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.