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’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.
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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?
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.
Can Atom be used abroad?
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
- 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.
- 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.
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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