Challenger bank signs up Google-inspired platform

Cloud-based platform offers functionality around smart contracts and a workflow engine for bank processes

Atom Bank is putting its future products and services on a cloud-based platform developed by a group of former Google executives.

The deal will see Atom use Thought Machine’s Vault platform, which is based in the cloud, offering functionality around smart contracts and a workflow engine for bank processes.

Smart contracts reduce the time it takes to launch new products. They allow customers and a bank to agree terms and sign off highly personalised agreements in minutes.

Atom, which delivers its products and services through an app for mobile devices and desktop computers, received its banking licence in 2015. It opened its doors to the public in 2016 following its initial invite-only launch.

Offering mobile-based banking services and mortgages, the bank was the brainchild of Anthony Thomson, who set up Metro Bank in 2009, which was the first new banking organisation to open in the UK since the end of the 19th century.

Edward Twiddy, chief innovation officer at Atom, said: “The partnership [with Thought Machine] confirms Atom’s determination to remain at the cutting edge of implementing technologies that create better customer experiences and outcomes.”

Read more about Atom Bank

  • Following an invite-only launch and some fine-tuning, digital-only Atom Bank is now fully open in the UK.
  • Atom Bank has been granted a banking licence by the Bank of England and is set to launch later in 2015.
  • Digital-only bank Atom has launched its banking app after regulators lifted a restriction on its authorisation.

Thought Machine, which was announced in July 2016, is a UK startup set up by Paul Taylor, Google’s former head of text-to-speech.

At the time of public launch, it said its Vault system offered a real-time, high-volume architecture that can handle billions of transactions a day, with cryptographic security via private centralised ledger and smart contracts to enable banks to launch new products quickly.

“People have suffered for too long from the archaic software that banks are built on,” said Taylor at the startup’s launch. “Their CIOs lie awake at night worrying if these systems will cope with one more day. It’s time for new ideas, built with today’s technology.”

Read more on IT for financial services

Data Center
Data Management