Banks Challenger Banks Europe

Digital Bank 11Onze Runs Pop-Up Academy to Bring Personal Relationships to Digital Banking

Fifty new recruits have undergone a rigorous, 250-hour training course at a pop-up Academy run by neobank 11Onze to bring intimacy into community banking in Catalonia. At the end of the four-week intensive course at the La Mola Campus, Barcelona, all 50 new recruits were awarded a banking certificate.

To overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19 and train its new recruits, 11Onze set up a pop-up campus where the training module focused on building personal relationships in a digital age.

London technology expert and 11Onze COO Darren Smith, who is leading the training, said, “Our philosophy for the whole bank, not just for the campus, is about creating something truly exceptional. The first experience a customer will have with our organisation will be digital and we place a lot of emphasis on the technology and the user experience. However, we wanted to go much further than this. In a digital age, we are worried that the personal relationships we build over time get lost and at 11Onze we wanted to bring relationship into fintech banking. We want our customers to have a long and meaningful, personal relationship with our representatives.”

Relationships are built both within and without the neobank. As the agents will be remote workers for a period of time, the challenger bank wanted them to be able to come together and build strong relationships with each other and with the senior team, and create their own support networks which are impossible to build over a zoom call or teleconference, explained James Sene, Chairman and founder, 11Onze.

“The pop-up academy was designed to provide a Covid safe and secure environment to give them all the knowledge, skills and tools required to be able to deliver an exceptionally high-quality customer service experience. The Academy trained the “whole person” – and our programme places as much emphasis and priority on personal skills, mental and physical health and well-being, as it does on technical and professional skills,” he added.

Courses included lecturers in psychology and philosophy, training in using new hardware and software as well as yoga classes with an instructor. Furthermore, everyday, a production team followed new candidates and interacted with them to share their experience and their journey. “11Onze customers will be able to review and follow the personal journeys of our agents and this will help them develop a real relationship with the customer services representatives.”

“In the digital age, we are concerned that the personal relationship we build will be lost over time, so, at 11Onze we aim to recover that “relationship” aspect that a traditional bank offers to establish links with the community in addition to withdrawing money or depositing it. We want our clients to have a long and meaningful personal relationship with our representatives,” Sene concluded.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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