Purpose – In the intellectual capital literature, no studies have examined the causal relationship between Italian Fintech companies’ performance and intellectual capital, especially the impact of digital industrialization on human capital.This paper aims to fill this gap inmeasuring human capital efficiency in the Italian Fintechmarket. Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopt Pulic’s model and define the intellectual capital through three components (human capital, structural capital and capital employed) and perform an exploratory analysis of the Italian Fintech companies by using principal component analysis. Then the authors investigate the effects of the intellectual capital and its components on the Italian Fintech companies’ performance by using parametric and nonparametric regression models. Findings – Results of regression models reveal that human capital and employed capital are positively related to the companies’ performance, except for the structural capital. Research limitations/implications – The study focuses on the Italian level, and future research could be extended to different European countries or to the global Fintech market. Moreover, it is advised to explore more components that contribute to intellectual capital measurement inside the companies operating in the 4.0 industrial revolution, such as the innovative capital and the relational capital. Practical implications – This study proposes a new vision for managerial procedures to find which features are critical for achieving profitability in this digital era. The study offers interesting reflections on the management decisions for both companies and public decision-makers. Results suggest that, among intellectual capital components, human capital plays a strategic role for the knowledge-intensive companies that are interested in potentiating their performance and competitiveness. Furthermore, this study finds that human capital is critical factor for achieving profitability in this digital era. Social implications – The Fintech sector is one that most benefited from the Digital Revolution, and if it is adequately managed, it can bring great benefits in terms of major employment, especially for the young population, and bring major financial inclusiveness all over the world. Originality/value – This is the first study that examines the Italian Fintech market and analyzes the dependence relationship between companies’ performance and intellectual capital components, identifying the role of human capital in a new completely digital sector. The analysis findings are strategic for the business decisions-making process.
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