February 15, 2022

For FX Traders, Desktop Productivity Is Another Form of Currency

At OpenFin, we provide frameworks and environments that enable traders to transact efficiently and access information as part of a unified workflow. And while our capabilities extend across asset classes, the foreign exchange (FX) market, with its high volumes, sudden movements and round-the-clock hours, is a perfect use case for the OpenFin-powered desktop.

Over the past several years, many industry firms have been challenged by the need to integrate cutting-edge tools and technologies as part of a unified workflow. The need to switch contexts, rekey information and navigate an increasingly crowded desktop can create a net negative in terms of productivity. For FX traders, this dynamic is especially pronounced, as they must be able to access market data in real time and make instantaneous decisions in rapid succession. If needed information is difficult to access, it can translate to real dollars lost.

Historically, app providers in this space have tried to solve for this by focusing on UI and UX. If traders are hampered by disjointed workflows, at least the individual tools can be as engaging and easy to use as possible, so goes the logic. But over the past few years, providers have stepped up their game, building FX tools that compete not on their user-friendliness, but on the access to liquidity, data, information, TCA and pricing that they enable.

This is a welcome shift for traders – they’d rather providers try to outdo each other on critically needed functionality than bells and whistles – but navigating it is easier said than done. How can firms get the most value out of their FX trading apps when they require seamless data flows and deft navigation of feature-rich platforms?

Enter OpenFin Workspace, a robust set of modules purpose-built to help firms increase productivity and deliver exceptional employee experiences. This suite enables FX traders to take full advantage of the most powerful tools on the market while remaining in a state of flow.

For example, OpenFin Notification Center, one of Workspace’s most powerful features, can deliver important alerts, needed market data and more in real time, without forcing the trader to switch between windows to hunt for the information. Users can set priority levels and adjust the interface according to preference, creating an elegant and personalized experience.

But perhaps the most compelling characteristic of Notification Center is its dynamic nature – notifications are actionable, so users can complete tasks without leaving their current window. To top it off, data constantly streams into the notification in real time, enabling users to monitor the rapid changes that define FX markets while maintaining their workflow.

OpenFin Home, another Workspace module, unlocks further efficiencies. While a large volume of data can be delivered via notifications, it’s inevitable that users will sometimes need to track things down for themselves. In these situations, instead of scouring multiple disjointed platforms, FX traders can enter a given currency pair into the search bar and be presented with real-time pricing and information collected from various platforms, all delivered in a unified view via the Home screen.

These features work in tandem, with Notification Center pushing information into user workflows via actionable alerts and Home pulling information from across the crowded and disjointed financial desktop. Combine them with longstanding features of OpenFin’s OS, such as interoperability, and firms gain maximum ability to empower users and boost productivity.

Don’t just take our word for it – take it from our FX clients. Over the years, major banks including BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, NatWest and UBS have leveraged OpenFin to build their single-dealer platforms, all of which include FX trading functionality. We’ve worked with vendors dedicated to serving these markets, such as BarracudaFX and BidFX, as well as EMS providers with FX capabilities, such as FlexTrade and REDI. In addition, many buy-side firms work with us to optimize their FX trading desks. Our track record is extensive and our ecosystem is constantly growing, making us an ideal partner in this space.

The introduction of desktop productivity tools to help manage the complex FX trader workflow dovetails nicely with the shift to a work-from-anywhere environment, in which their challenges may be magnified by the hardware they are using, such as single-monitor setups or mobile devices. In both cases, free-flowing data can help solve for the friction caused by leveraging numerous tools. As organizations continue to think critically about digital transformation, employee productivity and the future of work, this will continue to be a crucial consideration.

We at OpenFin look forward to continuing to drive these conversations and supporting our clients and the industry at large through more efficient workflows, superior desktop experiences and cost savings, including for those in the FX space. Want to learn more? Drop us a line.

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