A-book/B-book brokers: what the difference is and how to make a right choice
Have you ever faced the forex A-book/B-book risk models while choosing a broker for trading? Or maybe you've wondered which of these models to choose for your own brokerage business? What kind of concepts are these? Who is a forex market maker? And how much do forex brokers earn? Let's figure out!
From the trader's point of view, forex trading looks relatively simple: you just need to press the button to open an order and see a confirmation of the transaction on the screen. But how does it work? In order for a trader's deal to be executed, there must be a counterparty in the execution chain: if someone buys an asset, then someone must sell it.
There are two types of broker operating technologies - A-Book and B-Book models, which differ in the way client orders are brought to the market. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Forex A-book model
A-Book model is the business model of a broker where all trader's orders are forwarded directly to the forex liquidity provider, who then redirects them to the interbank market.
A-Book broker gets commissions for a fixed volume of transactions (usually for 1 lot) or a spread markup. The broker in this scheme is only an intermediary providing financial services. The final counterparty is the traders placing opposite orders in the market, or a liquidity provider. This is the main advantage of the A-Book model - no conflicts of interests. The broker receives its commission irrespective of whether traders earn or lose their money. While perspectively both traders and the broker are interested in the successful trading. The more transactions traders make, the more commission their broker receives.
However, Forex is rarely that simple. A-Book model has its drawbacks both for traders and brokers. The broker needs to sign agreements with a liquidity provider (or with several of them), obtain licenses, provide technical support to bring client orders to the external market. It all costs time and money. Accordingly, the A-Book broker is forced to increase the mark-up to the spread to justify its costs.
Forex B-Book model
The B-Book model is a model, where the broker itself acts as a forex market maker, processing orders in house. In other words, traders' orders aren't displayed anywhere outside the broker's platform. There is no external liquidity pool. Obviously, a conflict of interest arises since the broker takes on not only the role of an intermediary, but also a counterparty. That's why the B-Book model is often wrongly associated with a fraud. In fact, Forex is unpredictable and the B-book model goes with both high profits and big losses.
The trader's earnings are equal to the broker’s losses. Therefore, dishonest brokers may be interested in setting non-market quotes in the terminal, spying on the set client stops and knocking them down with plugins in the server side of the platform to make the trader lose money. Unfortunately, there are many such “bucket shop” brokerage companies, but we won't dwell on this — we analyze forex brokers, not scammers.
If the broker behaves this way, it signs its own death warrant. Deceived clients won't remain silent and surely destroy the broker's reputation, which is actually a key for successful operating in Forex. It is long-term cooperation that rules the show.
To avoid the shortcomings of the A-Book and B-Book schemes, brokers came up with a hybrid model. This is one of the most frequent options among large brokers. Hybrid model means that the broker executes small transactions within its platform, while large transactions can be withdrawn to the liquidity provider and then to the interbank.
This model is an optimal solution for both brokers and traders, but a tricky one. The main headache for broker is to categorize traders properly. That’s where a special software comes into a play, tracking the amount of a trader’s deposit, the leverage used, the risk level of each transaction, the use or non-use of protective stops. All this data helps the broker to determine which of the 2 models (A-Book or B-Book) to use for executing an order.
Сomparison of A-Book and B-Book brokers' profitability
Perhaps after reading all the information above, you have a logical question: which broker earns more A-Book or B-Book one? Which model should I personally choose for my business to reduce my brokerage risks? There is no definite answer to this question. It all depends.
Statistically, the profit of an A-Book forex broker is less, but more stable. It is well known that 80-95% of traders lose their initial deposit within 6 months, which plays into the hands of the Forex B-book broker. But don't forget about unforeseen circumstances that regularly occur and make B-book brokers suffer huge losses, often for many months in a row.
We conclude that none of the schemes can be a panacea for losses. You must decide which business model to choose for you, depending on your business plans and strategies. The same goes for traders who choose their broker. Everything is very individual.
Neither A-Book nor B-Book model guarantees a successful business or a profitable trade. These models are just tools for doing business, and your personal benefit depends only on how professional you can use these tools.
Forex trading provides you with unlimited opportunities for success and financial well-being, if you approach running your business responsibly, acquire patience and use business models that are suitable exact for your purposes.
Interested in forex A-book, B-book? Read an interview with Vasily Alexeev for Forbes.
Every new player in the brokerage business inevitably faces the need to obtain a license, since Forex trading comes with special regulations. No need for panic: the process of applying for and obtaining a Forex license is not as scary as it might seem at first glance. Where to begin with getting a license, how to choose a suitable jurisdiction and how much it will cost you — let’s find out right now.
Forex is a very competitive and demanding industry. The right choice of jurisdiction for obtaining a license is one of the key factors that will determine the success of your company, so it must be approached very carefully. Before settling upon a particular region, you need to see which jurisdictions offer the best conditions for doing business, as well as consider the psychology of your future clients.
First thing to remember is that there is no simple path that will magically lead you to become a licensed broker. Legal and regulatory responsibility requires doing a lot of paperwork and signing agreements, but the payback is definitely worth it.
If you want to make your life easier, we are ready to help you with the most common challenges, such as registering a business and choosing a jurisdiction. Depending on the countries you plan to work in, what financial risks you are willing to bear, and what type of broker you want to launch, we will choose the regulator that will not be a hindrance to your operation. UpTrader provides a full range of legal services both as a standalone package, and as part of White Label Meta Trader 4 and Meta Trader 5 offerings.
There are 2 main options: offshore or European licensing. Let's take a closer look at both of them.
Offshore licensing are the most common and simplest option in the business. It is popular due to its low cost and fast registration. On average, obtaining an offshore license will cost you $20,000 and will take about 2.5–3 months. Among other benefits, doing business in an offshore jurisdiction allows optimizing the tax burden.
The main advantages of having offshore companies:
support of foreign businessmen at all levels
All these advantages provide good business opportunities. You will protect your company not only from liquidation attempts, but also against illegal claims.
Unfortunately, not everything is so simple. There are drawbacks to registering an offshore company. For example, the restrictions on the part of many countries. Some states, such as the USA and EU countties, put companies that are registered in such regions under more thorough scrutiny, which will slow down your ability to fulfill financial obligations.
Here are the most convenient zones for doing business related to financial services:
1. Belize is an offshore zone with a stable economy and financia sector, which is advantageous for registering a foreign company, including the brokerage niche.
2. Vanuatu is a great place to start a Forex company due to its simple requirements and tax incentives.
3. The British Virgin Islands (BVI), Mauritius, and the Bahamas are popular because of the low taxes, which also applies to licensed activities.
4. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is one of the most confidential business jurisdictions.
A European financial license for your business will undoubtedly ensure a solid reputation and credibility. Clearly, it won’t be cheap (at least $50,000 for the registration), you still have to deposit funds into a bank account for your company's authorized capital. Registration of a company and obtaining a license will take about a year. In European jurisdictions, there are strict accounting and reporting regulations, as well as a local office is also a requirement. Among the Western jurisdictions, New Zealand and Cyprus are the most favorable in terms of taxation, the cost of setting up a company and registration in general. The cost of a license here starts from about $35,000.
As we have already mentioned, when choosing a jurisdiction, it is very important to take into account the region your company’s activities will be focused on, as well as how important it is for potential clients to deal specifically with the European jurisdiction. The key is to determine in which bank you would like to open an account for your company. The reputation of the bank is in direct ratio totrust of your future clients . For example, it is almost impossible to open an account in a prestigious European bank for a company registered in Belize.
Criteria for choosing a jurisdiction
We have already considered the distinctive features and differences of obtaining licenses in offshore and European jurisdictions. Here is some practical advice on choosing the right jurisdiction for your business.
1. First of all, pay attention to the registration costs. In some countries, the registration process is quite simple and doesn’t take much time, therefore registration fees and requirements are low.
2. The second point to pay attention to is the conditions of obtaining a brokerage license. The cost of such a license can be quite high, and the time it takes to obtain it varies from a couple of weeks to a year. In some offshore jurisdictions, the activity of Forex brokers isn’t legally regulated, so brokers must make an important decision for themselves whether to do business in countries with a weak legal field, given that this may be negatively perceived by partners, investors, clients, and banks.
3. Political stability in the country also plays an important role. You need to make sure that your chosen zone has a strong legal system, transparent economic policies, and a stable currency without restrictions on investment repatriation. Business processes can be influenced by various political factors, for example, the risk of a new government coming to power and tax relief due to international political pressure.
4. Don’t forget about the peculiarities of the tax regime. Some offshore jurisdictions have lower tax rates, and there are also zones with zero taxation status. However, tax exemption is not always the deciding factor.
Finally, we should mention the meaning of the blacklist. This list is regularly updated by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). It includes a list of jurisdictions that are not considered for cooperation in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
How to work without license in 2021? Get some hacks here
Contact us at https://uptrader.io/
Marketing is a set of processes of creating, promoting and delivering a product to customers, as well as managing relationships with them. The concept of marketing includes a very wide range of activities aimed at improving the organization's position in the market. Each company has its own methods, strategies and tools, ranging from competitive analysis to increasing the competitiveness of a product or service. Specific events and channels are determined by the company's marketers in accordance with the goals and objectives.
In this article, we will tell you why marketing support is vital for your brokerage business, whether it be attracting marketing agencies (if you have money for this) or in-house.
One of the key points in the success of your business is attracting new customers and retaining the loyalty of old ones. Due to the growing competition in the Forex trading market, promotion in this area becomes more and more challenging every year. A lot of new brokers appear with very favorable conditions to grab the trader's attention. When working in such a busy market as Forex, it is very important to find your niche and implement the available budget as efficiently as possible to highlight your company against the background of competitors. As a rule, an integrated approach is required to solve this problem.
In terms of broker ads and forex marketing as a whole, we have to speak mainly about internet marketing. So let's focus on it. There are several types of internet marketing.
1. Content marketing
In a content marketing campaign, you should not only constantly trying to sell your product, but provide your clients with useful and interesting content, be it articles, images or videos.
Your content should be audience-oriented. Focus on the pain points and needs of your leads. From “how do i get into forex trading” to “how to trade cryptocurrency”.
This way you can show your care about your customers and win them over. Useful and high-quality materials will prove your expertise in the field of trading. Consider starting a company blog on your website to post textual and graphical content as well as different types of analytics.
2. Contextual advertising and SEO optimization
After you created a blog and started filling it with high quality content, SEO comes to play. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of measures for external and internal website optimization. The main goal is to increase positions in the search engine results for effective, selling queries.
SEO plays a big role in website promotion, so it is important to include the most popular keywords in the text of the article and adhere to a clear structure and design. By creating a good link structure, you can not only increase organic traffic, but also attract users from third-party resources.
Contextual advertising or PPC (Pay per click) advertising is the display of your ad unit in search results for a specific user request with pay per click. These search results have a small "advertisement" mark most often displayed above the free results. For example, you can buy your company a place in the SERP for the search query “forex rank” and pay per every click on it.
In context targeting, advertising media are controlled on the basis of the website content using linguistic elements. These ads are selected and served by automated systems based on a context of a user's content preferences, which means that the users are highly likely to be interested in a product or service. The most popular advertising platform is Google Ads contextual advertising service.
3. Social media marketing
An interesting point. SMM (Social media marketing) is a way to promote websites and solve other business problems, based on the use of social networks. Statistically, modern people spend over two hours per day on social media, which makes it a great place to put an advertisement in.
Social media can't be ignored when developing a broker marketing strategy. Networks like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Telegram, and YouTube are perfect for promoting your company's website and products.
The main SMM tools are: blogging on social networks, communication in the comments, monitoring forums and communities, influence marketing (working with bloggers), hidden marketing, direct advertising and viral marketing and optimizing the media space. SMM tools allow you to reach a large number of new users and make them loyal to your brand.
4. Email Marketing
One more way to attract new leads and establish communication with your customers is Email marketing. If your CRM system has email marketing functionality, you can attract new customers with minimal effort. At UpTrader we offer you such a CRM system which makes your dialogue with a client as effective as inexpensive.
Start your communication with clients with simple notifications that we offer you in UpTrader's CRM. Registration, opening an account, replenishment and verification emails would be enough for beginning. Next, create your own email strategy and start putting it into practice.
Thus, we have told you about the main internet promotion channels that are perfect for advertising a brokerage firm. You can use those of them that seem the most effective to you, however, we remind you that the best solution would be an integrated approach, that is, using all the channels. In the next article, we will dwell on the rules of building an effective marketing strategy. Stay with us.
If you have carefully read our step-by-step guide on opening your own brokerage business and have followed the entire algorithm of actions, now you probably already have your own brokerage firm (if not, then close this article, immediately tap the link and read the previous one). If you are still here then it is time for an upgrade of your startup – starting a good affiliate program.
Affiliates can make $5 000, $10 000, $50 000 and more per month. It depends on a target. If you want to expand your FX brokerage business, increase traffic to your website and find new customers, you surely need to run a kind of partnership program. First, let's have a general look at what types of programs exist.
The most common are:
1. Affiliate programs, where partners (affiliates) get reward for each client they attract.
2. Referral programs, where sales come in through referrals, often generated by current customers with the help of coupons or discounts as incentives to bring in new clients.
3. Reseller programs, where the reseller sells products as if they are his own. Client gets services from the reseller and doesn’t deal with the main company at all.
Today we will focus on the first type, namely introducing broker programs, since this is the easiest and the most effective way to attract new customers with minimal costs.
What is an Introducing Broker
An introducing broker (IB) is a person who acts as a middleman between a client and a brokerage firm. Introducing broker looks for new clients and has direct relationships with them, but delegates back office operations to the brokerage in exchange for commissions. IBs in Forex deals with the clients better than the brokerage firm since they are local, and customer service is their primary goal. They not only recruit new customers but help them with onboarding as well as keep them engaged in trading. This kind of partnership is a win-win and risk-free situation for both sides.
How to start an affiliate program
Hopefully, we have convinced you of the necessity and usefulness of introducing broker programs. Now let's take a closer look at how to launch such a program for your business.
1. Hire managers
First, you need to hire 1 or more (depends on the size of your firm) affiliate managers to run the program. Don’t underestimate the amount of work they should do as well as the amount of time this work requires. There are quite a lot of procedures you need to go through to make the program work and bring you real profit.
2. Check your competitors
Explore multiple partnership models that other brokers use, their working conditions and introducing broker fees. Make sure your commission is average on the market, fair but not overpriced. Good IBs interested in well paying programs, but assess your capabilities realistically.
3. Set up an affiliate management software
When it comes to managing an affiliate program, you have two paths: go with one of the ready made software solutions or build your own. At the very beginning we advise you to choose one of the ready-to-use solutions with basic functionality, since it will be much cheaper and easier. The software must help you scale, but not eat up all the revenue from the affiliates.
4. Recruit affiliates
Probably, the most difficult and time-consuming step. Many brokerage firms have the majority of their sales from only 10-20% of their affiliates. This means that in some ways, recruiting the right IBs is a numbers game. The main problem here is that you can choose partners very carefully, but there is still no guarantee that they will bring you profit. On the other hand, you have nothing to lose in case of a bad choice, since IBs are only paid for each client they attract. You are in a risk-free situation as we already said before.
We offer you 4 strategies to hire introducing brokers:
1. Approach your own customers
2. Reach out to influencers, experts, and educators
3. Find competitors’ affiliates
4. Paid advertising
5. Affiliate sign-up, onboarding and teaching
After you hire affiliates and agree on working conditions, you need to conduct training for them. No matter if you are hiring experienced IBs or newcomers, you still need to provide them with all the necessary instructions and information about the program and your company as a whole. Tell them about your main corporate values and goals.These people will speak on behalf of your company and should not damage your reputation in any way. Continue to keep in touch with your affiliates after the onboarding period. Good communication is a crucial point in building a successful business strategy, make sure to invest in it.
6. Define the commission structure
Сhoosing the commission structures to pay your IBs is a highly important issue. There are several of them:
1. A percentage of the sale (You pay a percentage of referral purchase amount as commission to the affiliates)
2. A flat fee (IB gets a flat fee for each purchase, regardless of its amount)
3. Recurring commissions (You pay your affiliates as long as their referral stays a customer)
4. Product credits (You pay your affiliates with product credits. Usually this model works only if your IBs are your own clients)
Take the choice of an introducing broker fees system seriously, to maximize your profit.
This choice should be based on the types of activities and results you want to get from your affiliates.
You can pay your affiliates automatically through the CRM system. For example, UpTrader CRM support all popular methods of payments, so it would not be a problem.
7. Create affiliate policies
1. Approved and forbidden traffic sources
2. Usage of the company’s materials and trademark
3. Usage of discount codes
4. Providing clients with accurate information on prices, affiliate tracking etc.
Consistently and carefully following all the steps, you can attract decent partners to your business, thereby expanding it and significantly increasing profits. You have already done a great job of starting your own brokerage firm. Now it's time for your partners to work for you.
Find out more about forex affiliate program
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