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Overall

Dukascopy is built for active traders. The innovative JForex platform suite and competitive commission structure give traders access to extensive resources for a narrow range of popular forex pairs and CFDs, all under multiple regulatory licenses, including a brokerage account with its Swiss bank.

By Steven Hatzakis / April 4th, 2017 / Updated: July 27th, 2017

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Trust Score
Dislikes
  • Web platform design unimpressive compared to its modern desktop platform counterpart
  • $5,000 minimum at Dukascopy Bank for non-Swiss residents
  • Markets available limited beyond popular forex and CFDs

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Data:

In 1998, mathematician Dr. Andre Duka founded Dukascopy Trading Technologies Corp, which led to the development of the Dukascopy trading platform in 1999. Together with his partner, Veronika Makarova, Dr. Duka founded Dukascopy in 2004 as a Swiss brokerage house in Geneva.

After the development of the Swiss FX Marketplace in 2006, which is an eco-system supporting traders with the firm’s apps and platform infrastructure, Dukascopy acquired a Swiss banking license in 2010 and launched Dukascopy Bank. In 2011, the brand acquired an EU brokerage license in Latvia, under Dukascopy Europe, as part of the growth of the Dukascopy Group.

The Dukascopy group today offers forex and CFD traders competitive pricing and access to 54 forex pairs and 49 CFD markets on its proprietary JForex platform suite, which supports algorithmic trading and is compatible across nearly all operating systems and devices.  

Commissions & Fees

Dukascopy offers one account type for FX trading under its Forex ECN account, where the execution method can vary between agency and dealing desk. While the spreads are the same for all clients in the ECN account, the added commission rates you pay will vary depending on your trading volume, balance, and net deposits.

Using average spreads of 0.22 pips on the EUR/USD for the past 30 days during the US trading session at Dukascopy, combined with the default commission rate of 0.70 pips round turn, the all-in cost equates to 0.92 pips and is comparable to other brokers with commission-based pricing, such as Saxo Bank, FXCM, and FxPro.

DukascopySwissquoteIGPepperstoneAdmiral Markets
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.420N/A0.3630.7501.200
All-in Cost GBP/USD - Active1.080N/A1.0921.1201.500
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.920N/A0.7001.2001.200
Average Spread GBP/USD - Standard1.580N/A1.2801.5701.700
Commissions & Fees 5 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Overall 4 Stars 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars

Traders can open the ECN account either with Dukascopy Europe or Dukascopy Bank in Switzerland. The main difference between these two entities, besides regulatory jurisdictions, is that the former can be done with as little as $100, while the latter requires $5,000 – unless you are a Swiss resident, in which case, the minimum drops to $1,000.

In terms of all-in cost of trading, Dukascopy competes near the top among forex brokers that support automated trading and active trading programs such as FXCM, Forex.com, and Pepperstone.

Customer Service

Starting with live chat, Dukascopy provides customer service through live chat on both its websites and from within the trading platform 24 hours a day throughout the trading week. While live chat was always easily accessible, our tests found the firm could improve this service to maintain the allure of a Swiss bank/brokerage offering a premium platform.

Helping to counterbalance its low quality of live chat, is the assignment of a dedicated account representative of your Dukascopy account, making email support directly with your dedicated account manager a lot easier. This is especially true compared to emails sent to general support, which, our tests found, took longer to be processed.

Lastly, phone support, which is also available 24 hours a day, was slightly below industry standards despite speedy connection times and friendly reps. Calls were made with both Dukascopy Europe and the Dukascopy Bank offices.

Research

Dukascopy offers a diverse range of research tools in its JForex3 platform, including streaming market news, a live economic calendar with consensus forecasts, Dukascopy TV, and other research tools that help investors make educated trade decisions.

Dukascopy TV, the broker’s flagship research tool, is a fully staffed professional TV studio in Geneva that broadcasts content from in-house reporters who conduct interviews and market analysis.

Dukascopy TV, the broker’s flagship research tool, is a fully staffed professional TV studio in Geneva that broadcasts content from in-house reporters who conduct interviews and market analysis. Not only is the content relevant and insightful; it is also professionally created and educational, making it beneficial for all clients, regardless of skill set.

Dukascopy TV Research

Other research tools include pattern analysis and automated trading systems within the charting experience. More on these tools below.

While I found Dukascopy’s research tools impressive, the broker could improve its offering by incorporating more of the research experience within the platform, as it already does with the economic calendar and news headlines. This would improve usability for clients and prevent constant redirecting to an external web page (a practice many forex brokers indulge in).

Platforms & Tools

Dukascopy’s flagship platform is JForex3, a desktop and web-based platform that supports both Windows and Mac. Not only is the platform rich with trading tools and easy to use, but it is also fantastic for technical traders, which we will explore below.

Dukascopy JForex3 desktop windows platform

For charting, a staggering 277 indicators are available in the JForex3 desktop platform.

For charting, a staggering 277 indicators are available in the JForex3 desktop platform. This is more than any other broker I’ve reviewed except for thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade, which offers 366 indicators. Whether using any of the 23 different drawing tools or adding and customizing indicators, I found charting to be a seamless and enjoyable experience.  

JForex3 Desktop Charting

Another useful, yet subtle feature is that every time you draw a new trend line, its color automatically changes, compared to most platforms where the color must be changed manually afterwards. While this is a subtle attribute, traders passionate about technical analysis will appreciate the broker’s attention to detail.

Dukascopy’s JForex3 platform also competes well with the MetaTrader platforms as it supports algorithmic trading and custom indicators, and provides cloud storage for clients who need a VPN to run their trading systems on a 24-hour basis. While the broker does support a third-party bridge for clients to access MT4, its main focus is on JForex.  It also provides a tool for clients to make their MT4 Expert Advisors (EAs) compatible on JForex. Dukascopy also offers a signals market for social copy trading.

Dukascopy Signals Market Social Trading

Signals and social trading aside, moving to the web-based version of the JForex platform, the web-version is not as appealing as the desktop version, although they share a vaguely similar layout. The primary difference between the two is that many fields are static and lack the dynamic feel of the desktop version. Furthermore, the toolset is not as deep as its desktop counterpart.

Dukascopy JForex3 Web Platform

One other important drawback of web-based JForex3 is that it is Flash-based, like several of its competitors, including web platforms from OANDA and City Index. With Flash no longer being supported by mainstream browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, a migration to HTML5 or some advanced form of Javascript is a must for web-based platforms. Needless to say, I recommend using the desktop version of JForex3 and not the web-based version.

Overall, Dukascopy is a broker that understands trading technology and provides traders the tools they need to succeed. While most forex traders prefer MetaTrader 4 to a proprietary platform built in house, JForex3 stands on its own and competes with the best on the market. Dukascopy finished Best in Class for Platforms & Tools in 2017.

Mobile Trading

Among several mobile apps developed by Dukascopy, I focused my testing on its main SWFX Trader mobile trading app available for Android and iOS devices.  

During tests on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – there were several premium features that immediately stood out in the app, including integrated market signals and patterns alongside a pivot point tool. SWFX Trader also has robust charting with several customizable parameters and alerts that can easily be added from the same screen.

Dukascopy SWFX mobile app charting

In terms of charting capabilities, one thing missing from the charts is the ability to draw trend lines and related drawing tools, although there are various chart types to choose from, including tick data, among other timeframes, and even templates that can be saved. Trend lines aside, charting operated seamlessly and was rich with options such as a list of 47 technical indicators – which is above the industry average for mobile trading.

Additional strongpoints in the app include the level-two quotes and several related order types, including conditional and bid offer orders, which can be used when placing a trade.  

Dukascopy SWFX mobile app level 2 forex quotes

In the research domain, the SWFX Trader mobile app has an impressive range of useful tools, including several different pre-defined screens and a clean, customizable view of marker movers, which can be refined across four time frames ranging from hourly to monthly. There is also a pattern-recognition tool for trading ideas, organized neatly next to the other research categories.

Dukascopy SWFX mobile app pattern recognition

Overall, the SWFX Trader mobile app has a great foundation but lags behind other top-tier offerings such as IG, Saxo Bank, FXCM, and CMC Markets. For example, adding drawing tools to charts and offering the ability to sync a watch list would improve the overall mobile experience and elevate its ranking among peers.

Other Notes

When it comes to margin rates and available leverage, Dukascopy Europe offers up to 300:1 leverage, yet limits the weekend leverage by a factor of just over three, or in this case 90:1. The same ratio applies for lower leverage tiers, in an effort to help reduce client exposure and margin calls from gaps that can occur during the market open on Sunday due to weekend geopolitical events. This structure inherently discourages holding positions over the weekend – as margin requirements increase, making Dukascopy more friendly for intraday traders, and less accommodating for longer term investors.

Dukascopy is passported throughout Europe under MiFID from its Dukascopy Europe entity, which is regulated in Latvia, in addition to the Swiss banking licenses Dukascopy Bank holds. In Asia, Dukascopy is regulated in Japan where it caters to the local marketplace under a JFSA license and is a member of the Financial Futures Association of Japan.

Final Thoughts

As a forex broker with roughly 100 tradable products, Dukascopy distinguishes itself with a diverse range of services within the SWFX online community. The broker does a good job of enhancing its overall offering with plenty of resources traders can use for research, for example Dukascopy TV.

For tools, Dukascopy has done a phenomenal job with its JForex3 desktop platform in terms of charting, ease of use, and depth of tools available. The platform also competes well against other third-party platforms such as MetaQuotes (MetaTrader) and Spotware Systems (cTrader).

With a Swiss Bank account offering for only $5,000, Dukascopy Bank is a great choice for highly experienced traders. Meanwhile, if you are a beginner, the low minimum deposit of $100 at Dukascopy Europe is an easy place to start.

Methodology

For our 2017 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 20 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 255 variables. Learn more.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or currency pair. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more.

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Steven Hatzakis

Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Over the past 18 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.


Ratings Overall

Summary

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Education

Best in Class

2017
 4

Overall
  • Overall
  • Commissions & Fees
  • Platforms & Tools
  • Research
  • Active Trading

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Trading CFDs and FX involves a high degree of risk. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 4/05/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The ForexBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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