Traders see mobile apps, blockchain and AI ‘shaping the future’ of the trading floor

Traders believe mobile trading apps will be the most influential technology for their role as the pandemic makes them more comfortable trading outside of the trading room.

Nearly 30% of traders surveyed by JPMorgan said that over the next year, trading apps on mobile devices will be “the most influential in shaping the future of trading.”

Tied for second place are blockchain and AI/machine learning.

“Technology has evolved so much. It was combat tested during the pandemic; trading out of the office has now become commonplace,” said Scott Wacker, global head of online sales for fixed income, currencies and commodities.

Traders have been quite keen on maintaining a hybrid work model, believing that the pressure of bringing them back to the office full-time would disadvantage their business.

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The feature itself is becoming increasingly digital, as 78% indicated there would be more electronic execution in the future, and 63% predicted more algorithmic trading.

“As markets become more electronic, you’re able to do more interesting things in terms of optimizing your execution,” Wacker said.

In the medium term, nearly half of merchants (45%) ranked AI/machine learning as the most influential technology, while mobile commerce dropped to fourth place at 10%. Wacker said machine learning is already being used to optimize algorithmic trading.

“We integrate machine learning to optimize tools for our customers,” he said. “Our algorithms are constantly being improved by looking at the data and experiences we’ve had”

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Wacker added that algo trading for stocks is already quite common, but is also starting to be deployed in currency, interest rate and credit trading.

“It’s designed to have a smaller footprint in the market, which usually means the customer gets a better bottom line,” he said.

As merchants embrace new technologies, other aspects of the function remain unchanged. Banks continue to be the primary source of liquidity for most merchants, with more than three-quarters saying they connect directly with them for liquidity. Price consistency and availability during volatility were ranked as the two most important factors when selecting liquidity.

“If a customer is looking for the best outcome, the best price, or the best liquidity, banks will probably be the best place to go. It’s a natural hub,” Wacker said.

To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Jeremy Chan

Casey J. Nelson