Illimity-Fabrick bolster customer base in fintech space

By Oliver Freeman
Through the combination of Illimity, Fabrick, and HYPE, a new age of digital platforms could influence the future of Italian banking...

Through the combination of Illimity, Fabrick, and HYPE, a new age of digital platforms could influence the future of Italian banking.

Illimity and Fabrick, both part of the Sella Group and focused on developing open banking and the Italian fintech ecosystem, have come together in a Joint Venture agreement in the fintech HYPE. 

HYPE is a subsidiary of Banca Sella and a popular mobile banking platform in the Italian 'challenger bank' sector. The platform allows the legacy bank to expand its customer base and demonstrate its new bitcoin trading service in an effort to “build on its popularity with a largely millennial [and Gen Z] audience.” 

HYPE is growing increasingly popular among young people and, after combining forces with fintech firm, Conio, the Italian challenger bank, which services 1.2 million customers, recently introduced the ability to buy bitcoin within its app. This means that, if you have a debit card with the firm, you will have the opportunity to “buy, sell, spend, and store the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap.” 

The Joint Venture will be mutually beneficial for all parties, with the combined power of the three firms making the most of the new opportunities in the digital financial services and open banking markets, where a client segment is rapidly emerging. “In Italy alone, there are already over 2.5 million fast-growing clients: these clients are not interested in a bank, but in simple and ‘light’, easy-to-use solutions that respond differently to their financial needs.” 

This move will achieve four key things: 

  1. From a strategic perspective, HYPE’s ability to acquire new customers from more youthful generations will unlock a market that Illimity struggles to cater for, but will give HYPE access to Illimity’s customer engagement capability. This means that they will be able to “attract a growing number of customers”, thanks to Illimity’s full suite of services, channelled through commercial partnerships with third-party operators. 
  2. When it comes to technology, “the common evolutionary vision, key components of the shared open banking systems [introduced by Fabrick], [and the] use of the same modern core banking system (Centrico), as well as the similar architectural design of the two platforms illimitybank.com and HYPE in both banking and non-financial products, will ensure that integration is more immediate than is generally the case in these type of deals, without sacrificing market presence.” 
  3. On the sustainability of the business model itself, the venture will create become more economically sustainable and profitable, courtesy of the “synergies related to marketing investments, commercial partnerships with financial and industrial operators, and developments in technology.” 
  4. And, finally, from a managerial perspective, by fusing the combination of experts and specialists, all of whom have honed their crafts for a myriad of years whilst working at both Illimity and HYPE, “a team with an experience that is almost unique on the market”, will be born.

“Overall, this initiative - between the pro-rata profit contribution from HYPE, funding synergies and lower cost of direct banking activities - will immediately generate a positive incremental impact on Illimity net result, estimated to be around €10m in 2023 and around €20m in 2025. 

"Moreover, the deal is estimated to generate a slightly positive impact on Illimitiy’s regulatory capital at the closing date, set to increase thanks to the positive contribution of the initiative to the expected net results in the period 2021-25."

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