In present-day situation, a forex broker is an intermediator who buys and sells foreign currencies on behalf of the clients in return of for a commission. Before the internet, forex brokers used to operate by phone. Clients would contact their brokers though phone to tell them about what currencies to buy or sell, and brokers would just do that and in return, they would receive the commission. Now, with the emergence of the internet in last two decades, online forex trading has come into existence. The trading could be done through a variety of electronic platforms and computer applications.
You can find many forex brokers in Sri Lanka. However, choosing the right forex broker can be a very daunting task, particularly if you do not have any idea what you are looking for. Given below are a few factors you must consider when choosing a forex broker:
Forex brokers can be divided into 2 categories:
Dealing Desks Brokers or Market makers
No Dealing Desks Brokers - can be divided into 2 parts:
a) Straight Through Processing (STP)
b) Electronic Communication Network (ECN)
A dealing desk broker will offer its customers the functions of both the sides of the market. The broker puts both a bid and asks price for at which they are prepared to buy and sell the foreign currencies. Due to this, the forex broker's customers can always fill up the trading orders. Dealing desk brokers are also known as market makers. Their main purpose is to acquire a share of the spread and to maintain adequate volume on both buyers’ and sellers’ sides of the market to avoid risks.
No Dealing Desk brokers do not process their customers’ orders using a Dealing Desk. It means that they don’t take the other side of their customer’s dealing as their main purpose is to just connect the buyer and seller together. Usually, no dealing desk brokers charge a small commission for their trading services or just increase the spread by adding their own net income into it. No Dealing Desk brokers can be divided into two parts, STP and ECN
a) STP Brokers
STP stands for Straight Through Processing. In this, the STP broker directs their customers’ orders straight to those who bring liquidity to the market such as banks and larger brokerage firms. It is called straight-through processing as the broker does not operate through a dealing desk and brings down the frequency of delays and requotes while trading is taking place. STP has been developed to enhance the speed at which the transactions in the forex trading market takes place. This is done by letting the information that has been filled using electronic means to be passed from one party to another during the settlement procedure without actually re-entering the same information repeatedly at every stage.
b) ECN Brokers
ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network. An ECN forex broker utilizes the electronic communications networks or ECNs to offer their clients an opportunity to have direct contact with other participants of the forex trading market. The ECN provides the buyers and sellers with an electronic system where they both the parties come together in order to execute trades. This network has been designed in such a way that it can match the demand and supply of the currencies at the prices customers want to pay or want to receive for the currencies. Basically, this network match buying and selling orders available in the exchange. Through ECN, customers can also check the ask and bid prices of the currencies listed in the open market.
Online forex trading is similar to any other trading platforms which are used to buy and sell the securities. The forex trading platform act as a mediator between the forex broker and the trader. Platforms also provide the customers with both current and historical data pertaining to a particular foreign currency and provide the customer with an access to all types of orders available in the forex trade market. For forex trading in Sri Lanka, you can use MT4, MT5, and cTrader ( Your chosen broker will provide one or all these platforms ) to enjoy a smooth and easier trading experience.
If you want to know more about Forex markets, you can visit our article, Introduction to Forex Trading for more information.