Digital Banking

UK's First Digital-Only Lender Gets Regulator Approval

Atom Bank's Founder and Chairman Anthony Thomson (Left) and CEO Mark Mullen (Right)
Atom Bank Founder and Chairman Anthony Thomson (Left) and CEO Mark Mullen (Right)

Britain's first digital-only bank just got an approval from regulators to launch an app-based savings account.

Atom Bank, which was launched in April 2014, received its license from the Bank of England in June last year and plans on providing app-based banking services, including current accounts, fixed savings and debit and credit cards, by the end of this year, The Telegraph reported.

Now, with the approval under its belt, the bank says it is first planning to roll out iOS apps for iPhone and iPad that will employ facial and voice recognition technology to authenticate users. In the next stage, the bank added, it will release an Android app.

“This is the start of a remarkable transformation of the banking landscape for everyone," said Atom CEO Mark Mullen. "Atom aims to offer a genuine alternative to the insidious and self-interested banks that dominate the U.K. banking landscape."

Upon its launch, the bank is reportedly offering a one-year, fixed-term savings account that would provide a 2 percent interest rate, which is said to be one of the best in the market. This, as The Telegraph points out, would help the bank rapidly gain a wider customer base.

"The team has achieved something that simply hasn’t been done before. We believe we have built a bank in record time, and we’re not planning to stop here,” said Atom Founder and Chairman Anthony Thomson, who previously cofounded Metro Bank.

Much like Atom Bank, Metro Bank took an alternate route for expansion with its High Street presence and exclusive focus on small businesses. Today, it provides for over 650,000 customer accounts and has a market value of £1.6 billion.

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