Atom bank is one of the “challenger banks”“ aiming to bring banking into the present. Atom works entirely through your smartphone or tablet, making banking more streamlined and accessible. However, unlike many of its competitors, Atom offers savings accounts and mortgages rather than simply current accounts.
Completely through an app on your tablet or smartphone. It doesn’t even send a card, you just move your money via bank transfers.
Atom makes the app personal to you, giving the option to alter your brand, theme and the name of your account. The design focusses on the products offered by Atom, with added extras like a blog and videos about the company.
The basic app functions include:
Your savings: See how much money you have saved, and how much money you will earn through interest. Your interest rates are also displayed on screen.
Our products: Atom offers a small pool of different savings accounts, as well as mortgages at a competitive rate. From the products screen you can select or apply for one of these options.
Blog: Atom’s blog, “Atomised”, is updated monthly and discusses a variety of current topics within banking and society.
Videos: A video on Atom bank’s story so far and a video on security can be found on the app home page.
Daily quote: Atom provides customers with a daily quote for anyone who wants to be inspired.
Fees and limits
With Atom you can open a savings account lasting up to five years. Interest rates vary depending on the saving period and the type of interest chosen.
Annual equivalent rates are competitive:
3 Month Fixed Saver
3 Month Fixed Saver (monthly interest)
6 Month Fixed Saver
6 Month Fixed Saver (monthly interest)
1 Year Fixed Saver
1 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)
2 Year Fixed Saver
2 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)
3 Year Fixed Saver
3 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)
5 Year Fixed Saver
5 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)
There are no withdrawals on the account until it has matured, and day-to-day payments cannot be made so there are no fees.
How safe is Atom bank?
With an emerging bank like Atom you might worry what will happen to your money if the bank goes bust. Atom is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). So you’re covered for up to £85,000 if Atom suddenly went insolvent.
You might also have concerns about the bank’s day-to-day security features – how effective is the bank at stopping fraud?
Well, it offers broadly the same security features as a traditional banking app. Instead of using the standard passcode and password combination, Atom bank uses face and voice recognition to keep your money safe. The Atom app asks for a selfie and voice clip when logging in.
Along with your personal details and address Atom also requests your existing bank details when registering with them.
Can Atom bank be used abroad?
Atom has no option for a current account, meaning you may want to look elsewhere if you are looking for a mobile bank to travel with. Additionally, while you can use the app overseas, or even start an account, you might struggle to get updates. If, however, you would like to put some money away while travelling, Atom bank might have a nice return for you to come home to.
Pros and cons of Atom bank
Register in under 30 minutes.
Display of account balance and interest rates, as well as how much you will get back at the end of the saving period.
Display of your possible returns encourages you to save.
Competitive rates of AER and tax-free interest up to £1000.
Personalised bank account.
Choose how long you want to save for.
Tough security to keep your money safe.
FCA and PRA certified.
Clunky app, users report multiple crashes.
Security features often take multiple tries to work.
Atom asks for a lot of information from you.
No bank card issued.
Traditional banks are still necessary for full money management.
Compare Atom bank against its competitors
Updated January 27th, 2020
How easy is it to top up?
Very easy. Transfer up to £100,000 to your Atom savings account within a week of registration, and then watch your money mature. Be wary, you must deposit your money within a week of opening an account.
Frequently asked questions
Atom makes money through three main revenue streams:
Net interest income: Customer deposits are used by Atom as loans for other customers.
Treasury income: Extra deposits are held by the Bank of England, Atom earns a small amount in interest over time.
Fees and commissions: Atom makes money from upselling their services and promoting a choice of brokers, earning commission. They also make a return with interest.
Atom is a privately owned company with a broad shareholder base, including BBVA, Woodford Investment Management and Toscafund Asset Management. It relies on the support of its investors. Its physical base is in Durham.
Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.
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