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NewTech Friday: How Atomic’s payroll connectivity is rebuilding financial infrastructure to narrow the wealth gap 09 July 2021

Lindsay Davis, Head of Markets at Atomic, spoke with Efma about the company’s social awareness that is driving it to develop inclusionary tools. 
What led to the creation of Atomic?
 
Atomic was created to build a new generation of bank accounts and transform consumer-centric banking applications. It was founded by serial entrepreneurs with a track record for building scalable financial technology and partnering with financial intuitions of all asset sizes.
 
The entire leadership team and many of the founding engineers have experience working in the financial services industry, so we understand the complexity of integrating with legacy infrastructure without sacrificing information security or regulatory compliance.
 
In financial services, if it is not broken, inefficiency lingers. Establishing a consistent process for accessing funds with direct deposits has been overlooked by the industry in favor of bolder digital transformation initiatives. When the pandemic brought physical financial services to a stop, it also ushered one of the largest economic upheavals in American history. 
 
Simply, the problem became too big to ignore. Unaddressed, accessing funds, stimulus, and financial relief will lead to increased financial exclusion, widen income disparity, and broaden the wealth gap for generations to come. Atomic was created to fix these structural issues impacting millions of Americans.
 
Could you present Atomic's offer?
 
Atomic is the market-leading provider of payroll APIs, trusted by 10 of the largest fintech firms, including digital-first neobanks, alternative lenders, and digital brokerages. Atomic’s payroll connectivity provides the infrastructure for financial apps to embed access to financial data and automate updates to payroll accounts. End consumers benefit from a centralized experience that securely pulls their income and employment data and automates manual setup and updates directly in their financial aps. 
 
One of the clearest use cases for Atomic is accelerating payday for consumers by reducing friction to set up and update direct deposit details. For the neobanks and brick-and-mortar banks we work with, integrating payroll connectivity improves direct deposit acquisition and creates a better user experience for their customers. 
 
Atomic’s payroll connectivity is also used to access financial data to qualify consumer for product and services – for instance, a loan or credit card – that are contingent on verifying income and employment data (VOI & VOE). The data behind the paycheck, such as gross earnings, earnings net of taxes, employment type and status, among other insights, are all accessible to consumers digitally. 
 
Most recently, Atomic announced our partnership with Welcome Tech, the largest financial services platform for the multigenerational immigrant community, that will enable direct deposits for the nearly 3 million account holders and 9 million community members of Welcome Tech, many of whom will gain access to bank accounts for the first time.
 
What's coming next for Atomic?
 
We’re proud of our progress in connecting over 250,000 consumers to their direct deposit to securely setup or automate accounts. Since integrating Atomic, customers have helped consumers avoid approximately $8 million – $11 million in combined overdraft fees, just nine months since our first customer went live. We realize, however, it is a fraction of our potential to help millions of consumers access better financial outcomes.
 
On our core offering, we will continue to be laser-focused on building out coverage of employer and payroll systems and continuously improving conversion rates to meet customers’ use cases. We’ve differentiated the way we built our integrations, which include over 165 payroll providers, government systems, gig-economy platforms, modern HR tech software, and bespoke enterprise portals. Next, you’ll see Atomic differentiate the services built on top of our payroll connectivity.
 
We are also building a new feature for our Identify product in the digital identity and fraud prevention space in response to suspicious activity we were able to catch for customers. By replacing traditional paper methods to set up or make changes to direct deposit with HR, we are centralizing access to digital pay stubs and W2s from source systems, as well as reducing risks such as identity fraud or human error for all parties, which includes the fintech, payroll provider, and the consumer.
 
In a larger sense, Atomic is leading the rebuilding of the “financial infrastructure” to support broader inclusion in the financial system, ultimately reducing economic inequality and narrowing the wealth gap.
 
To achieve this ambitious mission, an immediate priority is hiring teammates that share our vision of building the next generation of fintech. If that’s you, we’re growing across all functions, check out our openings at Atomic.financial/careers or subscribing to the Atomic Intelligence newsletter. 

Keywords:

Fintech Digital payments/Wallet

Geography:

USA