Firstrade Securities is rolling out w-Trade Technologies' Wireless Trading System in support of its traders and clients. Firstrade, a discount brokerage firm, plans to make the wireless technology available to clients in about two weeks. Currently, several clients are using RIM two-way Interactive Pagers installed with the w-Trade software and linked to Firstrade's online trading services. Features of the wireless trading system include personalized alerting, real-time quotes, portfolio and account review and management and access to the Firstrade Web site to execute trades.
Firstrade is in the process of upgrading it's online services and plans to pursue full marketing of the wireless product to traders and customers in two weeks. "Once our Website is upgraded, the system will be faster and more powerful in order to accommodate the volume of wireless trading," says John Liu, president of Firstrade. With the open architecture of w-Trade's wireless trading system, clients will be able to choose from multiple handheld devices. Liu says Firstrade is concentrating first on the product, offering the service solely on pagers and in time will look at extending the wireless devices to include cellular phones and possibly other components.
Liu says that Firstrade chose to begin wireless trading capability with the pagers because, "they're small and very efficient, this is a very important alternative for our customers and the future of trading." Firstrade selected the w-Trade technology over four months ago, and went live with its first users of the wireless platform in June. "From the response so far, we found that this will become a major alternative for trading in the future because while people are away from the office they like to see the information, not just make phone calls," says Liu.
Besides mobile traders who need remote trading capabilities, w-Trade is targeting its system at institutional salespeople, money managers and hedge fund managers. (ETW, 1/25/99) The w-Trade wireless application server hooks into back-end database and transaction systems, allowing brokerage firms to extend wireless trading to customers. The w-Trade system can also run real-time news feeds or research services used by the individual brokerages.