Best Trading Platforms South Africa 2022

There are many trading platforms available in South Africa. Picking a online broker should be based on securities available , ease-of-use, and service reputation. Here is a detailed guide on the best platforms in South Africa. This is a summary of the top trading platforms based on hours of research. We took popular brokers in South Africa and analyzed them based on fees, account minimums, security, customer reviews, customer support and more.

In our guide, we analyze the best and cheapest online trading platform South Africa.

Best Online Trading Platform South Africa 2022

We've rounded up the best investment platforms in South Africa below based on a variety of factors. Check out the list of the best brokerage firms below.

  1. Interactive Brokers – Best Stock Broker in South Africa Overall – Visit Interactive Brokers
  2. Plus500 – CFD Trading Platform South Africa
  3. IQ Option – Best Trading Platform For Digital Options
  4. AvaTrade – Best Trading Platform for Beginners in South Africa
  5. Pepperstone – Cheapest Online Trading Platform South Africa
  6. XTB – Trusted CFD Trading Platform South Africa
  7. XM – Reliable Online Broker in South Africa with Low CFD Fees
  8. Capital.com – Great Mobile Trading Platform South Africa
  9. OANDA – Great Forex Trading Platform South Africa

Best Online Brokers in South Africa in Detail

There are many online trading platforms available in South Africa. It can be a daunting task to pick the best. Some brokers offer a variety of products and assets – some are great for stocks, others for CFD trading, and some stand out as cryptocurrency exchanges. Below you will find our list of the best online trading platforms in South Africa, based on various factors such as fees, deposit methods, support, regulation, and safety.

1. Interactive Brokers – Best Online Share Trading Platform South Africa Overall

Interactive Brokers Logo

Our Score: 5/5

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Interactive Brokers is our top pick as the best online trading platform in South Africa. Interactive Brokers was founded in 1993, and its trading platform offers access to shares, options, forex, futures, bonds, and funds across 150 global markets. They are a great choice for professional active traders, offering a powerful trading tools suite. Beginners will love them as a one-stop for all their trading needs.

Trading fees are low, and order execution is among the best in the industry. Their trading platform is available as a web application, a desktop trading platform (Trader Workstation), and as IBRK mobile. The interactive Brokers trading platform is a powerful and flexible solution for beginner and professional traders.

Thanks to Interactive Broker’s IB SmartRouting technology, their order execution is one of the best in the industry. Read Full Interactive Brokers Review

Interactive Brokers Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Industry Leading order execution Advanced Trading Options Can be Complicated at First
Wide range of securities available
Amazing Tools & Charting
Top Market Research
Education
Fractional shares

2. Plus500 – CFD Trading Platform in South Africa

Plus500 Comparison

Our Score: 5/5

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77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500 is a clear winner for CFD day trading in South Africa. It boasts over 2,000 CFDs available. These include cryptocurrency, Forex currency pairs, and options. Plus500 provides traders with a way to test out forex and CFDs. Plus500 has limited educational resources and research tools. Traders will need to look for extra resources elsewhere. Read our review of Plus 500.

Plus500 Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
No Commission Education
2000+ Markets Available
Competitive Fees
Order Execution
Easy to use

3. IQ Option – Best Binary Options Trading Platform in South Africa

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Our Score: 4.8/5

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IQ Option is one of the fastest-growing trading platforms that offers their services to retail clients worldwide. With its strong and reliable reputation, this is a safe choice for both beginner and advanced traders in South Africa. IQ Option has Forex, options, Binary Option, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies and ETFs available.

IQ Option Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Award Winning Platform CFD Only
Account Opening
Instruments Available
Binary Options
Deposit And Withdrawal

4. Pepperstone – Best Forex Trading Platform in South Africa

Pepperstone Logo

Our Score: 4.8/5

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74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

Pepperstone is primarily a forex trading platform. They offer a selection of CFDs and are great for forex trading in South Africa. Pepperstone is best known for its extensive selection of third-party solutions like MetaTrader, cTrader, and low forex spreads. This allows you to crowdsource ideas and gain access to a range of different tools.

Pepperstone Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Forex Trading Limited to CFD and Forex
Deposit And Withdrawal
Third-party integrations
Great customer service

5. AvaTrade – Trusted MT4 Online Trading Platform South Africa

AvaTrade Logo

Our Score: 4.8/5

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AvaTrade was founded in 2006 and is based in Dublin, Ireland. AvaTrade offers forex, cryptocurrencies, and a wide range of CFDs in South Africa. Opening an account through AvaTrade is fast, easy, and completely digital. There are no fees charged for deposits and withdrawals. It has a user-friendly platform and diverse research and educational tools.

On the negative side, fees are high if you are a passive investor.

AvaTrade Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Account Opening No ETFs
Deposit And Withdrawal Inactivity Fees
Research Tools

6. XTB

XTB logo

Our Score: 4.7/5

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XTB is best known for its low forex fees. XTB has an intuitive trading platform with great charting tools and is easy to use. There are a few downsides though. Fees are above the industry average for share CFDs. XTB has a limited product portfolio, covering mainly CFDs and Forex. 

XTB Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Forex Fees Only CFD Trading
Deposit And Withdrawal Stock CFD Fees
Account Opening

7. XM

XM Logo

Our Score: 4.6/5

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XM has low stock CFDs fees and a user-friendly account opening. There are many educational resources as well as a demo account for beginners. A significant downside is that there is no investor protection for its South African customers. XM also has a limited product portfolio as it only has forex and CFDs. 

XM Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Low Fees Limited Products
Demo Account
Easy Account Opening
Education

8. Capital.com

Capital.Com

Our Score: 4.5/5

Capital.com’s selling point is its completely commission-free structure across all of its investment products. This is very rare in the industry. At Capital.com you get access to stocks, indices, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

They charge fees for inactivity, but these only apply if your account remains inactive for a year, which is in line with the industry standards.

Capital.com Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Commission-free No Custom Strategies
Wide range of US and UK shares
Good educational resources
Education
AI assistant

9. OANDA

Oanda Logo

Our Score: 4.5/5

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Oanda is another excellent choice for investors in South Africa. It has a user-friendly interface with powerful research tools and numerous technical indicators. Oanda only has a small range of investment products, though. They offer forex and CFDs trading in South Africa. Customer support could be better and is not available 24/7.

Oanda Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
User Friendly No 24/7 Support
Research
Account Opening Process
Education
AI assistant

Compare Trading Platforms In South Africa

You can compare trading platforms below to see how they stack up.

Interactive Brokers Plus500 IQ Option AvaTrade Pepperstone XTB XM Capital.com OANDA
Our Score: 5/5 4.9/5 4.8/5 4.8/5 4.8/5 4.7/5 4.6/5 4.5/5 4.5/5
Founded: 1993 2007 2013 2006 2010 2002 2009 2013 1996
Regulation: MAS,FCA,CFTC,SEC,CBI,IIROC,ASIC,CSSF CySEC, FMA, MAS, SFSA, FSCA, ASIC, FCA CySEC CySEC, ASIC,FSCA, FFAJ, ADGM,ISA,Central Bank of Ireland FCA,ASIC,DFSA,CySEC,CMA FCA, CySEC, IFSC CySEC, ASIC, IFSC ASIC,FCA,CySEC,MiFID IIROC,ASIC,CFTC,FCA,MAS,MFSA
Headquarters: Greenwich, Connecticut, United States Israel Cyprus Dublin, Ireland Melbourne, Australia Poland Cyprus London, UK Ney York, USA
U.S. Clients Allowed: Yes No No No No No No No Yes
Available Outside U.S. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum Deposit: $0 $100 $10 $100 $0 $0 $5 $20 $0
Deposit Methods: Credit Cards,Wire,Check,Online Bill Payment Check,ACH,EFT,Rollovers Credit/Debit Cards,PayPal,Skrill,Bank Tradsfer Credit/Debit Card,WebMoney,Neteller,Skrill,Wire Transfer Credit/Debit Cards,Neteller,WebMoney,Wire Transfer Credit/Debit Card,Bank Transfer,PayPal,POLi,Netteler,Skrill,MPESA,BPay,UnionPay Bank Transfer,Credit/Debit Cards,Skrill Wire Transfer,Neteller,Skrill,Credit/Debit Cards Credit/Debit Cards, Wire Transfer,Sofort,iDEAL,MultiBanko,Trustly,WEbMoney,Qiwi,Skrill,Neteller Credit/Debit Cards,Wire Transfer
Min. Trade: $1 Varies Varies Varies 0.01 lots 0.01 lots 0.1 lots Varies $1

Features Compared

Interactive Brokers Plus500 IQ Option AvaTrade Pepperstone XTB XM Capital.com OANDA
Demo Account: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Islamic Account: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Margin: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leverage: 1:4 up to 1:30 1:30 up to 1:400 up to 1:800 up to 1:500 up to 1:888 1:30 up to 1:100
Copy Trading: No No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
Trading Signals: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Platforms Compared

Interactive Brokers Plus500 IQ Option AvaTrade Pepperstone XTB XM Capital.com OANDA
Mobile App: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (xStation Mobile) Yes Yes Yes
Proprietary Platform: Trader Workstation, Client Portal Yes Yes Yes No xStation 5 No WebPlatform Yes (OANDA Trade)
Desktop: Yes (Trader Workstation) Yes No Yes Yes Yes (xStation 5) Yes (MT4,MT5) Yes Yes (OANDA Trade)
cTrader: No No No No Yes No No No No
DupliTrade: No No No No No No No No No
MetaTrader4: No No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
MetaTrader5: No No No No Yes No Yes No No

Customer Service Compared

Interactive Brokers Plus500 IQ Option AvaTrade Pepperstone XTB XM Capital.com OANDA
Email: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Phone Support: Yes Yes (Whatsapp) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Live Chat: Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No

Best Trading App in South Africa

The best app for trading in South Africa is AvaTrade. Avatrade offers CFDs on stocks, Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Indices, Commodities, Options, and ETFs. It is the world's leading CFD trading platform, trusted by millions of traders worldwide. They offer a user-friendly proprietary platform and mobile app.

What is the Best Online Trading Platform for Beginners in South Africa?

The best online broker for beginners in South Africa is AvaTrade. They offer an easy-to-use trading platform, low fees, and a wide variety of tradeable instruments. On top, AvaTrade also has copy trading for a whole hands-off trading experience.

Which Bank Account is best as a Trading Platform In South Africa?

Here is a list of the best bank accounts for trading in South Africa:

  1. FNB
  2. Mercantile Bank
  3. Nedbank
  4. Absa
  5. Standard Bank

Online Trading South Africa

Online trading involves buying and selling stocks on a stock market. By opening a brokerage account, you can place buy and sell orders online. Your broker will then execute these orders on your behalf.

Different platforms allow you to trade different types of investment securities. In most cases, you are responsible for choosing which companies to buy stocks in. Only full-service brokerages offer investment advice.

How Does It Work?

Anyone can start as long as they have access to a stable internet connection and a way to fund a account. There are many online platforms available that give you access to securities. Opening an account in South Africa is straightforward.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) provides a regulated market to trade financial assets with other investors. South Africa is home to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). FSCA is a financial regulating authority. All brokers need to follow the rules and regulations set by this body.

South African investors have to pay taxes on capital gained. Forex traders must also declare financial statements on their annual tax returns. Read about the forex brokers in South Africa in our guide.

How To Pick a Share Trading Platform in South Africa?

Here are a few important factors to consider when picking the best online trading platforms in South Africa. Read what you should consider below.

Regulation & Safety, Account Security 

As a South African investor, you should be aware of the privacy and regulation policies. Trading Platforms should ideally be regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) or other tier-1 regulating bodies. All trading platforms need to follow the rules set by these bodies regulating bodies. More isn't always better. We advise that at least one tier-1 regulator regulates the broker.

Fees & Commissions

Trading platforms charge a range of different fees. You must be aware of all fees in advance. It's essential to know how to determine commission charges. You should avoid choosing a broker that earns commissions through unnecessary transactions.

See the table below to compare the trading fees:

Interactive Brokers Plus500 IQ Option AvaTrade Pepperstone XTB XM Capital.com OANDA
Inactivity Fee: $0 $10/month (after 3 months of no login activity) $10/month (after 90 days of no login activity) $50/quarter $0 $10/month (after 1 year of no login activity) $15 one-off maintenance fee after one year of inactivity + 5$/month $0 $0
Stocks ($1000 APPL Buy and Sell in 1 Week) $0 Commission $10.5 (CFD) $5.62 (CFD) 0.13% Spread $0 + market spread 0.03 (CFD) 0.27 (CFD) 0% Commission (physical) 0.1 (CFD) N/A
Forex: min. $2/order 0.8pip Avg. 0.7 pips Spread (0.9 - 700) 0.69 pips 0.5 pip 1.7 pip (average) 0.00110 Spread + commission
Bonds: $0 per trade (remove liquidity)$0.10 per trade (add liquidity) N/A N/A 0.03 - 0.06 Over Market N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
ETFs: $0 Commission Varies 0.025% 0.13% - 0.15% N/A from 0.08% N/A from 0.01 N/A
Crypto: 0.18% 0.30% - 1% 7% - 12% Over Market 0.2% - 2% Over Market 33.97 (average spread) from 0.22% N/A 110 Spread + commission
CDFs: Spread Spread Spread Spread Spread Spread Spread Spread Spread
Withdrawal Fee: $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Deposit Fee: $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Monthly Fee: No No No No No No No No No

Tradeable Assets

There are a variety of different investment products available. Most brokers in South Africa offer common securities like stocks, options, bonds, and derivatives. Make sure the asset you are interested in is available. You should choose a broker that offers the investment products you're interested in trading.

Compare the tradeable assets available at each platform below:

Interactive Brokers Plus500 IQ Option AvaTrade Pepperstone XTB XM Capital.com OANDA
Stocks: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (CFD and Physical) No
Forex: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (CFD) Yes
Commodities: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (CFD) Yes (CFD)
Indices: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (CFD) Yes (CFD)
Cryptocurrencies: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (CFD) Yes (CFD)
ADR: Yes No No No No No No No No
Options: Yes Yes Digital Options Yes No No No No No
Mutual Funds: Yes No No No No No No No No
ETFs: Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No
Binary Options: No No No No No No No No No

Account Types

Brokers offer different account types to investors in South Africa. These include margin accounts, cash accounts, and retirement accounts. You need to know which accounts are available as there might be different minimum investment amounts for different accounts.

Educational resources

Education resources are great if you’re wanting to expand on your strategies. These include videos, forums, and how-to articles. If you're a beginner trader, you'll need some advice on how to analyze the market and diversify your portfolio. Education resources are great if you’re wanting to expand on your strategies. These include videos, forums, and how-to articles. If you're a beginner, you'll need advice on how to analyze and diversify your portfolios.

Margin

Margin trading should only be for very experienced investors. It is a method of trading assets with borrowed funds. It allows traders to increase their buying power. Brokerages will charge different margin rates as interest on transactions. Beginners should stay clear of margin trading.

Account minimums

Most don’t require any minimum deposit amounts. Other high-end brokers might require a minimum balance of several thousand dollars.

Tools & Research

With access to premium tools and in-depth market research, you will make the most of your trading experience. It should be easy to navigate and intuitive. Charting tools, price alerts, and customizable screeners are key features to look for.

Customer Service

A strong customer support system is another key component. You need to have easy access to support, especially if you are just starting. Make sure you can contact support in your language and 24/7/365.

Mobile Trading

A mobile app allows you to access markets from anywhere in the world, not just in South Africa. You can buy and sell securities and monitor your positions from your smartphone. If you're looking for easy access to your accounts, then you should look for brokers that offer a mobile app.

Banking Services

Some firms offer banking services. This is a great way to combine banking and trading on the same account.

Order Execution

Order execution happens with every buy or sell order. All your orders are sent to your broker to be executed. Efficient order execution is essential, especially for active day traders.

International Trading

If you want to invest in foreign markets then you need make sure you can trade international markets like NASDAQ, NYSE, LSE and others.

Access to a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors guide you on how to spend your money wisely. It might be worthwhile looking into a full-service broker, especially if you’re new to the investment world.

Know the Terms and Conditions

You must be well aware of general terms and conditions before signing up. It’s essential to thoroughly research the trading platform and its reputation.

How to Open a Brokers Account in South Africa

  1. Find a broker – The first step to start investing is to find a reputable stock trading platform. As a new investor, this requires careful thought. You take into consideration your investing styles and goals.
  2. Open a trading account – The next step is to open up an account. Follow the instructions on the website and set up an account. You must upload relevant documents and personal details to verify your identity. You will need to deposit a minimum amount to fund your account. Many discount brokers nowadays don’t have a minimum deposit amount.
  3. Research before investing in your money – The easiest way to get started is to search for a company that you want to buy shares in. Make sure you’ve done your homework if you plan to invest your hard-earned money. Once you’ve made a decision, place an order.
  4. Develop a strategy – You should aim to build a diverse long-term share portfolio, depending on what you want as a trader. Your strategy should consider your goals, how much risk you can absorb, and how much time you can allocate.
  5. Understand the risks – Although a large portion of listed companies is well-run, it’s safer to dip your feet into online share trading with both eyes open and a lot of research under your belt. Some common risks to be aware of include decreases in share prices and potential mismanagement or bankruptcy of a company.

Risks of Online Trading In South Africa

Every beginner should be aware of the risks of trading. It’s essential to research thoroughly where you’re putting your money.

Leverage Risk

Leverage is using borrowed capital to invest. While leverage increases potential returns, it also increases potential risk. High leverage leads to high risks, depending on how the position moves.

Margin Risk 

Margin risk is the risk associated with achieving an expected margin. This is the probability that changes in economic development will negatively impact a profit margin’s expected cash flow.

Interest Rate Risk

An increase in the interest rate of a country leads to a strong currency. This usually raises the value of the currency and its interest rates. On the other hand, decreasing interest rates lead to a weaker currency. This causes investors to withdraw their investments and leave the country.

Exchange Rate Risk

Exchange rate risk is caused by changes in an investor's local currency compared to foreign-investment currency. Exchange rates sometimes change in the 24 hours before your trade is settled. 

FAQ

Is Trading Legal in South Africa? 

Yes, trading is legal in South Africa. All securities including stocks, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies are legal. You are required to follow all financial laws in place to prevent money laundering and you must declare your income tax.

What is the safest Platform in South Africa?

Interactive Brokers is a safe and well-established broker. They have good reputation and are regulated by the FSCA.

Which Trading Platform in South Africa has low fees? 

For stocks, Interactive Brokers offers the most competitive fees. It offers a large selection of stocks and low fees. For forex, Pepperstone is the cheapest. 

What is the best share trading platform for beginners in South Africa?

The best broker for beginners in South Africa is Interactive Brokers. Both the mobile and web version are easy to use.

Do Traders Pay Tax in South Africa?

The answer is yes. Traders pay tax on trading in South Africa. Even you use a offshore trading platform, you are obliged to pay tax.

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Ziga Breznik

Author

About the author

Ziga Breznik is the owner and head of research at PublicFinanceInternational.org – he is an active investor in the forex, crypto and stock markets – he has seen trading platforms disappear along with his investments – especially during the “crypto boom”. Ziga learned the hard way that finding a reputable and trustworthy online brokerage is key to long-term success in the financial markets. He founded PublicFinanceInternational.org as a platform where he shares his research with one goal in mind: to provide unbiased and trustworthy online brokers reviews.