ING rolls out Philippine digital banking platform
MANILA, Philippines – Over two decades since setting up shop in the Philippines as a wholesale bank, Dutch financial services corporation ING has entered retail banking using a pioneering all-digital platform that offers attractive deposit rates alongside a string of “game-changing” features.
“The Philippines is on the road to become an upper middle income economy and Filipinos have more disposable income,” ING country manager Hans Sicat said during the launch of the digital platform on Tuesday.
“ING wants to encourage more Filipinos to save by giving an attractive interest rate of 2.5 percent per annum with no minimum amount and no lock-in period. We want to help promote a healthy savings mindset and with our high interest rate, to help Filipinos achieve their savings goals faster.”
ING’s local mobile banking platform had gone live last year but since then fine-tuned to incorporate customer feedback prior to this grand launch. Effective June 1, interest rate will be raised to 2.5 percent from 2 percent per annum – about 10 times higher than the rates typically offered by other savings products in the market today.
“This is a great time for ING to get into all-digital banking given that the Philippine growth story was presenting a lot of opportunity not just in the corporate market long-served by ING but also in the individual space”, Sicat said in a press briefing.
He added that this rollout was very timely given that a lot of Filipinos are digital natives, referring to the country’s vast pool of young people who are comfortable with online technology.
Mohamed Keraine, head of retail at ING Philippines, said this was the first bank savings product where all the transactions would be conducted only through the ING mobile app. It is also the first bank to be authorized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to allow end-to-end electronic on boarding of the customers via the mobile phone, by using the latest in facial recognition technology. Deposits can also be done via fund transfers from other banks that are on the PESONet or Instapay platforms.
“We are pushing the boundaries of how customers can deposit anytime, anywhere. With the ING mobile app, a customer can deposit to his account by taking a picture of any check issued by any bank based in the Philippines,” Keraine said.
“The check image goes to the same interbank check clearing system. This game-changing feature is the first-ever approved by the Philippine Clearing House Corp. Customers can transfer funds free of charge to any bank in the Philippines in just a few clicks via the ING app,” Keraine said.
“Our mobile-only business model in the Philippines was built from the ground to so we were not weighed down by any existing aging technology that we had to navigate,” said ING’s chief information officer for retail banking in Asia, Ben Issa.
Before the end of the year, the platform will also offer bills payment options alongside other features. For its part, the deposit-taking capability enabled by this platform can help boost ING’s lending portfolio, not just to consumers but also to wholesale clients, Sicat said.
In the future, this banking app may also make available lending and investment solutions for the retail market, Sicat said.
BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier, who graced the launch of the ING digital banking platform on Tuesday, said ING’s new platform was “timely” and “relevant” and had opened massive opportunities not just for financial inclusion and digital innovation but in raising the bar as far as offering financial services is concerned.
“This all-digital platform really redefines customer experience and boasts of so many firsts,” Fonacier said. “BSP welcomes this development as it presents enormous potential of creating a truly inclusive financial system.”/g
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