A British start-up bank operating without branches or even a website might be the wave of the future for financial institutions. The Bank of England has granted a banking license to Atom Bank to operate a bank primarily through a smartphone application using a gaming platform and incorporating a 3-dimensional interactive experience. The bank, which has backing from several high-dollar financial managers, bankers and economists, plans to use biometric security, a high-tech method of analyzing a user’s behavior and facial and voice recognition in using mobile devices in lieu of passwords. It will launch later this year.
Although the bank will initially have no website, it will have a staff of over a hundred real people in such areas as customer service. The idea for the bank was conceived by Anthony Thomson, who six years ago established the first new British bank to open in more than a century. There is speculation that Atom might team up with Apple Pay.
One of the services to be offered by Atom is mortgage lending through a group of mortgage distributors. This should come as a welcome benefit to those borrowers with good credit providing them a heightened level of convenience in the traditionally stressful mortgage application process.
Although Atom will have only British operations, it might not be long before similar banking systems arrive on American shores. German-based Fidor Bank is exploring the possibility of expanding its online branchless banking into the United States.