.40% of orders received a requotes among which 0.72% of orders received improved prices. Overall, 98.60% of the orders received no requote.
Summary of FXPro Findings
Please note that while FxPro isn’t the counterparty of your trades, client orders are matched internally against other market participants. This is the reason why FxPro can’t be classified among true ECN brokers. At the same time, FxPro can’t be classified among market maker brokers either because they act as an intermediary between forex traders and liquidity providers.
FXTM is another ECN regulated broker offering SA residents access to the forex market with unbeatable leverage of 1000:1. If you want to find an ECN broker with high leverage, then ForexTime FXTM can satisfy your trading needs. Leverage is a critical component when trying to trade on the small price changes in the foreign exchange market. With so many ECN forex brokers to choose from, it’s important to consider the regulatory status and the safety of your funds. FXTM is given permission to provide financial services by the following regulatory bodies:
Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa, with FSP No. 46614.
International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) of Belize with License numbers IFSC/60/345/TS
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK under FCA licence no. 777911
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) of Cyprus under license number 185/12
The advantages of an ECN trading account are significant. FXTM offers 3 different ECN-style account types:
ECN Zero Account (zero-commission trading, but mark-ups the spread)
ECN Account (low commission trading from $4 per side)
FXTM Pro Account (ultra-tight spreads starting from 0.0 pips, No-last look policy)
All of the FXTM ECN accounts come with high flexible leverage, a swap-free option available, scalpers friendly, no requotes and fast order execution of 53 milliseconds. The following leverage comparison table highlights the highest ECN trading leverage offered by forex brokers in South Africa.
List of ECN Forex Brokers in South Africa With High Leverage
SA Forex Broker
Summary of FXTM Findings
FXTM range of ECN trading accounts offers South African residents the flexibility to choose a trading environment that suits best their trading style. Additionally, FXTM has made a good impression in our proprietary scoring system for ranking online forex brokers due to the following features:
Access to copy trading platform (FXTM Invest)
Award-winning customer service provider
Positive slippage 95.50% of the time
Best CFD trading platform
IG Is The Largest ECN Foreign Exchange Broker
IG Group is the world’s number one CFD provider that is FSCA regulated. Additionally, the ECN trading environment offered by IG is also supervised by regulatory entities from the UK, Australia and even the USA. IG has provided financial services to retail clients and professional traders since 1974. As of today, over 178.000 clients from across five continents are trading with IG across 16,000 different financial instruments, including:
Forex currency pairs
Index CFD Trading
Share CFD Trading (over 12,000 stocks)
CFD Commodity Trading
Other markets (Bonds, ETFs, Interest Rates)
Our team of forex industry experts will give you a quick overview of the forex direct market access (DMA) that IG offers to its clients.
IG Forex Direct
The DMA trading account gives South African traders direct access to the interbank market without the need for a middleman. The forex DMA advantages include:
Faster order executions
Dealing directly with other market participants
FX prices derived from a large liquidity pool that is connected to multiple tier one banks
IG doesn’t charge you the spread, but SA traders would need to pay a commission. IG commission is based on the volume traded in the last month. If South African traders are doing less than 100 million in volume the commission charged is $6 per standard lot or $60 per million traded. The round-turn commission would be $120 per million traded. In the chart below, you can review the different levels of the commission charged by IG.
Summary of IG Markets Findings
IG offers retail traders a trusted ECN account style with an extensive list of financial instruments, competitive spreads and modern trading platform solution. The L2 Dealer platform is IG’s proprietary trading platform that has no dealer intervention and prices directly from the interbank market. South African residents can trade with IG Forex Direct with a minimum deposit of Rand 4,000. Click below to view the complete list of Top 5 Forex Brokers with ZAR Accounts.
A true ECN (Electronic Communications Network) broker is a type of forex broker that connects its clients directly to the interbank market through its liquidity providers. A true ECN broker operates under the No Dealing Desk NDD execution model without manual intervention from a dealer.
Is Pepperstone a true ECN broker?
Pepperstone is a true ECN broker because it connects its clients to over 22 different liquidity providers via its own proprietary aggregation engine. Pepperstone acts as the middleman between its retail clients and the interbank market. Pepperstone is fully transparent about its ECN trading model and its total devotion to using No Dealing Desk NDD intervention.
How do ECN brokers make money?
Unlike a market maker which charges a spread to make money, the ECN broker charges a commission. The advantage of paying a commission is that there is no dealer’s marked-up spread. Retail traders will receive the interbank spread without mark-ups.
Dealing Desk vs No Dealing Desk Forex Brokers
There are various types of brokerage houses in the world, but broadly speaking, there are only two forex broker types:
Dealing Desk DD
No Dealing Desk NDD
A dealing desk broker is also known as a market maker or in the Forex jargon is also known as a bucket shop. As the name suggests, a dealing desk broker acts as a market maker and feeds you the forex quotes retail traders trade on. With the DD execution model, the broker will act as the counterpart of all your trades. This implies a conflict of interest as the forex broker will make a profit each time you lose on your trades.
The no dealing desk execution model is the solution to avoid trading against your broker. The ECN brokers are a type of no dealing desk brokers that will give retail traders direct access to the foreign exchange market. With the ECN execution model, your orders will be forwarded automatically to the interbank market. All forex orders are matched against various liquidity providers LP, eliminating the conflict of interest between the broker and the trader.
Our team of industry experts viewed the top 3 advantages of a true ECN broker as:
No spread manipulation (no markups or markdown)
Reduced slippage (due to a wide network of liquidity providers)
No requotes (you will often get the most favourable price available)
Risk Warning: Additionally to the inherent high risk that comes to Forex trading, the total costs that come with an ECN account can be high. Make sure you choose an ECN broker with competitive fees and commissions. If you’re looking internationally, view our Global best ECN broker page.