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Atom opens with a promise to change UK banking landscape

06 April 2016  |  18914 views  |  5 Atom Bank

Atom Bank, the mobile-only startup that uses face and voice biometrics plus machine learning technology to service consumers, has gone live in the UK following the lifting of regulatory restrictions.

The Atom app, built on the Unity gaming platform, will initially be made available to everyone who has pre-registered their interest through the new bank's website, available now for iPhone and iPad users, with an Android version to follow shortly.

Since its creation in April 2014, Atom Bank has raised in excess of £135m in capital through the support of a group of over 100 private and institutional investors. In November, Spanish bank BBVA ploughed £45 million into the business, becoming the largest shareholder in the digital-only startup with a 29.5% stake.

Led by CEO Mark Mullen and chairman Anthony Thomson, the challenger bank was first granted a restricted licence in June 2015. With the restrictions now lifted, Atom launches with a package of fixed term savings for consumers and secured lending to SME businesses. By the end of 2016, Atom promises that customers will have access to fixed savings, current accounts, overdrafts, debit and credit cards, instant access savings and residential mortgages, all serviced via the app.

Face and voice biometrics are used to log-in to the app, with paper-free account opening in just a few taps. Atom will also be using machine learning technology to guide its Customer Support Team. The software learns which agents are getting the best results resolving customer queries and feeds that learning through to the rest of the team. Ultimately, Atom plan to integrate the technology into its banking app, giving customers the ability to query the app direct.

Atom’s CEO, Mark Mullen says: “This is the start of a remarkable transformation of the banking landscape for everyone. Atom aims to offer a genuine alternative to the insidious and self-interested banks that dominate the UK banking landscape. Our approach will be to constantly evolve and extend our offering, with monthly updates to our App and a dedication to providing a better value, greater transparency and a much more innovative banking experience."

Comments: (5)

Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - FIS Payments Software and Services India - India | 06 April, 2016, 13:34

ATOM is on it's way to create 'SIRI' for banking service it seems !!! So far growth story looks prospective.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 07 April, 2016, 08:44

Still fascinated to see the actual differences between Atom, Mondo, Tandem and Starling. Also - why do people always start with iPhone? There are way more Android phones in the world...

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Robert Burch
Robert Burch - Independent Consultant - Cotswolds | 07 April, 2016, 08:52

It's very innovative to use Unity for a banking app.  It would be interesting to know how they have made it sufficiently secure.

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Andrei Charniauski
Andrei Charniauski - Misys - London | 07 April, 2016, 09:25

So, as of today, Atom offers the highest interest rate on savings accounts in the UK - 2.2% AER - I would say it's a good start!

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 07 April, 2016, 17:02

"insidious and self-interested banks"? Big talk from a startup 29.5% of which is owned by a traditional bank. Maybe it's only me but this kind of language reminds me of the early declarations made by Powa to disrupt commerce. Hope the Atom movie has a happier ending.

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