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Atom app only bank opens doors in UK

By Chris Dawson April 11, 2016 - 9:00 am

27 years ago First Direct didn’t open their doors for business, mainly because they launched as a telephone and internet-based bank. It seemed revolutionary at the time that a bank could assist without a single high street branch.

Atom BankThis month another new bank has launched and they’re making First Direct look very old fashioned. The Atom Bank has launched as a mobile app only bank. They’ve set up on iPhone and iPad but aim to bring out an Android version towards the end of May with Windows and Mac OS versions to follow eventually.

Atom Bank app shotAtom have no intention to even set up website banking. Everything will be done through their app including their first two savings products which are now available for the first customers to sign up. They aim to add business loans, current accounts, residential mortgages and credit card services in the future.

The thing I find most bizarre about Atom, is that it appears the easiest way to get money into one of their accounts is to transfer it from another bank. I haven’t a clue what they’ll do if you ever need to pay in a cheque, it seems a shame with an app based bank to revert to postal banking, but with no branches you may not to rely on Atom as your one and only bank.

I use app based banking almost exclusively, but I do use cash points an occasionally visit a branch to pay in a cheque. Could you live with a bank with no branches, if so than becoming an app only Atom customer might appeal to you.

  • LM
    11 months ago

    I would assume they would use a feature built into the app. Banking cheques via app is nothing new http://www.barclays.co.uk/MobileBankingservices/MobileChequeImaging/P1242668620764 – I am sure its wide spread in the states.

    You can withdraw cash from any cashpoint.

    • James Roberts
      11 months ago

      I would be very surprised if any of the new online banks accepted cheques, the set up costs would be huge.

      Their target customer base is not OAPs.

  • james
    11 months ago

    so if you lose your iphone, you must have enough cash on hand to buy a new iphone, top up, and re-install the app, before you can access your money again.
    best idea ever.

    • LM
      11 months ago

      There will be apps for Windows and MacOSx

      As long as you do not lose your card as well you still have access to your money (I am sure you could request a new card on the PC apps)

      What do you do if you lose your phone and card now?

    • james
      11 months ago

      windows and mac versions “to follow eventually….”
      not even an android one, you need specifically an iphone right now.
      – and “pc app”, doesnt really corellate with “Atom have no intention to even set up website banking”, which is basically the same thing, you just access the website through atoms own (app-shaped) browser on your pc.

      if (when) i lose my bank card, i’ve already got a mobile banking app that works on any of my phones.
      failing that i have telephone banking
      if theres no-one to answer the phone i can log on from (almost) any web browser
      and if i’ve no internet, i can walk into any one of their numerous branches.

      I’m sure someone will take it up, but really, why?
      what is the benefit to havnig no recourse if you lose your phone?

    • LM
      11 months ago

      If you lose your phone with your current bank would you replace your phone?

      I think we will need to agree to disagree on this, I understand what you are saying but I do not think any of it applies.

      If you lose your phone and still have your card you wont be without money.

      Also just because they do not have a branch doesn’t mean they do not have a phone number, email and even twitter support.

      This is not going to be for everyone but there are alot of popular “digital banks” coming out this year and I for one look forward to a better choice than what we already have.

  • James Roberts
    11 months ago

    This is not new news, there are already several ‘app only’ banks in the uk, as well as a few prepay/charge/credit cards.

    I can’t understand why any business would want to limit their customer base by not allowing website logins, or indeed by only having an iphone app and not android.

    It’s hardly the same as first direct who’s customers have access to the whole HSBC UK branch network.

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