What’s The Difference between ECN and STP Brokers?

What’s The Difference between ECN and STP Brokers?

Selecting a trading partner is pivotal for profitability and ease of work in the FX. Even the best-laid plans may yield subpar outcomes if you collaborate with an untrustworthy service provider. Because ECN broker employs an electronic order execution mechanism, we tend to give them the position of the best choice today. However, STP-style brokers who additionally provide an NDD trading system present an intriguing option.

Understanding the many types of brokers will enable you to ensure 100% success. This post will highlight the peculiarities of each type of expert, and shed some light on the distinctions between STP vs ECN.

Forex Brokers: Why Should You Care About Them

Without brokerage firms, private investors could not engage in the market with less extensive trading volumes. These companies support traders by serving as partners and middlemen between marketplaces and merchants. It’s an indispensable element in the procedure. A brokerage business must enter into agreements in the best interests of its clients since it’s a legal organization with a license. The specialist gives traders access to financial products via their website or specialized software. In actuality, the customer gives his partner an order to acquire or dispose of financial assets.

These businesses offer a wide range of services:

  • providing access to the primary stock exchanges;
  • establishing and maintaining client accounts; reaching agreements on behalf of customers;
  • granting loans to finalize deals;
  • holding client shares and collecting profits;
  • when signing contracts, consider the risks.

These businesses also offer expert analysis and technological assistance. Certain agents provide instructional resources on stock trading and can serve as tax advisors. A trader may find the aid of a broker to be advantageous. It does not, however, ensure the anticipated outcomes. Service providers just carry out the client’s orders; they do not decide whether to buy or sell assets. Therefore, it’s crucial to independently identify your aims and objectives before approaching brokerage firms.

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Dealing Desk Brokers (DD) vs. No Dealing Desk Brokers (NDD)

The dealing desk brokers don’t forward the clients’ orders to over-the-counter or any other market. They do business as middlemen, completing customer contracts at their rates. We can’t call DD experts brokers in the true meaning of the word since the term “broker” literally translates to “intermediary.” They participate in this arrangement as a party, not as its mediators. The broker pays the client’s profit when the client makes a deal; if the user loses, he keeps the money. Dealers present clients with a variety of assets. Nevertheless, transactions made through them in practice use contracts for difference (CFD) rather than actual assets. By purchasing a “share” from the broker, you only place a wager on price swings rather than acquiring ownership of the shares or the right to dividends.

The broker application processing technique is known as a non-dealing desk. They handle client requests and forward them to the appropriate financial parties, earning money in the form of commissions. It enables the trader and the company to stay out of competitive interests.

Using No Dealing Desk technology to trade improves a broker’s standing with clientele. Still, it also necessitates obtaining the required licenses to the business. The higher initial deposit demands are a drawback. However, several industry leaders have drastically lowered the minimum amount. It makes it possible to nearly all users to gain advantage of the no dealing desk brokers.

STP vs ECN are the separate categories comprising NDD specialists. With an emphasis on supplying direct, middleman-free access to liquidity, each category has one-of-a-kind positive and negative sides. STPs help traders obtain liquidity, but ECN ones let users conduct business straight with each other and with banks and retail currency companies.

What’s The Difference between ECN and STP Brokers?

Electronic communication networks

ECNs can exchange orders between several clients. The peculiarity of this type is that no broker is a part of the deal. You can imagine him as a platform tailored to private investors, matching the orders with those of other users in the organization or with a counterparty which provides liquidity. Usually, these are Central American or European banks or corporations. Customers trade with one another while avoiding some risks coming along with trading via MM. An indispensable prerequisite to this broker is having a lot of internal liquidity. It facilitates the execution of many trades between dealers inside the organization.

The top ECN forex brokers supply their clientele with countless benefits that let profitability skyrocket. These benefits include the minimal spread and the lack of stop-hunting and anti-scalping provisions.

Straight-through processing

As it relates specifically to online trading, STP pricing indicates that a broker doesn’t take a position on the other side of its user’s deals, unlike market makers. As a group of liquidity providers and other establishments, it makes it easier to coordinate the trading position with the counterparty in the market. These professionals handle orders through the dealing service; no middlemen are required. In the absence of a go-between, brokers may promptly execute orders from their clients and do not have to provide them with estimates again. Customers may trade without any limitations.

The most noteworthy benefit is the fact that these brokers won’t ask you to requote. It’s fantastic since they frequently make the trading efforts less successful. You’ll also discover there aren’t many needless delays. STP’s primary goal is to shorten order fulfillment times. It provides access to the best pricing and reduces slippage and requotes. The above-mentioned lack of conflict of interest makes STP brokers somewhat less problematic.

Comparing STP vs. ECN Broker

When it comes to brokerage experts, there are 2 types we often encounter: STP vs ECN. Although they both bring valuable skills and knowledge to the table, several distinctions set them apart. To determine which type of broker is better, let’s compare them.

Order execution

ECN brokers communicate between participants and other liquidity providers, such as banks, dealers, and organizations. It helps explain why accessing the interbank market is now considerably uncomplicated. The top bid and ask costs gathered from various liquidity sources are automatically compared to your orders. As a consequence, you get an open and competitive pricing landscape.

However, even with straight access, STPs use different approaches when sending orders to LPs for execution. Some hybrid STPs maintain an unaltered liquid pool while occasionally serving as customers’ counterparties in transactions. The STP brokers get the best out of both the hybrid strategy’s flexibility and direct access’s benefits.

Spreads and expenses

ECNs frequently provide raw spreads. They replicate the ask and offer costs that LP supplied with accuracy. Regardless of the spread, there is an extra charge for every trade. It opens the door to a sincere attitude to business dealings. A lower spread is oftentimes the outcome of heightened liquidity. It enhances participants’ trading states.

Spreads from STPs can be either constant or variable. Brokers also maintain the right to alter the fees associated with requests and offers. The category’s monetization strategies differ; some rely on spreads as their primary revenue stream, while others depend on commission agreements to stay in business.


ECN is synonymous with transparency. If you choose this broker, you can get detailed info about volumes at various costs and under different market conditions. Moreover, you may view the prices of purchases and sales. Such knowledge is the basis for well-thought-out decisions.

STPs are also dedicated to supplying their clientele with the finest possible service. They lack the ability to display the same thorough history of the forex market, so even with the greatest of desires, it is not totally feasible. Hence, ECN will be a go-to alternative if you value historic data and indicators.

What’s The Difference between ECN and STP Brokers?

Things to Consider When Choosing Between STP and ECN

There are significant distinctions between STP vs ECN. Nonetheless, both are respectable choices that meet the requirements of different merchants. Whether they are appropriate for a particular trader will depend on a few key factors:

Assessing pricing plans

It’s crucial to assess different tariff plans in the financial industry since, even when taking into account significant operational and structural issues, financial constraints may affect the selection. It’s worth noting that ECN brokers are sometimes considered a more costly alternative because of it, even if they charge higher transaction costs. STPs generally use a fee structure that includes spreads in the total transaction costs. The effect of STP expenses could change based on the amount of transactions.

Evaluating liquidity providers

You should not start work before you check the liquidity of suppliers. It is this indicator that serves as a good measure of the volume of activity and the total amount of support available at any given time. Moreover, pay attention to the relationship between the liquidity providers and the chosen brokerage company. As an illustration, ECNs usually have serious liquidity reserves that are not even close to their competitors. However, keep a cool head and think rationally about liquidity.

For those who prefer STP, the upside is that the price for their expenses is less. However, is it worth sacrificing liquidity for the sake of lower costs?

Understanding trading goals

So that you can make the best choice, focus on discovering what your goals are. If you have limited funds, or if you want to work within the limits of modest transaction volumes, then most likely STPs will be your lifeline. They are the brokers who will not let you spend too much, but try to offer rational spreads. But if you are a serious player, then of course ECN with narrow spreads and transparent policy is the go-to alternative. Even if it will cost more.

You must take a number of factors into account in order to select a forex account wisely and avoid making a mistake. Additionally, you should confirm that the broker you select can fulfill the trading requirements and has a solid reputation.

With the aid of a demo forex account type, the great majority of Forex brokers enable prospective customers to test their services and gain a complete understanding of the selected trading platform. It’s a good idea to try out a few different trading platforms before selecting a broker.

In its core, selecting the ideal broker gives you the highest chances for profitable trading and investment. Opting for the broker that best fits your objectives and trading style calls for a significant amount of study, comparison, and trial trading. When you do your homework and research the difference between ECN and STP broker, you’ll be able to spruce up your trading methods.