Perhaps the most common problem encountered by traders of online retail binary options and the topic on which we receive the most complaints by readers here at binaryoptionswire.com is the topic of withdrawing funds or profits from one’s account.
In theory, most brokers claim that the withdrawal process should be quick and secure, much like the process of making a deposit. In reality however things are often not so. This is perhaps not surprising as everyone is very willing to accept your money and very helpful in assisting you to part with it and deposit it into your account, while when the time comes to pay up all sorts of delays and other hiccups may arise. Some are justified and even rightly so imposed by brokers or market regulators in each jurisdiction to ensure traders’ protection, while others may not and may even be indicative of foul play on behalf of the broker. To help traders discern the truth and be able to identify what the real problem may be in their case, let us revisit some basics about the fund withdrawals when trading binary options online.
To be able to withdraw funds from your trading account the first prerequisite is that funds are available in it. This goes without saying but needs to stressed as is also the need to differentiate whether what you are asking to withdraw is unused funds that you have deposited, funds that represent the profits you have gained through successful trading or bonus money granted to you by the broker through a special promotion. We will discuss this further below.
So, provided you have funds available, then you need to submit a formal withdrawal request. The withdrawal procedure is pretty much uniform across most online binary options brokers so the basic guidelines of how this is done more or less apply to all cases irrespective of who your broker is. What usually differs is certain limitations that have to do with timeframes or the fees charged for withdrawals and you should make sure that you are clear what these are even before opening an account and definitely before making your withdrawal request.
Usually then, in order to request a withdrawal you need to be logged into your account and submit the request at the withdrawals area screen, specifying the amount you wish to withdraw. Usually you will also need to provide some proof of identification and this is an absolute must if it is the first time you are attempting to withdraw. Don’t be frustrated when a broker asks for such proof. Besides being forced to do by regulating bodies and international rules, especially with regards to Anti Money Laundering measures, seeking a valid proof of identification is in fact to your interest, because it means that your funds are protected and none else besides you, after proving you are indeed you, can gain access to them. If brokers were frivolous with this issue then your funds could have been stolen and vanish or you may have fallen victim of identity theft.
The accepted identification documents are usually the ones bearing a photo of the owner, such as a valid passport or driver’s license, complimented by proof of address which is usually in the form of a recent utility bill or a bank statement, where your current address is clearly shown. Moreover, in case the withdrawal is done via a credit card then photocopies of the credit card’s front and back showing the last four digits of the card number may need to be also submitted.
Once you submit all the necessary documentation and fill in any needed paperwork, then you can choose the withdrawal method you prefer and finalize your request in order to receive your funds. Many brokers offer withdrawals via a variety of methods such as credit cards, debit cards and e-wallet services, while others may only offer withdrawals via wire/bank transfers, which usually take longer and cost more. This information should be readily available even before you open your account, so check out what a broker accepts in terms of withdrawals methods before you commit to opening an account and depositing funds.
Moreover, bear in mind that brokers’ policies vary in terms of the minimum and maximum withdrawal limits they set. Honest brokers should not impose limitations when it comes to withdrawing your own funds, bonus funds are another story, but the truth is that such limits are often set and if you have already agreed to the broker’s terms and conditions on sign up, then you have no choice but to adhere to what you have already agreed on. In general terms, there are higher limits when withdrawing via wire transfer than when withdrawing via credit card.
The withdrawal method is also directly linked to the withdrawal fees being charged and to the time limits that may apply until your request is processed. Again both these issues also differ from broker to broker and you should check to know what applies in your particular case as there are many variations. Generally speaking however, credit and debit cards and e-wallets services are considered as quicker methods than wire/bank transfers, while one should also make allowance for the broker’s processing time as well.
There are also variations in terms of the fees being charged, but again usually bank/wire transfers cost more, while some brokers charge flat fees and others charge a percentage on the amount you withdraw. Moreover, most brokers base their policy on this matter on the type of account you hold with them, usually charging a higher fee for small account holders, while offering free withdrawals to those holding premium type accounts, which presuppose a higher initial deposit sum, as a further incentive to clients.
As hinted above, besides the handling time needed by the payment processor, there is another time period involved in the handling of your withdrawal that is the processing time of the broker itself. Withdrawals do not happen instantly and they are not automated processes, thus they actually need to be checked, evaluated and then approved by a staff member of your broker and the truth is that large brokers literally receive hundreds or even thousands of withdrawal requests every day. This may justify why sometime is needed to go through them all and why your withdrawal may be delayed. However, it is not surprising if a broker deliberately stalls your withdrawal process since brokers need to keep a tight control over the outflow of funds, since they wouldn’t want everyone withdrawing their money at the same time, as simply they wouldn’t be able to cover the sums needed.
This is why often after you submit a withdrawal request you might receive phone calls from your broker, trying, even if indirectly, to convince you to keep the money in your trading account instead of withdrawing it by offering you some kind of exclusive promotion just for you and just for that time. Moreover, it is not unheard of that brokers may claim not have received the documents you submitted or stalling the process in various ways expecting you to cool off and decide to leave the money in the account or get carried away and place further trades using those funds and ending up losing the sum you wanted to withdraw.
However, if your broker is honest and reliable and you have all the necessary paperwork in order then the only thing you will need to receive the funds you request to withdraw is some patience and resolve and it should work fine.
And now a final but necessary clarification. The usual problems with withdrawals arise when clients try to withdraw funds earned via special promotions and bonuses. As illustrated by the recently published case of IronFX and its Chinese clients whom the broker denied to pay because it claims they have breached the terms of such promotions and manipulated the system to fulfill the requirements in unacceptable ways, it is clear that brokers will never pay out any sum if they suspect that it was not legitimately earned and that is the product of some sort of exploitation such as software hack or something similar.
Moreover, all bonuses are stings attached, even if they appear as real money in your account. Therefore, do not expect to withdraw bonus money unless you have actually fulfilled the conditions set out by the broker in terms of, for example, the volume of trades you have made before you can withdraw.
So, as always, do not be carried away and overexcited by over generous bonus promotions and make sure you read and understand all the associated small print to be sure that you are certain to what you agree and you don’t have your exceptions disappointed.
George Milios is the founder of onlineforextrading.net, the binary options and forex news portal which is dedicated to providing you with all the information you need to successfully trade.