AuthorBy Chris CammackAuthor InformationUpdated: October 27, 2020

When you fund your trading account, most Forex brokers will convert your Rands to US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds. But ZAR Forex brokers offer trading accounts that keep the trading balance in ZAR, which is useful if you want to avoid currency conversion fees.

Having a ZAR account also means your trading funds will be kept in local bank accounts, which makes deposits and withdrawals by bank transfer faster and more convenient. Unfortunately, only local SA brokers and a few international brands have ZAR Forex trading accounts.

In this guide, you will learn the advantages and disadvantages of trading with a ZAR Forex account. This includes a summary of why ZAR accounts are rare, who should use a ZAR-based account, and a shortlist of the brokers with the best ZAR account options.

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Best Forex Brokers with ZAR Accounts 2020

Last updated on 27 Oct 2020
Updated 27 Oct 2020
by Editorial Director Chris Cammackby Chris Cammack
Chris Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Sweden
1
MarketsX
Min. Deposit
ZAR 2500
4.394.39
FSCA Licence
43906
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Base Currencies
ZAR, USD, AUD, DKK, EUR, GBP, NOK, PLN, SEK
11110.54.39/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 300:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. MarketsX is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSCA.
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Marketsx is a premium trading platform. It’s operated by Markets.com and offers traders fast, low-cost trading on over 2,200 financial instruments. Marketsx provides CFD trading on global stock, forex, commodity, indices, cryptocurrency, ETF and bond markets. Clients in the UK can also use spread bets on applicable instruments.

The proprietary Marketx trading platform is packed full of features and trading tools and is optimised for lightning execution. As well as in-depth charting and asset comparison tools, Marketsx also gives traders a wealth of decision-supporting data with sentiment tools, tutorials, and regular live-streamed, expert analysis.

Owned by Tradetech Markets (South Africa) Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Playtech PLC, Markets.com (South Africa) SA is one of the best-recognised Forex brands.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
Read More About MarketsX
2
HotForex
Min. Deposit
ZAR 70
4.294.29
FSCA Licence
46632
Min. Spread
0 pips
Base Currencies
USD, ZAR
11110.54.29/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.
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Listed as on the Top 100 Companies by World Finance Magazine and the award for Business Excellence 2015 (World Confederation Of Businesses) HotForex is not just recognized for their integrity by their industry peers, but also in the financial industry as a whole.

As an STP broker regulated by multiple major international organizations including the FCA, CySEC and the FSCA, HotForex has built a reputation among traders for achieving a stable, fair, secure and transparent trading environment for both the beginning and expert level trader.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
Read More About HotForex
3
Khwezi Trade
Min. Deposit
ZAR 2000
3.473.47
FSCA Licence
44816
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Base Currencies
ZAR
1110.503.47/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.80 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Only MT4 platform supported. Khewzi Trade is regulated by the FSCA - FSP:44816
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Khwezi Trade is a South African FSCA regulated broker headquartered in Cape Town. As is common with other STP brokers, Khwezi Trade uses MetaTrader 4 as their single choice of platform, as it provides fast and reliable market execution.

Khwezi Trade offers four account types depending on minimum deposit but all accounts come with a personal account manager.  Leverage is less than is offered by other international brokerages, and currency pairs are more limited, but the clear appeal with Khwezi Trade is their competitive trading conditions that rival other local players.

For beginner traders with higher deposits above R15,000, Khwezi Trade awards clients five trading sessions led by a professional trader as well as more profitable trading conditions. For deposits over R50,000 unlimited training is provided.

For a South African trader looking for a genuinely local broker, Khwezi Trade has local regulation, local offices, local staff and uses local banks.

Pros
  • ZAR Accounts
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Local regulation only
  • No swap-free account option
Read More About Khwezi Trade
4
Blackstone Futures
Min. Deposit
ZAR 1000
4.084.08
FSCA Licence
49846
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Base Currencies
ZAR, USD, GBP
11110.54.08/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.6 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 and CloudTrade platforms supported. Blackstone Futures is regulated by the FSCA - FSP:49846
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Founded in 2009, BlackStone Futures is an established FSCA-regulated broker based in Johannesburg. It offers both ZAR and USD accounts on MT4 and the proprietary CloudTrade platforms, and STP execution ensures no conflict of interest. Beginner traders are well-catered for with excellent educational support, really emphasising the duty of care BlackStone Futures feels for their clients. Spreads are tight and leverage is kept sensibly low until traders can prove their ability, thereby limiting the chance of account wipe out for beginners.

Pros
  • ZAR accounts
  • Tight spreads
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
  • Local regulation only
Read More About Blackstone Futures
5
FxPro
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.214.21
FSCA Licence
45052
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Base Currencies
ZAR, USD, GBP, CHF, EUR, PLN, AUD, JPY
11110.54.21/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5, cTrader and FxPro proprietary trading platform supported. FxPro Group is regulated by FCA, CySEC, FSCA, and the DFSA
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FxPro is one of the most respected Forex brokers in the industry. Regulated by the FCA and CySEC and with over 870,000 client accounts in 173 countries, FxPro is a truly global powerhouse.

FxPro offers a no dealing desk execution model on MT4, MT5, cTrader and a browser-based platform. A reasonable 100 USD opening deposit and outstanding customer service are combined with competitive spreads – often as low as 0.6 pips – to match profitability with security.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Great platform choice
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Limited education
Read More About FxPro
6
FxPrimus
Min. Deposit
USD 500
3.393.39
FSCA Licence
46675
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Base Currencies
ZAR, USD, EUR
1110.503.39/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.30 pips with 10 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 platform support. FxPrimus is regulated by the CySEC, FSCA, and the VFSC.
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FXPRIMUS is an STP market maker founded in 2009 and fully regulated in South Africa since 2018. Globally acclaimed for offering one of the fastest and most secure online trading environments, the company has a strong focus on customer satisfaction with free deposits and withdrawals and negative balance protection for all clients.

A multi-asset broker, FXPRIMUS offers multiple tradeable instruments including Forex, Commodities, Energies, Indices on the MT4 platform. Both Standard and ECN account types are available, with spreads starting at 1.5 pips on the standard account and 0.3 pips on the ECN account.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • High commission
  • Limited education
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About FxPrimus

What are the Advantages of Having a ZAR Account?

The greatest advantage of having a ZAR Account is that you will avoid currency conversion fees when funding your trading account.

If you have a USD trading account, conversion fees or the volatile ZAR/USD exchange rate can take a bite out of your profits before you even start trading. Most international brokers will also give you a poor exchange rate from ZAR to USD.

ZAR Accounts will not have conversion fees on withdrawals and deposits

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.

Funding ZAR Accounts is much faster than USD accounts

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.

ZAR Accounts are usually held in South African banks

Standard Bank

How to choose the best ZAR Account

Choosing a broker with the best ZAR account is much the same as choosing any Forex broker. It is essential to look at the detail of each broker to find out what differentiates them from each other.  When looking for a ZAR account broker, it is important to judge them on the following areas:

Regulation 

Regulation is the most important aspect of selecting a broker with a ZAR account, as it is with any Forex broker. You want to make sure your funds are secure and kept in a segregated account and that your broker maintains a fair trading environment. 

All brokers with ZAR accounts will be regulated by the FSCA, as ZAR accounts will be held in South African banks and will be governed by South African laws. The best international brokers tend to be regulated by the FCACySEC or ASIC as well as the FSCA.

The best regulators in the world are the FCA, CySEC and ASIC

Alongside FSCA regulation, brokers who offer ZAR accounts will need a licence from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to provide financial products denominated in Rand – this extra licencing requirement adds another layer of protection for local traders.

South Africa Reserve Bank

HotForex, one of the best brokers offering ZAR accounts, is regulated by the FSCA, CySEC and the FSCA.

Trading Conditions 

This includes what kind of spreads are available, how much leverage is offered, and how many currency pairs are available. These factors will directly impact your profit or loss.

Trading conditions are particularly important for traders with ZAR accounts as your trading balance will be denominated in Rand. This means that when you are open a trade with the base currency in anything other than ZAR (USD/JPY, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, etc.) you ZAR balance will be converted in the base currency, it will be converted back again to ZAR once you close the trade. This can be expensive if you plan to hold multiple large trades open simultaneously.

When trading, your account currency is converted to the base currency of an FX pair

If you are planning to trade the USD/ZAR be aware that this is considered an exotic pair and spreads are much wider than for major pairs (such as the USD/GBP), often as wide as 80 or 100 pips.

Blackstone Futures, a well-established South African broker, has some of the best trading conditions to be found on a ZAR account.

Trading Platforms

Another factor to consider is the choice of trading platforms on offer. Most brokers will offer MT4, but some brokers will offer multiple platforms – each with their own advantages. Many brokers also have their own platforms, these are often easier to use for beginners, though may not have the automation options that exist on downloadable applications like MT4, MT5 and cTrader.

MT5

Broker’s own trading platforms are often easier to use for beginner traders

For traders who want a ZAR account but a wide choice of platform, we recommend looking at FxPro which offers cTrader, MT4, MT5 and its own platform.

Minimum Deposit 

For ZAR Accounts, your minimum deposit will always be in Rand. How much you are required to deposit changes for each broker and often changes between account types offered by the same broker, with higher minimum deposits often linked to better trading conditions.

Accounts with higher minimum deposits have better trading conditions

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

 All brokers accept traditional payment types such as debit/credit cards and bank transfers, many accept online payments through Skrill and Neteller, some broker with ZAR Accounts will also accept Ozow and other local online payment services.

Always check for deposit and withdrawal fees before you sign up with a broker

Always check for deposit and withdrawal fees, a few brokers charge a percentage fee for some withdrawal methods, making large drawdowns expensive. 

Education and Market Analysis

Most brokers with ZAR accounts will offer Forex education and market analysis. If you are a beginner trader, the quality of this educational and research material should be an important factor in your decision.

Unfortunately, most South African brokers lag behind their international peers when it comes to the quality of their educational material.

International brokers tend to have better education than local brokers

For beginner traders who want to have the best educational material and market analysis available when opening a ZAR account, we recommend checking out MarketsX.

Customer Service

Another important factor to consider when opening a ZAR account is the quality of customer service offered by a broker. Brokers with ZAR accounts tend to have local offices and can offer local support – which can make all the difference for beginner traders.

Brokers with local customer support will have a better understanding of your needs

City

Brokers with local customer support have a better understanding of the issues new traders in South African’s have when setting up their accounts. They also can offer support in multiple languages, including Afrikaans, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Khwezi Trade, a South African broker offering ZAR accounts with an excellent reputation, is well-known for the quality of its customer service, especially for onboarding new traders.

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 Rand, or Rand liquidity pools, to cover their clients’ trades. Currently, there are just not that many banks in South Africa willing to provide the necessary funding.

Broker with ZAR accounts need the support of large South African banks

Another reason for the lack of ZAR accounts is that most international 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.

International brokers with ZAR accounts lose money when the Rand devalues

Should I Use a ZAR Account?

In most cases, yes – South African traders should use a ZAR account if they can. You will avoid conversion fees and withdrawals and deposits will be faster.

Some traders want 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)

Our Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

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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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