Mobile-only banking app Atom Bank was officially launched in April 2016. “Nobody cares about banks, they just care about banking,” founder Anthony Thomson told Marketing Week in 2015. “They want to get what they need quickly, easily and painlessly.”
Spanish bank BBVA invested $68m (£47m) in the UK startup last year for a 29.5% stake, implying a valuation of £150m.
Thomson claims to have a relentless focus on customer experience and whenever he meets with colleagues asks: “Why are we doing this? Are we doing it to create a better customer experience or to be a more efficient business?” The answer has to be the former, he says.
The app has been built on gaming platform Unity, which chief innovations officer Edward Twiddy claims gives it the speed, responsiveness and functionality that gamers expect. It also uses selfies and voice recognition as authorisation instead of pin numbers and aims to provide bank statements even before people have taken money out of their account, using predictive software based on past behaviour to suggest future spending habits.