ING Brings Business Clients Online

ING is looking to strengthen its standing against U.S. banks, and according to reports, the Netherlands-based institution is looking to the Internet to strengthen its competitive edge with business clients.

Reports published last week said ING Bank has begun rolling out its InsideBusiness digital banking platform to allow corporate borrowers to do their banking remotely on a computer or smartphone.

In a recent interview with American Banker, ING Head of Commercial Banking William Connelly said that the new service aims to let corporate customers run their finances from anywhere in the world. “It is the holy grail of the wholesale-banking business: to have an infrastructure that is truly global and replicated around the world in all the markets you operate,” he told the publication.

Reports said the platform provides payments, cash management, foreign exchange, lending and a service center, all while providing a window for businesses to oversee their liquidity, accounts and fund flows at ING. It will use a single, global data warehouse to streamline its analytics services.

The rollout is a soft launch, the bank said, and new features and fixes will be added along the way. ING will first test InsideBusiness in the Netherlands with 60 corporate clients. Over the next few weeks, reports said, it plans to spread the service to Belgium and aims to reach all of Europe by the end of the summer. A full launch is expected by Spring 2016.

“This really is going to get our U.S. client base to look at all they do with ING,” said ING’s Global COO of Commercial Banking Marnix van Stiphout. Connelly similarly mentioned the usefulness of the InsideBusiness platform for a U.S. treasurer, further signaling ING’s intentions of strengthening its position in the U.S.

Analysts see InsideBusiness as a way for ING to get a leg-up on rivals across Europe and the U.S. According to Celent Senior Analyst of Corporate Banking Patricia Hines, ING’s latest move is simply a matter of catching up to the competition, as many Wall Street competitors already have online banking platforms for their business customers.

“If they are going to go up against BofA, Citi, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, they’ve got to have what they’ve got and maybe that is why we see this innovation,” she said.