Technological advancement is disrupting futures trading. Now traders prefer futures trading software rather than relying on outdated trading instruments.

Using futures trading software, they can be more adept at:

  • spotting market opportunities
  • decreasing transaction costs
  • intensifying negotiation process
  • increasing transparency
  • simulating trends
  • testing market assumptions

Ensuring workflow remains fast and transparent demands constant work on trading system development software.

Software developers help traders switch between all targeted types of assets and maintain a perfect workflow.

Below we discuss core requirements, costs, and key aspects of trading system development.

1 What is Futures Trading Software in Three Sentences?

Futures trading software is a specific, primarily online solution traders use to buy and sell futures, i.e., exchange assets for fixed parameters (price, size, currency, etc.), at a future date.

It helps manage principal risks and differences between futures and other trading types, e.g., stock or options trading. Traders can then operate with a specific feature set that is best tailored to their routine.

trading platform development

2 Trading Platform for Futures: Requirement, Tech Stack, Features

Every trading platform must provide its users with a friendly environment for fast and flexible trade execution. Futures trading software is no exception.

Because trading conditions vary wildly, planning becomes the cornerstone for successful product delivery.

Make sure you too prepare a plan before trading system development starts.

Compose a list of questions. Include these critical aspects and more:

  • What assets will users trade?
  • What user groups benefit from the platform (large financial institutions, investment brokers, individuals starting their portfolio)?
  • How will you support the trading routine? Will you deliver a simple feature list? Or will users want rich functionality, e.g., management of multiple order types?
  • Will your platform support trade automation, e.g., algorithmic trading?
  • How will you monetize software (e.g., on commission rates and/or premium functionality)?
  • What personal data will your platform store?
  • How will the platform detect bad actors? How will you react?

Your answers affect both requirements, including feature list, user flow, infrastructure configuration, etc. and the scope of work and project costs.

The guide below will help you form expectations.

Basic Requirements for Futures Trading Software

Software for futures trading platforms has complex requirements, which it shares with other types of FinTech projects.

This means futures trading apps must be fast, reliable, secure, and user-friendly.

End users value the following features:

Asset coverage – Choose one or several priority markets, depending on end users’ operational needs. Consider white-labeling options for major market players.

UX – Software must streamline the futures trading process, ensuring users can work in the system with minimum onboarding.

Interface – Futures trading software look & feel must be impeccable. All elements remain distinctive and visible to eliminate confusion. Any confusion might eventually lead to losses.

Customization – Provide traders with tools for setting up their own original style.

App speed – The app must work perfectly on most end-user devices. Users have no tolerance for glitches or freezes.

Software response – Real-time trade updates are critical. Ensure your platform’s back end responds fast under user influx during peak trades.

Balancing and optimization – Retain high performance under constant user growth. Do not wait until your growing user base surpasses software capabilities. See above: users have no tolerance for glitches or freezes.

Functional Features

All futures trading solutions share basic functionality, including:

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    User profile – Basic information about a user that is visible to other users in the system.
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    Dashboard – Personal page where users manage their profiles and navigate to the required functionality.
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    Real-time charts – Charts display relevant trade information. Traders can combine several data feeds in one chart.
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    Position management – Users purchase or place assets on sale in this section.
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    Alerts and notifications – Setting up alerts on various triggers allows lightning-fast reaction to market events.
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    Newsfeed – Newsfeeds must be adaptable to help traders capture market information critical for them.
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    Automation tools – Trading system software provides trade bots that scan the market and immediately respond to emerging opportunities better than humans.
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    Account deposit and withdrawal – Integration of established, secure third-party payment systems needed for a complete trade life cycle.
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    Knowledge base – App owners encourage use of their platform regularly via training videos, tutorials, guides, forums, and more.
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    Sandbox – The sandbox environment serves to back test. Both new and experienced users can test their skills and assumptions with the help of provided demo data.

System-Related Features

System-related aspects remain invisible to regular users. However, they are crucial for the system:

Administration panel – App owners need to monitor system state, manage users, and update various information.

User verification – It is essential to set up correct verification. It can be a simple email verification for everyone, followed by uploading verification documents. Or invitation-only access can be granted to those who qualify.

Mobile vs. web – Both are good. Futures trading software does not require access to specific smartphone hardware. It is possible to start cost-saving, cross-platform app development.

Account synchronization – Users might want to use several devices for trades. User data must synchronize automatically between devices each time users log in.

API development – Consider API development when traders require integrations of your software with their system.


Complete Product Experience

Here is what the futures trading lifecycle looks like:

1. Choose a platform. Open a new account.

2. Provide verification details and wait for approval. This step can take from several seconds to several business days.

3. Launch a mobile or desktop app (or both) for your convenience.

4. Log in to your account. Enter key information. Customize your profile for instant recognition.

5. Add assets or money to your account.

6. Decide on types of futures and trading strategies.

7. Place and manage your orders. Keep platform commissions in mind.

8. Set up your alerts and notifications.

9. Set up trading bots to automate your trading strategy.

10. Keep your account credentials secret.

An important note. App owners must adjust the trading environment to the exact user needs:

  • New users benefit from simple functionality.
  • Experienced traders require maximum customization. They fine-tune the software to their trading habits.

Security Standards

Security risks are high for futures trading platforms. Trading platforms must be hypervigilant to avoid cyberattacks. They must comply with the latest security standards and regulations, e.g., set up multi-factor authentication, enhanced data encryption, connection via allowed ports, and more.

As a result, limitations apply to the tech stack and software infrastructure. Trading software developers cannot use shortcuts or unproven third-party services. They need a special focus on security testing during the QA stage.

Software architecture must reflect the industry’s best practices.

Also, add regular security audits to the list to pass legal regulations on leading markets such as the EU, USA, Canada, and Australia.

Check regulations that apply to online trading in our ebook

“FinTech Regulation: Key Authorities in the US, UK, EU, and AU markets.”

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Production and Project Modernization

Every trading software requires regular maintenance. Users will not tolerate slowdowns or crashes. Degraded software leads to user churn.

Make sure calculation algorithms are accurately updated. Even a minimal error could lead to colossal business losses fast: high-load platforms perform millions of transactions every second.

Extended 24/7 software monitoring and logging for futures trading software make detecting and eliminating malicious activities possible. Regular server updates close vulnerabilities. To prevent emergencies, update software regularly and carefully.

A product owner must request project modernization when software technologies or infrastructure stop supporting business needs, e.g., database does not support the growing number of users or technology becomes obsolete.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Futures Trading System?

Futures trading systems require the same or similar investment amount as other trading platforms.

On average, developers need 1,880 – 3,467 working hours to complete and launch futures trading software.

Based on the Central/Eastern-European hourly rate ($50), costs to build a futures trading system vary between $94,000 and $173,350.

When working with a software development company, costs include the entire team on the project:

  • project manager and business analyst
  • front-end and mobile developers
  • back-end developers
  • QAs
  • DevOps

At IT Craft, costs also include the post-launch guarantee period. The team fixes bugs and eliminates flaws at no extra charge.

Please note that estimated costs for your project might be different. It depends on the number of features, complexity, and expected number of future users.

Read more about pricing in “How to Calculate App Development Costs?


Do you want an estimate for your project?

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! Conclusion

Is futures trading software worth your investment?
Definitely. As with any other type of trade, discipline and reaction time remain essential factors. A finely tuned piece of software enhances both.

Should your business decide on an existing platform or start building a new one?
It all depends on the list of goals. New businesses only starting in digital trades might benefit from already-built software.

Growing businesses trading with multiple counterparties might need a unique solution that intensifies their processes. They save on operational costs.

When focusing on a custom trading solution, select a software development team capable of:

  • suggesting UX and UI improvements
  • delivering quality source code
  • concentrating on regular security enhancements
  • updating and optimizing codebase and infrastructure


What is a futures trading platform?

A futures trading platform is specific software, usually a web or mobile app, that traders use to execute orders. Futures trading platforms can be open and restricted. Administrators add users upon invitation or approval.

What is the best charting software for futures trading?

The list of best charting software you might want to integrate into your futures trading platform includes:

  • TradingView
  • ChartIQ
  • TrendSpider
  • Domo
  • E*Trade
How much does it cost to make a futures trading platform in Europe?

The costs of futures trading platform development in Europe fluctuate between $94,000 and $416,040, depending on the software developers’ location. On average, companies residing in Central and Eastern Europe charge $50 per hour, while Western-European companies’ rates might increase to $120 or higher.

Is it legal to develop a futures platform in Europe and the USA?

It is. However, futures trading is a regulated activity. Before development starts, ensure your requirements apply to regulations in all markets you plan to operate. Apart from the EU and US, local rules may apply.