A new digital retail bank is launching in the UK in an attempt to capture the soaring number of people using mobile banking.
Ricky Knox, a technology investor and co-founder of money transfer service Azimo, is set next week to unveil Tandem, the latest bank to try to challenge the big high street lenders.
The launch of Tandem, which is expected to receive its licence from the regulator before the end of the year, comes months after Atom was approved by the Bank of England as the UK’s first mobile app-focused bank.
Mobile apps are now the most popular way to bank, having overtaken branches and desktop access to the internet, with customers set to check their current account on mobile devices more than 895m times this year, surpassing the 705m branch interactions, according to research firm Caci.
However, the challenger banks that have launched in recent years have had mixed success, with some struggling to build market share and increase profits. A number of smaller lenders have criticised a proposed new bank tax that they say will disproportionately hit the sector.
Tandem, which will offer consumer products including current accounts and mortgages, is understood to have raised nearly £100m in capital, backed by a group of 10 institutional investors.
Mr Knox said it would aim to work with people to manage their money, rather than focusing on product sales. The lender plans to mine “big data” to better tailor products to customers’ requirements.
Mr Knox, who founded Tandem with Matt Cooper, a former director of Capital One Bank, claimed the team had an advanced credit rating and scoring process to underpin efficient lending decisions.
He said the business wanted to “provide this service for everyday people over the smartphone”.
Unlike Atom, Mr Knox said Tandem would not be digital-only, as it would also provide a call-centre. “We expect people will use mobile as the primary banking channel, and the call-centre for large transactions,” he said.
But he added that the lender was “never going to be for customers who need a branch. We have a lot of cost advantages as a result and can offer cheaper products, with no legacy issues or old IT systems”.
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