OctaFX Broker Review – Is It Safe to Trade Forex & CFDs?
The OctaFX broker has been expanding its services quite rapidly since its launch in 2011. The broker has an aggressive promotional strategy that targets different regions worldwide through sports sponsorships, advertisements and unique social media campaigns, which have worked wonders for the company. It currently offers its services to over 6.6 million traders scattered across 100 different countries and is among the very few brokers to have facilitated more than 500 million trades through its numerous platforms.
OctaFX is now considered one of the most promising FX brokerages in the industry, with numerous awards and recognitions to its name. It continues to expand its client base to new markets. It also possesses some of the best trading conditions, perfect for both professional traders and high-frequency scalpers.
While the company boasts a great track record over the past decade, some inherent issues need to be addressed. In this OctaFX review, we will deliver the facts on some of the most pressing concerns that can affect an otherwise positive trading experience with Octa FX. We will also go through some remarkable attributes that make OctaFX one of the top-rated Forex brokerages in online review forums. You will get detailed information about OctaFX regulation, funds safety, trading platforms, deposit/withdrawal options and promotions offered to customers. Finally, we will also address some of the most frequently asked questions, which should put you in good stead when opening an OctaFX account.
- Negative Balance Protection
- No hidden fees
- IB monthly reward
- Access to CFD trading
Figuring Out Whether You Should Open an Octa FX Account
We understand that it can be tough for traders to determine which broker offers the trading conditions best suited to their tastes and trading requirements. A quick way to evaluate the OctaFX broker is to read the pros and cons outlined in this OctaFX review and then go through all the different sections of this article to discover how the broker’s services and products can impact your trading goals and strategies. Here are some of the positives and a few negative aspects of the company that we managed to find during our comprehensive evaluation.
- A customer-oriented approach that concentrates on a positive trader experience.
- Some of the best promotional bonuses and offers to traders.
- Impressive trading contests that offer real prize money.
- Really competitive spreads and low cost of trading.
- Access to MT4, MT5 and cTrader OctaFX trading platforms.
- Choice of both STP and ECN accounts.
- Very low OctaFX minimum deposit requirement.
- Questionable regulatory compliance.
- Uncharacteristically high trading fees for cTrader.
- Special focus on Asia and the Middle East, while other regions are not given as much consideration.
- Low number of tradeable instruments.
Our detailed analysis of the broker’s pros and cons shows that the company does possess a great services portfolio, but we recommend that our readers go through the rest of this OctaFX review document to get more insight into the company’s overall policies and trading specifications. You should also compare the broker’s services with those of other leading FX brokers and make an informed choice based on your preferences. Nevertheless, our experience with the broker shows that it can be trusted, and it ensures that its customers receive a quality trading environment that does not inhibit traders’ free access to the markets.
Which Type of Account Does the OctaFX Register Process Offer?
The choice of accounts is based on the different OctaFX trading platforms on offer, where there are three different choices for traders. The first is the MT4 account, which the company describes as the most basic account type aimed at habitual traders looking to start trading with the company. We are unsure of how or why the company came up with this interpretation, but we will go with the flow for now.
The second category of account is the MT5 account, which is for the Smart Trader to engage in smart tech trading, as claimed by the company. We believe the company showcases the MT5 platform’s open-source nature to highlight the ability to add custom indicators in its marketing slogan, but we feel that both the MT4 and the MT5 are highly customisable concerning tools and indicators.
Both the MT4 and the MT5 accounts offer access to 28 currency pairs, two metals, two energies, four indices and three cryptocurrencies, but we did note that the MT5 account offered access to an additional six indices through the MT5 platform.
Finally, the cTrader account is promoted as an account for the Progressive Trader with more transparency in pricing. Once again, we are not sure how the prices are more transparent, as we found the spreads to be higher for cTrader assets than those in the MetaTrader terminals. We will be discussing the pricing aspects of the company later in this review. Nonetheless, the choice of assets is also comparatively lower, as traders will only get access to 28 currency pairs and two metals with the MT5 account.
There is an OctaFX minimum deposit requirement of $100 for all account categories, which is quite low, but the company allows its customers to start trading with as little as $20 for the MetaTrader accounts and $50 for the cTrader account. The broker also provides high leverage of 1:500 for the Forex market, thereby ensuring proper market access for smaller traders with the minimum trading volume starting from 0.01 standard lots.
All trades are executed at market conditions, and the company promises no slippages for all account holders, although we are acutely aware that there can be some form of slippage during volatile trading conditions. The leverage is reduced to 1:200 for metals, 1:100 for energies, 1:50 for indices and 1:10 for cryptocurrencies. All other trading conditions remain similar across the board for both the MetaTrader and cTrader platforms.
The broker also provides a social trading account as an option for those who want to copy trade from other experienced traders. It is a free service for all traders, but copiers will have to pay a commission to copy trades from a master. Alternatively, traders can also become masters and earn a secondary income by allowing other traders to copy their trading activities. The Copytrading feature is available only with the MT4 terminal and not with the MT5 or the cTrader.
OctaFX Register Account – Sign-Up Process for First-Time Traders
To register for an account, all you have to do is click the “Open Account” link via the desktop site or tap the “Start Trading” link to access the website through your mobile web browser. It will take you to the first stage of the registration process, where you can either sign up using your social media accounts, such as Facebook and Google, or use your email address to open an account. You will need to verify your email address to proceed to the next stage of the registration process.
After verifying your email address, you will be asked to enter your address details, along with your phone number, birthday and experience in Forex trading. The next step asks you to choose the type of account or platform you prefer, where you will be provided details about the different account types to help you make an informed choice. You are also presented with account options such as a demo account or real account, your preferred account base currency (EUR or USD) and your preferred leverage. You can also choose the Islamic account option and opt in for the Fixed Rate feature, which lets you make payments in your currency at a fixed rate without facing the risk of adverse exchange rate changes.
After you have selected your desired account parameters, the broker takes you to the final step of the OctaFX register process to make a deposit. You can skip this step and move on to account verification, or you can add funds and start trading. If you ask us, we would always recommend you verify your identity before depositing funds and trading. The entire account verification process will only take a couple of days at most, which is a small price to pay to ensure that your account is in order when you initiate a withdrawal request.
A Short Rundown of the OctaFX Trading Platform
With the availability of MT4, MT5 and cTrader, we believe the OctaFX trading platform combination is one of the best in the entire market. All OctaFX trading platforms are available for download from the company’s website, or you can access the WebTrader versions of the app by visiting the link provided by the broker. You can access this link by logging in to your account dashboard, as each account is developed based on the platform offered for that account type.
The MetaTrader and cTrader platforms are available in their stock form and offer all the usual features, functionalities and compatibility with third-party tools. Traders can install expert advisors and custom indicators and even use the forum to interact with the trading community.
There are a few minor differences between the platforms, albeit these are account related. For instance, the broker does not support mobile browser trading for MT4 users, while this option is enabled for MT4 and cTrader accounts. Additionally, the MT4 platform does not offer Level II Market Depth trading, indicating that the MT4 accounts are market-maker accounts that employ automated dealing desks. It implies that the clients’ orders in the MT5 and the cTrader apps are passed directly to the market using liquidity providers, while the broker itself matches orders internally for its MT4 users.
It also means there can be slippages and partial order fills in the MT5 and cTrader apps, which contrasts starkly with the broker’s promise of no slippages. However, our understanding is that the broker promises no slippages for its MT4 account holders and not for ECN/STP accounts that are offered with the MT5 and cTrader interfaces.
Overall, the OctaFX trading platforms performed as per our expectations and never gave us any unpleasant surprises. Of course, we did come across a few concerns:
- The broker’s CopyTrade feature is available only to its MetaTrader users.
- The broker does not support a Signals service for its cTrader accounts, which is a major oversight.
- The cTrader platform also lacks access to CFDs and cryptocurrencies.
However, apart from these minor issues, cTrader offers many advantages over the MetaTrader terminals and vice versa.
How to Trade on the Go with OctaFX App for Mobile
Trading on the move is easy with the mobile OctaFX app, as all of the platforms -MT4, MT5 and cTrader – are available for download from the Google Play and Apple App Stores. You can log in to these mobile trading apps by using the login information provided at the time of the OctaFX register process, including your username, password and server information. We found the overall trading experience to be as expected, especially since MT4 users could take advantage of the no-slippage trading conditions. MT5 and cTrader mobile app users, on the other hand, should expect a few slippages, partial order fills and slower order execution times. These are in line with the trading conditions we experienced with its desktop counterparts.
What intrigued us most was the availability of a few additional OctaFX apps through the Google Play and Apple App Stores. We have come across a handful of online sources that promoted OctaFX app APK files to help traders install the broker’s apps without visiting the Play or App Stores. We couldn’t verify the authenticity of these OctaFX app APK files, and hence we implore you to download only the broker’s files from the official website and never download or install apps from third parties.
Aside from the default trading platforms, there is an account management app which allows you to manage your accounts, such as by opening additional trading accounts, depositing funds, withdrawing funds, changing account settings such as leverage and so on. It also allows you to manage your orders and positions without accessing the default trading platforms, but the app should not be considered an alternative to the MT4, MT5 or cTrader platforms. Nevertheless, we feel that it will be easier for traders to manage their accounts through this app rather than through the web browser.
The broker has also published a Copytrading app for its mobile users, which works as a stand-alone platform for copy trading. It works only as an automated trading interface, where you can copy master traders and modify your copy trade parameters. However, you can’t use it to trade the markets manually. To do this, you will have to download the OctaFX broker‘s default mobile trading apps.
A Brief Introduction to OctaFX Bonus Promotions
While collecting information for this OctaFX review, we came across several conflicting statements regarding the availability of bonuses and promotions. At first glance, all international clients, including those from the Asian region, are offered country-specific bonus programs. These include a deposit bonus that can range anywhere from 10% to 100%, depending on the promotional campaign managed by the broker. The deposit bonus is available for all deposits, and traders can withdraw the bonus amount by transacting a minimum number of lots that is equal to half the bonus amount.
Of course, the company hasn’t specified a time frame to transact the minimum volume, giving traders time to accumulate the required volume in a more relaxed manner.
The company also runs several giveaways, trading contests, and Trade and Win programs to keep traders happy. Demo contest winners are awarded prize money, while for the Trade and Win contests, every standard lot traded contributes to one prize lot, which can be exchanged for gifts. The gifts and winnings can range from T-shirts, smartphones, smart watches and laptops to motorbikes and mid-range cars or SUVs. Traders can also participate in a volume-related Status program, where traders can move up the rankings from Bronze and Silver to Gold and Platinum. Each category has its distinct benefits, with the Platinum status awarding all the bells and whistles that the company has to offer.
Yet, despite the extensive promotional campaign offered to global traders, traders from the EU are not provided with any bonuses, nor can they receive any gifts or prizes. EU regulations have undergone considerable changes in recent years related to bonus policies and guidelines, which is why OctaFX refrains from indulging in any bonus-related promotional activity for its EU brokerage. Therefore, the contradictory policies may not be favourable to traders from the EU, but these traders enjoy better protection than their international counterparts.
How to Fund Your Trading Account – OctaFX Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
We are delighted to see that traders have an advantage here since the OctaFX deposit methods are truly diverse, secure and highly convenient. The broker offers country-specific payment options that help traders find an OctaFX deposit method appropriate to their funding needs. It accepts bank wire transfers, credit/debit cards, local payment methods, cryptocurrency transfers and e-wallet payments such as Skrill and Neteller.
|OctaFX Deposit Options|
|Deposits Availability||Min. Deposit||Deposit Fee|
|Deposits Availability: 3-30 minutes||Min. Deposit: Depending on chosen method||Deposit Fee: No commission|
BITCOIN NETELLER SKRILL MASTERCARD
The company is committed to adding new funding options to meet its clients’ varying requirements, which is why we get to see so many different OctaFX deposit options for new and existing traders. It ensures that all deposits are processed on time and that there are no hidden charges or commissions for fund transfers. Since it works with local banks to complete wire transfers, deposits made through a bank account will take a maximum of one to three hours. Therefore, you don’t have to wait days for the funds to reach your trading account, which is normally the case with other brokers.
The OctaFX withdrawal methods mirror those of the deposit options, which means you can withdraw funds to your bank account, crypto account, Skrill or Neteller. However, due to the AML rules that govern international laws concerning the transfer of funds, you can withdraw your funds only to the same account used to deposit funds. If you can’t do so for any reason, you should get in touch with the broker’s finance department and state a valid reason for the change in the withdrawal method. If the broker is convinced of the reason for the change, you can proceed with withdrawing funds.
|OctaFX Withdrawal Options|
|Transaction Time||Min. Withdrawal||Withdraw Fee|
|Transaction Time: 1-3 hours||Min. Withdrawal: Depending on chosen method||Withdrawal Fee: No commission|
BITCOIN NETELLER SKRILL MASTERCARD
All OctaFX withdrawal methods are free of commissions or withdrawal fees, which is highly beneficial to the trader. Rarely do we see a broker absorb the withdrawal costs of its clients. Therefore, we feel that the OctaFX withdrawal methods are very cost-effective.
Nevertheless, it would be best if you accounted for any fees charged by intermediaries. Withdrawals are processed within three to four hours, including the time taken to process the withdrawal and for the funds to reach your account. Skrill, Neteller and crypto transactions will take less time; we received our Skrill withdrawal in under an hour.
Are the Trading Conditions, Fees & Spreads Conducive to Profitable Forex Trading?
The broker offers a combination of market-maker, STP and ECN brokerage accounts, each tied to different trading platforms. The MT4 account adopts a market-maker protocol, while the MT5 account adopts an STP protocol. The cTrader account, on the other hand, uses full ECN, as it was developed exclusively as an ECN trading interface.
Therefore, with a good mix of brokerage protocols, the OctaFX spread is certainly competitive, but there are some discrepancies. For instance, the floating spread for the MetaTrader terminals starts at 0.6 pips for the EUR/USD pair, with the typical spread for the pair quoted at around 0.8 to 1 pip during high liquidity times. The average spread for all the majors is around 1 pip, which is highly competitive, and the best part is that there is no commission. Trading during volatile conditions may induce a spread of over 5 pips, even for the EUR/USD pair, but it is to be expected.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for the most competitive option, you can start trading with either the MT4 or the MT5 account, where you can enjoy one of the tightest spreads in the entire market.
However, the real problem started when we began trading with the cTrader account, where the minimum spread quoted is around 0.8 pips, along with a commission of $3 per lot, or $6 per round lot traded. The commission is reduced to $2 per lot for some major and minor currency pairs, but the real concern is that despite the ECN conditions, the spreads quoted were higher. Under normal conditions, the spreads for ECN, especially in the cTrader platform, should be quoted close to 0 pips, while real-time ECN spreads should be around 0.2 to 0.5 pips for the EUR/USD currency pair.
However, with the OctaFX broker, the real-time spreads were in the region of 1 pip for the EUR/USD pair and even higher for other currency pairs. Therefore, we were totally surprised that the company’s cTrader OctaFX trading platform incurred higher fees for Forex trading, which is unacceptable. Nevertheless, when we consider the overall costs of trading and compare the spreads charged by other brokers, we feel that OctaFX charges competitive spreads and commissions.
Apart from spreads, the broker also charges an overnight funding fee or SWAP although its promotional materials claim otherwise. Of course, an Islamic account option is available for traders following the Sharia laws of trading, but the broker still charges a fee for long-term positions. The SWAP is charged in different forms. For the MT4 account, the broker charges a SWAP for both long and short positions, while Islamic account holders will have to pay a fee for overnight positions. It was quite convenient to note that both the SWAP and overnight fees were the same, but the names are changed to make them Sharia-compliant.
Therefore, regardless of whether you open a regular account or an Islamic account, you will have to pay an overnight funding fee.
For MT5 accounts, there is no SWAP, but there is an overnight fee for positions held beyond three days. A cost of 0.1 pip is added to the existing spreads every three days, which satisfies the Sharia conditions and may not be such a huge cost burden for traders. The actual fee can vary from 0.1 to 0.4 pips for different currency pairs, but the overall costs are still manageable. Finally, the cTrader account does not charge a SWAP, but a weekly rollover fee will add around 0.2 to 1.4 pips to the existing spreads, depending on the currency pair. Once again, the overnight fee is highly competitive, which reduces the trading costs, but we did miss the 0 pip spread conditions that are usually offered to cTrader ECN users.
OctaFX Regulation – Is Your Money Safe?
Now we come to one of the sour points of trading with OctaFX. The company is located in Cyprus with a CySEC licence that caters to traders from the EU, but international traders are taken to the company’s international brokerage located in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The company’s EU operations are properly licenced and regulated, with investors enjoying several protective measures under the ESMA guidelines and MiFID derivatives. The Investor Compensation Fund, segregation of clients’ funds and routine audits are all part of the OctaFX regulation compliance measures, granting the company a degree of authenticity and reliability.
However, the brokerage’s international version is not regulated or licensed by any authority, which may not be entirely safe for traders. Therefore, even though we don’t doubt the company’s credibility or its safety aspects, we would prefer it obtained a regulatory licence from a top-tier regulator to offer a safer and more secure trading environment to its customers.
Is the Broker’s Customer Care Team Responsive?
What it lacks in regulation, the broker makes up for in its devotion to customer service. It has one of the best customer support channels in the industry, with region-specific customer service representatives on call 24 hours a day, five days a week. Customers can contact support staff through live chat, phone, email, a web contact form or the company’s official social media handles. The response is quick and professional, and traders can get their queries answered within minutes. If anything, we could only be disappointed that it doesn’t extend its support to the weekends, but otherwise, full marks for the way the broker handles its clients.