Italy-based Enel will soon be the first of Europe’s major utilities providers to introduce a digital banking platform this month. According to Reuters, the virtual bank will let customers open a new current account by using the debit card they use to settle their energy bills and access various other financial services.
Europe’s largest utility provider aims to diversify its operations by branching out into payment and Open Banking related services including wealth management and insurance. Enel’s management believes this sector might present another opportunity for growth as the company continues to work on its digital transformation strategy across its networks and businesses.
Enel’s latest announcement has come after energy firms across the globe have been investing a lot of money into establishing digital networks – which can help them manage their operations more effectively while providing new and more convenient services to clients.
Enel X Financial Services, which is a part or department under the utility’s digital solutions unit Enel X, will begin offering a new digital app this month. The app will give Enel’s 30 million Italian clients an option to settle their bills from Enel accounts or by using their debit cards, according to Enel X head Francesco Venturini.
The company plans to offer the service to its 70 million+ clients globally. It will be partnering with various provider partners such as virtual asset manager Euclidea to offer services such as insurance and fund management.
Venturini noted that the company’s goal is to “head off rival competition in the electronic payment sector and to compete in financial services too.”
Enel has reportedly finalized several business agreements so that it can begin offering new types of digital financial services. The company has been working cooperatively with SIA, an Italian digital payments group, and Tink, a Swedish open banking platform.
“What we’re doing is what Amazon does with its clients and what Orange recently did when it opened its bank. We’re not Fintech, we’re Big Tech,”
Enel controls Spain’s utility provider Endesa. During the past few years, the company has invested approximately 4.5 billion euros (around $5.3 billion) in the digitization of its assets. In 2019, Enel became the first major utility provider in Europe to migrate or transfer all its data to Cloud powered platforms.