ZIMBABWEANS will have to wait a little bit longer than anticipated before they can trade stocks on their mobile phones due to delays in establishing a technical interface for all systems involved with the platform, Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) has said.
The mobile share trading platform allows people to have direct easy access to opening trading accounts and accessing the stock market.
This will allow them to buy or sell shares on the market using mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptop.
SECZ chief executive officer, Tafadzwa Chinamo, said the introduction of mobile share trading, which was scheduled for October this year, has been postponed to a later date.
“Our suppliers are all foreigners and there was a communication breakdown in the last few months. The vendors supplying a system for the stock exchange are from Pakistan, and those supplying Central Securities Depository (CSD) are from Sweden/Russia,” he said.
“The local vendor who is giving us the mobile application has to make their system communicate with systems at the exchange and at the CSD and for that to happen these guys have to give you certain messaging…” Chinamo said, adding that finalisation of the whole process was also delayed by the current cash shortages.
As part of strategies to modernise the local bourse, last year the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) launched an Automated Trading System (ATS) that enables all transactions to be done electronically as opposed to the previous manual system.
An ATS is a computer programme that creates orders and automatically submits them to a market centre or exchange, which in the case of the local bourse is made to the CSD.
Not satisfied with the ATS system and moving in line with international trends, the local bourse early this year launched an electronic platform that offers subscribers viewing rights to the stock exchange’s live trading from anywhere.
ZSE said the electronic platform called View Only Terminals (VOTs) gives informational efficiency in the domestic capital markets.
However, VOTs clients can neither be able to post any trades nor to import reports (except for screen shots) from the electronic platform.
Chinamo said although most of the systems were now in place, it was difficult to predict when the mobile share platform would be launched.
“I am hoping that by next week we can do tests and go live. From there we can start campaigns that will open the capital markets to broader participation,” he said.
The SECZ boss noted that the new development will allow investors to trade and can benefit from stock market bull runs as well as receive reports on their investments timeously.
Mobile trading applications also give investors more control and flexibility.
Time is often of the essence when you trade stocks, so the speed of using online trading portals is a benefit to many investors.
With online trading, you can execute a trade almost immediately.
Traditional brick-and-mortar brokers might require appointments, either online, over the phone or in person, just to initiate a trade.
The time involved in such transactions is an inconvenience in the best of circumstances and can actually cost investor money in the worst scenarios.
Experts also assert that by taking trading into your own hands, investors can eliminate brokerage bias. Bias sometimes occurs when a broker gives financial advice that benefits the broker — such as in the form of a commission for selling specific mutual funds and other products.
This kind of biased advice can be troublesome for any investor and might even lead to investment decisions that are good for the broker.
Many online trading sites offer stock quotes and trade information that make it easy for people to see how their investments are doing in real time.
However, the disadvantage of online trading is that you’re at the mercy of your internet connection. If the internet connection is too slow or is interrupted, you can lose out on a potentially important or lucrative trade.