Intesa Sanpaolo

At a glance
Project year
Bank type
Digital greenfield
Cloud partner
OpenShift and Google Cloud
A graphic of the isybank customer interface

Italy’s largest banking group and global financial institution, Intesa Sanpaolo, has embarked on its transformation plans by launching isybank, a new digital bank running on Vault Core. Intesa’s 2022-2025 Business Plan outlines an approach to modernise its technology, enhance its customer experience and strategically reduce costs.

Intesa Sanpaolo selected Thought Machine to be its technology partner in 2022 and deliver on a mission of building isybank to service the four million plus Intesa Sanpaolo customers who rarely, if ever, use physical bank branches, and are more accustomed to digital self-service channels.

Isybank launched publicly in June 2023 and offers innovative banking features and three account plans within its mobile app while retaining human touchpoints for customer service.

The solution

Intesa Sanpaolo selected Thought Machine as the technology provider with the capabilities of delivering Isybank’s roadmap, featuring a high level of self service, configurability for the future, and technology which could be used in the bank’s broader technology stack. Another benefit of using Thought Machine’s modern technology is to help attract top talent into the bank as it evolves—world-class engineers capable and eager to develop the bank’s products and capabilities.

Isybank launched just 12 months after kicking off the project with Thought Machine. This speed of delivery was achieved in part due to the flexible and powerful nature of Vault Core: its ability to rapidly test and deploy products and seamlessly integrate with other best-in-class vendors. Additionally, close collaboration between Thought Machine’s client services team and Intesa Sanpaolo’s in-house technology team ensured that the bank could work and deliver on its vision quickly.

The bank launched a range of features, including digital cards, cardless withdrawals, SEPA credit transfers, bill payment capabilities, and tiered-account plans. Customers can open an account within the app in just a few minutes.

Over the coming months and years, and as isybank grows in popularity, Intesa Sanpaolo will identify opportunities to use our cloud-native technology in its broader technology stack and migrate customers to our cloud-native platform.


We have worked with the best in the world, with Google and Thought Machine and built something that represents one of the components of the future of Intesa Sanpaolo.

Thought Machine is, in the world of fintech, a world champion. By bringing them on board, we can demonstrate to investors that we are no longer a traditional bank but a technology champion.

Intesa Sanpaolo logo
Carlo Messina
Intesa Sanpaolo

We have selected solutions of excellence, such as Thought Machine, to be the pillar of our technological transformation. 

Intesa Sanpaolo logo
Paola Papanicolau
Group Head of Transformation
Intesa Sanpaolo
Our Story

The Italian banking landscape is dominated by a handful of large, highly capitalised, and successful incumbent banks. These incumbents have been in situ for decades, if not longer – providing the familiar, trusted banking services that Italians use daily. However, all these banks share a common challenge – outdated technology at the core of their stack, which limits their functionality and growth.

Intesa Sanpaolo, one of the first major banks in Italy to recognise and act on this looming issue, outlined decisive plans in their four-year business plan – committing to adopt Thought Machine’s core banking technology, Vault Core, as the foundation layer for their new digital greenfield Isybank. 

Intesa Sanpaolo has a bold vision – to optimise their traditional bank offering, and make an even better bank for their 13.5m Italian customers. They want to reduce their costs, improve core profitability, and offer a new proposition for their ‘digital native’ customers.

Intesa Sanpaolo rightly identified that a significant portion of the bank’s customers rarely, if ever, visit a bank branch – optimising physical banking experiences would not be appropriate. A new entity had to be designed and developed for this customer segment. This new bank will go live in 2023 – on Thought Machine’s core technology. 

Our cloud-native platform will be the core engine for Isybank – an initiative that expects €650m in investment over the years to bolster its capabilities and reach. In particular, Vault Core was selected for its ability to handle multiple asset classes and denominations – a necessary feature for Intesa Sanpaolo’s multinational overseas customers who regularly transact across borders.

While the project is still early – there are indications that Intesa Sanpaolo has bigger plans for Vault Core. The bank made a £40m investment into Thought Machine and has become an investor in the business, demonstrating its commitment to our long-term project. 

Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina spoke positively about Thought Machine’s application into the bank’s wider technology portfolio over the coming years and its potential to serve an expanded range of clients, including private, wealth, and affluent banking customers – beyond the initial mass-market retail segment.

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