PRODUCT(S) AND/OR SERVICE(S)
Bill Gates famously said: “Banking is essential. Banks are not”
We believe Ffrees is the first unbank. It’s a digital current account for people who want to save up, avoid debt and get ffreedom from the traditional banking model.
Our mission is to bring fairness to a sector that many see as being unethical. Now we want to take the Ffrees revolution one stage further. We are giving people a chance to own a part of their own unbank. Ffrees, the “People’s Unbank”.
Ffrees is championing a revolution against encouraging people to have overdrafts and run up credit card bills. We feel that too many people are nailed by high charges and penalty fees, which then spiral out of control. This just seems wrong.
Ffrees offers what you would expect from a current account, plus a few unique offerings that set us apart. We have built a great technology platform and our unbanking staff have a friendly approach, which we hope shames our competitors, the traditional banks.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and the traditional banking offer of “free-if-in-credit” current accounts is dependent on selling unsecured credit products such as overdrafts (with the associated fees, interest and penalty charges), high interest credit cards, plus “packaged accounts” filled with services people may never use. This model appears to us to be both adversarial and old fashioned. It also seems to favour the affluent, not the majority!
We want to ffree people from the grip of this out-dated and unfair banking model and lead the revolution in “Unbanking Britain”, creating the People’s Unbank.
Ffrees is special. It is a current account built around the principle of helping people help themselves by better management of their money, focused saving and paying their bills. This is done by giving our users Jam Jars (sub accounts) that can be used to ring-fence money for paying bills, creating savings pots and storing-up cashbacks.
This is the Ffrees model. And, as Ffrees does not lend money, people are not required to go through laborious credit checks, so almost anyone can complete a simple on-line identity check and easily open an account.
SUBSTANTIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE
Since October 2013, with limited marketing promotion, Ffrees has opened over 58,000 accounts and since January 2014 has had throughput of over £110m, generating £1.2m of revenues. We are now gearing up to accelerate and grow to our target of 150k users within the next 18 months.
Ffrees is also disrupting the banking current account model by targeting a segment of UK consumers who we know have a high level of frustration and dissatisfaction with the banks. As Alex, our Unbanker-in-Chief likes to say: “they are underserved, overcharged and most certainly underchuffed”!
USE OF PROCEEDS
Over the next 6 months, Ffrees will progressively launch a new, more streamlined, platform. We’ve already started. Phase 1 was released on September 14th 2015. You can see our new service at www.ffrees.co.uk.
The new platform will also move Ffrees to a higher margin model, and support the roll-out of direct debit and mobile apps. We refer to this new platform as The Bank-Buster! The purpose of raising additional capital through Seedrs is to complete the roll-out of The Bank-Buster product and, over the next 6 months, bring it to market in 2 phases.
Also, since we use a digital platform, increasingly built around self-service elements, we do not carry the overheads of the existing banks. We can therefore scale our business, without needing to increase our overheads at the same rate.