Ffrees' U Account – it's all about u. Image source: Ffrees

Ffrees’ U Account – it’s all about u. Image source: Ffrees

UK-based banking services challenger Ffrees Fiamily Finance has launched a new “digital agency banking solution” – U Account.

The account is supported by Wirecard, Global Processing Services (GPS) and payments software vendor Bottomline Technologies.

For Wirecard and GPS, this is the first foray into agency banking, whereby cardholders can make use of additional payment functionality including Direct Debit, Faster Payments and Bacs Credits along with standard prepaid account features.

The U Account – a prepaid account that comes with a MasterCard card – offers its users “improved current account functionality but without the hassle and cost of using a bank”, says Ffrees. It includes an integrated solution to the UK’s Faster Payments Service and Direct Debits.

“Its focus on personalisation, easy digital access and transparent pricing for bolt-on account services are unique in the UK market.”

The account costs £5 per month. Payments out ad ATM withdrawals cost 50p, and international ATM withdrawals cost 50p plus 3%.

Frees is not a bank but a credit broker. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It describes itself as an “unbank” and targets those “who feel underserved and overcharged by the banks”.

With so many new entrants trying to muscle into the UK banking sector, Banking Technology has put together a comprehensive list of the known challengers to date and the technology they are using. The list is updated on a regular basis.