Atom explodes onto the market with the UK’s first mobile-only bank
Atom explodes onto the market with UK's first mobile-only bank
The world of consumer finance is experiencing a technological revolution. Fintech disruptors are cutting out the middleman, slashing costs and improving the quality of financial services for customers.
Transferwise and Nutmeg have already done this for currency transfers and investment management. Here at ClearScore we’re doing our bit to give everyone access to their credit report so they can gain financial control. Now, it’s the turn of consumer banking to get a digital overhaul.
April saw the launch of Atom, the first mobile only bank in the UK. Atom, based in Durham, doesn’t have any branches or a call centre. Instead, its customers do all their banking through a personalised app on their smartphone or tablet.
This means that Atom can keep its costs low and offer very competitive interest rates. In fact Atom’s first product, a fixed term savings account, went straight to the top of This is Money’s table of best savings accounts for its one year fixed term account.
It’s clear that Atom is user-focused. As CEO and former First Direct boss, Mark Mullen said, ‘Atom aims to offer a genuine alternative to the insidious and self-interested banks that dominate the UK banking landscape.’
The bank certainly is different. And intelligent. It features a unique biometric log-in process which involves either facial or voice recognition to log into the app. Atom also uses a variety of algorithms to help personalise each consumer’s banking experience. Over time, the app will learn which services each customer uses most frequently and move the less useful features out the way.
So far, 26,000 people have pre-registered interest in Atom and 5,500 have downloaded the app. Atom’s success isn’t just about its innovative technology. Like ClearScore, the company has built a product focused on creating a great experience for its users, rather than finding new ways to make money.
While Atom currently only offers the fixed term savings account for iOS, it has ambitious goals for the rest of 2016. It plans to launch an Android app, a current account, overdraft, instant access savings account, mortgages, debit and credit cards this year.