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Robert Sales
Robert Sales
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Dreyfus Introduces Wireless Trading at Internet Prices

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Dreyfus Brokerage Services is offering wireless handheld trading capabilities at no additional service charge to its clients.

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Dreyfus Brokerage Services is offering wireless handheld trading capabilities at no additional service charge to its clients. Dreyfus has selected the w-Trade Technologies wireless trading system and will offer wireless trading on a variety of handheld devices, at the same price per trade as Internet trading. Clients with handheld devices must have airtime on a digital network to conduct trades, manage their accounts, check orders, and get quotes through the system.

"This wasn't done from a profit motive perspective, this was done for customer service," says Jeffrey Nachman, chief executive officer of Dreyfus Brokerage Services. "We are in a very mobile society, and it's an added convenience to be able to look at portfolios or make a trade without have to call and talk to a rep or be in front of a computer." Dreyfus is offering the wireless trading on Palm series organizers, Windows CE-based handheld devices, the RIM Interactive pager, the Nokia Communicator and smart cellular phones. The service was made available August 1st for all investors with accounts at Dreyfus.

Trading through the wireless handheld devices is priced the same as Internet trading, $15 for equity trades-- with no differential for limit orders or size--and $1.50 per options trade. Dreyfus has also recently introduced fixed income trading capability, allowing bond orders to be placed via the devices. "Dreyfus is the first brokerage to offer this type of service at no additional cost, whereas the average cost for using the wireless handheld device at other firms runs approximately $30 per month per user," claims Karin Herrmann, chief operating officer of w-Trade Technologies. Anything that can be done online with the brokerage firm can be done through the wireless device, adds Herrmann.

According to Nachman, Dreyfus chose the w-Trade wireless trading system because "it interfaces well with our system and is scalable, so we can migrate to higher-end technology as the ability to deliver more information over the wireless network improves." W-Trade currently has 20 signed contracts with different brokerages for wireless trading capabilities and offers promotions with many wireless providers to give customers free devices when they pay for wireless service. Dreyfus features the smart phone device free to customers when they sign up with a certain provider. "We didn't want to punish customers by charging more for wireless handheld trading services or give them a device that is very expensive," says Nachman.

The w-Trade wireless trading system can either be installed at the brokerage or hosted at the w-Trade Technologies data center. The firms can either license the system to the site or pay for services according to the number or users and number of trades per month, according to the needs of the brokerage, says Herrmann.

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