Italian bank Intesa San Paolo is looking to tap in to the creative talent of the Tel Aviv fintech hub, signing technology sharing and co-operation deals with Bank Leumi and the Italian Israeli Chamber of Commerce.
The two new agreements were signed during a trade mission in Tel Aviv, just a few months after the Italian bank joined up with The Floor, the dedicated fintech hub financially backed by Chinese-Israeli VC fund Pando Group. Set for inuaguration later this month, The Floor will house four mentors from the Intesa who will arrange training courses on big data, biometry, security and user experience design for Israeli startups.
Intesa says the new agreement with Bank Leumi will see the two share commercial and technological expertise, projects and know-how. The Israeli bank has its own innovation unit, Leumi Digital, and will later this year launch a standalone mobile-first digital bank.
Michal Kissos Hertzog, head of innovation and digital at Bank Leumi, says: “The alliance will enable us to mutually share innovation strategies and to enhance our respective customer experience. We find this open dialogue to be of great value and importance and welcome it."
Intesa's liaison with the country's Chamber of Commerce, is intended to create a two-way dialogue for information exchange and technology sharing between companies in the two respective countries. The partnership will also allow companies - in cooperation with the Italian Embassy in Israel - to establish partnerships with universities, research centres and businesses on topics that interest Intesa's Innovation Centre.
Maurizio Montagnese, chief innovation officer of Intesa Sanpaolo, comments: “Increasingly strong relations with Israel are crucial to our strategy of international expansion. We are present in the most important innovative hubs in the world and intend to build productive partnerships both for the business units of the group, and for our customer companies who are always looking for new solutions and opportunities to change.”