Are regional banks ready to offer mobile trading?

Top tier banks have been offering mobile solutions to their institutional clients for a while now, ranging from research and indicative pricing, through to enabling clients to manage existing and in some cases placing new orders. With early compliance and security concerns having been addressed, banks such as Citi and JP Morgan are providing full mobile click and trade functionality.

But what about regional banks, what is their attitude towards mobile trading for corporate customers?

Here at Caplin, we are certainly seeing interest from a number of Continue reading

Internet Trends Update from Mary Meeker

If you haven’t seen it yet, there is an updated internet trends presentation on the KPCB website.

IMHO, most interesting is the chart of internet traffic in India (page 16), where mobile is now the predominant internet access method. The infrastructure costs of a wireless vs wired distribution favour wireless. If the relative cost savings are passed on this will promote mobile internet access and increased demand for functionally rich smartphones to facilitate that access. So the observed trend towards mobile access will continue, not just for India but for all countries where wireless is cheaper/easier to access.

India Internet Traffic

And what are the actual mobiles being used? StatCounter  has the stats – as per the following chart. Nokia is still very popular as in Africa but using Series 40 phones and the Nokia browser but the chart shows that Android market share is increasing.

India - Mobile OS

Compare this to the results in China, where the predominant mobile OS is Android. And then look at the Android growth in the original KPCB presentation on page 10 – growth is nearly 6 times that of the iPhone! If the unit cost of Android smartphones remains lower than the iPhone, I expect this trend to remain not just for China but for many other geographies which is why the global trend towards Android phones will continue – have a look at StatCounter for the figures. From a software development perspective delivering solutions to many different platforms/operating systems, one more reason to deliver native web apps.

Mobile OS in China

Tablets and HTML5 web trading apps

With the launch last week of a slew of products from Microsoft including Windows 8, Windows 8 RT and the Surface tablet, my colleague Steven South posted (on Caplin’s Platformability technical blog) what could be the start of an interesting discussion about the relevance of these announcements to HTML5 web trading apps.

Read Steve’s post here

Mobile Computing in the Financial Industry: The Perfect Storm

There has been an abundant amount of articles published recently about the trend toward mobile computing. The drivers for this have been primarily the phenomenal adoption rate of products such as the Apple iPad. But the iPad is not the only reason for fueling this trend. A “perfect storm” has been brewing for some time now that melds together several technology growth trends.

Trend #1 Adoption Rate of Mobile Devices

Adoption Rate of Mobile Devices Continue reading

Tradeshow November

November 2011 has been a very busy month for Caplin’s marketing team. The company exhibited its single-dealer platform technology at four tradeshows on three continents and also attended an awards dinner and a networking event in London and a tradeshow in Madrid.

November 1st saw Caplin’s Asia sales team in Shanghai for the Chinamoney e-Trading Conference, presented by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) held at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel. This was probably the most complex as it involved translating both our brochures and our software into Chinese. As you can see below, Caplin established a presence at the show and some excellent contacts were made.

Trevor Jarrett and Weisheng Liu at Caplin's booth

Continue reading

Cooking up some tasty Apple iPad GUIs

At the weekend I cooked up a brace of local partridge with caramelised apple.

Today I’m serving up a brace of tasty designs for the Apple iPad from the Caplin UX team – Yum! Enjoy.

Portfolio manager for brokers to manage portfolios and present options to clients.

Retail dashboard for monitoring/managing a personal portfolio

eTrading is transformational (doesn’t matter which segment)

eTrading is transformational, and it’s insightful to see how key metrics can radically change once a firm embraces electronic trading and starts to migrate from a high touch (voice/branch) model to a low touch electronic trading paradigm. Today’s report on Paddy Power in the  Daily Telegraph is an interesting case in point.

They may not be at the sophisticated (or glamorous) end of the spectrum, nevertheless Paddy Power – the bookie, has embraced online mobile trading (betting) in a big way, and the metrics are really impressive.

Continue reading

A website is not enough! RBS choose PlayBook tablet and a native application

It was interesting to read that RBS are to offer institutional clients a PlayBook tablet app

Obviously the choice of the as yet unreleased Blackberry PlayBook is mildly controversial, with most of the world talking about iPads or Android based tablets. The PlayBook has the advantage that it is made by Blackberry, who still dominate the corporate phone market, but whether that makes the PlayBook the right horse to back is open to debate.

However, what I found more interesting was the quote at the end of the article.

“Successful banks in this space will deliver content optimised for client use on their preferred devices. Mobile access to a Website will not be enough.”

There is a lot of debate in the tech world about native vs web for mobile devices. There are benefits to both of course, but the last sentence (Mobile access to a Website will not be enough) is possibly confusing. However good mobile browsers are at viewing websites, if it is content that is intended to be regularly viewed on a mobile device a more targeted approach can provide a much improved user experience.

This does not mean that a ‘website’ that is designed for mobile devices cannot be as good as, or even better, than a device specific native application. This would normally be called a ‘web app’ rather than a ‘website’, which is where the ambiguity in the quote lies. The difference may be subtle in some cases, but it is important that a mobile application, native or web app, is made with the type of device, screen size and input method in mind.

HTML5 on iPad: conspiracy or cock-up?

The Register published a rather breathless report today on an alleged sneaky trick by Apple.

Apparently, with Apple’s latest release of its mobile operating system (iOS 4.3), HTML5 apps running on an iPad or iPhone run slower when “installed” on the home screen than they do in the browser.

After you open a Web page on an iPad or iPhone, Apple allows you to save a shortcut to your home screen. If the page is a Web app, the result is something virtually indistinguishable from a native app, except it’s written in HTML5, and you don’t get it through the App Store but direct from the publisher over the Web. HTML5 apps run really well on the iPad — at Caplin, we’ve already written some proof-of-concept trading apps in this way, and the functionality and performance are surprisingly good. Continue reading

Single Dealer Platforms: Native or Browser-based Mobile Apps?

Mobile services is one of the hottest places in the single dealer platform arena right now as tier 1 investment banks chase the retail banks and online brokerages by providing corporate and institutional mobile offerings.

JP Morgan kicked off the race early last year, launching an iPhone version of MorganDirect – an institutional foreign exchange and rate trading platform – and other banks have since released a wealth of research, analytics and portfolio management apps for both internal staff and external clients.

While sell-side traders might not be swapping Bloomberg terminals for a handheld devices any time soon, it seems inevitable that banks will invest in mobile technology to cater for buy-side ‘anytime & anywhere’ demand, to increase flow and offer value-add.

And as business pursues mobile pre-trade, execution and post-trade services, e-commerce managers face some rather tough questions:

Continue reading


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