The Messages section of the IO app for public services in Italy.

What’s the IO app, and how do I start using it?

Discover the app that lets you collect your holiday bonus and participate in the government cashback program.

4 min read

The IO app was launched in April 2020 by the Team and Department for Digital Transformation. The goal of the app was to bring citizens and public administration (PA) closer together. The free, open-source platform aims to digitize PA and makes an important contribution to the Simplifications decree, which will go into effect in Italy on February 28, 2021. 

But what exactly is the IO app and how does it work? Let’s dive in.

How does the IO app work?

The IO app offers the following services:

  • The app features messages from PA, such as notices and communication regarding application deadlines, documents, and payments. Payment information can be viewed directly in the ‘Messages’ section of the app.
  • Taxes, duties, subsidies, and services can also be paid via the PagoPA platform.
  • Customize your notifications to receive updates most relevant to you, such as civil defense alerts, the availability of certain documents, and information about driving through a ZTL (restricted traffic area).

The platform can do even more than that. Currently, the IO app is still in its beta phase, and doesn’t yet offer all the services it will eventually include. In the future, the app will have:

  • A section dedicated to personal certificates, receipts, and administrative practices.
  • A section that serves as a digital residence of sorts, allowing you to receive registered letters of legal value at a certified email address.

As mentioned before, PAs will be required to integrate their digital services within the IO app starting from February 28, 2021. The Department for Digital Transformation expects that the app will be fully operational in 2022. 

Along with the basic services listed above, the two most important features that the IO app currently offers relate to the holiday bonus and the government’s cashback initiative, part of Italy’s broader cashless plan.

The IO app and the holiday bonus

Italians were able to request their holiday bonuses from July 1 to December 31, 2020. The incentive was part of the Relaunch Decree aimed at supporting domestic tourism following the COVID-19 emergency. All bonuses requested by the deadline can be spent until June 30, 2021. Want to spend your holiday bonus? It’s easy. All you need to do is use the QR code shown in the app while making a payment for your accommodation—simply show the code at the place you’re staying and inform them of your tax code.

The section of the IO app where users can request their bonus vacanze.

The IO app and government cashback 

With the IO app, you can participate in the government cashback initiative from the Italian Cashless plan. The initiative was designed by the Italian government to encourage the use of electronic payment methods (such as debit and credit cards and payment apps). Register directly through the IO app. Enter and store details on your favorite payment methods along with the bank account where you want to bonus credited. For more information on the government cashback initiative, check out this article.

How to download and register on the IO App

The IO app is free. You can download it directly from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android). Before downloading, make sure your smartphone runs on either iOS 10 or Android 4.4 (or above). You don’t have to be an Italian resident to register. All Italian citizens living abroad who have an SPID (Service Profile Identifier) or Electronic Identity Card can download the app for free from wherever they are, regardless of whether they are registered with AIRE, the Registry of Italians Resident Abroad. 

Use your SPID or your Electronic ID card to register. Once you’re registered, access the IO app and set a PIN or biometric recognition (using your fingerprint or facial recognition).

Is the IO app secure?

The IO app was developed in accordance with the security regulations outlined in the Three-Year Plan for information technology in PA.

You can only access the app with a secure digital identity, such as an SPID or Electronic Identity Card. You’re guaranteed maximum security, only sending your identity to the government entities you want to communicate with in a secure way, with a direct link to your person. What’s more, the PIN and biometric data used to access the app are encrypted and stored exclusively on your smartphone.

The login screen of the Io app for public services in Italy.

N26 helps you navigate Italy’s digital transition 

Together with the SPID and PagoPA, the IO app will help Italian citizens and their PA become more a part of the digital age together. N26, the 100% mobile bank, has always offered fully digital bank accounts and services that let you manage your day-to-day finances, wherever and whenever you want.

All N26 Mastercard cards can be registered on the IO app, helping you obtain a 10% cashback on digital payments made in stores. Find out how you can participate in the Italian Cashless plan and get your bonus!

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