June 24, 2015
As some of you might know that Atom, the so-called (and imagined) branch free bank of UK has been provided its banking license by the Bank of England. Its a pretty big deal in UK where incumbent banks have been slow to adopt the mobile and digital channel. Atom bank has plans to develop products and services that can be delivered through mobile apps and online. So think of it as a virtual bank like Moven or Simple in the US which we all know is a powerful banking concept. But here is the twist in the case of Atom...
Soon to be launched services by Atom bank had plans to have a low-cost, digital way to retail banking and was working towards offering services on a online platform in place of high-street branches. But it has come across some hurdles. One for sure is the fact that UK still does not have digital cheque imaging like the US.
The bank is said to be a "challenger" lenders established with the purpose of competing with renowned UK banks such as Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. The company has so far raised $39.4 million. Its investors include investment industry veteran Neil Woodford.
Now, Atom Bank has made a deal with a high street rival to provide a cheque deposit service until the UK can process digital cheque imaging, and also when some of their own system testing has been approved. Actually the issue cropped up when The Mail did a story on Atom. The Mail on Sunday said that the deal is due to a technical problem. In response Atom co-founder Mark Mullen explained recently that Atom is listening to customer demand and are putting in place procedures in line with the July 31st 2016 digital image processing timeframe set out by the Cheque and Credit Card Clearing Company. And that there is no technical glitch.
The brainchild of Anthony Thomson, who founded Metro Bank, Atom will be an online only bank with no branches (in the future for sure) and services and is expected to usher a new era of banking in the UK. It will initially be delivered using mobile apps, with a desktop version to follow.