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Events at Alpaca

Webinar Recap: How to Build a Fully Functional Trading App

Crystal Xue
Crystal Xue

In our recent webinar, How to Build a Fully Functional Trading App, Christie Ruales, a product manager at Alpaca, shared how you can build anything from a simple trading app to an advanced trading platform with Alpaca Broker API.

Read on for key takeaways from the webinar and be sure to watch the full recording for Q&A and detailed insights.

Please note that this article is for educational and informational purposes only. Alpaca does not recommend any specific securities or investment strategies.


1. Account Onboarding Tips

Perform validation on user input

When collecting personally identifiable information from customers, it helps to validate that information before sending the information to Alpaca. That way, you can prevent unnecessary delays in the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, a due diligence process that financial services companies use to assess customer risk and verify a customer’s identity.

Understand KYC requirements in the countries where your users are located

KYC requirements differ depending on user location. To ensure compliance, evaluate whether they’re in high- or low-risk jurisdictions–this could affect the number of documents you need to collect.

Perfect this flow to optimize the user experience

Onboarding UX matters when it comes to better conversion and retention.

Ribbit, our reference trading app, divides the onboarding flow into two separate screens to collect different areas of information. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, though. It’s up to you to figure out how users can best sign up for your app. We recommend using analytics tools to learn what works and what doesn't and to make adjustments as needed.

2. Account Funding

Account funding can be accomplished through three APIs:

  • Bank API: establishes a relationship between your user’s account on your app and an Alpaca brokerage account.
  • ACH Relationships API: establishes a relationship between a specific bank account type–such as checking or savings–and a user’s Alpaca brokerage account.
  • Transfer API: initiates and handles the processing of deposits and withdrawals from your app on the backend; supports both ACH for U.S. users and wire transfers for international users.

For reference, Ribbit uses Plaid Link to link a user’s bank account to their Alpaca brokerage account.

Again, keep the user in mind as you design the account funding process. Do you want to encourage new users to initiate account funding right after they sign up, or create a guided experience of your app before asking them to fund their accounts? That’s for you to decide.

3. Executing orders

Alpaca Trading API offers everything you need to integrate securities trading into your app. Ribbit, our reference trading app, uses the Assets, Orders, and Portfolio History API endpoints to achieve this.

Other APIs related to order execution include:

  • Positions API: offers information about an account’s current open positions. The response will include information such as cost basis, shares traded, and market value, which will be updated live as price information is updated.
  • Watchlist API: enables a user to create a watchlist of their favorite stock(s). One account can have multiple watchlists and each is uniquely identified by id but can also be addressed by user-defined name.
  • Account Configurations API: provides custom configurations for trading account settings such as disabling fractional trading and enabling margin trading.

Missed the webinar?

If you weren’t able to join us and your FOMO is kicking in, no worries. You can listen to all of our insights here.


Alpaca does not prepare, edit, or endorse Third Party Content. Alpaca does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, or usefulness of Third Party Content, and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, or other materials on or available from third-party sites.

Brokerage services are provided by Alpaca Securities LLC ("Alpaca"), member FINRA/SIPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AlpacaDB, Inc. Technology and services are offered by AlpacaDB, Inc.

This is not an offer, solicitation of an offer, advice to buy or sell securities, or open a brokerage account in any jurisdiction where Alpaca is not registered (Alpaca is registered only in the United States).

Events at AlpacaBroker API

Crystal Xue

Crystal Xue is a Content Marketing Manager at Alpaca. She's passionate about financial literacy and creating content that helps investors navigate financial concepts and products.