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Atom bank review May 2019

Save on the go with one of the latest challenger banks.

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.

This review will look at Atom’s app and its Fixed Savers product, if you’re interested in Atom’s mortgages then we have a review for that too.

What is Atom bank?

Atom bank was one of the first wave of modern banks, starting in 2016. It sees no need for physical branches, providing all of its services from the app.

Atom attracts customers with value for money and convenience. It believes its small pool of products and promise of trustworthiness should be enough for customers to make the right choice.

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How does Atom bank work?

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.
  • 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.

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.

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:

ProductInterest TypeRates (Gross)Rates (AER)
3 Month Fixed SaverAnnual interest1.00%1.00%
3 Month Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest1.00%1.00%
6 Month Fixed SaverAnnual interest1.60%1.61%
6 Month Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest1.60%1.61%
1 Year Fixed SaverAnnual interest2.03%2.03%
1 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest2.01%2.03%
2 Year Fixed SaverAnnual interest2.30%2.30%
2 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest2.28%2.30%
3 Year Fixed SaverAnnual interest2.30%2.30%
3 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest2.28%2.30%
5 Year Fixed SaverAnnual interest2.30%2.30%
5 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest2.28%2.30%

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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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 May 27th, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Delivery speed
N26
Free
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
Up to 9 working days
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
None
Between 3-5 business days
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated May 27th, 2019
Name Product Foreign ATM withdrawals ATM withdrawal limit Foreign transactions fee Card cost Delivery speed
N26
ATM fees differ depending on country
Unlimited free withdrawals
No fees
Free
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
No ATM fees
£200 per month. Anything more is charged at 2% of value of withdrawal.
No fees
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
Up to 9 working days
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
No ATM fees
£300 per day. Maximum of 6 withdrawals per day.
No fees
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
€1 per withdrawal
£300 per day
2% on card spend and ATM usage
Card delivery is free
Between 3-5 business days
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated May 27th, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Interest Savings goals
N26
Free
None
n26 'Spaces' feature lets the user open sub-accounts to stash your money away
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
No interest
Set budgets in the app
Free
0.5% AER up to £2,000, 0.25% over £2,000 to £85,000
Create up to 10 different spending goals and protect money from daily spending
None
No interest
Not a feature

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated May 27th, 2019
Name Product Direct debits UK ATMs Payments Freeze your card
N26
Yes
Free
Use MoneyBeam to transfer money instantly. Is partnered with Transferwise so can send money to 16 countries.
Yes: touch of a button in app
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Revolut currently only supports direct debits with the Euro IBAN account
Free up to £200 a month
Easy UK payments and can transfer money between 23 countries
Yes: touch of a button in app
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Yes
Free
Pay via bank transfer. Can't pay into paypal currently.
Yes: touch of a button in app
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
Yes - can cancel with touch of a button too
£1 per withdrawal
Pay via bank transfer, easier to send to another Monese account.
Report lost/stolen in app to be sent replacement
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

FAQs

Revolut Revolut
Save £5!

Free card worth £5 from Revolut

Ends

Starling Starling
Award winner

Starling voted best British bank & current account

N26 N26
New!

Get N26 the new bank you'll love to use

Monese Monese
Free card!

Download the Monese app and get your free card

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