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Founded in 1996, OANDA has evolved to become a global leader in retail foreign exchange markets, offering forex and CFD trading to self-directed investors, and corporate FX services, currency management solutions, and data on exchange rates for global enterprises.
The OANDA brand operates across eight global financial centers, serving clients in over 196 countries through its entities licensed in six major regulatory jurisdictions, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore. In May 2018, CVC Capital Partners (CVC) Asia Fund IV, a private equity and investment advisory firm that manages $70 billion, announced the acquisition of all the outstanding equity of OANDA, subject to regulatory approval.
OANDA caters to Forex and CFD traders through its proprietary fxTrade platform, which is available as a desktop, web, and mobile app, and across several operating systems. OANDA also offers the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform, and connectivity to third-party platforms and tools through its app marketplace.
Trading with a forex broker traders can trust is crucial to success. Unfortunately, forex fraud and scams are common in the industry.
Here at ForexBrokers.com, we maintain the largest independent regulatory database available on the web. Using 28 different variables, we have created a proprietary 1-100 score (the higher the better) of overall trustworthiness, which we call the Trust Score. Here is our trust summary of OANDA.
|Publicly-Traded Company (Listed)||No|
|Regulated in Major Hub||Yes|
|Regulated in Emerging Hub||No|
|Authorised in the European Union||Yes|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to OANDA clients.
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||71|
|CFDs - Total Offered||52|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
OANDA’s bid/ask spreads, which are the fees clients pay to trade, are most comparable to FOREX.com and FxPro, while the minimum spread available (or lowest advertised rate) may be slightly higher than other firms that list a sub-pip spread (i.e., less than 1.0 pip).
For example, the EUR/USD spread at OANDA was between 1.2 and 1.3 pips when we looked at a 30-day period. OANDA’s spreads are comparable to some of its competitors, including FxPro and FOREX.com, as well as firms such as FXCM when factoring in the total cost of a trade (spread + commission) for agency brokers.
Compared to OANDA’s 1.2 pip spread, FXCM’s commission-based pricing offers spreads on the EUR/USD as low as 0.68 pips when factoring in the spread + commission for its Active Trader offering for clients that deposit $25,000, and 1.2 pips (0.5 pip spread + 0.8 pip commission) for standard account holders. In 2018, OANDA launched core pricing in additional markets, including Singapore, where average core spreads for the EUR/USD were 0.3 pips for the month of December 2018. While this must be manually requested, users can also create a v20 sub account and login to their dashboard to enable core pricing.
A key distinction is OANDA combines its risk-management expertise to offer execution as a market-maker, (note: OANDA Europe limited is not a market-maker) where its ability to deal at a price does not rely entirely on third parties the way an agency broker model does, like FOREX.com and FXDD, for example. Therefore, comparing the spread alone is not sufficient, as the execution model and other characteristics can impact the effective cost of trades over time (in some cases). That said, OANDA provides full transparency with its spreads, showing a trailing history of its average spread across all available forex pairs.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$0.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.40|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||1.00|
|Active Trader or Premium/VIP||Yes|
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
- Average Connection Time: <2 minutes
- Average Net Promoter Score: 6.7 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 4.1 / 10
- Overall Score: 5.9 / 10
- Ranking: 13th (23 brokers)
- View Infographic
OANDA offers a broad range of research for forex traders, including from within its trading platforms, with news headlines on OANDA’s MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform streaming from Reuters, Market Pulse, MarketWatch, Mainichi, CNBC, and other providers.
Research content includes technical analysis, various macroeconomic news, as well as research from UBS, an economic calendar forecast from 4CAST, and access to AutoChartist for traders to find and research trading opportunities.
OANDA’s MarketPulse site has content dedicated to news, research, and analysis, and is supported by the firm’s research team. OANDA’s mobile app, fxTrade, streams news from Dow Jones as well as the company’s blog. The broker also offers Dow Jones Select for a premium.
On the fxTrade desktop and web platform certain research modules trigger an external browser to open the content in a web page. OANDA could improve this by keeping its research centralized in the platform, so traders are not distracted from their desktop-based trading and while using the web version. This is an area we would like to see fixed to improve the fxTrade desktop experience, as many of the modules redirect to an external page. Year-over-year, OANDA added an open-order indicator in MT4, which refreshes every five minutes for premium clients, and is delayed by 20 minutes for all others.
OANDA ranks closely with its peers including CMC Markets, Saxo Bank, IG, FOREX.com, Dukascopy Bank, and other multi-asset brokers, finishing 6th out of 28 brokers for Research in our 2018 Review.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
OANDA offers several platforms for beginners and advanced traders, starting with access to its fxTrade platform, which is available through the web, mobile devices, as well as desktop versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Aside from OANDA’s proprietary fxTrade platform, the company also offers the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, which lets you use algorithmic trading systems known as Expert Advisors (EAs).For this review, I focused OANDA’s fxTrade platform.
OANDA combines several services into its online account management portal that make it easy to transfer money between accounts and access your statements. The portal also lets you launch the web-based version of the fxTrade platform by clicking “Advanced Charting” from within the portal dashboard.
After launching the fxTrade advanced charting module, the interface gives traders the opportunity to buy or sell from within the default chart window.
From within the Advanced Charting section, clients can switch between linked accounts on the left side panel, and place trades using the floating buy/sell panel within the chart. Economic analysis and news from MarketPulse are shown as tabs on the tools row near the top left side of the platform layout, which redirect to a new browser tab.
There is also a section to launch the Application Programming interface (API) from across the top row of the platform, which redirects to the API section where multiple API types are available via a token access.
OANDA’s Advanced Charting module within fxTrade looks simple but it is indeed quite powerful, having the ability to overlay multiple currency pairs within a single chart for comparison. It also has a comprehensive suite of at least 145 drawing tools and 77 indicators. which is well above the industry standard.
The charts are powered by TradingView, a third-party charting developer, and are integrated within the fxTrade advanced charting module for both web and desktop.
Moving on to the desktop version of the fxTrade platform from OANDA, we ran both versions of the platform, one for the MAC operating system, and the other on Windows 8 and Windows 10. Overall, we found the platform experience to be consistent across operating systems.
One of the most attractive features within the desktop version of the platform is the advanced charting, which is nearly identical to the web-based version (see comments above).
Overall, the desktop version of the fxTrade platform feels like an extension of the web-based advanced charting version of fxTrade, adding a few additional features, while keeping the look and feel consistent. The fxTrade web app resembles the mobile app layout with a default black background.
Overall, the desktop version of the fxTrade platform feels like an extension of the web-based advanced charting version of fxTrade, adding a few additional features, while keeping the look and feel consistent.
Additional platforms are available from third-party developers within OANDA’s Marketplace, including the Seer Trading Platform, which can be used for developing, back-testing and forward-testing automated trading systems. OANDA also supports trading connectivity to multiple charting platforms such as NinjaTrader, MultiCharts, and MotiveWave. Lastly, OANDA’s Algo Labs page uses Quant Connect to let users build their own apps in various supported languages including Python and C#.
It is common for brokers with open API access, such as FXCM and OANDA, to support a larger number of platforms, as the platform developers can freely establish connectivity, compared to brokers who only selectively connect to trading platforms through partnerships or other synergies. For example, the Trading Performance analysis module is powered by Chasing Returns, and OANDA offers this tool for traders to analyze their historical trades.
Bottomline, OANDA does well in Platform & Tools category thanks to powerful charting, several platforms supported on various operating systems and devices, along with a broad range of research content. While OANDA has enhanced its desktop and web app, it still has plenty of room for improvements in both. Nonetheless, OANDA trails behind its close competitors, including FOREX.com, FXCM, and FxPro, and finished 13th out of 28 brokers in this category.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
OANDA’s fxTrade mobile app, supported in both iOS and Android flavors, has a consistent feel with its web and desktop counterparts. The app cleanly integrates its research offering and charting is robust.
One neat feature that stood out during testing this year was the seamless transition to the trade ticket window within the charts. Users can easily enter their orders from the chart then adjust their stop-loss and limit order levels using simple drag & drop.
Charting fxTrade mobile feels similar to the web and desktop platform, providing identical tools, 33 technical indicators, and 16 studies.
Charting fxTrade mobile feels similar to the web and desktop platform, providing identical tools, 33 technical indicators, and 16 studies. Zooming in and out of charts is easy, and while studies are saved they do not yet sync with the desktop or web platforms.
Through the ‘More’ tab, users can access further settings such as Price Alert, Economic Calendar, Technical Analysis, Contact Us, and Settings tabs.
Even funding via the mobile app is easy, and during my testing, funds were credited to the live account almost immediately after the transaction was successfully completed.
Positives aside, one feature I’d like to see added to the mobile app is the addition of global watch list syncing, so instruments that are added in the web and/or desktop version of the platform automatically appear in the mobile app.
Overall, there is a lot to like with OANDA’s mobile trading offering.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
In 2016, OANDA implemented an inactivity fee, but this will only kick in for clients who do not place any trades for at least two years, providing clients ample time to avoid it. In November 2018, OANDA launched cryptocurrency bitcoin trading as a CFD from its Singapore office.
The smallest contract size for trading forex that most brokers offer is 1000 units or 1 micro lot, whereas, OANDA brings this minimum trade size down by three orders of magnitude to 1 unit or 0.001 micro lot.
This ultra-tiny contract size can also be helpful for users who want to test various trading systems while keeping the value of a pip much lower than what would be typical with a micro contract, by trading any number of unit increments on each trade.
For example, instead of a 100,000-unit trade (which is normally a standard lot) of EUR/USD, a trader may opt to specify 123,854 units (or any other non-standardized amount), depending on their trading strategy. This can be particularly useful for money managers who need to allocate odd amounts in order for the trade size to correspond to a specific allocation percentage for investors.
OANDA’s edge is its strong regulatory track record, with licenses in the strictest major financial centers, and the company’s robust proprietary trading technology, which is trusted by large corporate clients and well-known brands. OANDA’s auto upgrade of clients’ accounts to version 20 was a positive step that provides its latest trading infrastructure engine to support its platform.
With powerful charting tools, numerous research and news channels, 71 currency pairs, and 52 CFDs, all at competitive prices, OANDA is suitable for casual investors to sophisticated traders who prefer to connect via API or who use automated trading systems on MT4.
With nearly no minimum trade size and a minimum deposit of at least $20 to start a live account, OANDA ranks near the top in all key categories.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, 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 related instrument. 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.
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. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
Select one or more of these brokers to compare against OANDA.
Commissions & Fees
When you deposit more than £100,000 with OANDA, spreads are discounted anywhere from 0.2 – 0.4 pips, which reduce the spread to 0.80 – 1.0 pip, from the 1.2 pip spread on the EUR/USD we observed using sample data.
For traders depositing less than the $10,000 Saxo Bank requires, or the $25,000 needed for an Active Trader account at FXCM or FOREX.com, or IG offers Forex Direct for £1,000, while OANDA is a more realistic choice for beginners with smaller initial deposits. FxPro, CMC Markets, and Plus500 are the next closest options for traders depositing less than £1,000 to open an account.
Rather than publishing a specific number that reflects the average spread over a fixed period such as one day or one month, OANDA releases a trailing average of its average spread across nearly all timeframes, as part of its push for greater transparency with pricing.
Although this is the most transparent way to publish figures in real time (not necessarily better or worse), it makes it harder to compare historical spreads to other brokers who calculate only the average or typical spreads for a specific period, versus the trailing average used by OANDA.