Atom bank review

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

Updated

Fact checked
Atom
Revolut (Standard)

Free Revolut card delivery worth £5

  • Open an account in minutes
  • Instant spending notifications
  • Trusted by 8 million users
Promoted

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.

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 interest0.75%0.75%
3 Month Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest0.75%0.75%
6 Month Fixed SaverAnnual interest0.75%0.75%
6 Month Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest0.75%0.75%
1 Year Fixed SaverAnnual interest1.50%1.50%
1 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest1.49%1.50%
2 Year Fixed SaverAnnual interest1.50%1.50%
2 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest1.49%1.50%
3 Year Fixed SaverAnnual interest1.50%1.50%
3 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest1.49%1.50%
5 Year Fixed SaverAnnual interest1.50%1.50%
5 Year Fixed Saver (monthly interest)Monthly interest1.49%1.50%

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

  • 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.

The verdict

Atom Bank has a good range of fixed rate savings accounts, 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, you won’t be able to get it back until the account expires – Atom has no “cooling off” period, so think carefully before opening an account. Also, it’s just fixed-rate savings accounts, no easy access accounts or regular savers available.

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

Compare Atom bank against its competitors

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Fees and charges Delivery speed
Starling Bank
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)
Cashplus Activeplus
£2 for ATM withdrawals
Between 3-5 working days
Current account and Mastercard - all managed from your phone. Also comes with a creditbuilder option.
Revolut (Standard)
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)
Monzo
Free
Between 2-7 working days
Monzo is free to spend anywhere in the world and in any currency, with no fees. All money is exchanged using the MasterCard rate.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

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

Santander Santander
Current account

Up to 15% cashback at a range of major retailers

Starling Starling
Award winner

Starling voted best British bank and current account

Moneybox Moneybox
Save and invest

Save and invest with Moneybox App

Yolt Yolt
Free download

Spend smart and reach your goals with Yolt

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

2 Responses

  1. 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

Go to site