As Africa’s second largest economy, South Africa is one of the most important markets for binary options trading in the region. With a developed infrastructure, an established middle class, and a currency that affords both stability and global competitiveness, the nation is seen by many as the gateway to the continent’s largely untapped investment markets.
South Africa is a powerful and prosperous economy. Second only to Nigeria in terms of African Gross Domestic Product (GDP), South Africa has cultivated an affluent middle class. The growth of personal wealth has led to an increased appetite among private individuals to invest their money in products that provide greater returns than a cash savings account. Understandably, interest in binary trading has grown considerably in recent years.
Because South Africa is one of the continent’s leading economies, it is seen as an appealing marketplace from which entrepreneurs can launch their enterprises across the whole of Africa. For binary options brokers, this has meant tailoring a service that will most readily accommodate South African clients. Today, nearly every international broker is able to provide facilities for South African clients to execute trades with, and – while international firms, rahter than domestic brokers, dominate the market – binary options trading in South Africa is a growing industry.
The Best Performing Brokers in South Africa
It is expected that every broker should be fully licensed, and conduct its business in an open and honest fashion: that is the barest minimum. But to achieve a recommended status, a broker has to demonstrate additional value in their own services over their rivals’. Our top brokers are selected for their strengths in key areas: the responsiveness of their customer service, the usability and features of their online trading platforms, and the potential earnings on investments that are available to clients.
Every brokerage is constantly improving their own services for existing clients, and increasing their value offering for new investors. Due to this constant evolution, it is likely that some of the specific details in our reports will change over time.
Platform is extreamly user-friendly
Wide range of trading oportunities
||Veterans in the binary options industry
BD Swiss review
Recommended Broker: Option Fair
As part of the TechFinancials group, Option Fair legitimised its claim to being among the most innovative trading platforms when it became the first publicly-traded binary options broker on the London Stock Exchange, in 2015.
Using Tech Financials’ own proprietary binary options trading platform, and regulated by CySec, Option Fair provides secure, high performance facilities that suit the needs of advanced and novice investors alike.
The company landing page heavily promotes its 100% return on successful investments. However, with a $2.50 fee levied against all trades – even those which result in a zero return on investment – the actual figure is somewhat lower, in real terms.
The fixed-value fee encourages clients to execute fewer trades, at higher values – thereby minimising the impact of the charges over time. To accommodate this strategy, trading limits on Option Fair are relatively broad: while the minimum initial stake is $10, a maximum single investment of $15,000 permits investors to reap healthy returns which more than justify the initial fees paid to access the market.
Recommended Broker: BD Swiss
With binary options contracts available to purchase in more than 250 underlying assets, and all major foreign exchange (FX) currency pairs, BD Swiss is one of the most versatile trading platforms for South African investors to choose.
The site uses the SpotOption trading interface, which will already be familiar to many veteran traders. BD Swiss also provides support for a number of mobile trading apps, for investment on the move – and in the preferred environment of the individual trader.
We found the site very easy to navigate, and account creation was fast and intuitive. With a minimal amount of personal information required, plus a below-average initial deposit requirement of $100, we were able to execute our first trade within a matter of minutes.Contracts are relatively flexible, with the account holder free to define multiple parameters and trade types. The initial stake can be set as low as $10, or as high as $1,500, and the maximum yield from any individual contract is 85% of the investment. These generous limits allow traders of all experience levels to use BD Swiss to match their own trading strategies: from minimising early losses, to maximising returns on expert investments.
Recommended Broker: 24 Option
One of the larger enterprises available to South African traders, 24 Option has been operating online since 2013. While primarily focused on the European market from its headquarters in Cyprus, the international arm of the company is domiciled in Belize and receives oversight from the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) of Belize. It is via the Belize branch that South African investors will execute their own trades.
24 Options allows account holders to invest their money in binary options and CFDs, as well as foreign exchange trading in most of the primary currency pairs.
Binary options contracts can be bought for a minimum stake of $24, with a generous upper limit of $100,000. Combined with the top bonus per trade of 89%, the earning potential on an individual contract is substantial. However, with limited stop-loss and call option facilities on trades, 24 Option remains a less forgiving trading environment for new investors.
24 Option permits a range of trading conditions, and speculation on more than 100 underlying assets. As such, contracts are flexible, but do not provide the greatest versatility in today’s market.
For an initial minimum deposit of $250, account holders can access a free demonstration account and begin trading on the new Scipio trading platform within minutes, without risking any of their starting balance until they have gained confident with the system. The site also hosts free educational webinars on trading strategies on a semi-regular basis.
How To Invest in Binary Options in South Africa
As the name suggests, binary options trades are investments for which there are only two potential outcomes. Usually, these are trades made against the value of an underlying commodity. In this instance, the two possible outcomes may be that commodity either rises in value, or falls, over the course of an allotted time. Equally, the investor may speculate that the final value will fall within a certain price spread, or will touch a specified price point at least once within the duration of the contract.
In each of these examples, the trader’s speculation either occurs, or it does not. Should the terms of the contract be met within the allotted time, the trader will receive a return on their investment. If the terms are not met, the trader is likely to forfeit some, or all, of the initial stake. The conditions and rate of return are stipulated when the contract is formed, making binary options trading a very open and transparent method of speculating on financial markets.
Many brokers will offer advanced trading features that allow increased freedoms for the investor. These may include flexible contract durations, the ability to terminate contracts early within favourable conditions for a reduced profit, or the option to recoup losses should market conditions become unfavourable. Every brokerage will provide its clients with a different range of trading conditions, and it is these options which will form the basis of many investors’ final choice of broker for their own investments.
The binary options industry of South Africa currently resides in a state of complex legal limbo. While by no means illegal, there are few statutes which actively govern the industry. This is perhaps partly due to the relative youth of the industry – these forms of sophisticated, online investments were not technologically viable even twenty years ago. Yet at the same time it would not be unfair to say that South African financial authorities have been slow to react to the growing significance of the binary options industry.
As such, binary options contracts receive no form of regulation by either the Financial Services Board of South Africa (FSB), nor the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Agency (FAIS). As a consequence, it is currently not possible for a brokerage to obtain licensing or accreditation from South African regulators, simply because no such regulation exists.
However, it would be incorrect to assume that the present situation makes binary options trading an illegal activity in the region. In fact the opposite is true, and all citizens of South Africa over the age of 18 years have the legal right to invest in binary options contracts online. The lack of government regulation of the industry simply means that it is not possible for a trader to hold an account with a broker domiciled in South Africa, at present.
The legal rights and responsibilities of binary options traders in South Africa are therefore the same as every other investor: clients must comply with the terms and conditions of the brokerage with which they hold an account, as well as with the local laws of their own nation in matters concerning the movement of cash when depositing funds or withdrawing earnings.
Withdrawing and Depositing Funds
Residents of South Africa who choose to trade in binary options are unlikely to face many obstacles when attempting to add funds to a trading account, or withdraw their earnings. Today’s consumer has expectations of easy payment methods for all goods purchased online, and this has allowed digital transaction services to evolve. Virtually every online broker will accept payments made via major credit cards and bank transfers, as well as from a number of established e-Cash solutions.
South Africa has, in particular, benefited from certain regional factors in relation to E-cash. With a relatively low percentage of African citizens having access to a private bank account, the E-cash industry has performed particularly well throughout the continent – especially within less developed economies. As such, South African investors already enjoy access to any number of payment systems which may be used to fund a binary options trading account.
Every broker will employ a different policy for their money transactions. It is not uncommon for brokers to stipulate a minimum deposit to be made before an account holder can execute their first trade, for example. The amount required to meet this minimum is set by the brokerage however, and may vary significantly from just $10 to several hundred US dollars.
It is also a common policy for brokers to only permit withdrawals of earnings via the same payment method as was used to make the initial deposit. This is seen as the most efficient means of tackling money laundering activities. Account holders must consider both the terms and conditions of their trading account, as well as the specific laws of their country of residency before trading or transferring money in any form.
At present, binary options traders who reside in South Africa are most likely to employ the services of an overseas broker when executing trades. While some traders will see this as a disadvantage, they are unlikely to experience any difficulties using an international service in terms of legality or security.
The lack of a domestic binary trading industry does produce some obstacles for South African investors. Despite the relative strength of the local currency, our investigation was unable to identify any brokerage which offered both a top quality, internationally competitive service, and the facility to deposit currency in the form of Rand (ZAR). Because of this, virutally every payment method will leave South African investors exposed to both a currency conversion fee, and the compound expenses associated with fluctuations in the value of the Rand on the forex market.
Although this situation is hardly ideal, it is a relatively minor concern – and one unlikely to deter any but the most timid of investors in the region. Equally, the first broker that is eventually able to facilitate deposits in South African Rand is likely to win a favourable stake in the continent’s burgeoning binary trading market. For this reason, it seems likely that a domestic brokerage may emerge sooner rather than later.
Binary Trading in South Africa: at a glance
- A wealth of competing brokers lets traders select the right trading platform for them
- Fund investments through any of the most popular bank, card, and digital payment services
- Investors’ accounts and activities overseen and protected by local financial law
- One of the fastest, most accessible methods of trading on the internet
- Potential for experienced investors to realise significant earnings on their investments.