Atomic Jun 9, 2021 10 min read

Is a food bank a “bank?”

Hi ūüôč‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ

I’m Lindsay Davis, Head of Markets here at Atomic.

Welcome to the first edition of Atomic Intelligence, the only newsletter dedicated to the intersection of fintech and the paycheck. Our goal is to share context on Atomic’s payroll APIs¬†market, timely product updates, and insights on the future of payday.

You say neobanks, I say¬†challenger¬†banks, and regulators globally are saying¬†if it’s not chartered, it’s not a bank.¬†As Simple¬†(RIP)¬†learned the hard way in 2010, fintech companies without a bank charter cannot market their products as bank products according to California State regulators in the US,¬†and the UK’s¬†FCA, among others.

(Personally, I’m fascinated to hear why we’ve let food banks or blood banks go on misleading consumers for all these years, since everything allegedly is or becomes a fintech.)

Meanwhile, fintech challengers continued to raise funding at record pace including, three Gen Z neobanks that collectively announced raising $580 million in a single day. (Listen to Episode II of our podcast for all the details). As we emerge from the pandemic, fintech challengers need to shift customer acquisition strategies from fully-digital to omnichannel, without burning fresh war chests on sales and marketing.

We believe the future is bankless accounts enabled by APIs, akin to Henry Ford’s horseless carriage, and it’s here now. 2020 rendered branches irrelevant and despite adapting to the “innovate or die” philosophy of fintech, banks are debating the past. In time however, we’ll evolve entirely from the branch-based model to mobile-first, as it’s already happening now.

In the first edition, we’re sharing our latest Insights briefs including:

  • Meet the Atomic Advisory Board
  • Our outlook on Open Banking in our feature interview with FT Partners
  • Answer “What is payroll coverage and how Atomic built and maintains 165+ payroll integrations
  • Our podcast on news(ish) fintech trends
  • and market research we’re reading this Memorial Day Weekend

Stay well,


P.S Cheeky challenger bank subway campaigns are back, nature is healing.

P.P.S Want to receive these insights direct to your inbox? 

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atomic advisory board members

Fintech industry executives from Earnest, Plaid, Fiserv, and Q2 join Atomic advisory board

In our mission to build a new generation of bank accounts and transform consumer-centric applications, we have assembled executives, entrepreneurs, and subject matter experts across the fintech, technology, and financial services ecosystems to join our advisory board.

Read article


open banking

Open Banking: Rearchitecting the Financial Landscape

Our conversation with FT Partners on the state of Open Banking, the embedded fintech landscape, and tailwinds for payroll APIs.

Read article


payroll provider coverage

What is coverage and why does it matter to payroll APIs?

Coverage is a key metric to assessing payroll APIs. However, there is no gold standard for integrating with payroll providers. Here’s how we define coverage with highlights from Q1’21.

Read article


payroll provider coverage

Ten of the largest neobanks work with Atomic to become consumers’ primary bank relationship

Why some of the largest neobanks are integrating Atomic’s payroll APIs to strengthen customer experience and direct deposit acquisition.

Read article




We launched a podcast beta with our friends over at Bond to unpack fintech headlines and bottomline why you should care. Below are links to episode summaries on our Insight’s page.

Have guest recommendations or feedback? Feel free to reach out directly on Atomic’s Customer Slack,¬†DM on Twitter, or respond to the email.


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