Online Trading Systems and Platforms

Online Trading Systems and Platforms Overview

Online trading systems also known as electronic trading platforms are used by investors to trade securities, options, futures, EFTs, cryptocurrencies, Forex, commodities, or financial derivatives electronically. These trading platforms bring together buyers and sellers creating virtual marketplaces. The Internet connects brokers to financial exchanges. Brokerages in turn offer their investors the opportunity to trade online in real-time through their own platforms, apps, and software tools.

Exchange platforms have standard technology protocols that brokerage applications use to connect. NASDAQ has the Nasdaq Financial Framework (NFF), and the NYSE uses Pillar for its integrated trading technology. These systems support marketplace execution of all sizes, managing a full range of trading functions, price information, order entry, and order matching. The exchange frameworks seek to provide efficient processing, enhanced determinism, and lower latency for trades. These systems have for the most part replaced human floor trading in global securities.

Large online brokerages use two types of platforms. They provide one platform for commercial investors (day traders and retail investors). The other is referred to as a prop platform, which brokerages develop to use for their custom requirements and trading styles.

Some commercial brokerage platforms specialize in one financial instrument such as stocks, Forex, or Cryptocurrencies. Others offer a wide range of investment choices. The advent of online brokerages and trading has given individual traders and investors easy and convenient ways to trade.

The term trading systems also refers to a set of rules based upon technical indicators or fundamental analysis that manages investments and risk. Online trading platforms usually support this functionality.

Top Rated Online Trading Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2022

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Online Trading Products

(1-25 of 77) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Coinbase
Customer Verified
Top Rated

Coinbase is a digital currency exchange (Coinbase Pro) and crypto-oriented software solution suite for businesses, including hosted checkout pages, payment buttons, invoicing, and multiple ecommerce integrations (Coinbase Commerce), a turnkey solution for brokerages, exchanges, and…

Binance

Binance is a global blockchain and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that boasts the largest digital asset exchange by volume.

Active Trader Pro (Fidelity Investments)

Active Trader Pro is Fidelity's customizable trading platform for the desktop and optimized for online trading technology.

E*TRADE

E*TRADE is a financial services company and pioneer in the online brokerage industry. Having executed the first-ever electronic trade by an individual investor more than 30 years ago, the Company focused on delivering complete and easy-to-use solutions for traders, investors and…

Questrade

Based in Toronto, Questrade offers solutions for investors with self-directed investing and Questwealth Portfolios, presented as intelligent, lower fee portfolios designed by experts to help the user achieve financial goals.

thinkorswim

Thinkorswim, with its Investools division, is an American company offering live and online investor education services. In addition, through its brokerage subsidiary, thinkorswim, Inc., Investools provides services to funded trading accounts for self-directed option traders and…

eToro

The eToro platform enables people to invest in the assets they want, from stocks and commodities to cryptoassets.

Merrill Edge

Merrill offers access to the banking convenience of Bank of America and investment capabilities of Merrill Lynch to help simplify the financial lives of our clients. Clients manage their Merrill Edge Self-Directed investment accounts and Bank of America bank accounts via our online…

MetaTrader 5

Henyep Capital Markets (HYCM) & MetaTrade are FCA and CySEC-regulated market leader in providing online FX and CFD trading to retail and institutional investors. HYCM is part of the Henyep Group, an international conglomerate with business in financial services, property, education…

Alt Platform

Alt is an alternative asset platform that allows people to buy, sell, and store sports cards.

Shrimpy

Shrimpy, headquartered in Santa Clara, is a social trading platform for cryptocurrency. It is presented as a simple way to manage a portfolio by automating the user's trading strategy.

Intelfin

The financial world is too complex for constant self-analysis. Centralised investment firms and the banking system are too uncertain which exposes their users to many risks Using blockchain and artificial intelligence, Intelfin multi-platform implements an automated, responsive system.…

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers helps Investors globally in stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from a single integrated account . Accounts can be funded in multiple currencies and trade assets denominated in multiple currencies. with access market data 24 hours a day and…

CME ClearPort

CME ClearPort, from CME Group headquartered in Chicago, is a comprehensive set of clearing services for the global OTC market.

DTCC Connect

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) offers the Connect trade flow management platform.

DTCC TradeSuite ID

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) headquartered in New York offers the TradeSuite ID, a post-trade settlement and process management platform.

DTCC OASYS

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) headquartered in New York offers OASYS, a technology solution which replaces manual processes, phone calls and e-mail by automating trade processing, improving efficiency, cutting costs and reducing the risk of trade failure.

CME Globex

CME Globex is an electronic trading system from CME Group headquartered in Chicago, an open access marketplace.

Allegro ETRM (Energy Trading and Risk Management) Software

Allegro ETRM (Energy Trading and Risk Management) Software provides a commodity trading solution.

Openlink Endur

Openlink Endur is an energy trading and risk management (ETRM) platform.

Elysian Systems LIQUID Trading Platform

CME Group, headquartered in Chicago, offers Elysian Systems' LIQUID Trading Platform, an online trading, matching, and auction platform.

ICE Block

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) headquartered in Atlanta offers ICE Block, an application for off-exchange trade submissions.

ICE Markets

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) offers their Futures, Options & OTC Markets, summarily known as ICE Markets.

SwapClear

LCH offers SwapClear, an OTC Rates clearing service.

Learn More About Online Trading Systems and Platforms

What are Online Trading Systems and Platforms?

Online trading systems also known as electronic trading platforms are used by investors to trade securities, options, futures, EFTs, cryptocurrencies, Forex, commodities, or financial derivatives electronically. These trading platforms bring together buyers and sellers creating virtual marketplaces. The Internet connects brokers to financial exchanges. Brokerages in turn offer their investors the opportunity to trade online in real-time through their own platforms, apps, and software tools.

Exchange platforms have standard technology protocols that brokerage applications use to connect. NASDAQ has the Nasdaq Financial Framework (NFF), and the NYSE uses Pillar for its integrated trading technology. These systems support marketplace execution of all sizes, managing a full range of trading functions, price information, order entry, and order matching. The exchange frameworks seek to provide efficient processing, enhanced determinism, and lower latency for trades. These systems have for the most part replaced human floor trading in global securities.

Large online brokerages use two types of platforms. They provide one platform for commercial investors (day traders and retail investors). The other is referred to as a prop platform, which brokerages develop to use for their custom requirements and trading styles.

Some commercial brokerage platforms specialize in one financial instrument such as stocks, Forex, or Cryptocurrencies. Others offer a wide range of investment choices. The advent of online brokerages and trading has given individual traders and investors easy and convenient ways to trade.

The term trading systems also refers to a set of rules based upon technical indicators or fundamental analysis that manages investments and risk. Online trading platforms usually support this functionality.

Online Trading Platform Features

Online trading platforms will have many of these features.

  • Real-time Online Trading / Order Entry
  • Live Price Quotes
  • Investment Monitoring and Tracking
  • Historical and Real-time Data
  • Analytics and Performance Analysis
  • Market and Investment Research and Ratings
  • Risk Management Tools
  • Graphics and Charting Tools
  • Trade Simulators
  • Professional Broker Guidance
  • Robo Advisors
  • Investor Education – articles, blogs, webinars
  • Automatic Trading – rule-based
  • Coding Scripts – for creating automated buying and selling strategies
  • Social Trading – providing information on the trading behavior of peers and expert traders, supporting collaboration, chat platforms
  • Notifications and Alerts
  • Demo accounts – to gain experience prior to investing
  • Funding - accepts funds from bank accounts, credit cards, wire transfers
  • Convenient Access – 7x24 using web browsers or mobile apps

Online Trading Systems Comparison

When choosing an online trading system consider the following:

  • Investment Type: Platforms may support only one type of investment such as foreign exchange, futures, or commodities. Others support a variety of investment options.
  • Type of Investor: Some platforms are geared toward professional investors; others work well for novices. New investors might consider a platform where they can have access to a professional financial advisor. Are you a day-trader or long-term investor? Certain systems are better suited for one or the other. If you plan to trade often, seek out a system with low or no commission fees.
  • Safety and Security: Seek out a brokerage trading system that is a member of SIPC (Security Investor Protection Corporation) and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).

Pricing Information

Many trading systems now offer no-commission trades for securities, often with no minimum balance requirement. Others require maintaining a funded account or transacting a minimum number of trades per month. Features and services such as options and futures trading and professional advising require additional fees or minimum investment balances. Margin trading always requires a minimum account balance and depending upon the size of the margin debt, the brokerage will charge a corresponding interest rate.

Online Trading Systems and Platforms Best Of Awards

The following Online Trading Systems and Platforms offer award-winning customer relationships, feature sets, and value for price. Learn more about our Winter Best Of Awards methodology here.

Best Of Winter 2023 Awards Winners for the Online Trading category. For Best Relationship, first place is Coinbase. For Best Feature Set, first place is Coinbase. For Best Value, first place is Coinbase.

Related Categories

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Online Trading Systems do?

Online trading systems allow investors to trade securities, foreign exchange, options, futures, and other financial instruments in real-time over the Internet using online brokerage websites or apps. These platforms create a virtual marketplace bringing together buyers and sellers.

What are the benefits of using Online Trading Systems?

The main benefits of online trading systems include:

  • Convenience
  • Variety of trading and investment options
  • Complete control over trading avoids brokerage bias
  • Cost Savings

How much do Online Trading Systems cost?

Many trading systems now offer no-commission trades for securities, often with no minimum balance requirement. Features and services such as options and futures trading and professional advising require additional fees or minimum investment balances.