In finance, an electronic trading platform also known as an online trading platform, is a computer software program that can be used to place orders for financial products over a network with a financial intermediary. Various financial products can be traded by the trading platform, over a communication network with a financial intermediary or directly between the participants or members of the trading platform. This includes products such as stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, derivatives and others, with a financial intermediary, such as brokers, market makers, Investment banks or stock exchanges. Such platforms allow electronic trading to be carried out by users from any location and are in contrast to traditional floor trading using open outcry and telephone based trading. Sometimes the term trading platform is also used in reference to the trading software alone.
Electronic trading platforms typically stream live market prices on which users can trade and may provide additional trading tools, such as charting packages, news feeds and account management functions. Some platforms have been specifically designed to allow individuals to gain access to financial markets that could formerly only be accessed by specialist trading firms. They may also be designed to automatically trade specific strategies based on technical analysis or to do high-frequency trading.