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Digital-only Atom Bank gets UK banking licence

Atom Bank set to launch later in 2015 after gaining UK banking licence

Atom Bank has been granted a banking licence by the Bank of England and is set to launch later in 2015.

The digital-only bank, which is the latest challenger bank to get permission from the regulator, will deliver its products and services through an app for mobile devices and desktop computers. The app is under development at the company’s headquarters in Durham.

Atom Bank is the brainchild of founder Anthony Thomson. In 2009 he set up Metro Bank, which was the first banking organisation to open in the UK since the end of the 19th century.

“Biometric security and end-to-end in-app account opening are just some of the features being developed to deliver a branch-free, paper-free and stress-free bank,” said an Atom statement.  

The app uses the capabilities of the Unity gaming platform and incorporates a 3D interactive experience. 

“This is a wonderful step forward for Atom. It’s a testament to the talent and the dedication of our extraordinary team in Durham, and to the support and vision of our investors,” said Atom CEO Mark Mullen. 

“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."

Atom will have a customer service team to provide support and technical expertise to customers 24 hours a day by phone, chat, email and through social media.

The government is encouraging more competition in the retail banking sector and new banks – many of which take advantage of modern technology – are emerging. Several challenger banks have either recently been given a banking licence by regulators or are going through the process of receiving one. 

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