Digital-only challenger bank Atom received a licence from the Bank of England, marking the beginning of modern-era banking in the country.

The bank intends to offer a range of personal and business banking products and services via mobile apps initially, and plans to launch a desktop service subsequently.

"This is a wonderful vote of confidence in Atom. Atom will offer a quality of digital experience without parallel in this sector or in many others," CEO Mark Mullen said in a statement.

"Between us we've built and run some of the most highly respected banks in the UK, brought ground-breaking innovation to manufacturing and service businesses, and created great software with a worldwide reach. Now all of this is being poured into building Atom so that customers will have a bank in their pocket that is ready whenever and wherever they need it."

"It's also a positive endorsement of our business plan and model from the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. We now have the mandate that only comes with a banking licence – to change banking permanently for the better," said founder and chairman, Anthony Thomson.

The bank has 100 permanent and contract staff and is set to employ at least another 60 before the end of 2015. It has established a network of 110 partners and suppliers from across the North East to enrich its technology and workforce.

Atom Bank raised £25m (€35.2m, $39.4m) in 2014. It is backed by financial heavyweights including star fund manager Neil Woodford and former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill.

The bank plans to start operations later in 2015.

The regulatory nod for Atom comes at a time when mobile banking is booming in the country. New research from CACI for the British Bankers' Association shows that customers will use mobile devices to check their current accounts 895 million times in 2015, more than the 427 million branch interactions. The number is projected to increase to 2.34 billion by 2020, more than internet, branch and telephone banking put together.