A Top Fintech CEO Explains How His Company Solved Traders' Problems With Technology

While it remains to be seen if fintech can rewrite the ledger of finance or whether the big banks are doomed (their recent earnings reports suggest otherwise), the financial services industry is still ripe for technological innovation, says Tradovate CEO Rick Tomsic.

Tradovate is a futures brokerage firm that offers a commission-free cloud-based trading platform, and Tomsic started the company after he recognized that traders didn’t have some of the technological conveniences the rest of society was quickly coming to expect as standard.

Bringing Finance Up To Date

“[In many firms], the technology is so old that it’s pretty difficult just to trade on a Mac,” Tomsic said in an interview with Benzinga. “While trading on a mobile phone is doable, a lot of times it’s a third-party solution, which limits the experience. When we were starting Tradovate, we asked, ‘Is there an opportunity for a cloud-based futures platform that traders could trade on from anywhere, on any device?’”

Tomsic found that there was indeed such an opportunity. Much like how Netflix, Inc. NFLX users can start a show on one device and finish it on another, traders using Tradovate can place orders on tablets, iPhones, Androids and a browser-based platform.

“You can place a trade on your phone and cancel it on your desktop,” Tomsic said.

Why Pay Every Time?

Tomsic also saw other opportunities arise that weren’t solely because of outdated technology.

Despite a general shift toward subscription sales in software and financial services, trading commissions are charged on a transactional basis, which Tomsic believes is outdated.

“We’re in a subscription economy,” said Tomsic. “So, we looked at the way futures firms charge, and asked why commissions are still imposed on a transactional basis. There’s really not an additional cost per trade with the way the technology is built today. That’s why Tradovate offers a flat-fee subscription plan to be able to trade futures unlimited, commission-free.”

Breaking Barriers To Entry

Tomsic sums up the firm’s value proposition by charting a hypothetical introduction to futures trading:

“A typical retail customer may have to go find a piece of software to trade on, then find an introducing broker, then find a clearing firm just to be able to trade,” Tomsic said. “Along the way, there are a lot of firms that still negotiate commission rates, and it’s not very transparent. What we’ve done that with Tradovate was break all those molds by offering an easy-to-understand format and a hassle-free experience.”

Image Credit: Provided by and used with expressed permission from Tradovate.
Posted In: FintechFuturesStartupsMarketsInterviewRick TomsicTradovate
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