Digital Banking

UK Bank Startup Mondo Gets License To Become A Bank

Mondo, the U.K. banking startup, has officially become a bank as of Thursday (Aug. 11).

In a blog post, Mondo, which launched in Feb. 2015 to create a completely different kind of bank, said it is now authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.

“Today’s announcement means we have a banking license with restrictions. We now enter the ‘mobilization’ phase and, over the coming months, will be working with the regulators to get our restrictions lifted and launch a full current account with debit cards, faster payments, direct debits and everything else you’d expect,” Mondo said. “As you might guess, we intend to continue to do this as transparently as possible and involve our users at every step on our community forum, social media accounts and at events in person.”

During Mondo’s short life, the company has launched its Alpha and Beta programs, was able to break a world record in terms of the fastest crowdfunding campaign ever and has more than 200,000 people that have signed up. What’s more, the company said there are close to 30,000 Mondo prepaid cards in circulation, with more customers coming on board every day.

Prior to getting the license to become a bank, Mondo was purely a prepaid Mastercard and an app for both iPhone and Android devices. With the app, U.K. users can track their spending in real time, look at transactions they made on a digital map, view their purchases based on different spending categories and receive a graphical timeline of their overall expenses. “We’ll continue to distribute Mondo Beta cards and develop the Mondo app so that it’s ready to become your bank account in early 2017, and of course, all current users will have the option of seamlessly switching to ‘full Mondo,’” it said.

While Mondo received its license, it is operating in a crowded space. Starling, Atom Bank and Tandem, all in the U.K., have already received banking licenses.

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