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Atom bank accelerates transformation with Google Cloud

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When building a radically different bank in an industry dominated by centuries-old institutions, you need to be both creative and nimble. For Atom bank, the UK’s first mobile-only bank, the secret to its success lies in its technology stack, which is now powered by Google Cloud.

Since its launch three years ago, Atom bank has aimed to empower people to own their financial futures, with the desire to use the best technology to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Cloud hosting of banking software wasn’t an option when Atom bank was authorised in 2015 and when they launched, their IT infrastructure was managed by a third party in a data center. Within a year, however, Atom bank was bumping up against the limits of on-premise technology from both an operational and a business perspective. Regulatory guidance started to emerge and it was then, says Atom bank CTO Rana Bhattacharya, that they turned to Google Cloud.

With on-premises-based data centers, it can take nearly three months to spin up a new service for customers. However, Atom bank wanted to inspire its digitally savvy customers with new apps and offerings at a frequent pace. So it made the decision to switch. Now, with Google Cloud, the bank can spin up as many new apps and services as it needs with fewer  lengthy delays and lower costs. Plus, when the bank no longer needs them, they can be decommissioned in an instant. 

"As a challenger bank, every penny counts," says Bhattacharya. "We need to do more with less. That's one reason why embracing the cloud helps us so much. This whole journey is really around removing obstacles, keeping costs low, and having more control and velocity around creating the right products, propositions and experiences for our customers."

Adopting Google Cloud offers more agility and scalability at a lower cost, says Bhattacharya. It allows Atom bank to be more responsive to the needs of customers, whether that be through new product and app features, or even entirely new products. More importantly, moving to Google Cloud  has enabled Atom bank to accelerate its transformation initiatives and roll out a completely new consumer-facing app. 

"Atom bank has always had the ambition to be built in the cloud, along with the intent to scale,” says Bhattacharya. “The speed of our growth and regulatory guidance resulted in us turning to Google Cloud.”

“The types of products we offer today run very effectively on our current technologies but things have changed. To take advantage of the current innovation and build for future speed we’re replatforming the bank. By leveraging Google Cloud, it will allow us to be cloud native, building more SaaS and creating an architecture that is efficient and resilient.”

At the end of the day, Google was more than just a cloud provider to Atom bank. It was a true transformation ally, offering engineering support that helped the bank overcome technical hurdles, and providing training and other services to bank employees. 

"We picked Google Cloud because we really wanted a partner, not just a provider,” says Bhattacharya. “We knew the cloud provider we chose would be very important to us, so we wanted to be sure we were important to that cloud provider, too. Fortunately, we found that in Google Cloud.”