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Intesa Sanpaolo takes on fintech with the launch of a digital bank

Intesa Sanpaolo has launched a digital banking platform, called Isybank, as part of its new business plan, which is investing €5bn in the digitisation of its future in a bid to challenge fintech.


Intesa Sanpaolo has teamed up with Thought Machine, core banking technology firm, to launch a new digital bank.

Intesa Sanpaolo has invested €650m in a new digital bank in a bid to compete with fintech, target international growth and reduce costs.

The move is a key element of Intesa Sanpaolo’s 2022-2025 Business Plan, which has allocated €5bn towards technology and growth – €650m of which is for the new Isybank.

The person charged with the responsibility of Intesa Sanpaolo’s digital transformation is Massimo Proverbio, Group Chief IT Digital and Innovation Officer.

“We are moving from a traditional bank to an omnichannel solution, with 30% of our sales done digitally,” says Proverbio. “We are now at the level of maturity where we are starting to think as a digital challenger to fintech and not as an incumbent. And Isybank is going in that direction.”

Alongside competing with fintech, Isybank’s key objectives are to change the operating model of the Italian bank, target international growth and create a new platform for all the group’s personal clients.

Intesa Sanpaolo has selected Thought Machine, a UK-based core banking technology company, to power its new service. Isybank will initially target the group’s 4+ million customers who prefer digital channels to branches, and the aim is to gradually deploy Thought Machine’s cloud-based infrastructure to service Intesa Sanpaolo’s remaining nine million Italian retail clients, who will remain under the old brand.

As such, Intesa Sanpaolo is replacing its mainframe-based core technology with cloud infrastructure, investing €5bn in the bank's digital transformation, a move that will include hiring and reskilling 4,000 people.

A key element of the Intesa Sanpaolo’s digital transformation is machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Placing technology as a core competence of Intesa Sanpaolo’s new business plan, is helping attract new people to Intesa Sanpaolo, which will continue to drive the business forward.

“Change is the engine of our business,” says Proverbio. “The level of excitement in our organisation was fantastic when the new industrial plan was published, and Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo said we are here to build the bank of the next 20 years.”

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