According to a press release, ING said it will transform social media sites, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, into payment request channels for customers who use its mobile app. With the app, users can generate a link that can be shared on social media apps, as well as via SMS and email. The recipients get the payment request, as well as a one-click link that takes them to online payment service iDeal. Money that is transferred over iDeal is credited automatically to the account of the customer. A similar service was launched by ABN Amro over WhatsApp earlier in the summer. ING said the initiative ties in with a new campaign that aims to depict ING as the most mobile bank in the Netherlands. The campaign will run from Aug. 22 to Oct. 2 and is targeted at 18- to 35-year-olds who have a tendency to try out new products and technology before it is adopted by the masses.
The move on the part of ING to embrace social media as a way to make payments comes at a time when the financial services company is gearing up to launch a Europe-wide website that will enable its customers to handle their bank account services, including money transfers. ING’s aggregator websites will bring the ability to manage a bank account all in one place — an effort to keep pace with growing competition from nonbank rivals. There are also regulatory changes on the horizon that are expected to increase the increasingly competitive nature of online banking. The EU’s revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will require member states to provide the ability for customers to perform banking transfers between accounts with the assistance of third-party players by Jan. 2018. The aggregator sites may also include additional services, such as suggesting updates to loan terms or proposing account updates based on forthcoming payments.