Thousands of Catalan people celebrated the launch of the first-ever community digital bank account, El Canut, by signing up to open an account on October 1st, an important date in the Catalan calendar, the anniversary of the independence referendum.
Over 3,500 people from the region have signed up to open their first community bank account, El Canut, a universal bank account that offers customers the choice to have all their banking accounts with different IBANS in one place. It also enables account holders to manage all their payments, transfers, savings and loans from one app or login.
The digital account (El Canut) adds to 11Onze’s existing offering of the first-ever private social network in Europe - La Plaça. And following the launch of El Canut today, 11Onze promises to introduce services such as forex trading, peer to peer lending and crowdfunding.
Welcoming the launch, 11Onze member, Santiago R. Alcoverro i Serres, a digital transformation sr. consultant, said, “I am looking forward to installing the El Canut app and getting started. This is an important milestone for our community. First, this community fintech will empower the people, so that they take control of their finances through accessible training, advice and agent support. The banking sector is changing fast with technological advancements and I am glad that 11Onze is offering support via its human agents who help us navigate the technological challenges.
“Secondly, what attracted me to 11Onze is the fact that it’s all about community-building. Catalonia is renowned for grassroots movements and organisations. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the origins of the Athenaeums and Guilds, where Catalonia was a pioneer.”
Commenting on the much-anticipated launch, James Séne, Chairman said, “We’re delighted to see the overwhelming response we have received for the launch of El Canut. Despite several trials and challenges, we managed to have a good launch and attracted several thousands to open an account with us. We always said, we are more than a bank, we are a community and for me, that’s what makes us different from other neobanks and traditional banks in the sector.
“We are taking it slowly; on a one-to-one basis. Many of those, especially Boomers, who want to open an account are not necessarily tech savvy, so, we are onboarding our account openers by offering them individual time and attention to make it work for them.”
Explaining what attracts her to 11Onze, founding member Sun Rius, a doctor and businesswoman, said, “I believe for me, two things are very important. First, that we are treated like a human being and not just another number. And 11Onze does that. Secondly, for us, this fintech is an important step towards independence. With this community fintech, we can invest in our community, be more entrepreneurial and have more control.”
The first 5,000 customers are being drawn from the membership of La Plaça - the private social network where 11Onze members engage, interact and discuss money matters with the 11Onze agents. The fintech has attracted over 75% of its target account holders so far and is confident to meet its target of 5,000 imminently.
11Onze enthusiast Xavier Soler i Travé, professional actor and radio broadcaster, is excited by the idea of a modern, innovative fintech which is not dependent on the IBEX35. He added, “To me, 11Onze offers freedom, community, and intuitive technology.”
The visibility and access to 11Onze agents on La Plaça has been well lauded. Serres explains, “I really like the visibility of 11Onze employees and agents on the social network. It’s a transparent, open, close-knit and humble atmosphere, so often lacking in the cut-throat financial sector.”
As neobanks shake up the banking sector, 11Onze remains committed to serving its community and is confident that this model can work for other communities too.