Skip to main content

Is eToro restricted in South Africa? Alternatives for 2024

Franklin Silva| Updated May 16th, 2024

Why is the brokerage industry so dispersed in terms of its offering to specific countries? You have probably noticed one platform available in dozens of countries and a close competitor only available in a handful of regions (only in Asia, for instance).

Some attribute it to regulation, others to corporate choices, but at the end of the day, no one seems to know the exact reason why X platform is available in Y country and others are not.

The same applies to eToro, which is unavailable in many countries, including South Africa. In this article, we will briefly talk about eToro’s restrictions and present you with solid alternatives accessible in South Africa.

Why is eToro unavailable in South Africa?

eToro presents a detailed list of countries not supported by them due to regulatory requirements and business decisions. It includes more than 150 countries globally with some notorious names such as Canada, India, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

Regarding South Africa, there is no clear explanation on whether it was purely related to regulatory rules, business decisions or a combination of both. Moreover, eToro has no plans to enter South Africa in the near future, so other options must be considered.

Best eToro alternatives in South Africa

Since you cannot open an account in eToro, we found two excellent alternatives! Our selection criteria involved having similar features as eToro, like the ability to invest in stocks and cryptocurrencies, low fee structure, a hassle-free trading platform, good customer support and top-tier regulator bodies overseeing those companies.

Interactive Brokers

Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers an enormous range of financial products (stocks, ETFs, Options,…), and low currency conversion fees (FX fees).
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.

Plus500

Plus500 is a multi-asset online broker that offers no commissions when trading CFDs in Indices, Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Options, and ETFs. It also recently launched Plus500 Invest for those who want to invest in real shares.
Disclaimer: 80% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

NAGA

Founded in 2015, NAGA is a German fintech adopted by 1M+ investors and allows you to trade 1,000+ financial instruments worldwide, including real stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Futures, Forex, and CFDs of Indices and stocks. It also offers social trading, a multi-currency account and a demo account.

1# Interactive Brokers

interactive brokers logo
Visit Interactive BrokersIs eToro restricted in South Africa? Alternatives for 2024 1

Interactive Brokers at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, ETFs, Bonds, Forex, Funds, Commodities, Options, Futures and CFDs
Minimum deposit$0
RegulatorsFINRA, SIPC, SEC, CFTC, IIROC, FCA, CBI, AFSL, SFC, SEBI, MAS, MNB

Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which surpassed major financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.

Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products (stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions.

Beginners and intermediate investors have educational tools to explore, but the learning curve will be steep. That´s why we mainly endorse it to more advanced traders. Besides, the customer service gives crystal clear answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.

On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is quite complex, the registration process is lengthy but fully online, and the broker doesn’t offer commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.

Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.

Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Interactive Brokers Review.

2# Plus500

Is eToro restricted in South Africa? Alternatives for 2024 2
Visit Plus500Is eToro restricted in South Africa? Alternatives for 2024 1

80% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Plus500 at a glance

0% Commissions(only in Plus500 CFD)
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs and, on Plus500 Invest, Real Shares
Minimum Deposit€/£/$100
RegulatorsFCA, CySEC, MAS, ASIC, FMA

Founded in 2008, Plus500 is an online broker offering a wide range of financial products, including real shares and CFDs on forex, indices, shares, commodities, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It is available in over 50 countries and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

There are two distinct account types:

  • Plus500 CFD: It only focuses on CFD products;
  • Plus500 Invest: Where you can trade stocks (real shares);

As a side note, Trade Sniper, a platform only available for US users and where you can trade Futures, is also part of the Plus500 group.

The web platform you will use is the WebTrader, Plus500’s proprietary platform, offering a stable trading experience and easy access from multiple devices, including a mobile app. All platforms are user-friendly and responsive, and you can start testing the features by opening a demo account.

Their customer support is helpful and easy to assess through a chat that is always shown on the trading platform. Their spreads are low, and they offer accounts in sixteen currencies, including USD, EUR, and GBP. Still, they charge a 0.70% currency conversion fee and a $10 monthly fee following three months with no activity. On Plus500 Invest, they only charge a small commission per trade (US market: $0,006/share).

Finally, it is regulated by financial regulators like the FCA and CySec, meaning that Plus500 is appropriately supervised and that there is an investor protection scheme under the entity you open an account with. For instance, If you open an account as a European investor through Plus500CY Ltd, you are protected up to €20,000. Additionally, Plus500 provides negative balance protection for CFD trading on a per-account basis – only to retail clients from the European Union (regulatory requirement).

Want to know more about Plus500? Check our Plus500 Review.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This information is NOT relevant to EU residents who are to be serviced by EU subsidiaries of the Plus500 Group, such as Plus500CY Ltd, authorized by CySEC (Reg. 250/14). Different regulatory requirements apply in Europe, such as leverage limitations and bonus restrictions.

3# NAGA

Is eToro restricted in South Africa? Alternatives for 2024 4
Visit NAGAIs eToro restricted in South Africa? Alternatives for 2024 1

NAGA at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, ETFs, Options and CFDs on Indices, Futures, Forex, Commodities, Bonds
Minimum Deposit$250
RegulatorsCySEC

NAGA is a German fintech company, a subsidiary of NAGA Group AG (listed in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange). It gives you investment access through two subsidiaries: “NAGA Markets Europe Ltd” and “NAGA Global Ltd”.

Besides, the typical do-it-yourself brokerage services, NAGA presents the “Autocopy” which enables you to automatically follow other people’s trades, and even earn up to 0.30$ by having other people follow your trades!

Through their various platforms (MT4, MT5, web version, and mobiles apps), you have access to stocks, ETFs, indices, Forex, CFDs on stocks, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and futures. Besides, its academy produces useful insights on the NAGA platform and trading in general. From time to time, you may also watch webinars mainly on technical analysis.

NAGA Global is registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which still gives you negative investment protection and segregated client funds but no investor compensation fund.

Want to know more about NAGA? Check our NAGA Review.

Which is the best alternative?

As you may imagine, there is no single answer. Each platform sets itself apart from its competitors in certain features. For instance, we believe Interactive Brokers is the best broker overall. Still, if you are exclusively looking for social trading, you will quickly realise that there is only one real alternative in South Africa: NAGA.

Additionally, you should pick the best one for you according to your needs and goals. Are you looking for day trading or a more long-term approach (“buy and hold”)?

All in all, you should always do your own research to assess which online broker will be better for you. We hope this article helped save you some research time and ultimately leads you to choose the most suitable platform for you!

___________________________

Did we answer all your questions? If not, please let us know in the comments section below!

Other FAQs

Does eToro operate in South Africa?

No, eToro is not available in South Africa. Still, you can find equivalent alternatives like Interactive Brokers, Plus500 or NAGA.

Can You Use a VPN to open an eToro account from South Africa?

No, a VPN can only offer access to eToro’s platform, and not in any way facilitate an account opening since the broker requests a valid ID. Proving an eligible residency remains an essential requirement. No VPN is able to sidestep this requirement–only shift your IP address.

What is eToro?

By now, you should have an idea about eToro but let’s give a recap of what you can find there. With over 25 million users, eToro is a multi-asset trading platform that enables investors to invest in the assets they want, from stocks and commodities to crypto assets. The platform makes it easy to buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real-time, or even copy other people’s portfolios.

Besides, eToro is an established and reliable company. It is highly supervised by top-tier regulators, including FCA, ASIC, and CySEC and authorised by each country’s local financial regulators where it operates (e.g. BaFin in Germany or CNMV in Spain).

But not everything is a bed of roses. Did you know eToro charges $5 per minimum withdrawal of $30? Or that only the US dollar is accepted as a base currency?

Franklin Silva
Co-Founder & Fintech Analyst

Franklin is a CFA Level III Candidate with 3 years of experience in Wealth Management as a Fund Research Analyst and the Host of the "Edge Over Hedge" YouTube Channel.

linkedin
youtube