Atom Bank


#1

Weirdly there is no Atom topic yet - all discussions were on the Competitor Updates threads which were closed last month as Simon wanted individual topics.

So boom boom pow - let’s get it started in here! :grinning:


#2

Chairman Anthony Thompson leaves Atom due to a big idea turning into a small bank. (SCB?)

Also, more funding from BBVA on the cards.


#3

I was put off by this:

Everyone who joins Atom is given their own unique personalised brand. Put simply, they get to name their own bank, have their own logo …


#4

Yeah I don’t really understand that feature. I have an account with them and it just says “Sebby’s Bank” when i log in and the few colours i picked on sign up move around the screen weirdly and make up the ‘A’ in the logo. It seems really pointless and bizarre, and knowing that they bought out a gaming developer to create this thing really boggles the mind. It doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside to see my name instead of Atom’s, just makes me think this is a poor attempt at fintech.

If that’s their idea of a good user interface then you can see the real reason why they backed out of developing a current account - they’d be murdered alive by all the other app only banks, and no celebrity endorsements would save them from that,

Saying that, they don’t need a good interface for me to bank with them. As long as they have the best savings rate and I can actually deposit and withdraw funds from them without too much trouble - they have my money instead of legacy banks paying zero-point-whatever percent.

The problem they are going to face is that when other dumb pipe balance sheets turn up at the top of the interest rate charts, they are going to be pushed into either trading on zero margin or not getting any business. Their customers are not like legacy ones who will stay at a low rate because of inertia. As soon as someone else offers 0.01% higher interest their whole loan book will be on the march. That’s a fundamental problem.

I think Thompson is right that his big idea has turned into a small bank. In a few years I can see them being acquired by bbva and being thrown into their jar of hearts, maybe rolled out to some of their more inert user base across the world where they can get away with charging a large net interest margin.

It’s certainly not going to be the ‘Facebook of banking’ or the ‘uber moment’ (which :monzo: may be!)


#5

You are forgetting they are doing mortgages too.


(Graham - Mental health professional) #6

Atom has routinely offered market-leading (ish) savings rates - good on them. And mortgage products (which I haven’t tracked). That’s pretty much it. Can’t see them becoming a full bank any time soon - or at all.

The app is extraordinary in its dreadfulness. There’s certainly no evidence of investment in the user interface. I don’t get why they’re so uninterested in the user experience.


(Graham - Mental health professional) #8

Too right. With Starling and Monzo developing and embedding over the coming months and N26 and Monese making up the pack, any other new player will need to be very special to be attractive. Can’t see Atom being up for that challenge.


( surohpotsirhC) #9

Looking at their site, it doesn’t look like they offer the mortgage themselves. They’re a go between the broker and yourself, with tracking inside the app? Am I missing something?

EDIT: Google suggest they offer mortgages but their site is sparse.


#10

I looked at it a while back; they offer mortgages through a sub-brand, Digital Mortgages.


( surohpotsirhC) #11

Just like their app, it’s messy. If it’s a good rate then I’ll try and persevere as my mortgage is up for renewal.


#12

Seems like some people have found their mortgages! https://twitter.com/atom_bank/status/958379516010868736


(Tom ) #13

Why is no one taking about Atom?

Starling, Revolut, Tandem and N26 but no Atom. Why?


(Craig A Rodway) #14

I stopped taking Atom seriously when will.i.am joined their board.


(Graham - Mental health professional) #15

Their fixed savers have been there or thereabouts for a couple of years. But that UI is about as embarrassing as it gets. To the extent that I went elsewhere this year rather than go through the login palaver.

Extraordinary - and no attempt to improve it.

(Don’t know how competitive their mortgages are, though)


#16

If will.I.am is his first name is who.is.he his surname?


(Tom ) #17

They don’t offer a current account right?


(Craig A Rodway) #18

It is! Well.i.never :wink:


(Craig A Rodway) #19

Not yet, that I know of. I think they started with fixed long-term savings, and then mortgages.


(Graham - Mental health professional) #20

That’s my understanding. Really low profile, and previous little promotion.


(Tom ) #21

It’s very odd. So much bluster and noise about them in the early days of Monzo and now they are not even mentioned in the same sentence.