Welcome to the second in our series of deep-dives into the minds of the people and businesses that are harnessing tech to make all our lives easier.
This time, we’re taking a look at Atom, a new kind of mobile-only bank that has taken an industry dominated by dinosaurs and turned it on its head. Founded last year, its app turns a smartphone into a portable bank, making it easier than ever to access your money and avoid irritating hold music.
Atom’s office immediately seems different from other banks. A far cry from the shiny glass walls of The City, Atom HQ is down-to-earth; from the branded hoodies hanging on the back of people’s chairs, to the photo booth and cupcakes scattered to celebrate its latest launch.
We met with Mark Mullen, CEO and Co-Founder.
What is Atom?
First and foremost, we’re a bank and we offer everything that you’d expect, but with many added extras to make everyone’s life easier.
Setting up a bank is not like setting up any other company, there are many hoops to jump through, but we launched our savings account earlier this year and there are big things to come in 2017.
So why does the world need a new bank?
The banking industry of the twenty-first century leaves a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth. I want Atom to change banking for the good, for the better, for everyone.
Because we’re so new, we have no legacy, and that gives us the freedom to be nimble and to truly fit to what our customers need. While other banks are looking behind to cover past mistakes or evolve previous ways of doing things, we’re looking ahead, striving to be different.
You’re app only, how does that give you an edge?
The boring answer is it’s cheaper, and we can pass the savings onto our customers.
The fuller answer is that now more than ever, people are dependent on their phones to live busy on-the-go lives. People don’t have time to wait on hold or queue to pay in a cheque or fit their banking around 9-5 opening hours, so we can give them the service they need in a way that fits their lives.
Got it. So how does technology make banking better?
Technology helps make things engaging, transparent, easy, fast and inexpensive.
Technological advances like facial recognition have meant we can avoid frustrating ‘security’ questions and log in with only a smile! We try and push the boundaries and always investigate the latest tech and what it could mean for our customers.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Without doubt the team we have built. The Atom team are a blast. They’re hardworking, dedicated, passionate and up for anything thrown at them. Without a strong team behind you, any new business is going to struggle.
What’s next for Atom?
Great brands are built on truth. We are continuing to build our business and support our customers and with that, build our reputation and create trust.
What tips would you give to the innovators of the future?
Dreamers, architects and planners make for a wonderful combination. You’ll need builders later but focus on those first three, first!
The Atom Bank App is available to download via Google Play Store.