Italy Digital Banking: Intesa San Paolo, Widiba and Illimity a tight race to the top


With 7% more Italian using mobile banking apps during Q422, compared to Q421, the competition between Italian banks appears more like a war of positions, focused on winning new clients, than in northern European countries such as Belgium or Germany.

The gaps between groups appear to be significantly greater, with, for example, increases of over 30% recorded by Webank, Illimity Bank and Fineco Bank or, conversely, the almost 10% drop by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. And the growing use of the app to manage daily banking operations is reflected in the increase in the number of connections (a 12% increase in the number of sessions per user, for example, for Widiba).

The Digital Proposition module’s rating campaign for 2022 has been finished by D-Rating in accordance with its yearly production agenda. This particular study scans every product, digital initiative and journey, and service made available to customers on the websites and mobile apps for digital channels.

The information for this study pertains to more than 300 indicators, and it was gathered in collaboration with « mystery shoppers, » who are genuine customers of the banks being evaluated in the market.

The scope for 2022 covers both « traditional » players that are well-established in the banking industry and « latecomers » who are challenging the status quo in their particular industry. This panel has been chosen to represent the market environment and take our clients’ demands into consideration with regard to the competition. We have added this year Hype to the panel of banks studied, a new neobank that offers an account and a card offer online.


Digital Proposition Italian’s Results

The top 3 is in order: Intesa San Paolo, which has gained 2 positions since last year, Widiba (+ 3) and Illimity (-2)


Complete and detailed ranking available on request (

From the Italian scores shown above it’s clear that the top three have very close scores, and all three performed well in all the 3 domains of Digital Proposition: Offers & Journeys, Customer Support and Features.

Offers & Journeys includes access to offers from web and mobile application as a customer to main banking products and also the digitization of the account opening process (on-boarding) as an entry point to the banks’ services. Whilst Widiba and Illimity have more less close scores in all the three field of Offers & Journeys, Intesa San Paolo had lost some points in this filed compared to last year, leaving the best performer spot of this domain to ING Italy.

ING Italy presents a fully digitalized offer, from the account opening process to the access to offers such as mortgage loan, personal loan and share account; both on the web and in the app. It is also the only evaluated bank with branches in Italy that have cashback offers.

Customer Support maps out the help tools provided to customers either to reply to and instant need through chats, chatbots and FAQs or an expertise need with inbox, contact forms, callbacks and appointment scheduling. The best performer is Intesa San Paolo, with an overall customer support service that is way better than any other bank in Italy

Features domain lists for both the app and the web, the existing features pertaining to account management, card setting, PFM and budgeting or even sustainability or biometric authentication tools. In this field, Fineco, Intesa San Paolo, Widiba and Illimity are almost at the same level as they all have a wide range of features available online.

Intesa San Paolo, Widiba and Fineco offer now the possibility to manage in the app the notifications.
Furthermore, Intesa San Paolo implemented other features such as the possibility to add a junior account, the possibility to aggregate account from different banks and the possibility to request a virtual card.

Super-apps and cashback offers, a leverage to innovate?

We have seen through our proprietary Market alerts tool (monitoring in real time innovation brought to the apps) that the main areas that have been subject to updates by Italian banks for 2022 include features related to account management, financial products, cards, PFM and aggregation and transfer. Standard practices that account for nearly 47% of all application updates in the Italian app stores.


In addition to these daily banking subjects, Italian banks have given a great importance to trendier subjects for their features such as beyond banking features, allowing the application to offer additional services that are not related to its core banking services. Another focus increasingly rising in Italy is the offer of cashback


Cashback: Italy vs Europe

In fact, Cashback is spreading widely all over Europe, with almost 60 % of banks offering cashback. Mainly digital banks.

Nevertheless, Italian banks are not keeping up with this trend.
Among the banks evaluated by D-Rating in Italy, just one traditional bank and two digital banks in Italy have cashback offers, i.e. the 25% of the banks analyzed in Italy.


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