Redefining Digital Banking With Community-Inspired Innovation

Community fintech 11Onze brings a unique, engaging consumer experience to the financial sector with WP Engine Agency Partner WONDR.

Industry: Fintech, Digital Banking

Site: 11onze.cat | wondr.io

Challenge

Build and launch a private social network (PSN) focused on financial literacy for Catalonia-based next-generation digital fintech startup 11Onze.

Solution

UX design and custom development led by WONDR’s team of digital specialists. Industry-leading performance and enterprise-grade security achieved with WP Engine’s enterprise WordPress platform.

Results

An innovative digital experience that combines social networking with a learning management system (LMS). Delivered within a four-month timeframe, 11Onze’s Facebook-like PSN, La Plaça, has attracted more than 10,000 members in less than six months, doubling its original target. The new site exceeds performance and compliance benchmarks and provides users with personalized, interactive, and educational content that’s blockchain-connected for future growth.

11Onze is the first and largest next-generation digital fintech startup  in Catalonia, providing its customers with a digital entity that allows them to control their finances at all times. Alongside its digital banking services (El Canut), which support the standards of financial services and PSD2 (European directive for payment services), 11Onze fills a gap in the larger fintech sector with its La Plaça (The Square) social network and expansive educational library, aimed at empowering people with informative content on finance, economics, and sustainability.

WONDR is a results-focused Digital Product Practice delivering accelerated innovation through clarity and bravery. Working globally with headquarters in Dublin, WONDR collaborates with international brands across a diverse range of industries, harnessing expertise in innovation, brand, UX, design, media, technology, research, AI, and neural networks to create beautiful and effective digital products that deliver financial uplifts for clients.

“11Onze believes in going beyond what traditional financial institutions offer to deliver what customers expect. WONDR has helped them realize that vision using WP Engine’s platform as the backbone for success.” 

—Dermot O'Shea, Founder, WONDR

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Adding a Human Touch to Digital Banking

Digital acceleration has disrupted numerous industries over the past decade, but financial services is one area where digital promises to dominate the future. 

From the advent of mobile banking and fractional investing to the rising adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, evolving technologies have redefined the relationship between consumers and traditional financial institutions. 

While the bulk of these initiatives have focused on removing the archaic, time-consuming, often human aspects of financial transactions, many of today’s fintech solutions have also overindexed on digital, making it harder to maintain the personal client relationships that traditional banking models were centered around.    

11Onze, Catalonia’s first and largest fintech community, is quickly filling this gap. Launched on Sant Jordi Day in April 2021, a day that commemorates love and community, 11Onze’s La Plaça is a personal social network (PSN) and learning portal built on the pillars of community, education, and trust. 

“Our goal was to create a new category of social network, a safe and vibrant online community focused on finance and fintech, with the advances of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn wrapped up into a Netflix format,” said 11Onze Chairman James Sené. 

“That was how our vision for La Plaça was planted, but we needed to find the right mix of trusted partners who could help us bring our vision to life.” 

With prior experience working with 11Onze to bring their vision to life in the retail & customer app, WP Agency Partner WONDR was asked to take on the project, which included:

  • The creation of a learning management system (LMS)
  • Numerous elements for personalization including multiple API integrations
  • The addition of dynamic elements like video, comments, likes, and other interactive functionality commonly found across social media channels
An Open Source Solution for a Growing Digital Community

With a wide list of integrations and custom functionality needed to build the La Plaça site, the WONDR team leaned on the open source flexibility of WordPress to speed up the development cycle and create a digital footprint that was rooted in community-focused values. 

“The idea by 11Onze for La Plaça was to build a community that empowers people with wealth-building strategies,” said Dermot O’Shea, Founder at WONDR. “Not only did WordPress provide the right technical framework for creating this digital experience, the open source nature of WordPress is very much in-line with the ideals 11Onze embodies.”   

From a technical standpoint, Advanced Custom Fields and select plugins were used to build pages across the social network, with additional optimizations built in to accommodate media-rich content.  

To add deeper personalization, APIs were integrated across the site, which automate the transmission of data between the PSN and the 11Onze database.  

Additionally, the site is connected to blockchain technology that allows for the monetization of “Peles' ' which users currently earn when engaging with or sharing La Plaça’s content. Peles can be used to purchase items in the La Plaça marketplace, and they are set to become a fully-tradable cryptocurrency in the near future.

”All of these efforts helped us build a beautiful, interactive site that directly met the needs of 11Onze and helped them quickly bring this powerful digital experience to market,” said O’Shea.

“While this project would have taken eight or nine months to complete using a closed, proprietary system, WordPress allowed us to get it 4 weeks.” 

Another major factor that contributed to the rapid turnaround time was WP Engine’s enterprise WordPress platform, where La Plaça was built and launched. 

“Building on WP Engine’s platform allowed us to focus on all of the details behind designing and building the site, knowing the back-end variables around performance and security were taken care of from the get-go.” 

The Results

Since its launch in April 2021, La Plaça has attracted more than 10,500 users, doubling the original target set by 11Onze and providing a strong proof point for the social network’s impact. 

Much of the new traffic has been attributed to younger audiences such as Gen Z, who are more inclined to engage with entertaining, video-based content than older generations, and who reward these types of digital experiences with strong customer loyalty.  

“We’ve been extremely pleased with the overwhelming response,” said Sené, “This is exactly what we hoped to achieve—the creation of a safe and vibrant place for people from all walks of life to learn, discuss, like, and share their financial knowledge.” 

In addition to connecting users with one another, La Plaça has also amplified 11Onze’s employees, who are active on the platform and who have successfully attracted a following in their respective areas of expertise—from bonds to tax returns to interest rates. 

To date, 11Onze has uploaded more than 1040 videos and 1000 online posts in three languages (English, Catalan, Spanish) and has seen record engagement rates across social media platforms including Facebook (299.9%), You Tube (133%), Twitter (88%) and Instagram (95%). 

While the average engagement rate for a neobank or fintech platform is around 3-55%, 11Onze’s digital engagement metrics are dwarfing its competitors and paving the way for the company’s expansion into other parts of Europe.

Furthermore, enterprise-grade site performance has allowed 11Onze to provide a fast, consistently-pleasant user experience with healthy Core Web Vitals metrics across both field and lab data.

“We’re extremely proud of 11Onze and the success they’re enjoying with this project,:” said O'Shea.

“The end result is a stellar example of partnership between growing fintech businesses like 11Onze, specialist digital agencies such as WONDR, and the world’s leading managed WordPress provider, WP Engine.”

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