Best connectivity, hosting and co‑location service: smartTrade Technologies

Best connectivity, hosting and co-location service: smartTrade Technologies
FX Markets e-FX Awards 2023 Winner-BB8

As regional market participants have upscaled their workflows, smartTradeTechnologies has reinforced its offering with more advanced and bespoke services and modules, incorporating tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in many of its processes

Sophisticated workflows are no longer the purview of the largest banks in the FX industry. Many regional banks have, in recent years, significantly revamped front-office processes to be on par with some of their more renowned contemporaries in the industry, an opportunity that smartTradeTechnologies has taken to strengthen the capacity of many of its modules and add new ones to cater to this increased sophistication.

Akin to the diversity in connectivity points and protocols it makes available to its clients, in the past year smartTrade has refined its offering to encompass significantly upgraded analytics and access to many more execution algos, and has delivered an enhanced order management system (OMS). It has also added a new standalone payments platform, Corporate Banking and Payments (CBP), which enables banks to provide an integrated cross-border payment experience without compromise. In the hosting space, smartTrade has also augmented its offering with MetaCloud. This offering allows clients to blend the smartTrade private cloud service and public clouds, resulting in a more comprehensive offering that is scalable, cost-effective, reliable and secure.

The cloud is central to market participants’ generalised upscaling. All of smartTrade’s services can operate on the cloud – but its adoption is nuanced. Some clients prefer – or are compelled by local regulation – to host certain processes within the bank or a particular jurisdiction. To this end, smartTrade has built its services to be modular so clients have the choice between basing certain functions – such as data – in-house while hosting others on their connectivity provider’s private cloud or public cloud server of their choice. MetaCloud allows clients to seamlessly locate mission-critical components on smartTrade’s private cloud while keeping less strategic services localised.

John Stead, smartTrade 2023
John Stead, smartTrade

“The MetaCloud offering is really about giving clients the choice to use our private cloud for critical processes but then also the ability to use public cloud or even local hosting when needed,” says John Stead, pre-sales and marketing director at smartTrade Technologies. “We will advise on the options but we don’t dictate. If they need to be co-located with a liquidity provider, need ultra-low latency or SOC-2 certification, then our private cloud is probably the best option for them – but, for compliance and other reasons, this may not make sense for all scenarios.”

Dynamic insight using AI

Transactional analytics such as rejection rates, market impact and profit and loss have long been a feature available to smartTrade clients. But, under the sheer amount of data market participants have gained access to in recent years, smartTrade decided to develop a dynamic analysis tool that uses machine learning and AI to sift through that data and give its clients insight into a multitude of areas.

“Our sell-side clients look at AI to provide them with clear actionable data,” says Stead. “Client management teams are swamped by reports and analysis these days. smartTrade’s AI and machine learning tools enable banks to see clearly how clients are segmented, what clients may be at risk or what upsells may be relevant in ways no human can ascertain. Once segmented, a bank’s interaction with its clients is more relevant and offers more value. It leads to more meaningful discussions and can even lead to automated reactions to certain actionable insights.”

smartTrade has made significant strides in execution algos, offering more than 70 algos, which include natively deployed and white-labelled options from third-party banks. However, algos serve a broader purpose beyond execution, enabling adjustments and behaviour tuning of the eFX platform. smartTrade’s AlgoBox can combine actionable signals from analytics with algorithms, providing banks with innovative means to automatically modify any static data element. “Automating changes resulting from analytics signals – such as altering the mix of hedging liquidity providers or refining hedging parameters – makes perfect sense. In situations where decisions are less clear, the platform can alert the bank and allow it to decide on the appropriate action,” says Stead.

Corporate banking and payments under the spotlight

Front-office FX solutions have received a lot of research and development (R&D) investment from vendors and banks over the past few years, leading to great advances in sophistication and efficiency. smartTrade has put the field of corporate banking and payments under the same spotlight with its CBP platform to show that this area can be automated and enriched, giving banks a competitive edge, client creator control and ensuring payments add to banks’ profitability.

The sell-side OMS is reinvented

The world of the sell-side OMS has been seen by some as a function that doesn’t generate profit and holds little innovation. smartTrade’s investment and R&D in the smartTrade OMS have looked to correct that impression with a significant drive to show banks how automation, clean functional design and easy integration can allow banks to not only offer a wider range of orders to clients but to also manage their existing orders much more efficiently and with less risk. ”We see a real opportunity for banks to upgrade their capabilities here,” says Stead. “Whether you manage tens or hundreds of orders, the benefits of automation are very clear and generate a high return on investment.”

smartTradeTechnologies was named Best connectivity, hosting and co‑location service at the 2023 FX Markets e-FX Awards.

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