Zoom AMA #3: Freetrade CTO and Co-founder Ian Fuller :freetrade:

Following our jam-packed AMAs on Zoom recently with Adam and Viktor, Freetrade CTO and Co-founder Ian is next up.

@Ian will host a Zoom session and answer all your engineering-based questions.


Thursday 30th April
8 PM

UPDATE 1: Please upvote your questions below!
UPDATE 2: Thanks everyone! We had fun!


Awesome, this should be an interesting one - will be great to hear a little about whats under the hood :slight_smile:

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I missed out on the 2 prior zoom meetings, is there an archive of them or are they on a YouTube channel or something, so I can watch them at my leisure, or have I missed the boat?


Hi Tony, we won’t be publishing the recordings of these ones - but you can read a community members take away here on the last one with Viktor.

In terms of other things we spoke about, we’ll be sharing more details in the next few days and weeks - you can expect updates on US fractional shares, new stocks and crowdfunding :balloon:


Thank you for the prompt reply, Sam! I’ll have a look at that summary now.

Freetrade has been remarkably stable (barring a few minor hiccups) during the recent market volatility while many other brokers had extended instability and downtime. What tech and/or processes has enabled you to maintain that stability?

What language(s) is the backend code written in?

What steps are you taking to mitigate potential outages of 3rd party dependencies / providers?


Do you have intentions to develop the app for Ipad? I think it can look really cool, but at the moment the app is unusable for tablets, at least in landscape mode


I know that fractional shares are very good and I’m sure I will use them to purchase amazon however I have some concerns. For example, if a stock costs £82 I like to spend either £82 for one share or £164 for two shares. I don’t want the option for a nice round £100 to be spent as this takes away from my share buying experience. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. So I guess my questions is: will there be a way to turn off fractional shares? If not and I use £83 to buy a share (incase there’s some movement in price) would I get one share or one share and a fraction? I would prefer it to be just one share. Again, hope you understand my concern. Thank you


How much do you know about your competitors software or systems and how is yours different or better/worse?


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Any plan to fix app performance issues (on iOS at least)? Reported to customer operations team countless of times now.

Will we get to top up our account via Open Banking? It’s possible with other competitors like R…, S…, and etc.

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Will you be adding the ability to transfer shares in?
I have shares with HSBC share trading platform from years ago that I would love to transfer in so that my portfolio is all in one place.


@sampoullain Could we use https://www.sli.do/ for the next AMA?


Hi there, new to the forum!

How have you secured your platform whilst implementing a work from home policy? It is my understanding this becomes harder once people aren’t in the same office.

How easy has it been to work with your data providers? I notice the pricing is slow to load in the app, is this due to a non performant API from the data suppliers or more of an issue on your end?

Lastly, congrats on shifting over to the freetrade invest platform. I can only imagine how stressful the migration was and from my end at least I experienced no outage which is pretty incredible!


Surprised nobody asked this so far.

  1. Can you, please, explain in layman’s term what has caused the delay in the development of fractional shares?

  2. During the Freetrade community meet-up in November 2019 there was a slide about the “Invest stack” showing that the invest platform will decrease the reliance on 3rd parties. Can you provide more detail on the service provided by DriveWealth?

  3. As far as I know DriveWealth can help offer fractionals for US shares only. Does it mean that the incoming European stocks mentioned in the previous Zoom AMAs will not be available for fractional purchasing?

  4. On a more personal note. Which platform is more enjoyable to develop for - iOS or Android?

Thanks a lot!


What are you doing to provide a smoother experience for users? The app still feels quite clunky.

For example it takes at least 5 seconds before it loads the current price of the portfolio when you log in. Also it takes some time to load when you switch between graphs or stocks. It’s not that long, but it’s noticable. I am talking about IOS.


Some really good questions posted by people so far. A few of my own:

Are there any plans to bake more security into the app? i.e. MFA (if not to log in, then at least to withdraw)?

https://freetrade.io/security is a great page offering quite a lot of detail around how funds and shares are safe and segregated, but it would be nice to know more about the security side - do you perform independent penetration tests on the applications for example? Are there any plans to certify with IS27001 or Cyber Essentials/Cyber Essentials Plus or similar accreditation schemes?

The app has slowed down noticeably on both IOS and Android devices, is this due to a massive surge of users since COVID kicked in? The app stability is commendable but it would be nice to know if there are plans to resolve the speed issue - or if its just not possible in the current climate.

How are you ensuring the app’s resilience now you are on your own infrastructure? i.e. do you use virtual servers, dual data centres etc?

Are there any plans to increase the methods of payment - i.e. the ability to instantly add funds via debit card would be great.

If you were allowed to add one holy grail feature - cost/complexity/purpose/usability be damned, what would you add? (just a fun one, feel free to be as out of the box as you want!)


Are there any plans to integrate with third parties via open banking? i.e. moneydashboard, plum etc? These apps are great for seeing where your funds are and would provide some tracking that Freetrade wont have much interest in providing themselves.

  1. where do you see Freetrade in 2, 5 and then 10 years?

Do you see scope to use Intelligent Automation to improve functionality and offerings such as auto-investing, DRIP etc?