Atom Bank gets Bank of England licence this week, and hopes to exist solely as an app
Banking in the UK is about to get a whole lot simpler following the launch of the nation’s first online-only bank.
Looking to do away with stuffy branches and complicated transactions, Atom Bank is aiming to launch an easy-to-use, transparent service through a mobile app and online portal.
And now the company, based in the North East of England, has officially been granted its banking licence this week by Bank of England regulators, and is planning to launch later this year.
Claiming to represent the “first real alternative” to traditional high street organisations, Atom Bank hopes to launch a range of personal and business banking products and services first via a mobile app, with a desktop version to follow.
Among the features helping Atom Bank to stand out from the crowd are biometric security measures (including facial and voice recognition) and in-app account opening.
Users will also be able to contact the bank’s customer service team by phone, email or on social media, and withdrawing money from an ATM will come via a partnership with an as-yet-unnamed high street bank.
The company already has 100 permanent and contract staff, and is looking to expand this further by the end of the year. Currently based in Durham, it says it has established a network of 110 partners and suppliers from across the North East, UK and globally to bring the very best talent and technology together.
“We’ve set about designing a banking app that’s in tune with how people think about their money,” said Edward Twiddy, Atom’s chief operating and innovation officer. “Our customer service team will provide support and technical expertise to customers all-day and everyday by phone, chat and email and through social media. Our customers will also have access to the UK and international ATM network and the ability to pay in cash and cheques when needed.”
Interested consumers can pre-register now for an Atom Bank account via the company’s website, ahead of a wider launch later this year.
“This is a wonderful vote of confidence in Atom,” said CEO Mark Mullen. “Atom will offer a quality of digital experience without parallel in this sector or in many others.”
“Our team reflects this. Between us we’ve built and run some of the most highly respected banks in the UK, brought ground-breaking innovation to manufacturing and service businesses, and created great software with a worldwide reach. Now all of this is being poured into building Atom so that customers will have a bank in their pocket that is ready whenever and wherever they need it.”
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