Giving Middle-Income Families the Credit They Deserve

Why we invested in One Finance

Vishal Vasishth
Sep 23, 2020 · 3 min read
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Middle-income consumers aren’t getting what they deserve from financial institutions at a time when they need it most.

Despite doing their best, 54% of Americans are only “coping” when it comes to their financial health. American families are pulling out all the stops, all the time, in order to manage their finances, pay off debt, pay for childcare or caretakers, save for retirement, and so much more. This was the case even before the pandemic hit.

And big banks aren’t helping.

According to a new Harris Poll, more than three in five (62%) Americans say traditional banks do not offer middle-income consumers the same quality of customer service as they do the wealthy. And nearly four in five (79%) Americans feel that the wealthy have access to more programs/offerings from traditional banks than middle-income consumers.

These banks continue to target an affluent few while loading “gotcha” fees onto everyone else. They offer multiple products, but break up the money people earn, save, and borrow into silos, making it difficult to maximize their paychecks while burdening them with the added stress of multiple cards and accounts.

New banks, going primarily for digitally-native Millennials, are more narrowly focused on checking accounts and serving a set of consumers with less complicated lifestyles.

We believe it’s time to go back to the basics of full-service, relationship-driven banking while leveraging the power technology offers today. The best way forward is with a more empathetic, user-centered approach.

Back to the Future

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Their products and business model are aligned with consumer needs, starting with how they simply divide behaviors on the platform into:

  • Save: Growing money through competitive interest rates when saving with One (without charging monthly fees, overdraft fees, NSF fees, or ATM fees).
  • Spend: Debit and credit are wrapped into one account.
  • Borrow: One is the first in the market to offer an integrated line of meaningful credit at lower rates.
  • Share: One enables people to share expenses with friends and family (roommates, divorced parents, caregivers, and more) via pockets within their accounts without complicated transfers.

When this money is managed from one place, people save more, are charged less, and gain control. And unlike many platforms which compromise on a holistic customer service experience in an effort to minimize costs, ONE will remain focused on meeting its customers where they are — be it on the phone or via chat.

The team building this platform has helped shape the industry today, hailing from the C-Suite at PayPal, Intuit, and Personal Capital. ONE Co-founder and CEO Brian Hamilton co-founded Azlo and PushPoint (acquired by Capital One). Along with Sarah Elliott, the company’s GC and Chief Compliance Officer (previously Head of Compliance at Blend), they are assembling a world class team coming from world positive operations like Simple, Plaid, Slack, Google, and Change.org.

ONE is founded on the belief that banking should be designed for real life, and connect people to their money.

We’re thrilled to be on the journey with them.

Obvious Ventures

#worldpositive

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