A first-of-its-kind app-based bank with no branches or online banking has won a banking license to operate in the UK from next year.
Atom Bank, a disruptive startup based in Durham, UK, is looking to provide banking services solely via its smartphone app, currently in the construction phase. The project represents the second foray into challenging the traditional banking model for co-founder Anthony Thompson, who also co-founded Metro Bank in the UK.
Atom announced the successful license award on Twitter June 23:
It’s official, WE’RE A BANK! http://t.co/xZaY95z4cs
— Atom Bank (@atom_bank) June 24, 2015
CEO Mark Mullen, formerly head of telephone banking at First Direct, said in a recent interview with Business Insider that the market was ripe for change and that apps were leading the way:
“Attitudes to banking are changing much quicker than any of us could have expected. There’s a whole generation of people for whom apps are the internet.”
While Mullen has remained secretive as to the exact nature of the product, he noted that Atom would be “a very different bank in many ways,” something already visible from its strategy of having no physical branches and