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Commentary

Mobile Based Trading Up 4x Since 2012-13

Trading through Mobile Phones, Tablets and Wireless apps has increased by 4x, it seems. SEBI had allowed such trading through “wireless devices” where apps could be installed on cellphones and tablets that didn’t have direct physical connectivity to the brokers. (Before that SEBI expected devices to have wired internet access)

While this data isn’t all that great, it’s interesting to see trading move to mobile devices. Among the biggest must be NSE Now which is called NSE Mobile on Android. Many brokers provide this to customers on their desktops and the same logins work through the mobile interface as well. Some others now have mobile apps that allow trading. SEBI has only allowed this from 2010.

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(Source: PIB, which says SEBI provided this data)

The usage has quadrupled since 2012, but you should note that this is miniscule compared to the fact that daily trading volumes are Rs. 20,000 cr. in shares. Out of this over Rs. 4,000 cr. worth are traded through “internet trading”, which means around 20% of the volumes are online.

Consider that mobile share trading is at 100,000 cr. for the whole year, at 200 days a year, we would have Rs. 500 cr. per day traded through mobiles/tables. (We don’t know if this includes derivatives)

Actual trading is higher of course – because there is no way a laptop using a data card, or a web browser on a mobile can be adequately distinguished as using mobile wireless data versus a wired line internet. But surely, such data must be through smartphone apps (which must have a particular switch on when sending the trade to the exchange).

With smartphone trading scaling up, information provisioning on the mobile has to catch up as well. Not just as apps, but also in web pages that cater to mobile customers. More than 25% of traffic at Capital Mind is from the mobile now, and in the evenings, there are more mobile viewers than desktop. As markets increase their timings we will find much more traffic from “wireless” sources, into trading, investing, information gathering and in reporting.

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