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Plus500's Mobile Forex App Statistics - True or Highly Inflated?

Jul 12 2013
By
Forexbrokerz.com

Last week Plus500 announced its plans for an IPO in the near future. I reported this news, then set it aside until there's any new development to share. 

 
Then something caught my attention. I was browsing the Google Play Store on my way to work this  morning, and I came across Plus500's mobile trading app. Even though I trade with the broker, I admit that I only do it from the desktop build of its proprietary platform and I had never tried out the mobile app. But that's not my point. 
 
Scrolling up and down the app's page on the Play Store, I noticed the download stats: according to the data there, the Plust500 mobile trader has been downloaded between 500,000 and 1,000,000 times.  
 
As a standalone fact, this isn't too weird. There are many apps that are popular and people download them like crazy – a silly game like Angry Birds for example falls in the range 100 million – 500 million downloads, and so does the Facebook app for Android. 
 
However, when I wrote about Plus500's IPO I reviewed the broker's operational data and I couldn't shake myself off the feeling that something didn't add up. I revisited the data, only to see that the broker reports 58,000 active customers at the end of 2012. So how is it that these 58,000 people have managed to download the app more than 500,000 times? I suppose that there are a lot of demo and/or inactive accounts included in the number of downloads but the figures still don't seem legit - if you take a look at the table below, you'll see that eToro for example has 2.75 million live and demo users, and just as agressive marketing as Plus500, and yet eToro's app has been downloaded way less times.
 
Along with that, the app has 5,729 ratings and reviews from users. I took my time to go through the reviews, and a great deal of them looked plain fake – full of praise but containing no actual information about the app. 
 
At that point I decided to compare this app with the ones of other brokers. Take a look: 
 
  Number of app installs Number of ratings/reviews Number of active traders
Plus500 500K – 1 million 5,729 58,000
FXCM 50K – 100K 428 197,506
Forex.com 100K – 500K 487 100,671
OANDA 100K – 500K 1,115 n/a
IG 50K – 100K 404 143,304
eToro 100K – 500K 887 2.75 million*
 
* Total number of users, both demo and live
 
You don't need to hold a Mathematics/ Statistics degree from Harvard to see that something's not right. I'm not saying that it's impossible for the broker with the smallest number of customers to have an insane number of app downloads and reviews – but it's not very likely, is it?

And if that is not true, how much of the other data reported by Plus500 is true? After all, the broker has been known for reporting false data so if this is the case here, it won't be a precedent. The operational data that it reports for the IPO places it as quite a large business - so naturally, I ask myself whi list on the AIM, an exchange for small companies, rather than on the London Stock Exchange for example? 

I will not try to answer these questions - I trust you can draw your conclusions yourself. I for once will not be buying any Plus500 shares, that's for sure.
 
 

About Plus500 

 
Plus500 is owned by Plus500UK Ltd. A UK based company with its main offices located in the city of London. The company is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to offer Contracts For Difference (CFD). The company is a rapidly growing CFD provider in Europe and Asia and currently offers its portfolio of over 1000 instruments to over a million clients.

 

TAGS: forex broker  forex trading  forex  forex platform  mobile trading  mobile forex app  Android  Plus500 

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