Shaping the Future of Finance: Highlights from the Visa Innovation Program Europe Summit Italy Edition

November 29, 2023

On November 24, 2023, at Salone Dei Pagamenti, Visa Innovation Program Europe Summit Italy Edition marked a defining moment in the fintech sector. This summit, a hub for fintech innovation, brought together a diverse group of participants, including industry leaders, innovators, and fintehcs. It provided a platform for sharing insights, fostering partnerships, and showcasing groundbreaking solutions.In the summit, the fintechs had the chance to demonstrate how they leveraged their products and services within the program and their potential to transform the payments ecosystem. We extend our deepest gratitude to all participants whose contributions made this event a milestone in fostering fintech innovation and collaboration.

The Visa Innovation Program Europe, which is powered by Hackquarters and Talent Garden in Italy, is an equity-free pilot-centered collaboration platform spanning Europe. The program enables fintechs to solve the payment and commerce challenges of tomorrow, further enhance their own product propositions and provide visionary solutions for Visa’s vast network of partners. The program appeals to Fintech targeting to unlock new payment flows, advance next-gen payment experiences, empower SMEs, and build a smarter and sustainable future and embedded finance. This year, with 74 applications received for Italy, the program shortlisted 10 promising fintechs, ultimately selecting 5 to reshape the financial landscape.

The summit opened with Kaan Akın, Hackquarters and Eva Ruiz, Visa offering a warm welcome. Their speeches set the tone for the day, emphasizing the importance of innovation in fintech and the potential for collaborative growth within the industry.

Vanessa Colella, the Head of Innovation and Digital Partnerships at Visa, dove into the evolving dynamics of collaboration in fintech. Her talk focused on how partnerships and cooperative efforts are reshaping the financial landscape, highlighting the need for continuous adaptation and innovation.

Matteo Rizzi captured everyone’s attention with a keynote that explored innovation's critical role in navigating industry disruptions. He shared insights on how innovative approaches pave the way for future developments in fintech, emphasizing the need to embrace change.

In the "Transformation Unveiled: The Impact of Open Collaboration and Embedded Finance on Incumbents" panel, moderated by Filippo Manca, Visa, industry experts Ivano Luison, Teamsystem, Filippo Chiricozzi, Banca Sella, and Alessandro Bragazzi, Intesa Bank came together to discuss the evolving relationship between traditional banks and fintech startups. They shared insights into their organizations' approaches to fintech, focusing on goals, priorities, and the types of innovative solutions they find most compelling. The discussion also covered the panelists' expectations from fintech collaborations, reflections on the Visa Innovation Program, and thoughts on future trends and collaboration opportunities. This session illuminated the growing importance of open collaboration and embedded finance in reshaping the traditional banking sector, highlighting a shift towards more integrated and innovative financial services.

In the "Fintech Transformation: Innovations in Digital Finance, Data Intelligence, and SME Banking" session, moderated by Asya Naz Konukseven, leaders from Conio, Fairtile, and STEP 4 Business shared their innovative approaches in reshaping the fintech landscape. Orlando Merone, Conio emphasized the synergy between traditional financial institutions and their cryptocurrency management technology, sharing success stories and future aspirations for digital assets. Olle Ahnve, Fairtile discussed how their platform merges Big Data, Human Science, and AI to revolutionize credit processes, highlighting Fairtile's role in future credit industry trends. Marco Montagnani, STEP 4 Business explained how their services leverage open banking to enhance the user experience for SMEs, sharing success stories from various regions and plans for future expansion. Each speaker provided valuable insights into their company's unique contributions to digital finance, data intelligence, and SME banking, underlining the transformative impact of fintech innovations in the financial sector.

In the "Enhancing Customer Onboarding: The Role of Real-time KYC and AML Checks" session, moderated by Silvia Orlandi, Chiara Pinto, INEO and Mauro Ferri, Voiceme discussed their cutting-edge solutions in customer onboarding and voice authentication. INEO's Chiara Pinto highlighted their technology's ability to digitize and streamline customer onboarding in less than a minute, emphasizing compliance with AML regulations and the benefits from their participation in the Visa Innovation Program. Voiceme's Mauro Ferri focused on the security and efficiency of voice-based authentication, especially for transactions and document signing, and shared how the Visa Innovation Program Europe opened avenues for partnerships. Both panelists shed light on the future trends in their respective fields, demonstrating how their innovations are tailored to meet evolving digital needs.

In the "Best Practices and Success Cases from the Visa Innovation Program Europe Alumni" session, moderated by Eva Ruiz, Celestino García Romero, Divilo shared the company's journey and achievements. Celestino highlighted the significant collaborations Divilo established through the Visa Innovation Program Europe Spain Edition, including partnerships with banks like Unicaja Bank and KutxaBank, and ventures like Prosegur Cash. This session offered a detailed look at how participation in the Visa Innovation Program Europe can propel a fintech company forward in terms of partnerships and overall business growth.

In the "Drivers of Growth & Innovation: Catalysing the Fintech Ecosystem" panel, moderated by Matteo Rizzi, Clelia Tosi, Fintech District, Giuditta Massone, Talentgarden, and Kaan Akin, Hackquarters discussed the key factors driving innovation in the fintech sector. They explored various ways their organizations encourage collaboration between fintechs, financial players, and others, emphasizing the importance of teamwork in fostering innovation. The panel also delved into the challenges and opportunities within Italy's fintech landscape, particularly in next-gen payment experiences, SME empowerment, new payment flows, sustainable future, and embedded finance. They discussed the role of mentorship and guidance in promoting fintech growth, highlighting the benefits of programs like the Visa Innovation Program Europe. Sustainability was a major focus, with insights on how fintechs can adopt eco-friendly practices and the contributions of larger corporations in this realm. Looking to the future, the panelists offered their perspectives on emerging sectors within Italy's fintech industry poised for significant innovation and growth. This session provided a comprehensive overview of the current state and prospects of the fintech ecosystem in Italy.

The summit concluded with thoughtful remarks from Jak Telyaz of Visa. He summarized the key insights from the event and expressed gratitude for the collaborative spirit that was evident throughout the day, reinforcing the value of shared knowledge and partnerships in the fintech world.

Meet the Fintechs:
Conio: is a digital assets custody and management provider with a patented fund recovery system and aims to be the most trusted company by financial institutions and enterprises.

Fairtile: Credit Intelligence and Automation Platform leveraging AI technologies to generate insights and automate actions using device data and other sources to unlock new business value and customer experience.

Ineo: Anti-fraud and digital onboarding services for KYC and AML identification and acquisition, digitizing remote and face-to-face onboarding processes.

STEP 4 Business: is a global digital challenger for SMEs that utilizes open banking, open finance, and IT competitive advantages to provide a unique user experience.

Voiceme:is a secure customer authentication platform that uses voice recognition and 5 other factors, including payment, document signing, access control, and identity confirmation. 

Let’s continue to collaborate, innovate, and transform the world of finance, building a future that leverages the full potential of fintech innovations for a smarter, more sustainable, and inclusive financial world. We eagerly await the next chapter in this exciting journey and hope to see you at the forthcoming editions of the Visa Innovation Program Europe.

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