ING Direct has gained many fans over the years for its no-fees, simplified online banking. However, one drawback was that it always required an external bank account. Now, ING Direct's THRiVE Chequing, previously in beta, eliminates this need.
This milestone highlights a greater trend, which is the shift to online banking. Established physical banks, such as the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montréal, all have mobile apps that allow users to pay bills and transfer money on the go. However, ING Direct (which also has a mobile app) is an exclusively online institution. Already offering mortgages, mutual funds, RSPs, and more, a chequing account now means that ING Direct is full service—and aside from accessing ABMs to withdraw or deposit cash, all banking can be conducted online, much more easily and quickly than the more cumbersome Big Five banks.
The innovation of ING Direct's latest offering is punctuated by its title of Product of the Year in the Financial Services as rated by the consumers themselves.
"We launched the THRiVE Chequing preview last fall and have used client feedback to build on what is already a unique product in its category," said Peter Aceto, President and CEO, ING DIRECT. "Canadians have embraced THRiVE Chequing not only for its great features but out of the frustration many of us feel about unfair bank fees that continue to rise. Canadians have really responded by providing us with ongoing feedback that we'll continue to use to enhance the product. This really is a product designed for Canadians, by Canadians and it's an exciting new way to engage with people and allow them a say in how this account works. Best of all, there are no fees for daily banking and it pays interest!"
ING Direct has also utilized social media extensively, from YouTube to Twitter to Facebook, offering customer support and news updates about the company. Even the CEO has his own Twitter account.
I'm personally a fan of ING, but how do you feel about online banking? Do you think ING Direct is ahead of the curve when it comes to merging finances with the digital space?