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July 10, 2024
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In the fast-paced world of financial trading, maintaining a high level of transparency and control over transactions is crucial. One key technology that enables this is FIX drop copy, a protocol used extensively by trading firms and financial institutions to monitor and manage trading activities in real-time. 


What is FIX drop copy?


FIX, or Financial Information Exchange, is a messaging standard developed specifically for the real-time electronic exchange of securities transaction information. FIX drop copy refers to a process where copies of trading messages, such as orders, executions, and cancellations, are sent to a specified destination.  

FIX drop copy is analogous to an email Carbon Copy (CC) function. It provides an automated copy of all trading messages. 

Other services such as FIX Trade Capture are similar to FIX drop copy but are real-time post trade feeds for just executed orders i.e. trades. Such services are also provided based on FIX protocol messaging. 

FIX drop copy allows firms to have a detailed record of trading activities for monitoring, compliance, and analysis purposes.


Why is FIX drop copy important?

  1. Compliance and regulation: Financial markets are highly regulated, and firms must comply with various laws and regulations. FIX drop copy provides an accurate, real-time audit trail of trading activities, helping firms meet regulatory requirements and avoid penalties. 
  2. Risk management: By receiving real-time copies of trading messages, firms can monitor their trading activities more effectively. This helps in identifying and mitigating risks promptly, ensuring better control over trading operations. 
  3. Operational efficiency: FIX drop copy streamlines the process of recording and monitoring trades. It eliminates the need for manual intervention, reduces errors, and enhances the overall efficiency of trading operations. 
  4. Transparency: Transparency is key in financial trading. FIX drop copy provides a clear, real-time view of trading activities, ensuring that all stakeholders have access to the same information and fostering trust within the trading ecosystem.


How does FIX drop copy work?


The process involves several key components: 

  • Sender: This is typically the trading system or platform where the original trade messages are generated. 
  • Drop copy server: This server receives copies of the trade messages from the sender. It acts as an intermediary, ensuring that the messages are delivered to the appropriate recipients. 
  • Recipients: These are the designated parties who need to receive the drop copies. They could be compliance teams, risk management departments, or external regulatory bodies. 


Implementing FIX drop copy


Implementing FIX drop copy is dependent on the trading context. 

Trading firms providing direct copies of trade messages must set up the necessary infrastructure to ensure smooth and reliable delivery of trade message copies. Key steps include: 

  1. Configuring the trading system: The trading system needs to be configured to send copies of trade messages to the drop copy server.
  2. Setting up the drop copy server: This involves installing and configuring a server that can receive and forward trade message copies to the recipients.
  3. Defining recipients: Identify and configure the recipients who need to receive the drop copies, ensuring they have the necessary systems and processes to handle the data.

An exchange will provide a specific FIX Drop Copy API service where the trade messages that are routed to the exchange order entry gateways and the matching engine are sent to the FIX drop copy service for processing by permissioned recipients. The exchange deals with steps 1 and 2, leaving step 3 as a key requirement for the trading firm. 


Challenges and considerations


While FIX drop copy offers numerous benefits, there are also challenges to consider: 

  • Data security: Ensuring the security of sensitive trading data during transmission and storage is critical. Firms must implement robust security measures to protect against data breaches. 
  • Latency: Real-time monitoring requires minimal latency. Firms need to ensure that their infrastructure can handle high-speed data transmission without delays. 
  • Scalability: As trading volumes increase, the FIX drop copy system must be able to scale efficiently to handle the additional load without compromising performance. 
  • The OnixS FIX Engine SDKs are commonly used by trading firms in support of FIX drop copy requirements. 
  • Exchange specific FIX drop copy API solution implementations include: 


To discuss how Onix Solutions can assist with your FIX drop copy and exchange specific FIX Drop Copy API requirements, visit our downloads page to request your free 30-day evaluation today.