How the ‘Open’ Paradigm is Transforming Financial Ecosystems

  • In-depth strategic research paper launched by leading professional consulting group and think tank, The European House – Ambrosetti, in partnership with Fabrick and illimity, two key players shaping the open future of finance

Milan, 19 January 2022 – The objective of a new research paper, How the ‘Open’ Paradigm is Transforming Financial Ecosystems that has been launched by The European House – Ambrosetti in partnership with Fabrick, a pioneer and ecosystem platform of reference for Open Finance, and illimity, a new high-tech paradigm bank, is to provide a snapshot outlining the present status open finance transformation in the market.

The in-depth research How the  ‘Open’ Paradigm is Transforming Financial Ecosystems encompasses a survey which involved a total of 630 players including fintech, companies, and international start-ups, and was structured in 3 different chapters.

On the 20th of January there will be a webinar presenting the evidence from the first of the three chapters of the study that is focused on the dynamics triggered by the collaboration between incumbents and fintechs, and the results generated to date, with registration  to attend available here*.

The results of the first chapter are based on the responses of the respondents to the survey, including 227 new operators (91 Italian and 136 international operators) involved via collaboration with Fintech District, a Milan-based innovation cluster, was the first Fabrick initiative. The survey had the aim of identifying the logic of the value creation and operating models. From the results it emerges that:

  • 46% of fintechs operate on the basis of product innovation as a distinctive element of their offering, while 39% focus on new customer experience dynamics. For the 74% of fintechs, development strategies are based on the principles of the Data Economy using non-PSD2 data sources.
  • 100% of fintechs believe it is essential for their business to create partnerships with other players and70% of them have already implemented or intend to implement forms of integration of third-party products / services, considering key partnerships to improve commercial effectiveness (according to 32%). Over the next 3 years, 43% of fintechs see themselves as part of a platform ecosystem.

Paolo Zaccardi, CEO of Fabrick, comments: “ It is now more than evident that the strength of any operator is based on its ability to attract and interact with the customer by building a more personalised way to improve the experience and the fluidity of access to the services offered for incumbents – whether they are financial or corporate operators. For this reason, it is increasingly vital to know how to intercept and integrate new service trends into the offer, also through the development of projects in collaboration with fintechs. In this context, the platform model that concretely allows this type of contamination and co-creation of new business models remains central. It should not be overlooked that if today for the new fintech players this collaboration is a commercial boost, soon it may be the traditional players who will find it in fintech. The more banks and corporates will be involved in collaboration projects today, the more tomorrow they will have the strength to continue to design and manage equal partnerships”.

This view is also consistently reflected in the responses collected among the incumbent banks. Further data gathered in the survey from respondents shows:

  • 48% of incumbent banks say they recognise in the collaboration with the fintechs the possibility of having innovative solutions and as many as 52% recognise their ability to develop disruptive technologies fundamental for product innovation.  As a result, 57% of incumbents felt that the fintech offering enables them to gain significant advantages in their cost structures, and 25% also saw the possibility of greater service attractiveness.
  • Interesting evidence also emerged from the survey conducted on the Neobank segment for which partnerships or integrations with fintechs represent an opportunity to grow for as much as 44%, reducing the time-to-market according to 31%.

Carlo Panella, Head of Direct Banking at illimity, comments: “The financial sector is at the center of great changes and equally great opportunities. New technologies and rules have revolutionised traditional logic and today we are faced with an open world, which involves actors from the most diverse industries. Starting new forms of collaboration in Open Finance is the key to creating value for society, offering innovative services capable of satisfying emerging needs. illimity has interpreted this model from the outset by forging partnerships with non-financial operators through illimitybank with companies such as Mimoto and Fitbit, or by integrating the offer with the insurance offer of Helvetia and AON. We recently created the Sport and Health App, to connect Italians to sport, and announced collaborations with Amazon, to contribute to the digitization of SMEs, and with Eni, by joining the Open-es platform for sustainable development. of businesses. With the joint venture in Hype we have also enabled a real exchange of skills, services and products – from the aggregation of accounts, through the psd2, to access to the deposit accounts of illimitybank – with the aim of accelerating the growth of the first fintech Italian. We intend to be part of a change that is only just beginning and, for this reason, illimity is constantly working to develop new models from a “bank as a platform” perspective. We are therefore happy to have collaborated in the realization of this Research together with partners of the highest level “.

  • Finally, Fintechs are also central to the development strategies of businesses, 81% of businesses consider them fundamental to integrating the concept of Embedded Finance into their offerings.
  • As well as for startups, 87% of which say they want to integrate financial products by collaborating with fintechs to develop customized solutions (42%) and create innovation ecosystems (37%).

Valerio De Molli, Managing Partner & CEO of The European House – Ambrosetti, said: “Data, APIs and artificial intelligence must be considered the tools behind new offerings, new business models and new ecosystems.

“More than 650 stakeholders, involved by The European House – Ambrosetti in the surveys (630 players including Fintech, Neobank, Companies and Startups) and in the interviews (over 20 incumbent banks), have validated the ecosystem model of Open Finance development that sees Fabrick and illimity as protagonists. For the benefit of the whole country-system, there is an opportunity to promote a very broad ecosystem development with the support of both public actors, as regulators, and private actors. The development of Open Finance according to a platform paradigm addresses the demands of companies and new generations of consumers who require smart services and products that are seamlessly accessible between different devices and capable of offering a 360 ° user experience”.

Following the upcoming webinar on January 20, of the presentation of evidence from the first of the three chapters of the research – the overall results of the research in its entirety will be completed and presented during the 33rd edition of the workshop “The Scenario of Economics and Finance” of The European House  –  Ambrosetti, which will be held on 1 and 2 April.


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