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Three things you need from your digital bank

Michael Sherwood

Michael Sherwood

05 March 2019

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What do you value when interacting with your bank?

This question is central to our thinking here at Atom. We obsess over it. It’s pretty much the reason we exist - because what’s the point in revolutionising how people bank if you’re only going to offer a clunky, frustrating alternative to the status quo?

We invited the consultancy Clear to Atom HQ to share their recent research into what people really value when engaging with financial services brands. The top ten experience must-haves were:

  1. Be easy to deal with
  2. Keep customers’ data secure
  3. Have quick and simple processes
  4. Solve problems quickly and efficiently when they arise
  5. Be reliable
  6. Make it easy to speak to a real person when help is needed
  7. Be fair
  8. Reward loyal customers
  9. Allow customers to manage their money any time, anywhere
  10. Share information in a straightforward and transparent way

Here’s what we’re doing to meet the first three of these must-haves. Do we succeed? That’s for you to decide - but you can check out our Trustpilot reviews here or head to our homepage and view the unfiltered review feed from there.

1. A bank should be easy to deal with

As an app-based bank, we’re always easy to reach, quite literally - except perhaps in those ‘oh god I’ve put my phone down but I don’t know where and it’s on silent’ situations.

We want to go further than that. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone, which is why we offer 24/7 support via in-app chat, phone or email. So if you’ve got a burning question about your mortgage application at 4am (it happens), our UK-based customer support team is just a couple of taps away.

Whenever anyone gets in contact with difficulties they have using the app, we address these issues immediately…but we also use this as a learning point. We make constant improvements to the app based on customer feedback and user testing, so any recurrent issues get addressed.

We also have an award-winning ‘voice of the customer’ programme, so that we can really get to grips with customer needs and make changes to the app to meet these. This places our customers at the centre of how and why we do business, and won us a silver at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (which we’re pretty proud of).

2. A bank should keep customer’s data secure

Whilst you have to have your device security turned on to access our app, adding a second layer of credentials to be able to login really ramps up the protection - you can read more about this here.

Naturally, you want your data, your account and your money to be safe from hackers, fraudsters and various other internet bad guys - so to keep our security ship shape, we constantly monitor all the latest mobile security threats, and update our processes accordingly.

Passwords are one way of protecting your account, but they come with a couple of disadvantages. Strong passwords that aren’t easy to guess can be hard to remember (which can be an issue if you’re logging back into our app after 5 years to withdraw your matured funds), and weak, easy-to-guess passwords are…well, weak and easy to guess.

That’s why we were the first UK bank to pioneer the use of biometric login methods. Our app does offer the option to login using a 6-digit Passcode, but you can also choose to login simply by blinking or saying a certain phrase out loud. As your face and voice are unique to you (even if you’re an identical twin), this increases your security further.

3. A bank should have quick and simple processes

This is a big ask for a bank because of all the regulation we need to comply with

Still, we love a challenge. We’re constantly smoothing out both our internal processes and our app experience so that everything is as intuitive as possible. We’ve processed a mortgage application through to offer in 14 seconds before, and we’d love to get to the point where this is the norm.

People tend to find that they can open one of our Fixed Saver accounts in less than 10 minutes, which is a big improvement on what’s currently out there. Still, the quicker the better, and there are plenty of other in-app processes we can improve in the meantime.

Most recently, we’ve launched a big update to improve how users add a new device to their account, manage their interest preferences and tell us what they want to do with their money when their account matures. Will this have made all these things a bit easier? We hope and think so - and we’ll be monitoring feedback in these areas to keep check.

What do you think? Join the discussion by mentioning @atombank on Twitter or visiting our Instagram story at https://www.instagram.com/stories/atom.bank/.