Saxo Bank, the online trading and investment specialist, is beginning the global roll-out of SaxoTraderGO, its new, intuitive multi-asset trading platform, following the successful launch of the platform to French customers earlier this month. The platform is now available to clients in Europe, with clients in MENA, APAC and Latin America getting access during the first weeks of June. We are pleased to present an interview with Christian Hammer, Head of Platforms, Saxo Bank.
- What is the key advantage of the platform SaxoTraderGO and what does it bring to customers?
- SaxoTraderGO was built from the ground up with a special focus on usability, performance and seamless integration switching between desktop and mobile environments. Saxo Bank is among the very first to offer this level of seamless transition between devices, alongside other features such as easy-to-use navigation and a clear separation between pre-trading, trading and post-trading services. Our aim was to build the world's most intuitive platform and we believe we have reached our goal. When you, for example, do modifications to your chart analysis or watch list on one device, it is automatically carried over to the other devices that you log-in on. It is device neutral, so to speak. So the functionality is the same, but the application is optimized for the device such as swipes on mobile, or clicks for the desktop, but it all uses the same code.
This way, we are not causing the user confusion each time they use a different device.
Everything that is done on one device is carried over to the next, so if you log in on web, smartphone or tablet it remembers the settings. Furthermore, the new platform enables the trader to trade directly from the watchlist or the chart in real time, and traders will receive confirmations through instant push notifications.
- What are the reasons that you have decided to develop an entirely new platform for trading? What drove Saxo Bank to launch such a platform?
- SaxoTraderGO was born out of a clear mission: To create the world's most intuitive multi asset trading platform for retail traders. SaxoTraderGO has been built from the ground up with a special focus on usability, performance and seamless integration switching between desktop and mobile environments. From the technical side, SaxoTraderGO has been written entirely in HTML5, signaling the trading industry's move away from the legacy proprietary systems of the past. On top of that, SaxoTraderGO is built on an Open API.
Most importantly the development of the platform reflects a key industry trend. Saxo Bank surveyed nearly 3,000 retail traders as part of the intelligence-gathering phase of the platform creation to ensure that SaxoTraderGO reflects their needs. Furthermore, we assessed that 20 % of the bank's overall retail trading takes place through mobile devices, and that 75% of all trade and orders come from clients that use multiple devices to trade. The fact that SaxoTraderGO is device neutral and the functionality allows for seamless transition between mobile and desktop is therefore very important to traders, and unique to Saxo Bank.
- How do you think, will this novelty by Saxo Bank attract people with conservative views (who are for traditional trading)? How will they accept it?
- We believe that SaxoTraderGO is setting the benchmark for the rest of the financial industry and is far more than simply a novelty. Saxo is among the very first in the market to offer this level of seamless transition between devices, and the main focus of the launch of SaxoTraderGO is a response to what our clients want and demand of Saxo Bank. It has always been Saxo Bank's mission to equip private investors with a platform worthy of professionals, and SaxoTraderGO therefore incorporates that. The days of opaque, difficult to understand products are gone. The investor wants to understand products, pricing, risk and conflicts of interests, and self-empowerment and transparency therefore underlines what we aim to achieve with the new platform.
Saxo Bank as a company is one of the oldest and most renowned online trading companies. Throughout this time we have not only proven that Saxo is a respected company worthy of trust, but also that we lead the industry through innovation, a point that is further cemented by the launch of SaxoTraderGO.
- What characteristics describe the modern investor/trader and how your new solution meets the expectations of the average customer?
- Today's traders are driven first and foremost by performance and they are looking for that performance across as many asset classes and instruments as possible. They look at their portfolios more holistically, valuing choice of markets and asset classes to trade, but at the same time they are increasingly more demanding of their trading platform. Today's traders are increasingly mobile, and they don't want to compromise speed, performance and functionality when they switch between different trading environments - desktop and mobile.
The fact that SaxoTraderGO is device neutral and the functionality allows for seamless transition between mobile and desktop is very important to traders and unique to Saxo Bank. Not only that, but SaxoTraderGO is expected to be a significant improvement to our current mobile and tablet offering, aiming to be one of the industry's most intuitive yet powerful user interfaces.
- What are the advantages of using API?
- SaxoTraderGO has been built on an Open API which we can use in many ways - one is to potentially connect to any third party financial institution, who can offer trading capabilities in new and innovative contexts such as integrating the platform into their own websites and banking applications. The essentially means that parts of the software infrastructure can be made available, so that our institutional clients or external developers can develop on top of the platform or integrate it into other digital ecosystems. This enables a more agile and customized solution for the software that we deliver to our clients.
Internally it holds a significant potential as well. Whenever we had to do a change in the past, we had to change it on the various backend servers, as well as in the different platforms and Apps. Now we have one HTML5 front end, and it is all served by one open API, so we only have to make a change once internally for the back end, so we can deploy changes much quicker and for much lower cost.
- Does Saxo Bank use any security measures for tablet/mobile platforms?
- For security purposes you can be logged into only one Saxo platform at one time. As soon as you log into another Saxo platform under the same ID, the system will issue a notification and force one of the platforms to log out. Further, the Standard Encryption is 128 but SSL, we use complex password access protection, and 2-factor authentication is available on demand.
- What do you think about prospects of trading/investing in Azerbaijan? How will this new platform have an impact on Azerbaijani trading market?
- I know that Azerbaijan is a market with a lot of potential and we are seeing a substantial growing interest from local investors. Our plans are to further grow our private investors in Azerbaijan and we hope that the launch of SaxoTraderGO will support our efforts.
- Does Saxo Bank plan for the future to continue applying technologies in trading?
- We strongly believe that in SaxoTraderGO we have created the trading platform of the future and this launch will further cement Saxo Bank's position as a disruptive force in the financial industry. Saxo Bank has a long history of innovation the launch of SaxoTraderGO is the initial release in a larger strategic platform positioning exercise that will consolidate Saxo Bank's web-based trading platforms on one common HTML5 front end that is powered by one server side Open API. If we do not innovate ourselves, someone else will, and since costs are on the rise everywhere technology is the only way to keep a competitive edge. We are one of the first financial institutions to fully embrace HTML5 technology, and always strive to be on the forefront of opportunities emerging through the technological development.