It's official: The Voice presenter and music superstar Will.i.am is now a board adviser to Atom Bank

 
Lynsey Barber
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Where is the.... money? For Will.i.am it's in mobile banking (Source: Getty)

Musical superstar Will.i.am who is lesser known for several forays into technology which have been more miss than hit, is now advising one of the UKs challenger banks.

A previously rumoured tie-up with The Voice judge has now been confirmed by digital challenger Atom Bank and includes a share option package, the value of which has not been disclosed.

He'll be advising on "culture, philanthropy and technology" as a strategic board advisor bringing a "unique view on the world and knowledge of future trends" said Atom founder and chief executive Anthony Thomson said.

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Will.i.am, who found fame with the Black Eyed Peas and then as a solo artist, said giving people an entire bank on their phone was "awesome".

“Our lives are faster than ever before, but the banking industry hasn’t kept up," he said.

The deal was brokered by entertainment marketing agency ITB, and some in fintech have suggested it may not be a superdope move for the firm.

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"It feels like a middle age marketing misstep, trying to buy what they think is cool and will resonate with the mythical millennial." said Aden Davies of fintech consultancy 11:FS.

"Technology companies have tried to use the brand power of music stars in the past, and will.i.am is still employed by Intel in a similar capacity, and it has been a failure. The chance of it working for the far less cool sector of banking seems slim," he said.

Davies added: "On the other hand, I may be wrong and this could be exactly the kind of mainstream marketing that can lift Atom above the nerdy niche of fintech."

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