Whether you are a novice or an expert trader, you need a reliable broker by your side all the time. The hunt for a broker does not end at their certifications and regulations; it goes beyond that. There are different types of brokers, and if you wish to trade successfully, you should choose yours wisely.
There are two types of accounts, that is, an ECN account and a standard account. Your choice of broker largely depends on your choice of broker. ECN or Electronic Communication Network refers to the connection on computers with each other. The definition might sound expansive and vague, but it is an advantageous factor in Forex trading. Let’s read about both the accounts to summarise ECN vs. standard account.
To understand account types based on order execution type, we need to understand four terms: dealing desk broker, non-dealing desk broker, ECN account, and STP account.
Dealing desk broker meaning.
Dealing desk brokers or DD brokers represent legitimate brokers who make money through spreads, provide liquidity, and have “money makers” licenses. These brokers (the majority of brokers) usually can take the opposite side of traders’ trades. They can offer artificial quotes and orders that are filled on a discretionary basis.
Non-dealing desk forex broker
Non-dealing desk forex brokers or NDD brokers use technologies without a dealing desk and directly connect clients and liquidity providers. NDD brokers do not sell any re-quotes when an order needs to be filled, and they can be STP or ECN brokers.
What is an ECN broker?
ECN brokers use Electronic communication networks (ECNs) and represent non-dealing desk brokers that act as intermediaries in transactions between individual clients and the market/interbank system. ECN brokers offer a direct connection between clients and liquidity providers, do not trade against their own clients, and never take the other side of their customers’ trading positions.
What is an ECN account?
An ECN (Electronic Communications Network) account is an order-matching execution system that gives the trader direct access to liquidity providers. ECN account effectively as the major liquidity source hub, designed to match buy and sell orders and connect trader’s account with forex networks such as banks, hedge funds, and all the major market players.
What is a Raw ECN account?
Raw ECN account is a type of ECN account where spreads are very tight, almost zero spread. With a RAW ECN account, traders can experience some of the lowest trading costs in the industry.
What is an STP broker?
The STP broker or Straight-Through Process broker is a non-dealing desk broker with an internal liquidity pool represented by different liquidity providers (banks, hedge funds, market players) that compete for the best bid/ask spreads STP broker orders.
Many traders prefer ECN over standard accounts as you get liquidity through networks. What is the ECN account definition? In simple words, it is a computerized way of doing trading. Let’s see who benefits the most from it.
There is a difference between the asking price and the bid price, also known as the spread. The tighter the spread, the more beneficial it will be for the trader. Some trades are extremely tight that they seem to be reaching the breakeven point. The difference between the ask and sell price is the commission that your broker is entitled to.
Difference between ECN and STP broker
The difference between an ECN and an STP broker is that ECN routing is different than STP routing. ECN works as a hub that gives the trader direct access to liquidity providers. At the same time, the STP broker has an internal liquidity pool where liquidity providers compete for the best bid/ask spreads for STP broker orders. ECN brokers minimum lot size is 1 mini lot, and STP broker can offer a smaller lot size than ECN broker.
This commission can vary a lot. It would help if you were careful when looking for a broker. Generally, this commission matches one-half of a pip. It is usually cheaper when you hold short-term positions and do the several ins and outs. Many believe that they can apply the same to long-term trade but that seldom works. ECN trading is more beneficial for short-term traders. This is because short-term traders are more concerned with the cost of transactions while long-term traders are not.
In this kind of account, there are chances of liquidity drying up occasionally. Let’s assume that Nonfarm Payroll Numbers have started coming out. In this case, many traders will prefer to leave the marketplace. Around the time of this announcement, the general pip has the potential of rising from 0.2 pips for the pair to 15 pips on the network. This is a huge margin and can drastically impact the earnings of a trader or investor.
If you are associated with a larger network broker, you can still hope for a tighter network as they try hard to keep tighter spreads. This is because they have more traders on their network, and drastically increasing the spread size can negatively impact them.
ECN vs. Standard Account
The differences between ECN and Standard account are:
- ECN orders are executed using direct access to liquidity providers, while standard account orders are all filled internally within that broker’s customer pool.
- ECN account has commission (pay a fixed commission for every trades you take), while a standard account does not have a commission (only spread)
- ECN account has a tighter spread than standard accounts.
- ECN accounts offer non-dealing brokers only, while standard accounts can be offered by dealing desk (market-making ) brokers.
- ECN charges an only commission for execution without placing any premium on the raw spread, while standard account artificially charges a premium spread to profit from execution.
The main difference between a standard account and an ECN account is that it generally has a fixed spread. The broker assumes the role of the counterparty in any position. While it is not always apparent, this is the usual trend. In a standard account, you usually get spread for approximately 2 pips. It is expensive than what is offered on an ECN account, but the number of transactions that standard account holders do is less than ECN account holders. Therefore, it is more beneficial for long-term position holders.
One of the biggest advantages of this account is that it keeps you updated with the latest news. This can save you a lot of time.
The downside of this account is that the spread is wider than what ECN brokers offer. Once again, if you hold a position for weeks and days, it will not alter your profits. However, short-term traders must keep the spread size in mind before they opt for a standard account.
Variation in Costs
The first thing that you need to settle upon is the money that you are willing to spend. It will help if you are looking for a broker that justifies the cost. Every trader needs a broker who is not only decent but reliable as well. There was a time when Forex trading was associated with the wild west. Following the advancement in technology in the past decade, Forex trading has become quite transparent, allowing you to decide what kind of account or broker will be better for you in a better light.
Look for a broker who offers you value for money. Most brokers are safe to work with, but you might need to do additional research if you are a scalper. Otherwise, the probability of running into difficulties with either an ECN broker or a standard broker is slim.
Q1. What is the true difference between a standard and an ECN account?
As per the true ECN account meaning, the account is supposed to match the orders and accordingly execute them. Here, a trader is only charged execution commission. There is no premium levied on the raw spread. Market-making brokers often manage standard accounts. They artificially charge you a premium spread.
Q2. What is a true ECN account?
In its true essence, an ECN account can be seen as a system of order-machine execution. Here, the account holder is charged a small commission on the trades executed rather than on the raw spread.
Q3. What are STP and ECN?
Straight Through Processing or STP brokers pass orders from the client directly to a liquidity provider who is often a third party. Electronic Communications Network or ECN brokers match client orders for trade execution.
Q4. Which is the right choice, STP or ECN?
The answer to this question depends on the kind of trader that you are. If you are a short-term trader, ECN would be a better choice for you as the spreads are tighter. If you are a long-term trader, you can go for STP irrespective of the spread because the number of transactions you will be making is less. Any experienced trader would be able to benefit from both accounts.
Q5. What is a MetaTrader4 ECN account?
MetaTrader 4 or MT4 is an online trading platform. ECN accounts offered on this platform are called MT4 ECN accounts.
Q6. What are the operations of ECN brokers?
ECN is also known as a non-dealing desk. An ECN broker will fill in your details, and the network will match a buying client with a corresponding selling client. The broker makes a profit by charging a commission on the conversion.
Q7. What do you mean by ECN pricing?
ECN pricing includes a lower spread, but a commission is charged on all trades and transactions. This commission can be generally avoided by working with non-ECN brokers, like STP brokers. If you are a big trader in a liquid market, working with an ECN-broker will be a cheaper option for you.
The main difference between ECN and STP is the commission. Depending on your trading preferences, you can easily decide which option will be viable for you. Do keep in mind that the additional cost is one of the main reasons some traders cannot make enough profits. Therefore, be mindful while finalizing a broker.