OptionFair is one of the most popular binary option brokers in Eastern Europe and Germany. The operation is well-established, and its regulatory status is quite stellar. It makes use of the powerful Tech Financials trading platform and its business model is an extremely interesting one. While OptionFair used to work the single market-maker model, and it still does, some changes have been introduced at the beginning of 2017, which have gone a long way towards dealing with the fundamental conflict of interest of this business model, so hated by the public, but especially loathed by regulators all over Europe. To make a long story short: OptionFair no longer appears to be trading against its own customers. Rather, it cuts a fixed commission on every trade, allowing the actual deal to go down without having any kind of a stake in it. While we’re not looking at an exchange-based business model here, and while we still have the unique market maker in the equation, the fact that it doesn’t have a horse in the actual race is a major improvement over the previous approach. This business model is likely to be more easily tolerated by the regulators too.
As far as licensing goes, OptionFair are regulated by CySEC (license number 216/13). The company behind the binary option brand is BO TradeFinancials, and it’s based in Limassol Cyprus. OptionFair have been licensed since September 2013 and they have become a publicly traded company at the London Stock Exchange in March, 2015.
Why should you trade at OptionFair though? As said above, due to the changes introduced in January 2017, the payouts on all the options and option-types offered by the brokerage, are firmly set to 100%. That’s by far the best that this business model has to offer, even when one adds the fixed commission to the mix. The January overhaul saw some other sides of the OptionFair deal sweetened as well.
The minimum requirements on deposits have been lowered to USD/EUR 100 or equivalent. The minimum on individual investments has also been lowered to USD/EUR 10. The withdrawal times have been shortened as well, and the bonus system has been overhauled completely. Money handed out as a bonus can now be cashed out immediately, without the need to fulfill any trading-volume related requirements. The changes have obviously been done to get the operation in line with the latest directives of the EU regulators.
Clients’ funds are held in segregated accounts with top financial institutions, by OptionFair. Traders are given access to a number of tools – like the one allowing them to eliminate their positions before the scheduled expiry – which lend them flexibility in the way they deal with their trading.
OptionFair is a CIF (Cyprus Investment Firms) member, and as such, its clients are covered by the Investor Compensation Fund, as stipulated by Cypriot law.
The trading platform currently powering OptionFair is the popular TechFinancials one and that will likely be the case in the foreseeable future too, given how TechFinancials is in fact OptionFair’s sister company. The pride and main selling point of the TechFinancials platform is their “unparalleled” range of financial instruments. The team behind the platform has developed and implemented advanced pricing algorithms to make sure that such an impressive range of instruments can indeed be offered.
The early close option is one of the tools traders can effectively use to exercise damage control and to generally keep a tighter control on the way their options evolve as they wind down towards expiry. One’s open trades are all visible in the My Open Trades section. By accessing that section, and clicking on the asset name, traders will be able to open the trading slip and view various details concerning the given option. This is where the currently available return is displayed too. By clicking the Close button, the trader will instantly eliminate the option, at its current return.
OptionFair are quite transparent when it comes to the setting of the early close return. At their site, they feature a formula which they use for this purpose.
Traders are even granted the option to cancel an already executed binary option trade. For this, they have a 3-second window at their disposal, following the expiry of the option. Obviously, this feature is tied by quite a few conditions, to prevent abuse on the part of the traders.
The available option types are the Classic, High/Low options, the One Touch and the Boundary options.
The OptionFair trading platform is available in a mobile version as well, for Android as well as for iOS-based devices. The mobile platform gives traders access to more than 130 tradable assets.
In accordance with the latest ESMA directives, OptionFair have cut back on promotions quite a bit. They will no longer encourage their traders through the terms attached to various bonuses, to deposit or to trade more. They have made it clear that bonus money handed over to their traders belongs to their traders to do with as they please. Obviously, though, there aren’t really many such bonuses given away.
OptionFair do give their traders two types of financial rewards though. Even though there are no withdrawal requirements attached to any of these benefits, traders’ express consent is required when the bonuses are awarded. The first reward-type takes the shape of insured trades. Through insured trades, OptionFair essentially agree to refund traders’ investments in case they incur losses on a pre-agreed number of binary option trades. Obviously, a certain set of conditions tie such deals. Such refunds usually only apply to the trades with the lowest investment amount.
Out of the money compensation is the second form of reward available. Such deals can come in the form of “10% compensation over a period of 10 days,” which means that for 10 days, traders will have 10% of their investments returned to them, on their losing trades.
OptionFair Minimums and Return Rates
As said above, since January 2017, OptionFair have been offering some extremely attractive minimums on deposits as well as on investments. Currently, the minimum on deposits is a very reasonable USD/EUR/GBP 100, or equivalent. The minimum on trades is USD/EUR/GBP 10. One should bear in mind though that the EUR/USD/GBP 2.50 commission remains the same, regardless of the amount invested on a single option. Therefore, with a USD 10 investment, one will pay a 25% commission. The bigger the investment, the smaller the commission % will be.
The return rates are 100% on every trade, meaning that if a trader invests $20 on a trade, and ends up in the money, he will be paid $40: his initial investment plus the 100% profit. The $2.5 commission will obviously come off this sum, so the final total will be $37.5.
OptionFair have an industry-standard policy in place regarding withdrawals. When a trader requests a withdrawal, the money is sent back to the same account that was used to make the initial deposit. Thus, wire transfers will go back to wire transfer, credit cards to credit cards and so on. Western Union is accepted as a deposit method too. Monies withdrawn by clients who have made such deposits will be sent to an account held in their name. The OptionFair trading platform features a well-defined banking page. Only verified accounts can request withdrawals. To verify an account, traders will be required to provide a number of documents to the broker. Traders will be notified in regards to what documents they need to provide before their first withdrawal, through email.
A couple of currencies can be used for deposits besides the USD/EUR/GBP. These currencies are the HUF and the RUB. Apparently, the operation seems to have some sort of special links to Hungary too, as they have an office there, as well as a support phone number, hence the HUF support.
As far as withdrawal fees go, traders have to know that they’re entitled to a free withdrawal every 31 days. Those who withdraw more than once a month, will be charged EUR/USD/GBP 30 or equivalent, per withdrawal.
Withdrawals are usually processed on the same day at OptionFair. Withdrawals made outside of normal operating hours will be processed the following day. Traders can opt to have their pending withdrawals cancelled, in which case the money is returned to their trading accounts. Those who fail to pass the verification process, will have their monies refunded within 15 days of their original deposit.
OptionFair’s education section isn’t really impressive. It is comprised of an FAQ section, which can be accessed from other areas of the site too, a Glossary of terms and a few explanatory paragraphs on the basics of binary option trading and on how one is supposed to use the platform. If you are looking for advanced strategy guides and perhaps some technical indicators to apply to your MT4 charts, you’re in the wrong spot here.
As far customer support is concerned, the easiest way to get in touch with the OptionFair support staff is through the live chat feature. Of course, they have a dedicated email for this purpose too: firstname.lastname@example.org. They can be reached through the phone as well. They have no fewer than 6 local phone numbers available, of which the English (+44 203 5147067), the German (+49 322 21095250) and the Russian (+7 499 6776050) are obviously the most important.
Every aspect of their operation accounted for, OptionFair are obviously serious and trustworthy. These guys are all about the future. They’re not looking to make a quick buck off their traders and disappear into the night. They have undertaken serious efforts to be compliant with all the new requirements of EU-based regulators, and they have quite skillfully weeded out the conflict of interest issue from their business model. Their bonus/reward model is inherently fairer too, so they have all the bases covered. When you trade with this broker, you will not trade against your fellow traders, or against the house. Your only concern shall be to reach ITM rates high enough to beat the $2.50 commission.
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|Supportemail@example.com, Live Chat, phone|
|Trader Demographics||EU, UK, South Africa.|
|App compatibility||Android, iOS, Windows|
|Minimum required deposit||$100|
|Minimum trade amount||$10|
|Customer service||Eager to assist, available 24/7|
|Bonuses||Occasionally. No Redemption requirements|