Mobile banking in Italy

With mobile banking in Italy, internationals enjoy the convenience paying bills or reviewing bank statements on the go.

Mobile banking italy

By Gary Buswell

Updated 5-3-2024

Expats who opt for mobile banking in Italy can access various on-the-go financial services. If you’re always traveling or out and about, mobile banking gives you the power to check your bank statements and pay monthly bills easily by app or web browser.

Since digital banking and smartphones have become commonplace in Europe, many Italian banks now offer a range of products and services via mobile apps. Residents of Italy can also choose to open an account with one of the increasing numbers of mobile-only banks on the market.

If you’re relocating and are interested in exploring the possibility of mobile banking in Italy, here’s all the key information on what’s available and how to access it. Sections include:


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Mobile banking in Italy

Like many other industries, banking is constantly evolving thanks to modern technological advancements. Most commercial banks now offer online options, mobile apps, and also a range of services that let customers handle their day-to-day finances with a smartphone. In addition, there has been a proliferation of new digital or mobile-only banks that operate purely online without branch locations.

Four young people are standing in a circle, all looking down at their mobile phones
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Regarding the digital transformation of banking, Italy is slightly behind the curve among European countries. This could be because only 73% of the population has internet access. Only around 45% of the population used online banking in 2021, compared to 61% of the Eurozone area. However, most major Italian banks now offer mobile services to customers, and several mobile-only providers also operate in the country.

Although mobile banking doesn’t yet offer the full range of traditional services, it does come with distinct advantages like lower fees, ease of access, and environmental sustainability. Mobile accounts include many innovative tools, such as mobile payments, budgeting options, and added security features. For this reason, mobile banking in Italy will likely continue to grow in popularity for years to come.

Italian mobile banking apps

Banks with mobile apps

Many major Italian and international banks now offer mobile apps that allow customers to access accounts and use features on their phones. These include:

  • Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
  • Banca Nazionale del Lavoro
  • Deutsche Bank
  • FinecoBank
  • ING
  • Intesa Sanpaolo
  • Poste Italiane
  • UniCredit

Mobile banking app features

Mobile banking features differ slightly between Italian banks, but they typically include the following:

  • 24/7 access to your account through your smartphone
  • Secure mobile payments allowing you to pay by phone in shops and restaurants
  • Money transfers through the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
  • Budgeting tools to keep an eye on daily income and expenditure, make monthly plans, and set limits by category
  • Tools to keep track of savings and investments
  • Biometric security options, including fingerprint and facial recognition

Other products, such as loans, mortgages, and insurance, are not usually available through apps. Mobile banking is typically restricted to personal accounts, although some banks also offer it for savings and business use.

How to use a mobile banking app

To use a mobile banking app, first, download it to your device. You can find the app by visiting the bank’s website on your phone’s browser or searching for it on the Apple or Google Play store.

If you already have a bank account, you need to confirm the activation by entering the codes they send to you and setting up a password. Most apps offer a guided tour that explores features and familiarizes you with mobile banking.

If you don’t yet have an account, you need to open one either online or in person before using the app.

Mobile banking fees

If you use your bank’s mobile app while living in Italy, you will still pay the standard monthly fees on charges and card use. However, you might save by using mobile payments and money transfers, and lower admin fees by switching to paperless statements and e-notifications.

Mobile banks in Italy

Features of Italian mobile banks

Another travel-friendly option in Italy is using a mobile-only bank like Revolut. These providers are unique because they don’t have branches, and all their services are tailored toward smartphone banking.

Mobile-only banks are similar to traditional banking apps since they offer mobile payments, 24/7 account access, and budgeting tools. However, they carry additional features and benefits, such as:

Mobile bank featureAdded benefits
Ability to open an account by phoneMobile banks allow you to open an account within minutes from your smart device
Global bankingUse your account from anywhere with no geographic restrictions
Better multi-currency transfer optionsYou can transfer money or pay in another currency with a low fee
Sub-account optionsFor streamlined budgeting and accounting
A wider range of plansA variety of mobile account types for different needs, from basic to advanced to savings

Keep in mind that mobile-only banks are less likely to offer mortgages, pension options, insurance, and investments. You may want to shop around if one of these products is key to your desicion. Another potential issue is that mobile banks require a good internet connection. So if you’re exploring Italy with no phone service or their servers suddenly go down, you don’t have bank branches as a backup.

Italian mobile banks

Mobile banks that operate in Italy include:

How to open a mobile bank account in Italy

You can usually open a mobile bank account from your smartphone or computer in minutes. If you have moved to Italy, you can easily set up an account with any mobile bank with a presence there, such as Wise.

Man and woman look at a phone screen together, the woman is pointing and the man is holding a bank card
Photo: SHVETS production/Pexels

To open an account, you will typically need to:

  • Download the app with your smart device
  • Set up a profile with your name, home address, email address, and mobile number
  • Confirm your identity by uploading a photo of your ID, plus a current photo of yourself for comparison
  • Choose an account type from the options, select the features you want, and set up security measures like two-factor authentication

Mobile bank fees

Most major online-only banks have free plans with standard features such as around-the-clock account access, mobile payments, and budgeting tools. However, monthly payments and ATM withdrawals are usually limited to a certain amount. Upgraded accounts, with extra services and higher limits, cost between €10–15 a month.

You can also choose to pay for extra services or features individually. International money transfers range from free to €3 per transaction, depending on the amount sent.

Mobile payments in Italy

Mobile payments, one of the most convenient features of smartphone banking, are quickly growing in popularity worldwide. Customers can make smartphone payments for expenses, such as utility bills, restaurant checks, or grocery bills using contactless methods like Quick Response (QR) codes.

You can access mobile payments directly through the banking app or by linking your bank account to a separate service.

In total, around €7 billion in mobile payments were made in Italy in 2021 – a 122% increase from 2020. Popular providers include PayPal, Bancomat Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Satispay, and Postepay.

Italian mobile banking security

Many countries, including Italy, have raised concerns about the safety of digital banking and increased criminal activity online, such as hacking. However, mobile banking offers some of the highest levels of security available.

Digital accounts in Italy are highly encrypted and offer features such as biometric access (fingerprint or facial recognition), suspicious activity alerts, and instant card blocking. Additionally, providers with a European Banking License are required to compensate customers up to €100,000 for related losses.

Woman makes a smartphone payment in an upscale boutique
Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

You can protect your Italian mobile bank account by:

  • Using biometric security measures on top of password protection
  • Avoiding public Wi-Fi networks when online banking
  • Logging out of your account when finished
  • Keeping your log-in details and PIN private
  • Using secure, trusted platforms for mobile payments

Useful resources

  • Banca d’Italia – the central bank of Italy that supervises and regulates the banking sector
  • Banking Hub – a research-driven general review of mobile banking in Italy
  • European Banking Authority (EBA) – the EBA’s consumer corner, to review your rights or submit a complaint against a bank