ACI Singapore


ACI Singapore

Our man in Singapore, Randy Hebert, and I were among the 700 or so delegates that attended the 52nd ACI World Congress which was held in the Marina Bay Sands Conference Centre, Singapore from March 14-16.

Much has changed since the ACI World Congress was last held in Singapore in 2001, when Singapore also had the unique privilege of hosting the first World Congress of the new millennia, in particular the growth and increased significance of Asia to the World economy. It is now estimated that Asia, and especially the People’s Republic of China accounts for over 60% of global growth.

Caplin clients at the ACI event included Standard Bank and Citi VelocityCaplin Trader was featured at the Progress Apama booth giving delegates the opportunity to see a complete e-commerce solution with Apama providing aggregation & rate management with Caplin Trader for client distribution.

The conference featured presentations on topics such as the future of banking in Asia, financial regulation, and the impact of China and the rest of Asia on the financial markets.  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

Who were the UX designers behind Morgan Stanley’s Matrix platform?


It’s been nearly three years since Morgan Stanley first launched their ‘game changing’ (in cost, team size and scope) Matrix single dealer platform.

Although Caplin weren’t involved in the project, it’s interesting nonetheless to understand who were the User eXperience (UX) design consultants behind the innovative platforms vision – as distinct from the technical delivery and build team consultants.

From what we can see, Continue reading

RBC new single dealer platform DirectExecution (RBCDX)


RBC is rolling out their new single dealer platform, ‘RBC DirectExecution’ (RBCDX), aimed at their corporate and real-money institutional clients.

The platform, commissioned over three years ago has Continue reading

BNP single dealer platform CORTEX FX – now released!


BNP Paribas has now officially released their new ‘Silverlight’ single dealer platform CORTEX FX.

The microsite offers plenty of video’s and insight into the platform, with key features being: Continue reading

Bret Victor uncovers the evils of interaction design


Over on Coding the Markets there is an interesting discussion around Bret Victor and his treatise on UI design ‘Magic Ink‘ from (2006) where he uncovers the evils of interaction design

Also if you haven’t seen this more recent video from Bret – you should:

In fact we liked the video so much we ran it as a Techtalk within Caplin :)

More on this topic is available on Caplin’s technology focused blog Platformability

Is Google about to kill Firefox?


Online trading offerings, and single-dealer platforms in particular, rely heavily on modern browser functionality to enable them to deliver a great experience to users. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browsers have long been a drag on progress in this area, since their functionality and performance have lagged far behind their competitors. So IE’s recent spectacular loss of market share is a crucial trend. It has two important competitors (on the desktop, at least): Firefox and, more recently, Google Chrome.

Chrome has achieved stunning success since it was launched just two years ago. It has rocketed from zero to nearly 24% of overall browser use, and is on the point of overtaking Firefox as the world’s second most widely-used browser (according to a recent ComputerWorld report). Continue reading

Empowering users with ‘app based’ single-dealer platforms


In September, we covered Deutsche Bank’s new Autobahn ‘App market’, and how they are striving to make the complex simple.

The ‘app’ concept seems to be developing as a theme, and is covered more in an interesting article in today’s Financial News, (password required).

Some good comments from Serge Marston of Deutsche Bank and Thom Soede of BNP.

Serge Marston, Deutsche Bank

We’re bringing the entire weight of our intellectual property to Autobahn with the App Market, around the entire life cycle of a trade. Pre-trade services are where the next big battleground will be, with a focus on how we can differentiate ourselves from the other marketmakers

Tom Soede, BNP Continue reading

Focus on UX: FX sales traders have all the fun!


Following on from work to expose the metrics available in the Xaqua platform by Scott we have started to consider the design opportunities to enhance sales trader user experience (UX).

Here we give sales traders visibility of the quoting activity of a client vs the sector, combined with other client specific information into an FX sales trader dashboard UI.

This design provides sales traders with:

  • easy access to valuable client information
  • additional channels for sales/client interaction via social media
  • a ‘smart watchlist’ view of clients regularly quoted FX pairs.

Feedback from sales indicates this design increases both trade flow and client/trader satisfaction.

Top banks hiring UX designers for Single-Dealer Platform projects


A quick search using LinkedIn, shows that most top-tier banks have over the past year employed a dedicated Head of UX Design, or User Experience recourse, primarily focused on enhancing the ‘user centric design experience’ of their Single Dealer Platforms.

These banks understand that building a world-class SDP requires far more than ‘just’ a robust execution capability.

Great UX design is about truly understanding your client, and for each client segment you serve, designing a naturally intuitive user experience that seamlessly integrates compelling workflows throughout the pre-trade, trade and post trade life-cycle.

Whilst not all e-commerce teams can justify a dedicated UX resource,

no SDP e-trading project should start without UX design input.

It’s therefore really encouraging to see the value our clients place on the UX design service we provide as part of all our SDP projects. Ensuring that the ‘voice of the user’ is not only heard, but that the end user’s workflow requirements are actually at the heart of all our e-commerce engagements.

In future posts, Duncan Brown, Head of Caplin UX Design Practice, will take us through some recent example work, and explain the UX design criteria behind the design.

Here is the first of them: FX sales traders have all the fun!

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