UK’s first app-based digital bank launches across country

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Atom, the first app-based bank in the UK, is opening its digital doors to all customers across the country after a few months of piloting the mobile-focused bank.

The new lender, which has spurred the charge towards mobile banking, can now be downloaded as an app so that individuals can access a range of fixed-rate savings accounts. Small businesses can also apply for loans via intermediaries.

The launch comes after Atom emerged earlier this year on an ‘invitation only’ basis, which allowed a certain number of customers who had pre-registered to join. This enabled the bank to learn from customer feedback and refine the app before rolling it out more widely to everyone in the UK.

A number of other mobile-focused banks that do not rely on a costly branch network are following suit. Tandem, Starling and Monzo have all received a banking licence and are preparing for launch in the coming months.

Unlike traditional banks, mobile lenders are free of legacy problems and are not saddled with old technology.

Atom is focused on enhancing service by allowing customers to sign up for an account within minutes without the need for paperwork or branches. It is offering face and voice verification as a quick way for customers to enter the banking app, removing the need to remember passwords and pin numbers.

The bank is readying its residential mortgage offering, current accounts, debit card, overdrafts and instant access savings.

Anthony Thomson, founder and chairman of Atom, said:

Building a bank in the right way takes time. What we’ve achieved to date is fantastic, but the key to providing our customers with the best banking experience possible is to continue to build the bank piece by piece, listening to customers. We do not want to rush simply to say we were the first.

In its pilot phase after launch in April, Atom registered nearly 40,000 potential customers, of which 2,000 opened accounts. The bank has attracted more than £36m of applications for secured loans in two months, with £14m approved.

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