TradeStation has updated its mobile app for iOS, enabling investors to place trades even quicker. According to a description posted by the company, with the upgrade, customers will be able to send and manage orders through its updated Matrix tool and save time by creating customized order defaults for each trade they make. There's also quicker order entry thanks to the ability to bypass the order confirmation dialog as well as support for Apple's iPhone X.
The move on the part of TradeStation to update its mobile app comes as it is focusing on bringing in more millennials and younger investors. According to Financefeeds.com, TradeStation president John Bartleman said in July that 20% of the firm's business is coming from mobile users. "Today, we are taking technology into a new direction – with more mobile and web-based offerings, and go after a much broader audience of traders," the executive said at the time.
TradeStation is doing more than beefing up its mobile app. It is also among the first movers in the online trading world to offer its customers access to bitcoin futures. Earlier this week, Cboe World Markets bitcoin futures began trading, and customers of TradeStation were able to get access on day one. CME Group, the world's largest futures exchange, is gearing up to launch its bitcoin futures on Dec. 18.
Bitcoin is a widely popular cryptocurrency that has been surging in price all year. Based on blockchain technology, bitcoin started the year trading at $1,000 and recently surpassed $17,000. James Putra, director of innovation and strategy at TradeStation, recently said that clients have expressed interest in the futures product and that it will help drive "much more" capital into the cryptocurrency markets as well as boost awareness. Ally Invest is also offering its customers access to bitcoin futures, while TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab are taking a wait-and-see approach.
According to Morgan Stanley, the online brokerages that provide customers with access to the futures stand to benefit over their more conservative rivals. In a recent research report covered by Business Insider, Morgan Stanley said that one of the big benefits of offering DIY investors access to the new cryptocurrency product is the potential to cross-sell. A big and important practice on Wall Street, cross-selling happens when a trading firm lands a new client for one service and then gets the client into other products at the brokerage firm.
But the benefits don't stop there. Morgan Stanley said that offering the new products could build brand awareness among regular investors. "Brokers that offer bitcoin futures trading may appear more cutting edge than competitors without it, attracting more clients," Morgan Stanley said. "If it were 20 years ago when the discount brokers were insurgents, we wouldn't be surprised to see them as first movers in providing access to newly regulated areas of cryptocurrency trading. Over time, they may well move beyond bitcoin futures."