Trading Binary Options in South Africa
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Binary Options trading in South Africa

South Africa is regarded as the leading emerging market economy in Africa, interchanging positions of the largest African economy with Nigeria in the last one year. The South African market is seen as the most progressive in terms of financial market activity. Is there a likelihood of South Africans making money from binary options? Indeed there are new opportunities to do this, following the acceptance of this product from the country’s financial regulator.

The financial market in South Africa is regulated by the Financial Services Board (FSB). The FSB is the only non-banking financial services regulator in Africa to expressly give approval to the trading of binaries. Binary options in South Africa are considered as Over the Counter (OTC) derivative instruments. Companies that want to offer this type of trading in South Africa are required to obtain a Financial Services Provider license. However, offshore brokers are still allowed to market their products to South African citizens, provided they are licensed in their home countries.

There is a proposal to change the licensing structure of the financial markets in South Africa to a Twin Peaks structure, which will see the emergence of a new regulatory agency for the derivative markets. This agency, to be known as the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), is proposed to be the agency that will oversee the financial market operators, how they treat their clients and how they conduct business. The FSB is in the final stages of this transition into the FSCA.

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Currency Pairs & Spread

South Africa is the only African country whose currency is traded on the international currency market. The Rand (ZAR) is also found on binary options platforms, listed under the currency asset class. The South African Rand is frequently paired as a counter-currency against the US Dollar, Euro and British Pound.

The USDZAR, which represents the most traded pairing of the South African Rand, is very responsive to economic news out of the US that affects emerging market economies. The US interest rate has been a major influence on this pair in the last one year. Assets are not usually listed with the bid and ask prices. However, the spread is factored into trades as well expiry pricing to determine payouts.

Trading platforms

South African traders will encounter turnkey platforms developed by companies such as SpotOption, Tech Financials, Tradologic, Hello Binary and O-Systems, if they trade with licensed offshore brokers. The few South African binary brokers that have been licensed have so far gone the way of in-house platform development. It is expected that proprietary platforms from homegrown South African binary options brokers will become available in the next few years as more companies come on stream to take advantage of the new regulatory environment.


South African traders can expect to be issued bonuses when using binary options brokers located in jurisdictions such as Mauritius, Seychelles, St.Vincent & Grenadines, Vanuatu and Belize. Offshore binary brokers located in Cyprus, Malta and the UK will not be issuing any bonuses as these have been outlawed in these jurisdictions. Issuance of bonuses to traders is not a culture practiced by brokers in South Africa’s established markets. It remains to be seen what local brokers will do in terms of bonus issuance.

Deposit and Withdrawal options

South Africa boasts of a robust financial technology industry which is able to furnish traders with various means of transacting on binary options platforms. Here are the deposit/withdrawal methods that will be available to South African traders.

  1. Cards: MasterCard and VISA have a very strong presence in South Africa. Deposits are processed instantly, but withdrawals may take up to 24 hours.
  2. Standard Bank in South Africa is probably the most used bank for segregation of funds from South African binary options traders. A few local South African brokers (such as Alfa Financials) possess a robust wire transfer system which allows them to take local deposits from local traders. Other traders within Africa who are interested in doing business with these brokerages can also send funds using the international wire transfer system. For local traders, this is the preferred method of transaction.
  3. Digital wallets such as Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney and Payza are fully available to South African traders. This option is only utilized by South African traders when dealing with offshore brokers.

Legality & Regulations

From a legal standpoint, what view do South African financial market regulators have about the trading of binary options in South Africa?

The FSB is still in the process of licensing locally based brokers in South Africa. In order to fill this void, the FSB still permits offshore brokers to offer their services to South Africans, provided they are licensed by their home countries. It is unclear how ling this will continue, especially as the FSB prepares to metamorphose into the new FSCA with expanded powers.


Here are the frequently asked questions that most South Africans have about the conduct of binary options in South Africa.

Answer: The trading of binaries is legal in South Africa.

Answer: South Africa is an evolving destination for binary options. It is presently safe to trade binaries with local brokers and regulated offshore brokers.

Answer: Presently, there are no restrictions on trading with offshore brokers.

Answer: No, only US citizens can trade binary options in the US.

Answer: The preference of local South African traders is to use digital wallets for offshore brokers. The preferred option when transacting with top South African brokers based locally is the bank wire method.

Answer: South African traders can call the FSB toll-free number 0800 20 20 87, or visit the FSB website on to confirm a broker’s status before investing any money.


Best Binary Options Brokers in South Africa

More brokers are flocking to South Africa than at any point in history. As licensing of new brokers continues, we introduce the top binary brokers in South Africa at the moment.

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