44. Ffrees Family Finance
The digital current account with built in money management tools
Founders: Alex Letts and Stephen Woodford
Founded: November 2012 (launched October 2013)
An estimated three million British adults do not have any form of bank account; four times more than pre-recession estimates in 2008 – meaning they can’t access essential money management and financial services. Founders of Ffrees, Alex Letts and Stephen Woodford, are striving to change this with their specially designed digital current account, which includes a prepaid Visa debit card.
Ffrees distinguishes itself by its non-judgemental attitude to its customers, allowing everyone access to the same tools, regardless of income. The company generates revenue through what it says is a “fair customer charging model”, with no unauthorised overdrafts or bounced payments. At a time when people are losing faith with the traditional banking sector, it’s clear people are responding to Ffrees alternative approach, with the service attracting 50,000 customers in just 18 months, and currently processing 100 applications a day.
The next 12 months will see the company expand its offering with a number of product launches including direct debits and contactless facilities, as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS. A financial service that seems to genuinely want to support its customers, acting as “a financial buffer against needing to borrow or get in to debt”, is one people will want to support.