The New York Stock Exchange, one of the leading stock exchanges in the world, reached an exciting equity market capitalization of over $28.4 trillion in September 2021. And the three followers in the race to success — the NASDAQ, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the Euronext — are very close to the champion position. So, the industry is a really promising one. How to build a stock trading platform to get into the very profitable world of investments?
Our new article will share our secrets of building a trading platform to become a perfect marketplace for stockbrokers, traders, buyers, and sellers. And, indeed, we will help you move your trading app closer to the leaders.
Director of Business Development
Stock Market: Study Your Competitors
Buying and selling stock have never been so accessible as they are today: you can use a stock trading app on your device to get at the stock market wherever and whenever you wish. No wonder that the demand for trading software keeps on demonstrating steady growth, according to Google Trends.
Moreover, stock trading software wipes off limitations of borders and provides enormous profits for the international markets. Ultimately, the stock market is highly competitive, and all the major players have already made online versions to meet the needs of new-gen investors. Let us see the advantages that the leaders of online trading offer to set the landmarks for building an effective stock trading platform.
- E-Trade, the subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, is a pioneer of online trading — they started their business in the early 1990s. It is worth noting that E-Trade played a significant role in popularizing the online stock market. Now they offer one of the largest selections of trading activities, but the fees for the service are far from being the lowest rates available. What do the users get from the platform? Apart from a wide range of transactions in stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds, they get the latest market news and charts, money transfers, learning tools, and personalized customer service options.
- Robinhood is also a pioneer of a new generation of online trading software — they were the first to introduce commission-free deals. In 2021, it has a vast audience of 31 million users. Robinhood started its business by building a stock trading app later extended with a website. The services include trading in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency. Users get the advantages of personal portfolios, smartwatch compatibility, live news, alerts, reports, and other opportunities. But some experts compare Robinhood services to a casino — suitable for occasional trading as it lacks advanced professional support.
- Acorns offers a full circle of professional investment assistance. Its robo advisors monitor the markets and choose the best trading features according to the user's portfolio. For a small monthly fee, you can get some extra savings with the help of trading software and not think much about the stock market or investments. Everything is done automatically, but that also limits the service's features — there are no news and chart updates, and the trading is in ETFs only.
So, you see, that the modern stock market is not just the business of the best and the brightest, those who could afford pricey professional support. Today, stock trading platforms have a wide variety of investment solutions and offer the best options to raise your savings. On the other hand, neither of them is perfect.
Stock Trading Platform: Follow Requirements
To enter an extraordinarily competitive but promising digital stock market successfully and build an effective trading platform, first, make sure to meet the non-functional requirements for trading software.
Advanced trading solutions require following high standards of development quality. So, check this list of non-functional conditions to have a clear vision of the system's range of capabilities. And it will help to set the criteria for the estimation of your trading app effectiveness.
- Seamless performance and multitasking. Dealing with such sensitive resources as investments and money, trading platforms require excellent performance on all their stages as possible logs and bugs will distract potential users once and for all.
- Stability. Even the perfectly built software can face changing conditions, failures, and other problems, so create your fast and effective resolution system of any possible troubles.
- Safety assurance. A trading platform is a digital twin of a brick and mortar stock exchange with thick walls, safe deposits, and armed guards; ensure that your trading app is as secure as Fort Knox.
- Compatibility. The modern trading industry is highly integrated and interconnected, and your trading platform should communicate with other systems successfully.
- Expandability. Design your trading system to be ready in advance for scaling and to be prepared to cope with the expanding number of users.
Stock Market Apps: Adjust Features
In the next stage, make sure to design the functional construction set to assemble your trading system's robust structure. Meanwhile, this set can include various parts, but the following top 10 basic options are essential.
- Authorization. The key features of this first stage are simplicity and security. The login procedure must be straightforward, easily navigated, and fast. Not to mention that all the sensitive data provided by the user must be surefire protected.
- Profiles. The profile pages of stock market apps contain a wealth of info. Arrange everything carefully and efficiently.
- Online dashboards. The dashboard for online trading provides even more data than the profile: watchlists, balances, charts, holdings, and other vital tools. Innovative and intuitive interfaces with searching and filtering options for personalization will help your trading platform become notable on the stock market.
- Trades functionality. This is the main functionality of e-trade. Users need smooth trading, real-time data displays, available company profiles, and other relevant data to make decisions.
- Robust payments and transfers. The critical requirements for operations with funds in trading apps are security and smooth deposits. Use secure payment gateways and guarantee easy transfers, warranties, and withdrawals.
- Streams of stock quotes/charts. Stock trading has always been a profitable business for those who can make smart decisions fast. That is why keep in mind to build a trading platform with live streaming quotes and charts from reliable sources like Bloomberg or CNBC.
- Watchlists. Provide your users with a helpful ability to create their watchlists to track stocks they are especially interested in.
- Newsfeed. Successful market research is impossible without the latest news, analytics, and expert forecasts. Inform your users about the latest tendencies and insights better than the competitors, and it may become your winning strategy.
- Push notifications. A trading platform needs to be available 24/7 and notify users about the most important stock market events. Let your users adjust the alerts to their interests, and they will not miss price changes and market developments.
- Synchronization. This is an essential feature for modern users — to check their favorite trading platform on all their devices. Although it is much cheaper to build a trading app for smartphones or for desktop use, we recommend you build a stock trading app for more than one device with smooth sync between the gadgets.
Indeed, you can add some exclusive features to the stock market app for your clients, but undoubtedly you won't be able to do without the options from our top 10 list.
How to Build a Stock Trading App: Mind the Tips
Now you clearly understand your future trading platform's functional and non-functional features and have studied your main competitors. So we will overview the vital stages of trading software development.
The first step in the development process of an online trading platform is to take care of the legal part as you will deal with users' sensitive data: credit card credentials, social security numbers, and others. According to the US legal regulations, you have to meet the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) standards. As for Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is mandatory. There are also several regulatory organizations and programs for investor protection — the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and the National Futures Association (NFA).
Trade app development has several integral features with special requirements. The main stages here are as follows:
- Back-end development. To provide safe trading on your app, plan to protect the platform with bank-grade encryption, multifactor authentication, advanced firewalls, etc. Develop APIs for the core features and sign up for third-party APIs to integrate additional features like access to specific futures markets, for example.
- Front-end development. The stage implies creating the "face" of your trading system: all the iterations and designs that your users will meet. The catchy trading platform design and web interface can become a deciding factor for your users. Convenient navigations, intuitive interfaces, and effective transitions, styles, and animations require high-quality UI/UX specialists.
Testing and QA
It is crucial to add professional QA troops to your development team to create a trading platform in good time and, even more critical, to make it solid and steady. The testing process as a rule requires:
- Functional testing. There are several functional testing methods of trading software for understanding the speed, quality, and accuracy of payments. One of the most effective of them is fake cards testing.
- Performance testing. This process measures the system's stability, speed, and scalability.
However, the testing and bug-fixing procedures do not end with the stock trading app release. You should pay attention to the in-line updating of your stock trading platform to avoid or decrease bugs resulting from third-party API modifications or other upgrades.
So, explore your competitors, define functional and non-functional requirements, carefully follow the stages of the development process, and you will be ready to enter the highly-promising stock market of online trading. We strongly believe that launching your stock trading platform is a great startup idea, and the demand for innovative trading software will continue its growth. But the critical driving factor of a successful start is to choose a reliable development partner with trustworthy expertise and experience.
If you want to know more about building a stock trading platform and getting specialized support in fintech, don't hesitate to contact our professional team.