Mondo currently has 30 customers testing its prototype account and is meeting the Bank of England to determine whether it will have the formal go-ahead to apply for a banking licence. It may be feeling hopeful as Durham-based Atom recently had success on this front. As a mobile-first challenger bank, Atom plans to launch later this year, operating solely through a mobile app. It marks an acknowledgement of the upward trajectory digital banking is currently experiencing. Atom’s system will allow customers to open accounts and do their day-to-day banking activity from their smartphone. The bank said it aims to “set new standards for the banking sector” when it comes to technology, with plans to use 3D visualisations and gaming technology for its app.
The increased options may also be cited by the established banks as proof that competition is thriving – an interesting aside when the industry is in the process of being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority. Mobile banking is currently the one to watch, as it has seen the most pronounced development – more so than internet banking. Banking apps for mobiles and tablets have been downloaded more than 14.7m times, while internet banking services typically receive seven million daily log-ins. Blomfield hopes to tap into the higher expectations technology has instilled within people and provide immediate services for those “who get frustrated if they have to wait more than two seconds for things to get done”. Put simply, he said, “it’s for people who live their lives on their iPhones”. Its model is a low-cost base – and will be steering clear of branches. Mondo aims to enable customers to block their accounts until funds become available or borrow a sum at prices in the middle of those being offered. It will also have the option of providing notifications to customers including warnings about going overdrawn, detail about how a customer spends their money and reminders of what needs paying when. Blomfield feels the banking industry is a hotbed of potential at the moment and believes that in the next few years, “a bank will be launched that will become the scale of Google or Facebook”. It’s a big call, but one that reflects the ambition of these upcoming challengers, hoping to make an impact. Image: ShutterstockBy Rebecca Smith
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