There are not many financial platforms that would offer you commodities, equities, and cryptocurrencies for trade at the same time. The Plus500 is one of those companies, with reputable functions and services offered to traders from around the world. With the different financial trading platform, Plus500 sure is a major player in the market that deserves a separate consideration.
Thus, we made a review of company’s verification process, deposit/withdrawal methods & fees, trading instruments, platforms, features, and interface. We also provide comparative analysis with other large players in the market, them being InstaForex and SimpleFX. The article concludes with concluding remarks and pros/cons that you should be aware of.
Plus500 is a publicly listed company that offers online trading platform services for investors bent on making a profit from trading the assets available on the exchange. The company established its operations in 2008, with headquarters located in Israel. The company also has business units in UK, Cyprus, Australia, and Bulgaria.
The company was announced by six graduates of the Technion Institute of Technology through IPO (Initial Public Offering) with prime investments made by Gonen. Its shares are registered at the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.
According to the company’s 2016 annual report, the revenue level in 2016 reached $328 million while net income stood at $117 million.
Currently, service is available for trades coming from 50 countries around the world. The setback to the service is that US citizens cannot use the services offered by Plus500 as the license has still not been obtained with American authorities.
Sign Up and Verification Processes
Registration at Plus500 can be done only if you come from a supported country. The widget, as shown in the picture below, will not be available for US clients, not even for a trial period. The registration itself is straightforward, as you have to provide your email, password, and type of account you wish to open. You can open up demo version to try things out. If satisfied, you can always switch to real money.
All functions will be available to you once you verify your email. The demo account would land you imaginary €50.000 to start learning about trading functions.
As for the verification requirements, no matter where you are from, you have to verify your identity. The process starts as soon as you switch from demo to real account.
At first, you will be provided with the submission form, where you list out personal details such as Name, Last Name, ID number, address and other information about yourself. You submit the file and wait for the response from the support center of the company. Once the submission form is finalized, you have to upload the scanned ID and proof of address. You submit the entire application to the customer center, where all information about you goes through support department.
Below you can find the said submission form.
It is important to note that cryptocurrencies are not tradable before you complete the verification process. SimpleFX, for example, would allow you to transfer bitcoins and Litecoins, while at Plus500, you first upload documents and then start a trade.
Deposit Methods and Fees
For deposits and withdrawals, you have four options to choose from (or all of them, depending). These methods are bank cards (credit or debit cards), PayPal, Skrill and bank accounts. Each of the said channels of funding needs to have your name and last name, as well as all other details as your Plus500.
It means that you cannot deposit money from corporate or friend’s bank account/credit card. You have an unlimited amount of funds available for deposits while withdrawals have minimum amounts. PayPal and Skrill have $50 as a minimum for withdrawals, while bank cards and accounts have $100.
Interestingly enough, there are no fees for either deposits or withdrawals. You should only be aware of what PayPal, Skrill or your bank charge you when putting or getting out your funds from Plus500.
The only fees that you will pay are connected with the activity you do on the platform. If you are inactive for a certain amount of time, your balance will be charged with $10 fine. In case of trading, you pay a premium cost on orders that go over an hour, especially during the weekend,
where the fee is three times higher. The said fee changes on daily basis based on market trends and type of trade engaged.
When it comes to trading hours, Plus500 is a lot more complex than SimpleFX. The working hours of the trade platforms depend on the trade pairs and assets, meaning that each market has its own working time.
In most cases, workdays are open for while day (mostly) while at weekends, markets close. The reason why the timing is set in the markets is that support employees work at that time, monitoring the trades and orders. It ensures that issues are heard of immediately, but if you were planning to operate on days outside of your regular work, you will find Plus500 closed for your investments.
Cryptocurrency market is opened from 22 pm Sunday to 22 pm Friday with no daily breaks.
Apart from cryptocurrencies, you can also trade with commodities, indices, Forex pairs, options, shares, and ETFs (Exchange-traded Funds). Each of these markets has their own opening hours, with over 100 assets available for trade.
Accepted cryptocurrencies at Plus500 are bitcoins, bitcoin cash, Ethereum, bitcoin gold, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, NEO, DASH, and Zcash.
The leverage system functions the same with every other platform, with the largest leverage level being 1:5. The system helps you trade with $100 worth of investment with the power of $500 in margin trading markets.
Plus500 offers several platforms, just like SimpleFX does. The said platforms are available for web browsing and for download on Windows desktop and phone environments. The phone environments include both Android and iOS applications, each available for free download at Google Play and Apple Store respectively. The company has recently added a new trading platform for download for users of Windows 10 operating system.
All of the platforms have the same interface with nothing out of ordinary offered for clients on each system. This might be seen as a disadvantage when compared to SimpleFX and InstaForex, who use Meta Trader 4 application for desktop users.
The said application has numerous tools of analysis and space for charts tables and order books, all of which are shown separately on one page. Plus500, on the other hand, does not have that option, as you have to switch to different pages to get the needed information.
There are two types of accounts that you can open when registering an account at Plus500. First one is real funding account, where you trade with real money and need to verify your identity before you can start investing in the markets. The second one is demo account, where trade widget is available for you to check out.
The demo account can be accessed at web browsing platform or on your phone through free app download. The overall feel of the exchange’s interface is neat. The colors go with each other and provide the feel of premium when trading assets.
Apart from that, the interface also provides an abundance of analysis tools when placing buy and sell bids on cryptocurrencies. These can be implemented into the price charts through indicators (over 50 of them) as shown in the picture below.
Here, you can also change types of lines, their color and period of observation. And that is about it when it comes to interface. You cannot open several trade pairs at the same time unless you open different pages. The price charts cannot be moved around nor can they represent more than one selected trade pair.
At SimpleFX and InstaForex, Meta Trader programs allow you to move things around, redesign the entire page according to your needs. At Plus500, you are pretty much stuck with the default option.
This section is what really matters for traders if we are, to be honest. The available functions at Plus500 range concern only margin trading, with simple exchange service not available for clients, as the case is with SimpleFX. The trade functions that you can use at this platform are “Close at Profit”, “Close at Loss”, “Guaranteed Stop”, “Only Buy when Rate is” and “Trailing stop: Pins”, as you can see in a picture below:
“Close at Profit” functions as a value catcher tool. It waits until the value of the trade goes into your favor at the specified value and closes the deal at the point where profit is targeted. This is a good function to have, as it allows traders to seek out values of profit according to their analysis and would gain more profit for users than it would be the case without the function.
“Close at Loss” acts the same as “Close at Profit” albeit in a different direction. It ensures that you do not suffer large losses if the value trend goes against your favor in the market. The loss avoidance allows you to invest another day if things get rough on the platform.
“Guaranteed Stop” would stop the value at the specified loss number, even if the actual value goes lower than that. It serves as negative balance protection in extreme market situations, when the price drops or rises above the line you have set.
The assurance that you can protect yourself from the potential complete loss is an important one. You can freely trade until you either make money from the trade or lose deposit funds, not passing into a negative balance.
A similar tool to “Guaranteed Stop” are “Pips” where you specify several stop rates in the same order. It allows you to lock into the good direction should market fluctuate greatly at that specific moment. In case it does, it locks on the profit value and does not allow further changes until direction takes towards your favor again.
The last tool is “Only Buy when Rate is” which acts similar to “Pending Order” in SimpleFX. Here, you specify the exact value at which you wish to buy or sell crypto coins at. It allows you to bypass current market values if your analyses have shown that price will change in that direction soon, earning you even larger profit but also larger loss if you are wrong.
These functions are nothing new when compared to both SimpleFX and InstaForex. All three use similar functions and features and deal with similar markets. The only major difference is the unavailability of the downloadable desktop program and rather a rigid interface of Plus500. Functions work the same and are all presented in these three exchanges.
Plus500, unlike InstaForex and SimpleFX, who both offer online and video tutorials and educational courses for free, does not offer any of the tutoring products. The platform provides FAQs and support sections where you can learn about different functions and assets. Even some step-by-step guides are offered for deposits, purchases, and withdrawals but educational tips and courses that you can learn about assets and features in more depth are not available at this company.
Plus500 offer promotions on the other hand. For example, right now you can verify your phone number, which would earn you £20 in your balance, as shown in the picture below. You should be aware that each promotion might have limitations on countries, the time it lasts and on the process itself.
You have to carefully follow up the instruction in order to receive the bonus or rewards from the promotional programs. Keep an eye on promotions page of the company to see what is offered from time to time, since the company does have a history of offering several bonuses during the year.
Some other websites might offer vouchers for their users though be warned that some promotions can be conducted only once per account. This provides a slight advantage over SimpleFX platform, which does not offer any sort of promotions directly to its clients at the moment.
It is interesting to mention that Plus500 became an official sponsor of Athletic Football Club from Spain. This program serves as an additional reminder of how large the company is but also the security in investing your money there. The ability to work with other large organizations sometimes could also provide benefits for Plus500 members, such as discounts for the next game for the Athletic Club.
Being CFD service company, the Plus500 requires its clients to verify their identities, while itself holds all information transparent for shareholders. The information is published each year on a quarterly basis through annual reports, which can be accessed by the general public at documents section of the website.
Additionally, the company is registered in the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange. It is also authorized by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, New Zealand and South Africa. Since it is not registered in the USA, the American traders cannot use the exchange’s services at the moment.
There are several security tools designed to protect your money from hackers and other cybercriminals. Firstly, all funds are kept at segregated client bank accounts according to the regulative rules. Next, the funds for hedging are Plus500’s own and your funds are not to be touched in that aspect.
And that is pretty much it. Personal protection has even fewer functions since you can change passwords as much as you want. You might even set several email notifications about your order, but exchange does not offer two-factor authentication (2FA) which is pretty much a standard in the market.
Even SimpleFX, who is also considered as poor at security, offers 2FA, function more than Plus500. The only thing going for the company is the regulative business operations. Another issue with Plus500 is the fact that operational department locates itself in Bulgaria, far away from Israel, which brought many question marks within the customer base.
The support section of the platform offers direct contact with customer department through the ticket system. You also have extensive FAQ section where most information is offered about the trade itself and available functions.
This is in line with other exchanges, who offer similar support functions as Plus500 does.
Pros and Cons
- Regulated company that obeys the financial laws
- No fees for trade and deposit/withdrawal activities while exchange rate is narrow enough
- Several promotions available during the year
- Potential benefits from sponsorship deals and partnerships with other companies/organizations
- US customers do not have access to the services offered by Plus500
- Verification is a must in order to trade cryptocurrencies
- No educational tools available for traders to use
- Very rigid interface in all platforms and no separate trader program like Meta Trader
- Very poor security features, where not even 2FA is offered as safety function
At the concluding part, we can deem Plus500 as a legit platform where you can make a profit using trade functions in cryptocurrency markets. With 13 coins available, you do have a choice when it comes to margin trading. Interface and security are of low value when compared with rivals, security especially since you do not have even 2FA.
Beginners are most supported here though even expert traders can use margin trading functions to make a profit while trading coins at this exchange. Just keep in mind that privacy is not an option here, as you need to provide scans of ID and proof of address before you can even start depositing and trading at Plus500.