The advent of clever technological devices and software has captured individuals and businesses alike, with the latest wave of technological appreciation occurring in trading circles.
Australians are now checking more than their transaction and savings account balances using mobile technology, with investment traders increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to buy and sell shares.
Investment traders get smart
Over 50 percent of investment traders are buying and selling shares and monitoring stock holdings on their smartphones or tablets, according to findings from Investment Trends. New investors are entering the market at a pace, too.
The research firm told the Australian Financial Review:
"The inflows of new investors continued to track upwards, increasing for the third consecutive six-month period to reach 46,000. However, new or returning traders were exactly offset by an increase in the number of people falling dormant."
With a hefty proportion of traders turning to mobile devices and a stable number of traders active, the industry could be poised for great things.
Trading services move with the times
Between SMS alerts and mobile apps, it's clear that Australia's big stock-trading platforms are keeping on top of technological changes in order to capture traders' attention.
Westpac has developed an Online Investing App, which is available on Android and iPhone devices, as well as iPads. Users can trade ASX shares, view their portfolios and obtain lives prices, quotes and balances for integrated cash accounts.
CommSec is embracing microblogging platform Twitter to provide daily updates to followers, as well as producing informative video reports. When it comes to instantaneous information dissemination, NAB has also jumped on the bandwagon, offering real-time cash transfers between trading and transaction accounts, via its nabtrade service.
E*TRADE's Smart Alerts notify users via SMS or email when stocks are ripe for the picking, based on individual traders' predetermined investment conditions.
Smartphones increasingly popular
It's clear that smartphones and tablets are increasingly popular among Australians.
The inherent portability of such devices is a big plus for those living busy lifestyles. In a bid to "diversify revenue streams", telecommunications companies have looked to expand their offerings beyond traditional mobile phones to smartphone products and plans, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) — trading platforms are but one example of this.
Between June 2011 and May 2012, there was a 25 percent increase in the take-up of smartphone use, bringing total users to 8.7 million, according to the ACMA's communications reports on smartphone and tablet use, released at the end of 2013.
Almost half (48 percent) of individuals say their mobile phone is the most commonly used communications device. This marks an impressive shift; while desktop computers were previously all the rage, an ability to be connected anytime, anywhere, is becoming increasingly important.
It's therefore no surprise that stock traders, who monitor numbers around the clock, are so dedicated to using smartphones and tablets.