Almost all Forex brokers now provide their Trading apps for both Android and iOS, which allows you to trade currency pairs & other CFD instruments on the go. But not all forex apps are safe or the same.
How good is the forex trading app being provided by a broker? Are they regulated and registered by the FSCA in South Africa?? Do they have good reviews on the Google play store? What about the availability of EFT or Internet Banking transfers for funding and withdrawal for South African traders? How many fees do they charge for trading & non-trading?
For this guide, we have reviewed 30+ brokers that offer their forex trading apps in South Africa on both Android and iOS devices. We compared these Apps based on our 11 Factors.
Our aim is to cover their safety, fees, ease of withdrawals & sufficiently inform you on what you should look for in a forex trading app.
Comparison of Best Forex Trading Apps in South Africa
|Forex Trading App||Typical Spread (EUR/USD)||Minimum Deposit||Local Bank Transfer||Max. Leverage (Forex)|
|HF Markets MetaTrader App||
1.2 pips with Premium Account
1 pip with Standard Account
1:2000 (Standard Account)
|OctaFX Copy Trading||
0.9 pips with MT4 Account
|XM Mobile App||
1.6 pips with Micro Account
Best Forex Trading Apps
Here are the 8 Best Forex Trading Apps in South Arica ranking based on our tests
- HF Markets – Best Forex Trading App in South Africa
- Exness MT4 – Forex Trading App with Low Fees
- AvaTradeGO – Good Forex Trading App for Fixed Spread
- OctaFX – Forex Copy Trading App
- XM Mobile App – Spread only Forex Trading App without Commission
- FXTM – Good MetaTrader Forex Trading App
- Tickmill – MT5 Forex Trading App with Low Fees
- IC Markets – Forex Trading App with Raw spread account
Let’s cover all these forex trading apps one by one using factors like their ranking in the play store, supporting devices and operating systems, execution time, etc.
#1 HF Markets – Best Forex Trading App in South Africa
HF Markets (HotForex) is a forex brokerage firm that was established in 2010. HF Markets is registered in South Africa as HF MARKETS SA (PTY) LTD with the FSCA. It has Financial Services Provider (FSP) number 46632.
The HF Markets app has a 3.9-star rating on the Google play store and 3.8-star on Apple App Store. It also has a good number of positive reviews from its users. This app comes with a couple of features such as allowing deposit, withdrawal, and transfer of funds, and advanced chart functionality- this allows traders to choose between various graph types, and time frames and apply technical indicators. It also provides daily market analysis.
For iPhone users, the HFM app is available on iOS devices in the apple store. It can easily be downloaded. The features on the iOS app include; entering instant and pending orders, the ability to hedge funds, monitoring live orders, dynamic monitoring of account details, viewing full trading history, one-click execution, etc.
HF Markets offers ZAR as account currency and allows deposit and withdrawal via South African local banks via EFT. It also allows debit card deposits and other alternative options like e-wallets for funding MyHF Account & trading via their app.
#2 Exness MT4 – Forex Trading App with Low Fees
Exness is a forex brokerage firm that was established in 2008. Excess is registered in South Africa as a Financial Service Provider with the name EXNESS ZA (PTY) LTD. It has FSP number 51024.
Exness uses the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms as its app. This app can be downloaded on the Exness website or google play store for Android users. Alternatively, iOS users can download this app from the Apple store.
Exness also has its own proprietary mobile application, the Exness Trade app, which has a 4.3 stars rating on Google Playstore, and 4.5 stars rating on Apple App Store and comes with some unique features. The app is also available on iOS App Store and allows users flexible trading. This includes trading using two types of execution. It also allows users to trade using a variety of executions regardless of their complexities.
The Exness MT4 app has trading analytics for users. There are 30 built-in technical indicators and around 23 analytical objects. Due to a special built-in robot called Expert Advisors, trading operations can be fully automated on the platform. You can create your own EAs as well on MetaTrader.
Exness offers ZAR account currency and allows traders in South Africa to deposit funds from their local bank accounts via Internet Banking Transfer and also other payment systems such as credit cards, skrill, Neteller, etc.
#3 AvaTradeGO – Good Forex Trading App for Fixed Spread
AvaTrade was established in 2006. It is registered with the FSCA as AVA CAPITAL MARKETS (PTY) LTD AVA TRADE. Its license number as a Financial Service Provider is 45984.
The app offered by AvaTrade is called AvaTradeGO. The AvaTradeGo App allows traders to view trades at a glance, see live prices and create one’s watch list. The app also has a unique feature – the AvaProtect. This feature allows a trader to protect their investment against losses up to one million USD in exchange for a Hedging fee.
The AvaTradeGO app has a 4.3-star rating on Apple Store and a 4.5-star rating on the Google play store.
AvaTrade offers ZAR account currency and accepts deposits via bank transfers in ZAR, credit cards, and other e-payment systems such as skill, WebMoney, and Neteller. It also has the same methods for the withdrawal of funds.
#4 OctaFX – Forex Copy Trading App
OctaFX was established in 2011. OctaFX is regulated by FSCA in South Africa as ORINOCO CAPITAL (PTY) LTD with FSP number 51913.
The OctaFX app is called OctaFX Copytrading. It has a rating of 4.6 stars on the Google play store. OctaFX also has another app called the OctaFX Trading App which has a 4.4-star rating also on Google Play Store and 4.5-star on App Store. OctaFX also supports the MT4 and MT5 apps.
The OctaFX CopyTrade is only available for Android users. It is not available for those using iOS devices.
OctaFX does not offer ZAR as an account currency although they support local funding/withdrawal methods i.e. EFT in ZAR (local bank transfers and OZOW). OctaFX allows deposits/withdrawals via cards e-wallets (Skrill, Neteller) crypto (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether USDT (ERC20, TRC20) and Dogecoin).
#5 XM Mobile App – Spread only Forex Trading App without Commission
XM was established in 2009. XM is not regulated by the FSCA in South Africa.
XM is registered with CySEC and IFSC Belize. Hence, the broker is considered a high-risk platform for South African traders.
The XM Mobile app has a Google play store rating of 3.9 stars and 3.0 stars for its iOS app.
XM Broker has four account types; Standard Account, Micro Account, XM Ultra-Low Micro Account, and Shares Account. The average spread for major forex pairs is around 0.0003 and 0.59.
XM offers ZAR as account currency and allows deposit and withdrawal via cards, payments, bank wire transfers, local bank transfers,s, etc. It also accepts deposits in different currencies which it converts to the base currency of one’s account.
#6 FXTM – Good MetaTrader Forex Trading App
FXTM is registered with the FSCA as FOREXTIME LTD and is a Financial Service Provider with FSP number 46614. So, they are considered low-risk for SA traders.
The latest version of the FXTM app allows traders to open and close positions quickly, access live currency rates, and manage their trading accounts better. The FXTM app is available to Android users on the Google play store and iOS users on the Apple Store. You can also use the MT4 and MT5 apps.
On the Google play store, the FXTM app has an average of 4.0 stars and a 4.5 rating on the Apple app store.
Although FXTM does not offer ZAR as an account currency, the broker accepts Internet banking transfers in ZAR, cards, and other e-payment systems for deposits and withdrawals.
#7 Tickmill – MT5 Forex Trading App with Low Fees
Tickmill provides services for trading forex and CFDs on financial instruments. Tickmill was launched in 2014 and is registered in ZA as TICKMILL SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD and regulated by the FSCA with FSP number 49464.
Tickmill integrates its trading into the MT4 and MT5 mobile trading applications. You can use the app on Android and iOS devices. Tickmill also has the proprietary Tickmill Mobile App which is rated 4.0 stars on the Google Play Store and 4.4 stars on Apple App Store.
CFDs on forex, stock indices, stocks, commodities, bonds, and cryptocurrencies are available on the app and it supports all trading orders. Stop limit and buy limit are part of the six pending orders supported on the app.
Other perks that come with the app include trading signals, unlimited symbols, 38 technical indicators, and 44 analytical objects. The execution is quick with an average of 0.20 seconds.
Tickmill does not have ZAR as an account currency. You can deposit and withdraw funds on Tickmill via local bank transfers in South Africa, cards, and e-wallets.
Types of Forex Trading Apps
There are two types of forex trading apps. Some forex brokers have both while some support just one type. Let us break them down:
1) Third-Party Trading Apps: These trading apps are developed by other companies for forex brokers. These companies allow CFD brokers to host their trading services on their trading apps. A prominent example is MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 mobile developed by MetaQuotes.
Another common third-party mobile trading app is cTrader mobile developed by Spotware Systems. These companies are not brokers. However, they partner with brokers globally so traders can use the app through their clients.
2) Proprietary Trading Apps: Proprietary trading apps are developed by forex brokers independently. This is not done in conjunction with third parties so the names of these trading apps vary from broker to broker.
For example, AvaTrade’s mobile app is named after the company (AvaTradeGO). They also have AvaSocial which is their copy trading app. Because these apps are developed by brokers individually, their trading conditions and interface are never the same too.
Advantages of Using Forex Trading Apps
There are some pros that come with using forex trading apps. We look at a few in this section.
Ease: It is easier to trade forex with trading apps. In the past, traders needed an office and a desktop to analyze the market. To get key economic news, they have to read newspapers. In addition, access to industry experts was so difficult. They have to make a number of calls to get advice. A single proprietary trading app can perform all of these functions and much more.
Flexibility: Apart from the convenience that trading apps bring, they also offer flexibility. With mobile apps, you can trade on the go, analyze the market, and monitor your positions. You can do these while you are in a car, hanging out with friends, or taking a walk. This will not be possible if all that was available for trading are desktops.
Notifications: Price alerts and notifications are a major advantage of forex trading apps. You can set an alert that lets you know when prices have hit certain levels. This saves you a lot of time and allows you focus on other things.
Furthermore, you can set notifications for news releases as well. Instead of checking manually on websites. You can get an automated notification of key economic data, releases, and events.
Personalization: Most forex trading apps allows traders to arrange trading tools, charts, indicators, and colors in a way that suits them. Being able to customize your app makes you ‘feel at home’ with the app, making trading more convenient.
Efficiency: Placing trades on mobile phones is often efficient and quicker than desktop. This is not about execution speed. It is that with a few swipes, you can set your take profit and stop loss targets quickly. Because the desktop versions of trading platforms are designed differently, it often takes more than a few clicks to place your trade.
How We Selected the Best Forex Trading Apps?
We used various parameters to arrive at the best Forex trading apps in South Africa.
These parameters are regulation (trust & safety), trading fees/commissions and charges, range of trading instruments, the trading platforms available, and lastly ease of funding and withdrawal for South African clients.
We’ve explained below in much detail how you can track some of these parameters or factors yourself.
1) Regulation – Is the Forex Trading App Regulated?
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is the government body that regulates the activities of forex brokers and other financial service providers operating in South Africa.
This body is important because it serves as protection against any form of misappropriation or fleecing from financial service providers. The FSCA does its job by issuing a unique number to all financial service providers registered under it. This unique number is called the FSP license number.
Forex brokers and financial service providers usually sample this FSP license number on their websites. This is done to create trust on the part of the client.
However, it is advised a potential trader verifies the authenticity of the broker’s claim of regulation. This can be done on the platform for Financial Service Providers. https://www.fsca.co.za/fais/search_fsp.htm
We will use HF Markets to demonstrate how to verify the authenticity of a broker’s claim of registration by the FSCA as a financial service provider.
Step 1: HF Markets has an FSP licence number 46632. This is listed on the broker’s website, and you can generally find this information on the footer section of the pages on the website.
To verify registration, you either search using the FSP number or using the name on FSP authorised financial service provider website. In this case, we will use HF Markets’ FSP license number.
Step 2: Firstly, we search HF Markets’ license number on the FSCA website (www.fsca.co.za/Fais/Search_FSP.htm). You can enter the FSP Name or the FSP number that you have gotten as explained in the step above and click submit.
Step 3: Secondly, we check the authorization status of the broker. Their trading name and FSP name.
You can go further to check for other information about the broker by clicking on ‘Details’ to see other information about the broker such as contact info, compliance officers, products approved, key individuals etc.
The illustration above is for those registered with the FSCA. There are also other international regulatory institutions such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) of Australia. All these are referred to as Tier-1 regulators. Brokers who are registered with these regulators have a higher trust rating compared to those who are regulated by low-tier regulators. These low-tier regulators are regarded as high risk for traders.
For traders in South Africa, it is important to choose a broker that is registered with the FSCA.
2) Trading Fees, Charges and Commission
In choosing an app for forex trading, it is important for a trader or investor to have full knowledge of the broker’s charges or fees. Most brokerage firms make their profits through these charges. Some brokers do charge a commission on deposits and withdrawals. These charges can eat into a trader’s profits or capital.
A trader wishing to register with any broker should make proper enquiries on their charges and commission. This information is either found on the broker’s web page or you can contact their customer care platform to get accurate info on trading fees.
Some brokers do charge trading commissions (for opening and closing trading positions) on some account types and exempt charges on other account types. There are cases of brokers who charge conversion fees when one’s local currency is different from the currency of trade. Potential traders should know all these before registering on the trading app.
Another form of trading fees/charges is spread. A spread is the difference between the buy and sells price of an instrument on offer by a broker. Most brokers who claim not to charge trading fees do have a very high spread.
A trader should check for brokers with low spreads or at best zero spreads to protect their investments. All this information can be got from the broker’s website and you can check them yourself. Let us show you a systematic guide with Tickmill South Africa.
From the homepage, click ‘Trading’. When you do this, you will find see a drop-down. In the dropdown, click ‘spreads & swaps’ under ‘Trading Conditions’
After clicking ‘spreads & swaps’, you will see a table on the page that follows as shown below
From the table, you can see the typical spread for various currency pairs. The far left side of the table shows the overnight fees (for long and short positions). With this, you can determine if the trading fees are high or low. You can also determine the CFDs you will trade that will not cost you too much money.
3) Range of Instruments
As a potential forex trader, you should have an idea of the instruments you plan to trade. Some brokers do not offer particular currency pairs for reasons best known to them.
All brokers do not offer the same number of currency pairs on their platforms. Some offer more currency pairs than others. A trader should also take note of the currency pairs on offer.
In forex trading, we have major, minor, and exotic currency pairs. The major currency pairs are EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, CHF/USD, etc. They are called major currency pairs because they are the most traded forex instruments in the world.
Minor currency pairs are those that do not include the U.S. dollar. Examples include; CAD/GBP, EUR/CHF, JPY/EUR, etc.
An exotic currency pair includes one major currency with another from an emerging market or developing country.
Before choosing a forex trading app, the broker must have significant, minor and exotic currency pairs on offer to have a diverse array of forex instruments to choose from. In fact, you can check the range of instruments available on your trading app. For complete information, it is best you go to the broker’s website. Let us use HF Markets (Hotforex) as an example.
On their homepage, click on ‘PRODUCTS’. Here is an illustration below
From the image above, it is clear the HF Markets trading app has currency pairs, ETFs, commodities, etc. If you click on any of the products, you will see more details. Spreads, swaps, and trading hours for all instruments can be seen. If you clicked on forex, here is what you will see below
4) Available Platforms
A very important factor a trader should look out for when choosing a broker is their platforms for trading. Questions one needs to ask here include; Is the trading platform being offered suitable for me? Is the platform compatible with my device? Is it available on my device?
Answers to all these above questions will determine whether the broker is the right one for you.
Most forex brokerage firms use the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Web, and App as their platforms for trading.
For brokerage with apps, you must confirm how the app works, its user interface, and whether it’s available on your desktop, Windows, Android, or iOS.
You can verify how good the trading platform is by going through reviews on the Google play store or Apple app store. Here you get first-hand information on the platform from users.
5) Ease of Funding & Withdrawal
Perhaps the most important that guided our selection of the best forex trading app is the ease of funding and withdrawal.
For forex traders in South Africa, your choice of forex trading app should be one that is regulated & where your trading accounts can be funded easily and profits are withdrawn without hassle.
The forex brokers listed in this review offer deposits from local South African banks directly to your account.
Exness, AvaTrade, HF Markets, and FXTM all accept ZAR deposits which are converted to USD for brokers without ZAR as account currency. Although, some brokers do charge for withdrawal into local South African banks.
6) Execution Model
When using a mobile app for trading, there are some challenges that come with it on your end. The prominent one is a slow or poor internet connection. This can lead to your trade being executed at another price. If this is combined with choosing a broker with the least favourable execution model.
For the execution model, dealing desk brokers might not be the best option. Their manual intervention causes a little bit of delay in order execution. Non-dealing desk brokers are the best choice. They could have the STP, ECN model, or a hybrid of the two.
Regardless of the model, an electronic network is used in communicating orders which are faster and more effective.
7) Demo Account
Trading with mobile apps is a different situation compared to trading on desktops. Generally, a demo account is useful for practicing and perfecting your strategy. However, it is more important if you are trying to use trading apps.
Apart from practice, a demo account offers you a risk-free environment to get accustomed to the limitations of charting on trading apps due to the screen size. In addition, you also get used to drawing indicators and other charting tools in a limited space.
Furthermore, you must check if your broker supports a demo account on their proprietary trading app. You might prefer it compared to MT4, MT5, or cTrader. Using a demo account on proprietary mobile apps can help you utilize and maximize it better.
8) Other Features to Check on Trading App
There are a few other features that you should check in the app.
a. Risk management Tools: In unique situations, the market might execute your stop-loss order at an unfavourable price, leading to more losses. A guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) makes sure your stop-loss order is executed at your desired price. You should speak to your broker to know if they offer GSLO.
b. Is Customer Support Good or Bad: Your broker should be reachable via different means. Email, local mobile numbers, live chats, and instant messaging should be available. Quick response is the hallmark of good customer support so make sure to carry out a personal test.
c. Two Factor Auth: Does the platform support 2FA? This will provide added protection against hacking. Some forex brokers have 2FA for their accounts, and you should check this with the support of the broker that you intend to sign up with.
d. Education: You want to choose a forex broker that allows you to learn. This is why education on trading apps should be key for you. The education content could be videos, written content, podcasts, or e-books. Most of this content is usually on the broker’s websites.
Here is a snapshot from OctaFX’s website.
Under the education section, you can see there are courses, webinars, and tutorials.
FAQs on Forex Trading Apps in South Africa
Which app is best for Forex Trading?
As per our research, HF Markets, Exness & AvaTrade have good apps for Forex Trading. The most important factors that you should check the security, fees, ease of use & withdrawal time.
Which app is best for forex trading for beginners in South Africa?
The best forex trading apps for beginners are HF Markets App, AvaTradeGo (AvaSocial), and OctaFX. This is because these trading apps have negative balance protection which ensures new traders do not lose more money than they deposited and supports copy-trading which allows beginners to follow the trading strategies of experts and professionals.
Which forex trading app has low spreads?
Based on the comparison of spread-only trading accounts at regulated forex brokers, AvaTrade, Exness & IC Market have low spreads. If you choose Raw spreads ECN type commission-based account, then HF Markets, Tickmill & Exness have low overall fees (commission + spreads).
How to download a Forex trading app in SA?
You need to select a forex broker that you want to trade with then create an account on their platform via their website. After you have created an account and completed the KYC, you will receive an email from the broker regarding the login details & app download link. You can download the Forex broker’s app from the Apple App Store or Google play store, and use the credentials to log in.