Japanese technology giant GLORY has announced plans to invest in Scottish fintech startup OneBanks as the firm primes for a Series A funding round.
Unveiled last week, the plans will see GLORY become a “cornerstone” investor in the shared branch banking startup after acquiring a significant minority stake.
Upon completion of the deal, Javed Anjum, head of software strategy and innovation at GLORY, will also join the OneBanks board of directors. Anjum has over 20 years of global experience in banking technology solutions with a specific focus on helping drive the evolution of retail bank branches.
Toshimitsu Yoshinari, Chief Solutions Officer at Glory Global Solutions, commented: “We have many decades of experience helping banks transform their physical branch networks using the latest technologies in response to changing consumer expectations.
“We are delighted to be making this investment in OneBanks as they seek to introduce, in partnership with the major UK banks, their new open banking-enabled approach to providing this service to communities across the UK through shared branches.”
OneBanks says it has ambitions to become a leading player in the delivery of everyday consumer banking services, hoping to fill the void left due to the withdrawal of banks from UK high streets.
The firm enables multiple banks to offer services from a single physical location at a lower cost than a traditional bank branch.
Through OneBanks, participating firms’ customers – both personal and small business – are given free access to multiple transaction types, all supported by a member of the OneBanks team.
Earlier this year, the firm successfully completed trials of its shared branch kiosk format in three locations. Long-term, the firm hopes to roll-out nationwide, initially targeting expansion to 15 locations by the end of 2022 and 150 by 2025.
The Scottish fintech has previously secured capital from angel investors, including Rupert Pennant-Rea, former deputy governor of the Bank of England. Other notable backers include former Conservative cabinet minister, Baroness Bottomley.
Duncan Cockburn, Founder and CEO of OneBanks, believes the support from GLORY will greatly benefit the firm as it continues to expand.
He said: “To have a leading global provider of banking technology solutions for the financial industry buying in so enthusiastically into our vision is immensely valuable – particularly at this stage in our development.
“Access to cash and the need for human interaction are still highly valued by many in our communities. We look forward to working together with our new partners to ensure that our concept of shared branch banking gains the widespread adoption to which we aspire.”
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As part of the deal, Jonathan Hughes, serial entrepreneur and investor in the fintech sector, will assume the role of Executive Chairman of OneBanks.
Hughes commands over 25 years’ experience in financial services, having previously led the creation of Tyl by NatWest, co-founded Pollinate International, and was a Partner at Bain & Company.
Commenting on the deal, Hughes said: “OneBanks is a fantastic concept, and ensuring that communities nationwide are still able to do their banking in-person is so important for financial inclusion.
“I am honoured to have been asked to come on board as chairman and am looking forward to helping Duncan and the team move forward on to the next exciting stage.”
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