Mobile accessibility is a new category for us in 2018, which reflects the rise of mobile devices throughout the financial and fin-tech industries. We leveraged Surviscor’s 2017 mobile brokerage review and assessed how users get connected via mobile devices, the usability of the platforms, account services, market intelligence, mobile transactions and mobile resources.
Our hands-down winner in this category was BMO Investorline, which has been designated the 2017 Surviscor Best Mobile Customer Experience. Runnersup were Questrade and Qtrade Investor.
BMO’s strong position bucks a trend in the opposite direction: Surviscor’s research finds that generally the big banks are losing out to the independents. Firms like iTRADE and TD are on the outside looking in, while two of Canada’s leading Digital Banking providers, RBC and CIBC, continue to disappoint as seen in Surviscor’s annual mobile banking rankings. It appears that may be the only area they are happy to support, as their discount brokerage customers are clearly being provided with inferior digital discount brokerage mobile services.
As you can see from the chart, BMO makes equities, ETFs and options available via Mobile, and on Tablet equities, ETFs, options, mutual funds, GICs and ADRs.
Questrade placed second in Mobile, providing both a Mobile app and a mobile-adaptive design for Mobile clients, and it does so while also maintaining a consistent and familiar experience.
Qtrade Investor was third in this category: it provides both Mobile apps and a Mobile website, with all products available.
- BMO InvestorLine – 26 pts
- Questrade – 14 pts
- Qtrade Investor – 10 pts
Market research data is another critical category for do-it-yourself investors and Surviscor looked indepth at quote features, general market information, charting and technical analysis, research and fundamental analysis, screener resource and market notifications.
The banks did well in this category, with TD Direct Investing leading the pack, edging out Qtrade Investor in second, and RBC Direct Investing in third.
For TD, this is a repeat trip to the top of the market data category, a position it will be hard for rivals to dislodge. LaCoste says TD has dominated this category for more than 15 years. TD does a great job of presenting its market data, whether for active traders or for more casual investors. It’s particularly strong on providing market quotes on options and, along with HSBC, is dominant in accessing global quotes and facilitating global trades. TD’s strength here is based on its long-standing base in its US trading platform. But that US focus makes it a bit weaker for data that’s important to Canadian customers, such as commodity prices. All in all, though, TD remains the hands-down winner in market data.
Still, TD is not necessarily unassailable in this category. Nipping at its heels is RBC Direct Investing (in third), and Qtrade, in second and following an honourable mention in last year’s edition of this report. Qtrade’s research isn’t as deep as TD’s but it’s strong in Technical Analysis. There are plenty of research reports but don’t expect an abundance of buy and sell recommendations that you might see elsewhere.
As for RBC Direct, “What they lack in terms of technical and fundamental data they make up for in various screeners which are key to the self-directed investor,” says LaCoste.
- TD Direct Investing – 20 pts
- Qtrade Investor – 17 pts
- RBC Direct Investing – 9 pts
MORE ABOUT DIY:
- The best way to dump an advisor and mutual funds
- The most popular online brokerage for DIY investors
- Smooth out your performance