" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Exclusive: ‘The shape of things to come’ – Paolo Zaccardi, Fabrick in “The Insurtech Magazine”
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Exclusive: ‘The shape of things to come’ – Paolo Zaccardi, Fabrick in “The Insurtech Magazine”

Paolo Zaccardi, CEO of Fabrick, explains what collaboration means Italian-style, and how insurance is benefitting from open finance Paolo Zaccardi, Fabrick | Fintech Finance

As company taglines go, ‘shaping finance together’ is a pretty apt description of what one of Italy’s most innovative businesses is doing across the financial landscape. Even the company name, Fabrick – to English speakers, at least – purposefully blending ‘fabric’ and ‘brick’, suggests strength in combination and a creative mix.

Fabrick is indeed about co-operation and exploiting the power of many, and it is both mobilising and inspiring Italy’s fintech community. The company describes itself as a B2B2C ecosystem, and its CEO, Paolo Zaccardi, is clear about Fabrick’s role in promoting change and uniting different technology and financial players to create better services.

“Fabrick is an open finance ecosystem, based on an open platform model,” says Zaccardi. “Our mission is to create interactions between banks, insurance companies, large corporations, fintechs, startups and other parties.”

The Fintech District, a Milan-based innovation cluster, was the first Fabrick initiative, and it now has more than 170 startups working on a wide variety of projects. Fabrick is encouraging this type of collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit across financial services throughout Italy and beyond, reinforced by a platform that manages APIs on behalf of service providers and publishes them on the Fabrick Marketplace.

“We enable banks, insurance companies and large corporations to produce and publish APIs,” explains Zaccardi, “as well as use APIs to build services for end-customers. We started in Italy three years ago, and today we’re Italy’s leading platform. It’s a sort of booster for the open banking and open finance model, and we’re adding many different types of service. We now have 1,700 APIs on our platform.”

While Europe’s revised Payments Services Directive (PSD2) has been a great enabler, it’s the breadth and versatility of the open banking movement that excites Zaccardi.

“The possibilities go well beyond banking,” he says. “For instance, insurance and utilities are both spaces where you can combine services. The important thing is to understand what the value is for the end customers, who are always seeking simple and convenient journeys.”

By making crossovers, you improve efficiency and customer experience, and all that information can be managed on top of a single, open finance platform.
“The real change is the openness,” notes Zaccardi. “A platform, in general, is multi-sided, and open finance means we have many providers – across the banking space, the insurance space, the payments space, and so on. They all provide APIs that you can combine, in order to improve customer experience.”

Just one example of that is investment provider Moneyfarm (which, incidentally, counts insurer Allianz among its investors and targets the Italian and UK markets).
It is extending its business on top of Fabrick’s platform via API connections.

For insurers, there’s a customer perspective and an organisational perspective, says Zaccardi. Open finance means there are countless customer touchpoints created – and insurance is a sector that usually suffers from a lack of quality connections with end-customers. “Many large insurance companies are developing a sort of digital wallet,” says Zaccardi, “so they can manage and deepen their customer relationships. Payments are a key touchpoint. Imagine having tens of millions of customers, and you can provide them with a digital wallet, a sort of banking-lite, to manage payments. It’s a very good way to increase contact and strengthen a relationship.”


This article was published in The Insurtech Magazine #06, Page 35-36

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