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2.3.6 Brokerage and Securities Trading

Brokerage is the web-based trading of securities, raw materials and currencies. The main focus here can be on either cheap, internet-based trading or on the receipt of information about the strategies of successful traders. Zecco ( isa California-based online trader that was founded as early as 2006. It is characterised by extremely cheap trading conditions and contains a social community platform for people who trade securities via this platform. Facebook users can use Zecco thanks to a cooperation with Trade King (Zecco 2013).

Most newcomers offer social trading services. Social trading is a new possibility to access financial markets in a simple and cheap manner. In social trading, traders are connected to each other worldwide in a social network. This means that individual traders can benefit from the experience of other members and act jointly. Since the collective knowledge of the community is available to each trader, completely new possibilities emerge. Social trading or investing is also known as mirror trading. Among those active in the German-speaking area are: Ayondo (, Etoro (, Twindepots (twindepots. de), Wikifolio (, United Signals ( and Moneymeets ( The basic principle of these platforms is similar. A trader opens a portfolio and his or her activities are visible to the users of the platform in question. If investors are convinced by the trader's strategy, they can invest their money with a broker in a manner that duplicates the trader's strategy. Other providers, such as Moneymeets, disclose their members' trading strategies, but other users are not obliged to adopt them. Here the focus is more on the exchange of information about the various investment strategies chosen. With United Signals, Etoro and Ayondo one can follow traders, but their identities are usually not disclosed. It is up to the investor to research which trader pursues the optimum risk-yield profile for his or her needs.

On many platforms it is also possible to duplicate certain portfolios without investing real money, and to follow these virtually to see how a real capital investment would have developed (see NZZ 24.12.2012 for an overview of mirror trading). Tracking communities often examine in retrospect how successful a stock recommendation was. Sharewise ( is such a stock community for investors, who can communicate there with other, like-minded investors and check who made correct prognoses in the past. This retrospective analysis of recommendations is claimed as an essential advantage of this community. The information is available free of charge. At the same time, Sharewise automatically checks all recommendations with the help of a professional ratings system and shows who the best investors are or who has managed to beat the benchmark index STOXX Europe 600 in the long term (Sharewise 2013).

Investory ( acts in a similar manner to Sharewise and offers registered members an insight into the portfolios of successful independent traders, the ongoing monitoring of their own portfolio, a shares blog and other services connected to securities trading (Investory 2013). Waytrading ( is a free, interactive online site on which interested investors can exchange views and publish virtual investment decisions.

The American company Loyal3 ( goes a step further with its new service. It offers customers the chance to buy the shares of their favourite companies directly on Facebook. While in classic banks this would involve a comprehensive and time-consuming advisory documentation and annoying fees, Loyal3 offers easy-to-use purchase with only three clicks. And it is all completely free to the customer. Companies that wish to sell shares to their “fans” install the relevant app on their company website or Facebook page. Fans can then subscribe to the shares in batches from 10 US dollars per month. The advantage for the companies is not only the direct and cheap financing, but also the resulting strong customer loyalty. The customer who owns part of the company is usually a loyal customer who buys more and recommends the services of the company to others (Nextmind 2013). Friends of the customer see their activities on Facebook and become curious. By these means, friends also become new customers and partowners of the company.

Some newcomers supplement social trading with gamification. Gamification is the use of game-like elements and processes in non-game contexts. Integrating game-like elements is intended to increase the motivation of the customer, who would otherwise have to conduct less challenging, too monotonous or too complex transactions.

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