Atom

Atom bank review

Save on the go with a fixed rate savings account from one of UK's digital-only challenger banks.

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Atom bank is one of the UK “challenger banks” aiming to bring banking into the present. Atom works entirely through your smartphone or tablet, making banking more accessible. However, unlike many of its digital banking peers (such as Monzo or Starling), Atom offers savings accounts and mortgages rather than current accounts. It also offers business loans.

What is Atom bank?

Atom bank was one of the first wave of UK challenger banks, launching in 2016. It sees no need for physical branches, providing all of its services from the app. Atom’s strengths are value for money and convenience, and it has won praise for how easy it is to use. Atom doesn’t offer any current accounts – only savings and mortgages, as well as business loans.

Atom’s fixed rate savings accounts

Atom has a range of “Fixed Saver” accounts to choose from. The terms of these fixed rate savings accounts vary in length from 6 months to 5 years. You’ll need to leave your money in the account for the agreed term length, and it will earn a fixed rate of interest over that duration.

Table: sorted by interest rate, promoted deals first
Name Product Account type Withdrawals Min. opening balance Interest rate Apply link
Atom Bank – 3 Year Fixed Saver
Atom Bank
Fixed
Withdrawals not permitted
£50
1.45% AER fixed for 3 years
Atom Bank – 5 Year Fixed Saver
Atom Bank
Fixed
Withdrawals not permitted
£50
1.45% AER fixed for 5 years
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How easy is it to top up an Atom account?

Very easy. You can transfer up to £100,000 to your Atom savings account within a week of registration, and then watch your money mature. But be aware, you must deposit your money within a week of opening a Fixed Saver account.

How does Atom bank work?

You access Atom through an app on your tablet or smartphone. Atom 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 app theme and the name of your account. The design focuses 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 the screen.
  • Atom’s products: Atom offers a small pool of savings accounts, as well as mortgages at a competitive rate. From the products screen you can select or apply for one of these options.
  • Your mortgage: If you have opened a mortgage with Atom, an option to view your repayments becomes available on screen. This will let you know how much and when you need to pay back your loan. Read our Atom bank mortgage review to learn more.
  • Business loans: Atom offers business loans and buy-to-let loans for small businesses and sole traders, avaialable through intermediary brokers.

The app also features:

  • 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.

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.

Atom CEO Mark Mullen on the bank’s future growth plans after raising an extra £40 million from investors in February 2021: “The team retains an IPO as our objective and we’ll take the business there when we and the markets are ready. After the year that’s just gone I’m not going to claim perfect foresight, but we’re looking at the financial year 2022/23 as our IPO target.”

Can Atom be used abroad?

Atom has no option for a current account, meaning you may want to look elsewhere if you’re after for a mobile-based bank account to travel with. Additionally, while you can access the Atom app while overseas, or even open an account, you might struggle to get updates.

Atom bank customer reviews

Atom ranked top for public sentiment during the first coronavirus lockdown, out of 10 banks that we tracked as part of a September 2020 study that Finder conducted in partnership with the social data analyst BrandsEye.

You can see more on challenger vs traditional banks during lockdown in our industry report, which is free to download.

In the App Store, the Atom banking app scores 4.7 out of 5 stars, from more than 15,000 reviews. It gets a similar average rating over at the Google Play store, where it picks up 4.4 out of 5 stars, from almost 3,000 reviews (March 2021).

On Trustpilot, Atom has 4.6 out of 5 stars and a rating of “Excellent”, based on over 4,700 customer reviews. Positive reviews praised the app’s simplicity and ease of use, while negative feedback mentioned technical issues and specific problems with in-app face recognition.

Pros and cons of Atom bank

Pros

  • Register in under 30 minutes.
  • Range of Fixed Saver accounts means you can choose how long you want to save for.
  • App displays account balance and interest rate, as well as how much you will get back at the end of the savings term.
  • FSCS protected.

Cons

  • Security features sometimes 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 – Atom does not offer current accounts.

Our verdict

Atom Bank has a good range of fixed rate savings accounts to choose from, the set up is fairly quick and the rates are competitive (although not always the top of the market). You can choose how long the account lasts for and whether to get interest paid monthly or annually.

Just keep in mind that once you deposit your money in a fixed rate account, you won’t be able to get it back until the account term expires – Atom has no “cooling off” period, so think carefully before opening an account.

You can open an account with as little as £50 and still get Atom’s best rates. Together with its flexibility and easy set up, this makes Atom a competitive option for small savers who want to grow their stash without touching it for a while.

Frequently asked questions

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    EddyJuly 29, 2019

    How does Atom bank notify you at the end of the savings period and how easy is it to recover your invested funds?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJuly 30, 2019Staff

      Hi Eddy,

      Thank you for your comment.

      When your account is due to mature, they will notify you in advance through notifications in your Atom app, and through SMS and email. These notifications will guide you through the next steps and what your options are upon maturity. All instructions can be given and acted upon within the app to make this as easy as possible for you.

      Eligible deposits in Atom bank plc (UK mainland only) are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You are advised to contact their customer service when accessing your funds or withdrawing it. There is an option in the app as well for doing that.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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