Hello Andreas, thanks for having me. Several months have passed since our last meeting. I can see that you’ve been busy – a new office, several new faces in it, and more and more new customers announced. Business is going well, I presume?
Indeed! In the last few months, the company has gained significant recognition, and we can see that, especially during the expos. Our booth is always busy, and when we fly abroad, our calendars are filled with meetings. Today I can proudly say that the strategy we adopted at the beginning has brought the expected results. We entered the market with a well-thought-out and refined solution. We knew that clients approached new entities on the liquidity market with reserve, even those licenced by CySEC, so we made sure that our offer guaranteed them complete security and the possibility of verifying our services first. In this way, we have built trust, acquired several large brokers and partnered with industry-leading companies. Let me put it this way: we had to change the office because the previous one became too small.
You hear a lot lately that it’s getting harder and harder to find good employees, especially here in Cyprus. Have you noticed this trend?
This seems to have become quite a common view over the last few years, and there is definitely some truth in it. We have to accept that this is an industry that has been developing at quite a fast pace for many years, and the number of specialists is simply not growing at the same rate. People know their value; they don’t want to waste time on work that doesn’t help them grow and gives no satisfaction. I understand it perfectly well; the best thing about working in Match-Prime was that I could realise my own vision and create something exactly as I wanted.
Cyprus really is the forex capital of the world. I’ve studied in the UK, been here and there, but the local fintech market is just incomparable, you can see it by the number of new companies starting every month. CySEC is a responsible and reputable regulator, the fact that Match-Prime has a Cypriot license opens doors for us almost all over the world. Customers just know that they can trust us. We are also lucky when it comes to geographical location! If you take one look at a map, you can see the island’s proximity to the MENA region and of course to mainland Europe.
Do you plan to build your brand also outside of Cyprus?
We have already put a lot of emphasis on it, not only in Europe but also in MENA & Asia. In September, we plan to be in Bangkok to attend one of the biggest industry events in the area. We’ve also been to London, signed contracts with a customer from Australia and become exhibitors at several large EXPOs. It really has been a busy time. Recently I’ve realised that we have been to Dubai 3 times in less than a year! Each of them was a great experience, with an abundance of opportunities to make new contacts and forge great relationships with our existing clients. The Middle East is undoubtedly a very interesting market, although demanding, that’s for sure. Our advantage is that we have a lot of experience in this region and we believe that we have the ability to understand its needs much better than before.
Stavros Economides, our Chief Operating Officer, held the position of Head of Trading in one of the largest retail brokers operating in the UAE. By utilising his direct experience and understanding of the local market needs, we were able to reach out to the market successfully.
We talked about the employees, but did you also notice the increased expectations of customers? Are Brokers more demanding than a few years ago?
Without a doubt. Customers expect more and more from liquidity providers, things that were “something extra” a while ago are becoming today’s standard. It’s not easy to stand out. This applies not only to brokers that are looking for a prime provider but also to those who just want to diversify their liquidity sources. It’s undoubtedly a competitive game field, but we are fully aware and ready for it. We also have a few tricks up our sleeve and points to attract brokers attention.
Go on then!
Let’s start with the fact that our clients can count on an individualised approach from the very beginning. During the integration process, every client is assigned a designated consultant who then becomes the one point of contact who takes care of his every need. Thanks to that, our clients can be certain that our dealing, admin and risk teams will assist them with everything. Another point is our offer. We are constantly working on its development and want to be on top of our game. We constantly monitor market trends, and as soon as our team spots something trending, our reaction is immediate. In recent months, there has been a lot of interest in products related to gaming, like Axie Infinity. We’ve discussed this with Kyriakos Petallides, our Head of Dealing on Own Account and decided to add it to the offer with the best possible conditions, and we were actually one of the first to do so. I’m not saying that other companies don’t keep track of what’s going on, but I believe what makes us stand out on this is the fast actions taken on our side. In Match-Prime there are no long decision-making chains, we can introduce new CFDs in a few days, and I know from my own experience that in other companies the process may take many weeks. I really don’t need to tell you that timing is crucial, right? Whenever there is hype around something, every hour counts! Brokers perfectly understand that if their offer is lacking some products, clients will simply leave and go somewhere else. There are a lot of brokers out there.
The Crypto topic hasn’t gone away for months, do you think this is the future of the forex market?
Of course, you can’t underestimate the Cryptos. We consider this field very important and our Crypto CFDs offer has grown several times in the last few months. For now it settled on over 50 symbols and we plan to add more. However, it seems to me that the future of trading needs to be looked at more broadly. Look at the younger players- they are just entering the market, already play a big role in it, and their share will only grow! That’s why our solutions are based on new-generation technology which is provided by our strategic partners from Match-Trade Technologies. I strongly believe that in order to attract and retain younger clients, you need to upgrade and offer the latest technology. Additionally, our cooperation with Match-Trade Technologies brings a number of additional advantages to our customers. For example, a lower price when they decide on several products, such as WL solutions, Bridge, Client Office, CRM & Crypto payment gateway. Only a few other companies can provide such a complex offer.
If you had to point to one thing that makes your company different, what would it be? Technology, customer support?
All the things you mentioned above are certainly important. I believe that our experience of many years in the industry enables us to understand brokers and their needs very well. This allows us to help them where others can’t. For example: when routing trades through a FIX, the standard is to use netting mode based on First In, First Out rule. Of course, this is cheaper because it reduces swap charges and margin usage, but it makes it difficult to reconcile the profits on A-Book. We received requests for feedback from clients, so at first we prepared some manuals, then special A-Book profitability reports, showing profitability on trades routed to us, but it wasn’t enough. We did a little market research and decided to work on an alternative solution. That’s how we developed a solution allowing brokers to STP orders through FIX, but in “retail mode”. It required multiple bridge adjustments like passing correct order IDs to be able to recognise correct order during closing, and the Match-Trader Pro engine to support opening opposite trades on hedge accounts. It wouldn’t be possible without our associates from Match-Trade Technologies, that’s for sure. Now our customers can use this method, and the possibility of hedging without netting might help them gain more profits. This is “something extra” I was referring to earlier. Our clients seem to appreciate these efforts, and this gives us the drive to continue in that direction.
Is there a way to try your liquidity without onboarding? I know well how complicated this process can be.
Initially, I would like to point out that our aim was to have an onboarding process which is straightforward and easy. I believe that this is something we managed to deliver. We managed to connect a large part of our clients in just a few days, targeting to do it in less than a week for sure. A few months ago, we were in discussions with a large broker to be onboarded; however, the potential client had some specific requests. In order to better understand what the client is after, we had to analyse some trading history and statistics. Although this delayed the onboarding process, we managed to meet the requirements and successfully onboarded the client. Coming back to the topic of checking our product- if a potential client wants to see how the platform works, compare our spreads, verify our market depth and take a look at the instruments available, he can always contact us and ask about demo set-up. There is absolutely no onboarding, and it takes just a couple of minutes.
Thank you for your time Andreas. Last Question: how can our readers reach you?
Oh, it’s easy to find me! You can always go to Linkedin or just visit match-prime.com for all the contact details. Finally, if anyone wants to meet in person, our company has become one of the sponsors of the iFX EXPO here in Cyprus. 7-9 June, booth no 105. See you there!