Over 50 agents armed with financial and banking knowledge and with a strong sense of altruism have been deployed to become the human face of 11Onze fintech platform.
Whereas most banks and fintech service providers leave customer interaction limited to AI chatbots, and elusive call centre employees, digital community fintech 11Onze has introduced its well-rounded agents via video clips on La Placa (11Onze’s private social network). The fly-on-the-wall reality TV style mini documentaries follow the agents around, capturing their day today lives, loves and cares. Agents with varied backgrounds and interests share their views, expertise and show how they think and act bridging the gap between digital and real world - offering a human touch to its digital services.
The aim of these micro documentaries is for 11Onze users to get to know the people in charge of their financial affairs. Stressing the point that these are not some distant people acting as your managers, but members of the same community to which you belong. It’s a commitment to transparency, proximity, and to strengthening community ties. An episode will be published every Thursday with the first episode, featuring head of agents Lara de Castro.
Agents not only offer advice on macro economy, but also on banking regulations, personal finance and investment options. They are also able and willing to talk about healthy lifestyle habits, mental wellbeing and sustainable consumption habits. The agent community is a microcosm of the Catalan community with an equal proportion of men and women, both old and young. This also helps in relating to the different demographic sets.
Fifty-nine year old amateur music and composer Oriol Tafanell, a former financial director at multinational companies located in China and Europe,- with a solid knowledge in financial management and B2B banking operations is one of the 50 11Onze agents introduced in the first phase of the launch of the start-up.
While Tafanell is an expert in finance and banking operations, Sandra Molas, another 11Onze agent is an international tourism professional who has specialised in the luxury customer experience in Asia. She brings to table knowledge in quality standards, international vision and team management.
“Our agents come from a variety of sectors including communication, finance, marketing, tourism and customer service. What unites them is their wealth of experience and their keen desire to serve their community - a strong sense of altruism,” explains James Séne, Chairman 11Onze.
11Onze agents are certified banking advisors who can share knowledge with customers seeking a better understanding of their personal finances and advise them on how to make informed decisions that will improve their financial wellbeing from how to invest and how to save money.
Sharing his raison d'être on the recruitment, Séne said, “When you run a steering team around you, you're looking for persons who know more than you do in specialised sectors, otherwise you would do it yourself. For me, what’s important is that the team members have a very high specialization capacity. In addition, they should be people who are really predisposed to effort and altruism. I'm looking for people with a high professional capacity but with a good heart, there's nothing more”.
Typically, the role of agents in the financial sector is primarily to sell products to customers and attend to queries. But 11Onze agents are not there to just sell products to customers, but rather to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
“The first task of our agent is to ensure that our customers have a safe place to perform transactions. Agents are subject matter experts and provide advice to customers helping them to build their financial literacy and stature. We strongly believe in democratising financial knowledge and our agents are key drivers to help us in this mission,” Séne added.
Isa Custodio, HR director, who played a key role in recruiting and training the agents said, “In the day today life, we are always spending and borrowing money. And we are investing for our future. The agents will be able to support, guide and advise on a variety of day-to-day decision making - from which loan or lease to go for, where to invest for best returns etc. helping identify the best options for long term choices. We look not just at our customer’s economic capacity but their financial well being.”
All 11Onze will be armed with CISI certification for information and advice on banking products.