Deposit delay + uncertainty

One of the key issues I face is with depositing money.

I understand it’s a batch process and not automated. Where’s the batch timings posted? No-where as far as I can see, just a vague “2–4 hours between 7am and 4pm”. I understand medium term goal is to have this automated. But what about now, when users are signing up and going through a known pain point and there’s no effort to alleviate it.

Right now you deposit money, grab a three dice, two coins, and a rabbit in a hat, roll the dice, flick the coins and wish on the rabbit and the result is how long it’ll take to process your deposit today.

There is no certainty in the process. Why not publish “We batch process deposits at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm” in a very prominent place?

The share I wanted to buy at 12:16 has gone up 1% in the 3 hours I’ve been waiting. One of your customers has lost out on 1% gain due to poor deposit processes in your business.

On a Friday afternoon, the last chance to trade basic trades before the weekend, waiting over three hours for your deposit to land doesn’t feel good.

There it is, the gain your customer lost out on. Yada yada long term investing, better hope that’s a good enough reason for new users to give up gains! /rantover.

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I think faster deposits are in the product pipeline @MikeBrown . In the meantime, I guess you should deposit a load of cash now so you can deploy rapidly next time the opportunity presents… :+1:


I’d also add that Freetrade (despite the name) is marketed as an investing app, not a trading app. It’s not aimed at people who are looking for the 1% gains in small time windows.


This is the standard excuse. No other financial service I use takes 3 hours to deposit cash. Not a single one. So if we think 3 hours to receive cash is acceptable then let’s call a goose a goose - we’re happy with mediocrity.

There’s only so long “we’re working on the investment platform” flies before standard features like instant deposits missing for months and months just makes me, and probably others, go to the competition.


I learned that operational risk should be part of anyone’s financial strategy—even if you are Big Shot Asset Management with $1 trillion under management.

There’s a bank—your bank—on the other side of the transaction that is also part of the equation. Money clearing and settlement is riddled with inefficiencies, thanks to old school systems of modern day banking.

Top up in advance and wait for the opportunities, do research in-between.

Also, we feel your pain @MikeBrown and so does the self-made gazillionaire investor Ray Dalio:

“I believe that competing in the markets is more difficult than competing in the Olympics, because there are more people trying to make money doing it and it’s a zero-sum game, yet most people think that they can do it.

Source -

For the sake of own health, timing the market because of the 1% move is not a good strategy for the long-term:


"If you’re right about the businesses, you’ll end up doing fine.”

Best of luck, buddy! Keep in mind, this is a seed-stage startup. You are free to use alternative platforms.

Note: what if the shares dove 10% the next day.


“timing the market” is bollocks. I have alerts on HL pricing to ranges I’m happy to buy. I’ve been investing in HL for almost two years. I buy when their pricing is attractive, which given the overreaction in the media over woodford is right now. I’m not timing the market, I’m buying shares at a price I agree with their value. If freetrade doesn’t allow a user to buy shares at the price they want to buy them it’s a subpar platform, full stop.

I’m at a loss as to why we’re excusing mediocrity.

Once again, the point is not freetrade’s mission (long term investment) but that a feature everyone other financial service and their grandmas offer is missing, hasn’t existed since the beginning of the product, and isn’t scheduled to exist for months, to the detriment of your CUSTOMERS.


I agree completely that the deposit function needs improving, which Freetrade also agree with as wellZ

I would say however that the sensible approach is that you deposit money for use tomorrow, not today. Especially if there are shares which you are considering at a specific price, your money should be ready to use not in another bank. I’d say this regardless of how long deposits take.


Oh, the 3 hours or more to deposit cash thing is painful, I don’t disagree with that. But the thing is, Freetrade could have their process working instantly, but a deposit could still get held up if the bank I was sending it from held it back for further fraud and security checks.

My point about trying to time a 1% difference is that Freetrade isn’t really designed to let you do that anyway, regardless of how long deposits might take. There’s the delay in the pricing data also, for example.

I myself had one day once where I made a deposit at lunchtime and it didn’t appear in my account in time to queue any orders before 4pm. Which seemed annoying at the time, but a few days later the market dipped and I was able to get a better price then anyway - and only a few days ago almost everything I had dipped into the red. Which might be why I’m a little blase about a 1% day change.

If you find there’s a competitor who better suits your needs as a trader rather than an investor, by all means go and use them instead.

Hi Mike

At the moment, due to how we process deposits, we give the 2-4 hours between 8am and 8.30pm timeframe as there is some manual intervention required on our side, although, it is often closer to the 2 hour mark (we did have a temporary delay earlier this week which we have since fixed).

As you mention, we’re well aware of the need for instant deposits, which is why it is something we’re currently working on and is on our roadmap. We’ll have this ready for you within the next few months but in the meantime, Apple/Google Pay top ups will reach your account within an hour and are processed 24/7.


I have always thought and probably will always think this way. Deposit the money in your account not the second a stock becomes a good price and you want to buy it. That’s unrealistic. Put cash in to your account for tomorrow, or hold it for even longer. I have cash sitting in my account all the time waiting for a time to purchase some more stocks.


This is my approach, too. :heavy_plus_sign:

That said, we’re very excited about the instant deposits coming in a few months!


Monzo can take 24 hours to transfer money from a pot to your account. Marcus will transfer almost instantly. Many more examples where timings differ by provider.


What if it costs FT less to process deposits as they do at the moment than more rapid deposits?

Surely that is part of the “price” you pay for trading for free. It is not as if you’ve been misled as FT are clear in what they can currently offer.


Until instant transfers and further automaton is implemented, it may be better to just publish fixed processing times as the OP suggests. To stop everyone trying to deposit the moment just before the processing run, there could be a specified 2 hour minimum wait.

For me, it’s not really an issue. I have accounts at schwab and degiro, and they both take days to receive funds. I keep some cash in them for flexibility.

But freetrade’s core market is the UK, where users are used to faster payments, and fintechs jostle for home screen real estate.


That is completely different. The pots in Monzo are not instant access accounts.

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Committing to fixed times just makes a small team less flexible. If something important comes up you need to start issuing apologies to people like in this thread if you need to divert resources, or just not focus on that important thing.

People seem to want perfection from a new business without understanding things take time and money.

If making instant trades and trying to time changes is your thing, I don’t have any sympathy if you didn’t have funds already available and ready to go to do that trade. Would we have this thread if HL’s share price went 1% in other direction?

HL has been doing this shit for decades and still isn’t perfect. Why does it take them up to a week to handle a deposit into a fund? Despite what is suggested by the angry person in this thread, not all businesses do things instantly.


It is not completely different. The previous statement said no other financial service takes 3 hours to deposit cash.

I have an on call cash account with Marcus and an on call account with Monzo (Pot). Marucs pays higher interest and is instant access. Monzo pays less interest and takes 24 hours.

I can make an international transfer with Transferwise from the UK to NZ in less than 30 minutes. Most other providers take days.

Many more examples where there are big differences in the time it takes to transfer/deposit cash.


Instant deposits are absolutely in the roadmap.
You can take a look here:

Bear in mind the roadmap is just a guide, we’re aware that deposits are becoming a more and more sticky issue. It is another feature that will be enabled by the Investment Platform.