Banks Behind the Idea Editor's Choice Fintech

Behind the Idea: OneBanks

The last few months have seen a radical change in the world as we know it, it’s therefore, no surprise that the public is drawn towards brands that listen to their new wants and needs. OneBanks want to be a part of this new world and are using new, advanced technology to do something a little old fashioned. Bring banking back to people.

Their mission is to help communities so that they can help each other. As in-house bank branches have closed over the years, OneBanks hopes that by using Open Banking technology and the OneBanks kiosk, it can offer a service to both banks and their customers by giving them physical access to their everyday banking needs.

The unique model means that any customer can access the service by simply using the bank account they already have.

OneBanks is launching a pilot in Denny, Scotland at the end of September and will look to scale its solution across the UK in early 2021 to ensure widespread benefit.

Duncan Cockburn OneBanks
Duncan Cockburn, Founder and CEO of OneBanks

Duncan Cockburn is the Founder and CEO of OneBanks. He is a fully qualified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland who has led and co-ordinated the OneBanks team to-date, playing a pivotal role in the success of the business. He has taken OneBanks from a vague concept to the organisation it is today with a clear strategy, strong team and the operational capability to be ready to implement its first kiosk.

What has been the OneBanks response to financial technology innovation?

OneBanks are digital advocates, fully supportive of all the latest advancements in financial technology innovation. Yet somehow there is this assumption that everyone is up to speed. In reality, many are still trying to figure it out, and sometimes feel left behind.

OneBanks are therefore leveraging Open Banking APIs as well as a sophisticated means of authenticating customers while ensuring that the technology and innovation are accessible to all. This means that people will still have human support available if required.

This is an idea that we feel taps into the cultural zeitgeist of not letting anyone fall behind or not feel included. OneBanks can help banks and their customer get their everyday banking needs done just a little easier, more conveniently and above all, a little more helpfully.

How have you created a culture of change inside the company?

The importance of having a superb team all focused on the same mission is the biggest driver of the creation of a culture of change. The innovative and disruptive nature of the OneBanks solution results in the team always thinking about how to improve on existing “norms”.

With a tight deadline in place, it has resulted in the OneBanks team and the respective partners who OneBanks are working with, creating an agile working environment.

What fintech ideas have been implemented?

The technology OneBanks has developed provides a one-stop-shop for customers who have bank accounts with a number of banks but want to service their needs in a single application and at one physical ‘branch/kiosk’ location. OneBanks kiosks will allow customers to attend to their banking needs regardless of who they hold their bank accounts with.

OneBanks has integrated several industry-leading products and utilises elastic scaling models to ensure that it can provide a secure, resilient, and performant product to fulfill customers’ needs.

The OneBanks solution provides read-only (balances and transactions) through MoneyHub, read/write payments capability through Nuapay, cash withdrawal and deposit functions through NCR and Nuapay (Sentenial) and the core product scaling in the AWS private secure cloud. The function will be available in the kiosks either as an attended desk or an unattended ATM as well as anywhere in the world through the OneBanks mobile app.

Do you see any other industry challenges on the horizon?

I see the main challenges in the banking industry being the premature growth in digital innovation leading to a large number of individuals and SMEs getting left behind especially in relation to supporting vulnerable customers. With the growing number of bank branches closing there is a need for additional support.

The one thing we’ve learned lately is that people need people. OneBanks has been created to provide face to face banking for all those who prefer, or perhaps need it. A huge number of people in the UK who are getting left behind because they need access to cash are in need of digital assistance, are vulnerable or own a small to medium-size business.

Can these challenges be aided by fintech?

To a certain extent. Fintech solutions lend themselves to technologically savvy individuals, usually focusing on the majority and are supposed to serve all types of consumers. Therefore, they are not all designed to meet the nonstandard needs of those who do not fit into a set mould. Although this makes solutions more commercially viable, products and services need to be widely accessible to all demographics, especially when taking account our ever-growing aging population, those with health conditions, disabilities, and simply ensuring that people have the required support to be able to make the most of available technology.

Any final thoughts?

Going forward, OneBanks will continue to make banking more human and accessible, ensuring that all demographics can benefit from the latest technological innovation in banking.


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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