With the precision and accuracy offered by today’s computing systems and real-time market reporting systems, it’s interesting to note that many forex trading companies still rely on dealing desks and other manual intervention to execute trades and perform other trading activities, often resulting in delays that can cause a variation of spreads or other anomalies that stray from real-time data. OANDA is a company that seeks to move away from those difficulties by offering a fully automated trading environment, featuring real-time spreads as well as near-instant executions and continuous interest payouts. OANDA has continually introduced new innovations to the forex arena, and continues to strive to remain at the cutting edge of forex trading technology.
OANDA was co-founded in the mid-1990s by Dr. Michael Stumm, professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto computer engineering professor Dr. Michael Stumm, and Dr. Richard Olsen of The Olsen Ltd., a leading econometric research and development firm. In 2001, OANDA launched its trading platform, FXTrade, which was one of the first fully automated online currency trading platforms then available.
OANDA reports it handles more than a million queries each day, and estimates that more than 20 percent of the world’s online spot forex transactions occur through its servers. As an account service provider (ASP) company, OANDA serves more than 75,000 ASP clients globally.
The OANDA corporate team includes a four-member board of directors and a seven-member management team.
Incorporated in the State of Delaware, OANDA is registered as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA ID #0325821).
Funds are held at top-tier banks, such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, and the Royal Bank of Canada, and are withdrawn only as the result of customer request during trading and account activity.
In addition to its online solution database, OANDA offers the following contacts for support and account issues:
OANDA’s customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day from Sunday at 4 p.m. EST to Friday at 4 p.m. EST through chat or telephone.
OANDA uses a proprietary 100 percent automated trading system, affording real-time executable and transparent pricing, instant settlement and deal confirmation, and continuous interest payments. There is no dealer intervention. Trading activities are performed via OANDA’s trading platform, FXTrade. For a tour and demonstration of the platform and its performance and use during trading activities, OANDA offers video-based tutorials: http://fxtrade.oanda.com/forex_trading/fxtrade/take_a_tour/
OANDA does not have a minimum deposit requirement, and allows trades in any size without lot size requirements.
Account set-up takes about 10 minutes or less and can be initiated via an online form located here: https://fxtrade.oanda.com/your_account/fxtrade/register/individual/beforeyoubegin
During online registration, users will need to provide data including account currency type and personal and financial information, as well as answering regulatory compliance questions. Once the online form has been submitted, users will be asked to forward scans of government-issued identification and proof of residence to OANDA’s offices for account confirmation. As soon as the account is confirmed, login information will be provided and you will be asked to wire funds to open your account.
OANDA calls its demo account FXGame, and offers it to all potential traders free of cost, with no time limits or expiration dates. Users interact with the same features as are available with active accounts, including the same user interface features. The game allows users to trade under real market conditions using live, “actual market” prices and spreads, to fully synthesize the trading experience and give both novice and experienced traders a feel for the features offered by the actual OANDA trading platform, and an opportunity to safely try out new strategies before implementing them with real cash. FXGame also allows users to access news, analytical tools, charts and other tools and data available to users of the actual trading platform.
OANDA does not employ a dealing desk.
OANDA’s FXTrade platform offers all traders the same spread, regardless of the size of the account or trade, or the type of customer (individual, institutional, etc.).
OANDA spreads are based on real-time market values and events and are widened during non-trading hours, such as weekends and certain holidays, as well as during periods of high volatility, such as during news release events. A table of real-time spread values is located here: http://fxtrade.oanda.com/forex_trading/why_trade_with_oanda/spreads/
Minimum margins vary from 2 percent to 4 percent, based on the pairs of currency being traded.
Trailing stops are fully supported by the OANDA trading platform, and are defined during account set-up in the user preference options. Trailing stops can be set with a lower limit of 10 pips and an upper limit of 1,000 pips.