Digital Pulse

Italy

Market leaders in the Italian fintech landscape

Acting as legal enablers in the Fintech ecosystem, our experts of the Fintech&Digital Transformation Group in Italy can support new players including start-ups as well as any established financial institution, corporate and investors, in imposing themselves as key players in the Italian fintech landscape.

Leveraging our global network with our long-lasting relationships with international and local operators, we provide market-leading legal services across almost all the markets and key jurisdictions and support in the internationalisation.

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Fintech

Specialisations

Explore our specialisations

The full Fintech spectrum includes a significant number of different and cutting-edge services and solutions so that a generalist approach is insufficient. At Linklaters, the FinTech & Digital Transformation Group delivers commercially focused and insightful advice on the most important issues and challenges within the main Fintech sectors. Click on our specialisations on the left to know more.

Digital wealth and asset management

Regulatory changes such as MIFID II and, more recently, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), impose greater cost transparency and new ESG-related information duties, rewarding those businesses able to satisfy customers’ needs and regulatory requirements maintaining low fees. AI, chatbots and engaging UX are driving robo advisory solutions that allow a “democratisation” of many services once not affordable for the wider public. At the same time, bespoke AI solutions involving natural language processing (NLP) and other cutting-edge technologies are the core elements of the world’s top-class asset managers’ strategies.

Certainly relevant is also the role that blockchain technology and crypto assets are gaining in the wealth and asset management sector, with an increasing number of investors considering diversifying their portfolio searching for higher yields. On this base we are seeing more and more traditional players either teaming up with providers of crypto wallet and custody services or deciding to build their own dedicated service.

InsurTech & RegTech

The adoption of new technologies is strictly related to regulatory changes and are redefining the competition frontiers also for the insurance sector. Different types of partnerships are taking place in the market, enhancing a “platformisation” of the sector and a wise use of data and engaging UX allow more customer-centric solutions (as an example, the tailored insurance). Moreover, digitalization is driving the development of instant insurance, smart insurance and, in perspective, open insurance.

Regulators are addressing new challenges that may have considerable impacts on the regtech sectors. This will surely boost competition in a sector where we are also experiencing a growing interest in exploiting DLT technologies to cut costs and improve the effectiveness of KYC and AML compliance regulations.

DLT & Tokenisation

Blockchain is one of the “buzzwords” of the last decade. Together with the creation of crypto assets – whether “natively” digital or as representations of physical assets – new businesses are flourishing, pushing forward the technology and acting as enablers for a wider public. Wallet providers, custodians, exchanges are fundamental access points to decentralised ecosystems and, as such, will be more and more subject to new regulations. The European Commission recently presented the Digital Finance Package aiming at setting a uniform regime for crypto-assets that are not financial instruments, reserving to the latter – which are already captured by existing securities laws – a pilot regime for market infrastructures that intend to adopt DLT solutions.

However, decentralized finance protocols are also rapidly taking the scene, posing even greater challenges in terms of governance and accountability as with those solutions no (legal) entity can be considered directly responsible for the issuance and management of crypto assets.

Payments

Large merchants and SMEs are now increasingly looking at payment services to enable greater sales and do more than move money. In response, fintech companies and incumbents are seeking to differentiate their offerings to avoid being commoditised. Actors will try to scale (both organically and through M&A) and expand their product offering, looking to provide new high value-added products to their customers. This will accelerate the evolution of the payment sector and, simultaneously, pose complex legal questions to be addressed properly balancing compliance and business needs.

Venture Capital & Corporate Venture Capital

Turning new technology and knowledge into commercial achievements represents a major challenge and market players are increasingly looking at venture capital as source of financing to strengthen innovative activity and entrepreneurial talent. Venture capital and corporate venture capital is keep growing also in the Italian market. Both the venture capital investors and corporates looking at engaging strategic collaboration face high-risk components. A careful assessment of the legal validation of the business model, the legal feasibility of the business plan and identification of a potential showstopper for scale-up/expansion plans are important mitigants.

Digital Lending and crowdinvesting

Open banking and PSD2 standards represent a crucial asset for fintechs and incumbents that intend to digitise their services and expand products range. Different types of partnerships are taking place in the market, enhancing a “platformisation” of the sector. A wise use of data and engaging UX allow more customer-centric solutions that, when leveraging technologies such as AI and machine learning, consent the automation of core and non-core processes, including tailored pricing, streamlined onboarding phase or fraud detection activities.

Corporates are increasingly looking into new solutions to sustain their activity and growth, shifting from traditional lending solutions to more agile sources. The success of minibonds, crowdfunding and invoice trading platforms, which are gaining market shares as their capability to serve quickly and effectively funding needs improves, is accompanied with regulatory innovations as the EU Crowdfunding Regulation.

Explore our specialisations

The full Fintech spectrum includes a significant number of different and cutting-edge services and solutions so that a generalist approach is insufficient. At Linklaters, the FinTech & Digital Transformation Group delivers commercially focused and insightful advice on the most important issues and challenges within the main Fintech sectors. Click on our specialisations on the left to know more.

Digital wealth and asset management
Digital wealth and asset management

Regulatory changes such as MIFID II and, more recently, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), impose greater cost transparency and new ESG-related information duties, rewarding those businesses able to satisfy customers’ needs and regulatory requirements maintaining low fees. AI, chatbots and engaging UX are driving robo advisory solutions that allow a “democratisation” of many services once not affordable for the wider public. At the same time, bespoke AI solutions involving natural language processing (NLP) and other cutting-edge technologies are the core elements of the world’s top-class asset managers’ strategies.

Certainly relevant is also the role that blockchain technology and crypto assets are gaining in the wealth and asset management sector, with an increasing number of investors considering diversifying their portfolio searching for higher yields. On this base we are seeing more and more traditional players either teaming up with providers of crypto wallet and custody services or deciding to build their own dedicated service.

Insurtech and Regtech
InsurTech & RegTech

The adoption of new technologies is strictly related to regulatory changes and are redefining the competition frontiers also for the insurance sector. Different types of partnerships are taking place in the market, enhancing a “platformisation” of the sector and a wise use of data and engaging UX allow more customer-centric solutions (as an example, the tailored insurance). Moreover, digitalization is driving the development of instant insurance, smart insurance and, in perspective, open insurance.

Regulators are addressing new challenges that may have considerable impacts on the regtech sectors. This will surely boost competition in a sector where we are also experiencing a growing interest in exploiting DLT technologies to cut costs and improve the effectiveness of KYC and AML compliance regulations.

DLT and tokenisation
DLT & Tokenisation

Blockchain is one of the “buzzwords” of the last decade. Together with the creation of crypto assets – whether “natively” digital or as representations of physical assets – new businesses are flourishing, pushing forward the technology and acting as enablers for a wider public. Wallet providers, custodians, exchanges are fundamental access points to decentralised ecosystems and, as such, will be more and more subject to new regulations. The European Commission recently presented the Digital Finance Package aiming at setting a uniform regime for crypto-assets that are not financial instruments, reserving to the latter – which are already captured by existing securities laws – a pilot regime for market infrastructures that intend to adopt DLT solutions.

However, decentralized finance protocols are also rapidly taking the scene, posing even greater challenges in terms of governance and accountability as with those solutions no (legal) entity can be considered directly responsible for the issuance and management of crypto assets.

Payments
Payments

Large merchants and SMEs are now increasingly looking at payment services to enable greater sales and do more than move money. In response, fintech companies and incumbents are seeking to differentiate their offerings to avoid being commoditised. Actors will try to scale (both organically and through M&A) and expand their product offering, looking to provide new high value-added products to their customers. This will accelerate the evolution of the payment sector and, simultaneously, pose complex legal questions to be addressed properly balancing compliance and business needs.

Venture capital and corporate venture capital
Venture Capital & Corporate Venture Capital

Turning new technology and knowledge into commercial achievements represents a major challenge and market players are increasingly looking at venture capital as source of financing to strengthen innovative activity and entrepreneurial talent. Venture capital and corporate venture capital is keep growing also in the Italian market. Both the venture capital investors and corporates looking at engaging strategic collaboration face high-risk components. A careful assessment of the legal validation of the business model, the legal feasibility of the business plan and identification of a potential showstopper for scale-up/expansion plans are important mitigants.

Digital lending and crowdinvesting
Digital Lending and crowdinvesting

Open banking and PSD2 standards represent a crucial asset for fintechs and incumbents that intend to digitise their services and expand products range. Different types of partnerships are taking place in the market, enhancing a “platformisation” of the sector. A wise use of data and engaging UX allow more customer-centric solutions that, when leveraging technologies such as AI and machine learning, consent the automation of core and non-core processes, including tailored pricing, streamlined onboarding phase or fraud detection activities.

Corporates are increasingly looking into new solutions to sustain their activity and growth, shifting from traditional lending solutions to more agile sources. The success of minibonds, crowdfunding and invoice trading platforms, which are gaining market shares as their capability to serve quickly and effectively funding needs improves, is accompanied with regulatory innovations as the EU Crowdfunding Regulation.

Digital market insights

Fintech Bites

podcast icon  A podcast series

In our podcast series, we will be taking a closer look at the Italian Fintech landscape, investigating real business solutions offered by digital opportunities and contributing to our client' success.

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Italy Digital Pulse

Paper  Bringing our community up-to speed

Get inspired by our insights and learn more on the latest market trends on fintech and digital transformation by accessing our collection of monthly “pulses”.

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innovation  Hearing from our community

Dive deep into our collection of interviews with our community and learn from key players of the market.

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We partner with some of the world's leading fintech organisations

The Fintech 50 | 2017

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