Table of Contents
OANDA forex broker provides financial services for all level of traders be it novice traders or experienced traders. OANDA forex offers FX and CDF trading in key indices and commodities via its global subsidiaries. The broker combines robust charting and extensive research tools across and array of trading platforms.
OANDA is one of the global leaders in forex and exchange markets. The broker offers forex and CFD trading to individual as well as institutional traders. It also offers currency management solutions and exchange rates for international ventures.
OANDA operates through its global subsidiaries present in major financial centres and is spread across 196 countries. It is regulated via various prestigious regulatory firms in United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Australia and Canada.
The broker enables clients to trade in Forex & CFD through its proprietary OANDA fxTrade platform. The platform is available as desktop, web and mobile versions. In addition to its owned platform OANDA also supports the industry popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform.
Commissions & Fees
ONADA’s commission and spreads that are levied on trades that the clients make are competitive when compared to Forex.com and FxPro; while the lowest spread available may be slightly higher than other firms who offer sub-pip spread, which is less than 1.0 pip.
For reference, the Euro/Dollar spread at OANDA falls between 1.2 and 1.3 pips, when one calculate it over a period of 30 days. When you factor in the total cost of trade for agency brokers, you will find that the spreads are competitive with Forex.com, FXCM and FxPro.
FXCM offers spreads as minimal as 0.68 pips on the EURO/DOLLAR when factoring in the spread + commission for its traders on Active Trader with the deposit of 25,000 dollar and for the standard account holders it offer 1.2 pips.
OANDA ability to offer a price does not rely on third party factors as ONADA combines its risk-management experience to offer execution as a financial service provider. This gives it an edge over the agency broker model that brokers like Forex.com and FXDD operate on. Hence, competitive spreads are not alone enough, as the execution model and other factors can impact the effective costs of traders in some cases, over the time. That being said, OANDA scores high on trusts as it displays full transparency in display a trailing history of t he average spread it offers across all currency pairs.
For our 2018 Forex Review, 129 customer service phone tests were conducted over three months. The data collected is institutional grade. On average, three questions were asked for each test. To score each test, the tests were divided into three separate groups and scores were given for the time taken to connect with each support representative and the ability of each representative to professionally (and thoroughly) answer each question. A Net Promoter Score was also given for the overall experience.
OANDA Customer Service
For the purpose of our Forex review, conducted in the year 2018; 129 customer support phones were tested over the period of 90 days. The data collected is on institutional scale. To score the tests, the tests were categorized into three groups and were scored on the duration to get in touch with the support rep, the ability of the reps to answer the question thoroughly and effectively. To score the overall experience, A Net Promoter Score was given.
A bunch of research is available to the clients of OANDA form with the MT4 platform such as streaming of news from Reuters, Market Pulse, Mainichi, Market Watch, CNBC and other news service providers.
Technical analysis, macro-economic headlines, UBS research, 4CAST economic calendar forecast and access to AutoChartists are available as research material for the traders.
OANDA’s MarketPulse website has extensive premium quality content dedicated to news, analysis and research, all supported by the broker’s expert research team. The news feed on OANDA’s mobile app is streamed from both Dow Jones and the company’s blog.
On the desktop version of FxTrade, certain research links are opened on an external browser to open content in a web page. This can be improved upon by OANDA by keep the interface inbound so as to avoid distractions for their desktop based trading.
ONADA ranked 11th out of the 43 forex brokers that were assessed for the research in our 2018 Review.
Platforms & Tools
OANDA offers its proprietary FxTrade and industry popular MT4 as trading platforms. The platforms are available on Windows, Mac % Linux for the desktop version and IOS and Andriod for the mobile version. MT4 is widely used in the industry and is a robust platform developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation which comes equipped with auto-trading via its EAs (Expert Advisors) features.
For the sake of the review we have focused on the FxTrade platform.
To make fund transfers between accounts and access to statements easy, OANDA combines a variety of services to its online account management platform. The platform also lets the traders launch FxTrade (browser version) by clicking on the “Advanced Charting’ option. Once launched, the interface enables sales and purchases from within the default chart window.
Through the Advanced Charting section, traders can switch between linked accounts on the left-hand-side panel and place bets using the hovering buy/sell panel within the chart. News from MarketPulse and Economic analysis are displayed as tabs on the tool row placed near the top left of the interface.
The Application Programming (API) can be launched from the top row of the portal, which redirects to the API section which contains various APIs which are accessible via tokens.
OANDA’s Advanced Charting modules have a dozen of powerful features such as multiple currency overlays, 145 drawing tools and 57 indicators which are well above the industry standard.
The charts are developed by a third party agency – Trading View; and are integrated within FxTrade’s advanced charting functionality.
Another recent enhancement to the advanced charting functionality is the portfolio section, which enables the traders to view open and pending orders directly on the charts.
When we ran the desktop version of FxTrade on Mac, Windows 8 & 10, we found the experience to be quiet consistent across the different OS’.
Overall, the web and desktop versions are almost identical, with the desktop version having a few additional features. The layout is consistent between both the versions. The mobile app replicates the layout over a default black background.
Additional third party platforms available at OANDA are Seer Trading Platform, mainly used for developing, back and forward testing and auto-trading; ProTrader, ProTrader Multi-Connect (PTMC) and Quant Connect to enable traders to build their own apps in various development scripts such as Python, C# and many more.
It is possible for open API brokers like OANDA to support a large number of platforms as the developers are able to set up connectivity as compared to brokers who have a selective API.
Conclusion, OANDA scores well when it comes to platforms and tools category attributed to its robust charting, multiple platform types and extensive research content. OANDA ranks closely when compared to Forex.com, FXCM and FxPro, and ranks 10th on the list.
FxTrade’s mobile version is well supported in IOS and Android devices and is consistent with its desktop and web variants in terms of look and feel and function. It comes equipped with a integrated research offerings and robust charting.
One of its stand-out features is seamless transition within the charts to the trade ticket window. Traders can easily enter order types from the chart, adjust their stop-loss and limit order levels with a simple drag and drop functionality.
Charting on the mobile version is consistent with the desktop experience as it has identical tools and almost 30 technical indicators.
Features such as such as Technical Analysis, Contact Us, Price Alerts, Economic Calendar and Settings tab can be accessed via the ‘More Tab’.
Even the funding of accounts is easy on the app, during this testing funds were transferred into the account almost immediately.
The feature we would like to see in the mobile version is global watch auto sync, so that the financial instruments added to the web and desktop version sync in the mobile app as well.
Overall the mobile app has a lot of positives.
Since 2016, OANDA started levying inactivity fees which only gets activated after two years of inactivity.
OANDA offers minimum trade size of 1 unit or 0.001 micro lot, which is three times lower than the average trade size that most brokers offer for trading forex.
OANDA gains an edge over the competitors due to its powerful regulatory track record. The broker is regulated by prestigious regulatory firms, which abide by the strictest regulatory standards in several major financial centres. The broker’s powerful in-house trading platform FxTrade is well –reputed and is used by popular brands as well as mega corporate clients.
71 forex pairs, 52 CFDs, robust charting tools and numerous research and news sources all offered at competitive prices is what makes OANDA suitable of individual and institutional clients. The traders have the means to connect via and API or use the flexible and auto-trading systems on MT4.
With nearly no minimum trade size and an OANDA minimum deposit of a mere 20 dollars to set up an account is what makes OANDA shine through in all the key categories.