By Chris Cammack Author Information Updated: June 25, 2020

Only local SA brokers, and a few international brands, have ZAR Forex trading accounts. These are useful for South African traders who want to avoid losing money in currency conversion fees on deposits. Having a ZAR account means all client deposits will be kept in local bank accounts, which makes deposits and withdrawals by bank transfer faster and more convenient.

While many South African traders appreciate these benefits of having a ZAR account, they are not the solution for every type of trader. Traders who keep lots of trading positions open at the same time may suffer losses in conversion fees. Some brokers may also charge a commission in USD, even with a ZAR account, so it is essential to check your brokers regulation, trading conditions and terms and conditions.

These are the best Forex brokers with ZAR accounts for 2020.

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  • Broker
    HotForex

    HotForex  - Best ZAR Account Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 70
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    HotForex, the winner of the Best New Forex Broker South Africa 2016 at the Global Banking & Finance Review Awards, is a leading FSCA regulated broker (FSP: 46632) who prides themselves on having a ZAR account for South African traders on both MT4 and MT5 platforms.

    The trading conditions at HotForex are different depending on each account type, where minimum deposits start at a low 70 ZAR on the Micro account. The Micro, HF Cory, Auto, Premium and Premium Pro accounts have spreads starting at 1.0 pips and leverage starting at 400:1 and going up to 1000:1. The trading costs for these accounts are included in the spread, and no additional trading commission is owed. Note that the only account without a ZAR wallet is the HF Copy account which only has USD as the base currency.

    The more professional Zero Spread account requires a minimum deposit of 2800 ZAR (200 USD), a spread starting at 0.0 pips, 3 USD (6 USD round trip) trading commission per lot. This account has a Margin Call of 50% and a Stop out level of 20%.

    For beginner South African traders, HotForex has a well-structured starter course along with additional education for the experienced traders. Frequent webinars are available for beginner, intermediate and advanced traders, video courses, and frequently published research studies written by Tunku Ishak Al-Irsyad & Stuart Cowell.

    Pros

    • Low minimum deposit
    • Tight spreads
    • Well regulated
    • Good range of accounts

    Cons

    • Limited base currencies
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Micro1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5 Account Details
    Islamic1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Premium1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Auto1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
    Zero0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    HFCopy1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 300 Account Details
    Premium Pro1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5000 Account Details
  • Broker
    Plus500

    Plus500  - Most Trusted Broker

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    MAS MAS
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11100
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 1500
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms
    • Plus500

    Founded in 2008, and with over 300,000 active customers, Plus500 is a leading player in the CFD trading industry due to the simplicity of their trading platform and appealing trading conditions. Plus500 has been regulated by the FSCA (FSP 47546) since 2017 is one of the few large offshore brokers offering ZAR accounts. As an FSCA regulated entity it must keep all client funds in segregated accounts in top-tier banks.

    Plus500 has a single account with a minimum deposit of 1500 ZAR, though larger deposits do attract better deposit bonuses. Spreads on the EUR/USD average about 0.7 pips, but as spreads are variable expect spreads to be wider in times of low liquidity or high volatility. No commission is ever charged on trades and leverage up to 300:1 is available, depending on the traded asset.

    Customer support is open 24/7, but education and market analysis are slightly lacking compared to Plus500’s competitors.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Wide range of assets

    Cons

    • Limited education
    • Limited account options
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard0.7 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    Blackstone Futures

    Blackstone Futures  - Best FSCA Regulated

    REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 1000
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Based in Johannesburg and active since 2009, BlackStone Futures is an established and well-regarded FSCA regulated broker.

    Trading conditions are particularly good for a South African broker, with both ZAR and USD accounts offered on the MT4 and CloudTrade platforms. The minimum deposit on a ZAR Account is 1000 ZAR, and spreads can be low as 0.6 pips on major pairs. STP execution ensures no conflict of interest and limited slippage or requotes. Maximum leverage is 400:1 but BlackStone Futures responsibly only offers this to experienced traders with a proven track record.

    BlackStone Futures has wisely invested in educating new traders and the educational material available here is of a higher quality than we are used to seeing at local brokers. Both webinars and in-person classes are offered, alongside a collection of guides and educational articles.

    Deposits and withdrawals are fast and free for South African clients, with withdrawals to local bank accounts posting same day via the OZOW payment platform.

    Pros

    • ZAR accounts
    • Tight spreads
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • Limited platform choice
    • Local regulation only
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    USD Account0.6 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    ZAR Account0.6 pipsNoneMarketZAR 1000 Account Details
  • Broker
    MarketsX

    MarketsX  - Best Overall Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 2500
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Regulated by the FSCA (FSP:43906) since 2012, and winning multiple awards for customer service, trading platforms, and best overall Forex broker, MarketsX offers a single account type with a ZAR wallet option for South African traders. FSCA regulation means that Markets.com has to abide by South African regulations, such as keeping funds in local banks which makes fund transfers quicker and cheaper.

    Marketsx is a single account platform, with a minimum deposit of 2500 ZAR. Spreads are variable but on the EUR/USD average 2 pips. The main draw for Marketsx is the new and improved platform which offers advanced charting, making it easier to spot trends and identify new trading opportunities. Traders can make use of the comprehensive drawing tools to plot trendlines, channels, pitchforks, Fibonacci Retracements, and much more on the charts. The platform also allows you to add up to 5 of each type of indicator to the chart at once, overlay multiple assets onto one chart, or compare up to 8 instruments side-by-side.

    All Marketsx clients are assigned a dedicated account manager and customer support is available 24/5 via in-platform Live Chat from the local South African office. Any South African trader looking for a ZAR Account from a major broker would be happy at MarketsX.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Live0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 250 Account Details
  • Broker
    Khwezi Trade

    Khwezi Trade  - Best Trading Conditions

    REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11100
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 2000
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Khwezi Trade is a well respected South African broker and its parent company, Khwezi Financial Services, has been regulated by the FSCA (FSP: 44816) since 2013. Though Khwezi Trade is not regulated internationally, it keeps all client funds segregated with Standard Bank, and in ZAR, providing an additional level of security for South African traders.

    Khwezi Trade offers four different ZAR account types on the MT4 platform with the minimum deposit on the Basic Account set to 2000 ZAR. The Standard Account requires a minimum deposit of 15,000 ZAR, the Premier Account requires 30,000 ZAR and the VIP Account requires 50,000 ZAR. Spreads are variable on all accounts but average 1.8 pips for the EUR/USD on the Basic Account and are tightest on the VIP Account, where they can reach a minimum of 0 pips. No commission is charged on any account for Forex trading, though a 3 ZAR commission is charged per trade on indices and commodities.

    Deposits and withdrawals are fast and free and Khwezi Trade also offers copy trading functionality for those that prefer it. Educational material is a little thin, but of a high standard and the 100,000 demo account remains open for 14 days, but can be renewed upon request.

    Pros

    • ZAR Accounts
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • Local regulation only
    • No swap-free account option
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    BasicNormal pipsNoneSTPZAR 2000 Account Details
    StandardCompetitive pipsNoneSTPZAR 15000 Account Details
    PremierTight pipsNoneSTPZAR 30000 Account Details
    VIPInstitutional pipsNoneSTPZAR 50000 Account Details

All Forex Brokers in South Africa

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Advantages of Having a ZAR Account

The greatest advantage of having a ZAR Account is that you will avoid currency conversion fees when trading. If you have a USD account, the conversion fees or the volatile ZAR/USD exchange rate can eat into your profit margin before you even start trading. Most international brokers will give you a poor exchange rate from ZAR to USD.

ZAR accounts are also good for traders who use bank transfers or credit cards to fund their accounts. If you ask your bank or credit card company to fund a USD account, you can lose 7-10% of the value of your deposit in conversion charges and added fees. Fund transfers are also much quicker between local banks, so deposits and withdrawals can generally be made within 24 hours, and often happen instantly.

Another benefit of having a ZAR account is that your funds will be kept in a South African bank and will be accessible if your broker declares bankruptcy. With a USD account at an international broker, this will not be the case: Even if your funds are kept in a segregated account, they will be kept in a segregated account in another country.

Why are ZAR Accounts so Rare?

Forex brokers who offer ZAR accounts are rare, and most brokers still only offer USD or EUR accounts. This is mainly due to a lack of ZAR liquidity providers. Forex brokers with ZAR accounts need access to large amounts of ZAR, or ZAR liquidity pools, to cover their clients’ trades. Currently, there are just not that many banks in South Africa willing to provide the necessary funding.

Another reason for the lack of ZAR accounts is that most internationally based brokers have their costs priced in USD. By converting large sums of USD to finance ZAR accounts they would open themselves up to huge exchange rate risk. They would lose money every time the ZAR devalued against the USD, which has been a common problem recently.

Should I Use a ZAR Account?

Some traders do want to have a USD account, especially traders who keep many positions open simultaneously. With this approach to trading with a ZAR account, the fluctuations in the exchange rate would impact your profit margins.

One thing to keep in mind with a ZAR account is whether your broker charges commission on trades – most ECN brokers do – and what currency the commission is charged in. If you have a ZAR account and are being charged a USD commission for every trade, you will be losing a small amount of every trade in currency conversion. This can add up over time and become quite expensive. Most brokers with ZAR accounts will charge the commission at a fixed rate in ZAR but do check first.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

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Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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