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Financial Information Exchange (FIX)


Financial Information Exchange (FIX) is a standard language or protocol used internationally by participants in financial markets for the transmission of securities transactions. Created in 1992, its purpose was to improve and automate trading processes and communication in the ongoing push for global trading efficiency. The FIX protocol is used by investment managers, banks, brokers, exchanges and even regulators for communication related to trade information and execution.


The phonetic pronunciation for “Financial Information Exchange (FIX)” would be Financial: fuh-nan-shuhl Information: in-fer-may-shuhnExchange: eks-cheynjFIX: fiks

Key Takeaways

  1. Standardized Messaging Protocol: The Financial Information Exchange (FIX) Protocol is an industry-driven messaging standard that is used by institutions participating in global electronic financial markets. It enables the exchanging of financial information (like securities transactions and market data) in a standardized and consistent format, thereby enhancing efficient and seamless communication.
  2. Global Usage: The FIX protocol is internationally recognized and utilized by many different financial organizations globally, including banks, broker-dealers, exchanges, investment managers, and other financial institutions. The wide adoption of FIX enhances its reputation as a reliable standard for financial communication, and ensures smooth interaction within the global financial community.
  3. Improves Efficiency: By providing a standardized approach to data exchange, FIX dramatically increases the efficiency and speed of trade communication. This allows for real-time exchange of information and transaction data, resulting in faster execution of trades and increased financial market activity. It also reduces operational risks related to misunderstanding or communication errors.


Financial Information Exchange (FIX) is crucial in the realm of business and finance because it facilitates open and streamlined communication between various financial entities. Fundamentally, FIX is a standard messaging protocol used globally for real-time electronic exchange of securities transactions. This reduces costs, enhances trading efficiency, and speeds up the overall execution process since it eliminates the need for paper-based communication methods. Its importance is vividly seen in its ability to provide an environment that supports multiple asset classes and trading strategies. The adoption of FIX enhances the interoperability of different systems and paves the way for simplicity and transparency, which are critical components in today’s complex and rapidly evolving financial industry.


The primary purpose of Financial Information Exchange (FIX) is to standardize communication in the international finance industry. This protocol has become the de facto messaging standard for pre-trade, trade, and post-trade communication, order submission and the advertising of executable and competitive prices. This method was developed to accommodate real time communication across different exchanges, brokers, mutual funds, investment banks, and various other market participants. It plays a pivotal role in enhancing investment efficiency, reducing costs and enabling market players to enjoy seamless interactions.FIX is used for multiple purposes ranging from order routing to market data entry and reporting. For instance, it provides traders with access to real-time quotations and enables them to execute trades with great speed. They can also use it to manage risk by swiftly transferring information about complex derivatives. At its core, FIX seeks to diminish the barriers that exist in financial markets by cultivating a standardized environment which enhances efficiency and expands opportunities for global trading.


1. Stock Exchanges: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), London Stock Exchange (LSE), and other stock exchanges worldwide utilize the FIX protocol to facilitate real-time electronic trading. The system allows brokers, exchanges, and market participants to communicate trade information instantly, enabling the fast-paced trading environment seen in today’s stock markets.2. Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab, the American multinational financial services company, uses FIX protocol for communicating trade orders and executions. With FIX, Schwab can manage its high volume of trading orders efficiently, subsequently helping to maximize customer satisfaction.3. Electronic Trading Platforms: Bloomberg Terminal, a computer software system and leading financial information provider, also uses the FIX protocol. FIX allows rapid and secure exchange of trade details reducing chances of mistakes and misunderstanding, enabling transactions to be done in seconds, thus considerably enhancing the platform’s performance for traders.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Financial Information Exchange (FIX)?

The Financial Information Exchange (FIX) is a standard protocol that’s used by banks, broker-dealers, exchanges, institutional investors, and other financial entities to communicate and exchange securities transactions data. This data exchange is done in real-time and in an efficient and seamless manner.

Who uses Financial Information Exchange (FIX)?

Broadly speaking, FIX is used by virtually all participants in the financial industry including banks, exchanges, broker-dealers, investment managers, and even regulatory bodies. It’s also used by technology vendors who provide supporting services to these financial institutions.

What are the benefits of the Financial Information Exchange (FIX)?

The benefits of FIX are numerous but most noteworthy are its efficiency and real-time capabilities which permit the rapid transfer of large volumes of securities transaction information. It’s also highly compatible and customizable, enabling financial entities to tailor their use of the protocol to best support their business models.

When was the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) created?

The FIX protocol was developed in 1992 by a group of institutions looking to reduce the cost and increase the speed of communications within the securities industry.

How does Financial Information Exchange (FIX) work?

The FIX protocol uses a set of standardized messages and tags. Each message has a distinct purpose, such as to order trades or report executions, and each tag represents a data field within a message that carries specific information, like price or quantity.

Is Financial Information Exchange (FIX) secure?

While the FIX protocol is not inherently secure, it can be made secure through the addition of other security measures such as the use of secure network services, data encryption, and strict session level protocols for user authentication.

Can Financial Information Exchange (FIX) be used globally?

Yes, FIX is a globally recognized standard and it is widely used around the world. It aids in cross-border trading by eliminating the need for physical presence in the location of a particular exchange or market.

Related Finance Terms

  • FIX Protocol: An industry-driven messaging standard for the electronic communication of trade-related messages.
  • FIX Engine: Software applications or middleware that implements the FIX Protocol.
  • Order Routing: The process of using FIX Protocol to communicate orders between financial entities.
  • Electronic Trading: A method of trading securities or other exchange-based products using digital platforms, often facilitated by FIX.
  • Market Data: Real-time information about financial instruments, often transmitted using FIX Protocol.

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