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The MetaTrader4 (MT4) online trading platform created by the company Metaquotes is currently the most popular trading platform in the retail FX Industry. The primary reasons that the user base has continually grown and Metaquotes has been able to keep so much of the market share are: ease of issuing new MT4 WLs, because so many traders currently use it, use of Expert Advisors (EA)s, and then functionality of the platform. There are plenty of “better” trading platforms available in the market that offer a wider variety of functionality, aesthetically look better, and are much more user friendly. In large part, the MT4 Trading Platform has continued to dominate the market simply because it’s what the majority of retail FX traders currently use. It’s much easier for a MT4 Broker to solicit the clients of another MT4 Broker than for a Broker using a different platform to solicit clients of a MT4 Broker (essentially asking them to learn an entirely new/different system.)
All of the costs associated with the MetaTrader4 software are determined by Metaquotes. Currently the costs are as follows:
MT4 White Label: $5,000 upfront and $1,000 per month
MT4 Mobile: $750 per month
MT4 Web Trader: $750 per month
While these low costs make for a very low barrier to enter the market as a FX Broker, there are downsides to running your brokerage as a MT4 White Label compared to buying your own MT4 Server.
Lack of control: you won’t be given access to “MT4 Administrator,” which is the backend system where all of the settings are located. You will have to ask your service provider with access to the server to make the changes for you.
Your data is not secure: whoever owns the MT4 Server will have full access to all of your client’s data. In addition, third parties (external technology venders) are often given access to MT4 Servers and they would also be able to access your client’s data. Data theft is common in the FX Industry and it’s very hard to prove a particular person/party stole your client data.
Technical problems: If your service provider does not employ technically competent staff, there could be frequent server crashes and/or outages. Often times if a service provider’s technical staff are at fault for a server crash, they will simply blame the datacenter, metaquotes, a liquidity provider, or literally anyone else. Most of the times they are actually at blame and are lying so that the customers don’t try to hold them liable.
For those of you who are considering entering the market, or those of you who are owners of existing MT4 White Labels and are considering buying your own MT4 Server, here are some things to consider. MT4 Servers are priced at $100,000 upfront and $1,500 per month; although in most cases you can negotiate the upfront price down to $80,000. You may be able to work out terms with a Metaquotes sales representative such as $30,000 upfront and $10,000 per month for 5 months. You’ll also have to buy or rent dedicated machines to host your MT4 Live, MT4 Demo, and MT4 Backup Servers. Dedicated Servers at Beeks (Diamond Package) are priced at 360 GBP per month and are a good reference point for pricing. (360 GBP x 3 = 1,080 GBP = $1,500 USD.) You’ll also need to pay for MT4 Mobile ($750) bringing the total up to $80,000 upfront and $3,750 per month. Please note, it’s critical to have competent technical staff that already has experience with MT4 Administrator as someone learning “on the job” can result in regular server crashes. Expecting to pay a minimum of $5,000 USD per month for a competent person is not unrealistic.