U.K. mobile banking noisiest of the new breed of British challenger banks

Mondo, the U.K. mobile banking startup and probably the noisiest of the new breed of British challenger banks, is now officially, well, a bank.

That’s because, until now, the London-based company didn’t hold a banking license and existed entirely in the form of a pre-paid Mastercard and accompanying, albeit rather nifty, iOS and (more recently) Android app.

It offers the ability to do things like track your spending in realtime, view geolocation-marked transactions on a map, view spending by category, and get a graphical timeline of your overall expenditure.

However, that changes today with the announcement that Mondo has been granted a UK banking licence ‘with restrictions’ by the UK regulators FCA and PRA. This means that its beta testers can now in theory begin switching to a Mondo current account and use the startup to do a lot more of their banking as the company readies for a full banking launch early next year.

 

And despite being the last of the four UK challenger banks out of the gate — competitors Starling (for which Mondo’s founders have history), Atom Bank, and Tandem already secured licenses — Mondo says, at only 18 months old, it is the youngest company ever to be granted a banking licence and proof regulators are becoming more nimble as the country attempts to foster its fintech reputation.

It also notes that Mondo co-founder and co-CEO Tom Blomfield, who previously foundedGoCardless, is now the youngest CEO of a bank in the UK, having turned 31 just one day after the licence was granted. Congrats, Tom, and Mondo’s 45 person-strong team.

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