Collaborate or Perish: A Conceptual Framework for Banks and FinTechs Partnerships


  • Alessandro Faes Politecnico
  • Vito Gunnella Politecnico di Milano
  • Marco Giorgino Politecnico di Milano



Fintech, Open financeopen banking, partnership, alliance, framework


In the Open Finance framework, collaboration of traditional incumbents (i.e., banks) with start-ups (i.e., FinTechs) is crucial for success. However, despite the frequency and relevance of such partnerships in the financial system, research in this field is rather limited, as most works address alliances regardless of the field of application. The limited number of publications related to finance shed light primarily on the motivations promoting interaction among banks and FinTech start-ups, overlooking additional aspects and players. Therefore, the aim of this work is to build a comprehensive framework allowing to properly frame alliances in the financial industry. Focusing on the Italian context, 90 public partnerships were analysed through document analysis of press releases. It emerges that the majority of the alliances do not involve investments in equity and attest strong participation and commitment of FinTech start-ups. On top of common knowledge, we uncovered other relevant variables to consider in this field when analysing each partnership: its direction, which depends on whether the relation resembles more an operative agreement or an industrial one; its field of interest, which details what the collaboration is about; and its addressees, identifying the targets of these alliances. These dimensions, along with the other ones in a comprehensive framework, will contribute to the enrichment of the literature, closing a relevant gap, and serve as a guide for practitioners in addressing these partnerships.