Enterprise Monkey Logo
telephone icon

Here’s How You Can Develop a Competitive Trading Application Like E*Trade

Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub

Table of Contents

Share this article


Australian stock exchange has an average turnover of A$4.685 billion per day and a market capitalisation of around A$1.6 trillion, making it one of the world’s top 15 listed exchange groups.

But that isn’t news at all for a stock junkie whose daily affair is nudging around those figures.
So hello there, all the online brokers.

I know you all might have a lot on your plate right now, but I thought you wouldn’t mind stopping by for something that might make your business hours much more motivating and productive to get along.

Sure you must be known for your award-winning customer service while others for their inexpensive stock trades or powerful trading tools.

But do you consider the fact that status-quo of the investors might have changed with their changing needs?


Study on Australian Investors


Frequent investors have resorted to easier means to trade and keep at hand information about every fluctuation in the market.

Moreover, most Australian investors are long-term focused, and their goals can vary. These goals and attitudes are broken down across the following four demographics:

  • Next Generation
  • Wealth Accumulators
  • Retirees
  • Non-investors

But, in the modern era of instant gratifications, the stock market can turn upside down– and that might cost investors a fortune.

One of the best ways to utilise the technology at hand and cover all your demographics at one place with utmost ease is a mobile app. E-Trade has just managed to do that with an app, paving its way to becoming most widely trusted portal amongst the investors.

Investors who trade via mobile phone or tablet love the app’s advanced features, including access to real-time quotes, analyst reports, stock and ETF screeners and options chain filters on the go. Let’s check out more.


Features of E-Trade App

Trading for stocks, funds and other options

  • Dashboard
  • Real-time streaming of quotes and charts
  • Portfolios with updatable data
  • Watchlists
  • Stock filters
  • Market updates
  • Stock alerts, notifications, schedules
  • Money transfer

Etrade App Screenshots


Technologies Used

  • Java programming language
  • A dynamic web development framework on the server side – ASP.Net
  • HTML5, a markup language for content structuring
  • Bootstrap, a front-end web and mobile development framework
  • Highcharts, to make charts and graphs
  • New Relic analytics platform for mobile solutions

This is not it, of course, but you can see a primary layout.

There are plenty of resources to get things done. For example, writing code for the app using Java, C#, Kotlin, or JavaScript; and iOS developers may use Objective C, Java or Swift.

You can also use development kits to reduce delivery time, Android toolkit, JDK Java, Core Data, Restkit and many more, based on project requirements and app complexity.


Back-end and Services

  • Back-end structure for a mobile trading app will have 4 of major elements.
  • User/account management
  • Payments
  • Newsfeed
  • Notifications

This how a rough app architecture would look:

The Backend of a Mobile Trading App

For such critical aspect as app notifications, Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) or Firebase services can be applied, while APNS is the best pick for iOS devices. Also, some database storage would be required for all the intensive activities with an app.


Third Party APIs

Developing a trading app requires running a lot of tests. But due to limited market hours, it might not always be easy to use real-time data.

Another challenge when developing trading apps has to do with providing immediate responses – the stock trading app will always need you to provide stock prices in real-time.

Instead of getting into complex solutions and spending a lot of money, we have an easy solution for you.

API Integration.


Third Party App Integration


Third party API’s of some big names can be integrated with your app.
Here is a list of APIs that is recommended for you to use:

1. E-Trade API

    • E-Trade is useful if you need to:
    • Manage user’s account data
    • Get option chains
    • Look for exchange
    • Receive quotes and execute orders

2. TradeKing API

      • TradeKing API is best used when you need to:
      • Control user’s account info like balance, records or holdings
      • Preview and confirm orders
      • Create and manage watchlists
      • Look for the quotes, option strikes and updates

3. Intrinio API
Intrinio API is beneficial when you need:

    • Real-time price data feed and get lots of useful info like economic, holdings, companies, security, bank data feed


Perks of Owning Your Stock Market App Like E-Trade

Real-Time Data: Your stock trade mobile app can offer real-time quotes and news from various broadcasting channels like Newsmedia, CNBC and more; analyst reports and Level II quotes useful for day traders.

Here is an image of how an app offers a real-time change in stock prices and lets you sell and buy instantly:

How Apps Offer Real Time Change in Stock Prices


The app can also have a barcode scanner for users to scan products to get data about the companies that make them.

Web-level Capabilities: Investors can view comparison charts and performance-over-time charts, use stock and Exchange Traded Fund (ETFs) screeners and options chain filters, customise watch lists, and extend the expiration date of choices with the app’s option tool. The app can synchronise with users’ desktop accounts automatically, so they can resume from where they left.

Smooth Trade: The mobile app has many of the trade potentials of the online platform: Users can buy stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and options, with multi-leg option -orders. It can also have a voice recognition feature, so you can speak the stock quotes and company data instead of typing and even begin an order ticket.

Here is how E-trade offers easy buying:


Smooth Buying of Stocks


Availability of App: The app is available for every device virtually, including the Amazon Fire Phone, Windows Phone and Apple Watch.

Cost Of Your Stock Trading App

Building a stock trading app that means lots of real-time data and payments is going to gun you down. Even you boil it down to one or two features, you will require skilled hands and a proper strategy to make it work.

So here are your numbers:

To construct a stock trading app with discussed key features, you would require the following.

Account management
Accounts 32
Portfolios 40
Deposits 16
Alerts & notifications 40
News from sources 16
Market information
General market information 16
Market calendar 24
Real-time quote updates 40
Companies information 16
Reports, charts 32
Trading management
Orders 40
Transactions 40
Web API 32
Mobile API 48
Total 400

As said in our previous articles, you cannot put the exact cost estimate, either for a proverbial ‘app like E-Trade’ or any other kind of app. No one can with this general idea of an app, and if someone does you must be suspicious about it.

The motive of this analysis is to illustrate the scope of work and the minimum price you’d find for a mobile trading app.

So, to build an app for traders, you would roughly need at least 3 months or more depending on the hard work of your developers. With the Australian median market of elite developers with an hourly rate of $80-$110, let’s put it all together.

Around 400 hours for the back-end, and about 500 hours for native app development. Also, over 100 hours of app design and quality testing and assurance.

400 + 500 + 100 + 100 = 1100 hours.
1,100 * $100 = $110,000

To put these bits together, a stock trading app will cost you no less than $110,000.

But for what it’s worth, I’d say you’ll be stunned at what benefits the stock market app can bring to the table.


Things To Keep In Mind

A keen investor can judge a good trading platform and set his path clear to earning money.

So you have to think!

1. Simple or Complex?

People may like apps with tons of features, that will lend you an easy monetisation. Take Cortana and Siri; one of the biggest selling points of both is that they are capable of integrating with native apps. But you’ll have to shed bucks as this kind of app will require you putting in a good amount of money.

Stock Guru for iPad is a very complex, but extremely useful app for a professional trader. Priced at $20, it allows you to examine multiple factors that can affect stocks – or you can have the Guru sum up all the essential information for you.

Or you can keep it simple. When you’re just a beginner and not in a position to put in a lot of money.

Sometimes, the best way to go is to choose one thing and do that one thing so well that the customers get used to it. In opposition to services like Uber, the save-it-for-later app and web company Pocket is concerned with a single core model – making it simpler for people to save links to articles, videos, or blogs. And they do it so perfectly that they have over 20 million users.


2. Scaling

The best market strategy is to begin small and make big. A stock market app can have enormous potential as markets grow, but you don’t want to start with a national or global release at the very beginning. Go for a smaller release, targeting high-value areas to grow.

First, you will be able to launch quicker and for less, also a limited release will help resolve bugs before things get complex. You will also be able to incorporate reviews from industry insiders, get vital access to gatekeepers in finance and save on marketing by word of mouth.


3. Choosing a Platform

Choosing an app development platform is essential. Both have their pros and cons. Still, the right choice depends on the app. It’s simpler to charge for an iOS app, so if you have a feature-rich app, Apple is your best bet. Although, if your app is free, Android has much more market potential. Going Native or Hybrid is another dilemma you may face. There’s a lot more to it – take your time and research your options.


4. Prototyping

Prototyping is a significant step in the development process. UX/UI are extraordinarily valuable. The only way to develop a beautiful app is continuous testing cycles. Wireframes and storyboards & other MVPs will help determine what the end product will be and get requisite changes done beforehand. Get your hands on top UX design trends this year.

The best thing is you don’t have to do this all by yourself.

The best startups surround themselves with equally good partners. Software Developers in Melbourne and Geelong can help you get through this. So find yours and get ready to earn some big money.



Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Monkey, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With an experience of around a decade, he is a proud co-founder of 4 technology startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. He also loves to cook and spend time with his onlyborn.
Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Monkey, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With an experience of around a decade, he is a proud co-founder of 4 technology startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. He also loves to cook and spend time with his onlyborn.

Related Articles