July 11, 2008

E*TRADE Mobile Pro for Traders w/ BlackBerry(s)

[Update 5/5/09 - E*TRADE Mobile Pro for iPhone now available.]

The financial industry, aside from taking a beating on the wall street lately, has been cautiously slow in introducing mobile access and applications. And as they should be cautious; considering how easily people can lose their mobile phones and end up causing unimaginable catastrophe to ther finances. However, having mobile access to financial services is somewhat inevitable considering folks in Japan have been using their mobile devices as a form of payment for years.

While mobile banking is starting to take off in the U.S. from the likes of Chase, Bank of America and Citibank, the stocks and brokerage firms have not actively participated in this arena until E*TRADE's new Mobile Pro, exclusively available as a BlackBerry application.

I took my 8830 to etrade.com/mobile and it quickly prompted me to provide/confirm my email address and asked if I was a customer. The next screen provided a download link which took about 30 seconds to install. After that process, I found the E*TRADE Mobile Pro icon within applications; upon launching it for the first time, it required me to complete the installation by resetting the device. From an installation standpoint, this is one of the most complicated installation process for a mobile application.

The resetting took a while and not sure why this is taking so long. At first, I thought it had crashed my BlackBerry. Later on this afternoon, I decided to keep letting the phone reset, and after about 10 minutes or so, my BlackBerry finally finished resetting itself and things went on normally. So be patient.

Once everything is up and running, the application proves to be very cool. I was able to login to check on my account(s) balance, real time quotes, news and pretty much everything E*TRADE platform has to offer via a dynamic mobile experience. The navigation UI is simple and intuitive with the trackball. In settings, you can set the time interval before it times out (default is 5 minutes, which is very nice for your protection. Overall, I am very pleased with E*TRADE Mobile Pro and hope to see this application rolled out to other mobile platforms (ie. Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android, etc.). I am hoping the rest of the investment industry will soon bring their services to mobile platforms so everyone can check on their investments on the go. There have been times when I am on a road trip and knowing the market will react to some news, and would have loved to be able to execute some trades over my mobile device, thanks to E*TRADE, this is now possible!


Jose said...

Hey Andy-

I too felt the installation process was difficult, but only because the installation failed to complete in one step for me. It took three tries before the install finally completed and I was able to get into the application.

What I was more disappointed with was the lack of functionality above pure basic quote/news gathering and training simple orders. While the basic trading functionality is there, why they did not include the ability to look at a chart and perhaps a couple of key technicals is beyond me. In addition, for those interested in advanced trading, forget about placing orders for spreads or any other complex option order - the functionality is not there.

This is certainly a step forward for mobile trading applications, but it is a baby step and still leaves lots to be desired.

andy said...

You are absolutely correct in that this is a baby step. However, prior to this, atleast for me, I didn't know of any other way to access basic trades or get real time quotes via mobile. I remember one time, traveling back to work from a business trip, a stock I was following was suppose to announce earnings after closing bell. I was thinking about picking up a few shares prior to the announcment but around 3:45PM ET in my car service back to my office, I could not place a trade via a Windows Mobile device (I was using another brokerage firm and this was pre- E*TRADE Mobile Pro days). I felt helpless at the time because I know I had all the ingredients: mobile data access, mobile internet, and yet somehow I can't transact. Glad to see E*TRADE providing this app and hope they will bring this to more platform including WAP with the advanced features like graphs and etc as you mentioned. One can hope!


Liz said...

You people must really check out TD AMERITRADE Mobile Application. A real killer mobile trading application. Market Simplifed has developed this great Application which is free for TD AMERITRADE users. It has great features like that of uptodate news,Stock and Mutual fund quotes
Dynamic Risk Management alerts
Technical charting and analysis and Blackberry review has some great stuff to say about the same!

phone recycle said...

Ya, I checked out TD AMERITRADE Mobile Application. Umm sounds good.

Jay said...

mobile phone recycling

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