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13 Million Italian Citizens Took Advantage of Fintech in 2019

06 February 2020 13:05, UTC
13 Million Italian Citizens Took Advantage of Fintech in 2019
By Vsevolod Gnetii

According to the latest statistics, in 2019, 13 million Italians (one-third of all Internet users aged 18 to 74 years) have taken advantage of at least one fintech or insurtech service or technology.

20% of Italian users regularly visit their bank’s website via smartphone or tablet, and 48% conduct banking operations with their account from a desktop computer. Another 10% of customers use an AI-based chatbot to communicate with their bank. Over five million people use their cell phones daily to make current payments: paying bars, restaurants, and shopping in stores, as well as withdrawing cash from their bank accounts.

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Self-service points are multiplying: in 2019 there were 11% of the total. At the end of 2018, 20 thousand people were subscribers of the Roboadvisor system, and 250 thousand people used digital savings banks. All this data is presented in the report “Osservatorio Fintech Insurtech”, compiled by the School of Management of the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Digital evolution goes far beyond payments and banking. Open banking is a direct consequence of the introduction of the regulatory document PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2), requiring banks to open their AP (authority to pay) permission for payments and data of their own customers, with their prior consent, for third persons. However, this is already a completed stage, and now we are talking about financial services in an open format.

In Italy, there are already more than three hundred startups working in the field of fintech and insurtech, capable of raising up to 654 mln euros of financing and investment. There are 50 platforms on the European market that allow for data exchange, service activation and aggregation of ideas. And everywhere, customers prefer financial services in a digital format.

The digital renewal of the banking and financial sector is having an increasingly noticeable impact on manufacturing and industry, which are showing interest in mutual integration through digital communication channels.

One of the most advanced operators is the Arca Fondi application, with a customer base growth of 10% per year. Clients use the application to monitor the effectiveness and profitability of investments remotely, request information and respond to financial markets, as well as to apply for a private pension insurance policy in a specialized division of Arca Fondi.

The movement towards the integration of digital innovative technologies with human potential is now a trend in this area. The main problem is to gain the trust of individual customers, who traditionally prefer communicating with a person standing above the machines and all the hi-tech, even if he is an operator of a complex technological chain.

According to the latest opinion polls in Italy, 40% of users refuse to entrust the management of their finances, including money savings, exclusively to machines and technologies, while the remaining 60% categorically prefer traditional banks and the Postal Bank when choosing a financial operator.

At the same time, the younger generation, aged 18 to 24, trusts traditional banks the least (44% of all respondents), relying more on WebTech, BigTech, and startups.

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According to some experts, in order to change the trend towards technological progress, it is necessary to clearly define the strategy of open innovation in cooperation with various interested players, especially in the field of fintech and insurance technology. They, in turn, must begin a dialogue with traditional actors who occupy dominant positions to optimize the cost-effectiveness ratio.



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