Business Insider: Atom Bank, the online-only challenger bank, just won a banking licence to operate in the UK and plans to launch later this year. Unlike traditional banks — and even some challengers — Atom Bank won’t have any branches or even a website initially, operating purely though a mobile app.
Customers will be able to open accounts and carry out all their banking activity just from their smartphone. The 1-year-old startup said it wants to “set new standards for the banking sector” when it comes to technology. The company plans to use 3D visualisations and gaming technology for its app, and plans to integrate cutting edge biometric security.
CEO Mark Mullen says: “We’ve set about designing a banking app that’s in tune with how people think about their money. Taking an app-based approach allows us to use all the features of your mobile device to provide a slick and highly personalised experience. It will offer total control and transparency with a depth that is beyond anything else on offer in the market today.”
Mullen previously ran HSBC’s telephone banking branch First Direct. He was recruited to run Durham-based Atom Bank by founder Anthony Thomson, who also co-founded challenger bank Metro Bank.
Atom Bank is backed by financial heavyweights including star fund manager Neil Woodford and Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs economist famous for coining the term BRICs to refer to Brazil, Russia, India and China. The company raised £25 million ($39.4 million) last year.