ING Bank: A Comprehensive Review

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ING Bank, formerly known as ING Direct, was founded in the Netherlands.

In 2014, ING had total assets of €966 billion (US$1.3 trillion), making it one of the world’s largest financial services companies.

ING Bank’s History

It is a Dutch bank and insurance company whose history dates back to 1881. It has branches in more than 50 countries and serves more than 16 million customers. ING Direct, a bank without branches, was started in multiple countries in 1997.

ING has successfully managed to stay relevant. Nowadays, ING is a member of the largest financial services group in the world, with over 450 million clients worldwide.

ING Direct Australia Features, benefits and offers

ING Direct was Australia’s first and leading provider of no-frills, online savings and transactional accounts.

It held the number one position in the highly competitive Australian ‘direct banking’ marketplace – a position it has held since its inception – for eight consecutive years, between 2005 and 2012.

The company successfully positioned itself as a direct bank (no branches) offering value-added products such as high-interest rates on savings accounts and low-interest fees on credit cards. ING also promoted itself as a place to consolidate all your financial products, including home loans and credit cards.

ING Direct Australia Bank and Savings Accounts

It can be hard to find a bank account without monthly fees and great service.

ING Direct offers competitive interest rates on their savings accounts, plus home loans, personal loans, credit cards and insurance. You can apply for an account online in minutes.

Orange Everyday Account

This account is what brought ING Direct into the limelight. The Barefoot investor recommended their card to avoid ATM fees in his popular finance book.

Most Australians were paying $2.50 in fees if they had to use an ATM that didn’t belong to their own bank. Many were paying monthly fees on bank accounts.

Scott Pape raved about the Orange everyday account with linked savings maximizer.

How Has the Orange Everyday Account Changed?

There is still a lot to be positive about with this account. ATM fees are rebated if eligibility criteria are met, now only up to 5 ATM (domestic or international) rebates per month. These criteria each month include:

  • $1000 deposited from an external source to any personal ING account in your name
  • At least 5 ING card purchase

So if you can get your wages paid directly into the account and use the card regularly whilst withdrawing cash rarely, this account may suit you.

ING direct do charge an international transaction fee of 2.5% but this is also refunded if you meet the above criteria.

The interest rate is variable but at the time of writing 1.35%, which is competitive.

If you set up a direct debit to pay selected utility bills, the bank will provide 1% cashback into your account. Terms and conditions apply but they will cash back up to $100 per year. Every little helps.

Opening The Account

The account is easily opened in a 100% online process. With another bank, I have had to physically present to the bank to verify ID (in 2020!). There is no such nonsense with ING. The card arrived in the post with reasonable timing.

Using the Orange Everyday Account

My own experience with ING has been fantastic, with any ATM fee charge refunded automatically.

With an interest rate of only 1.35% and a home loan with an offset, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep a lot of cash in this account. But it does come in very handy for segregating our “Fun money“.

Enough of my wage to meet eligibility criteria is deposited directly in my everyday account. The excess is direct debited to our offset account the next day.

My card gets EFTPOS swiped five times a month easily so my ATM fees and any international transaction fees are always refunded.

Savings Maximiser

These can be opened at the same time as the everyday account and linked. There are no account fees. At the time of writing, they are offering 1.35% interest.

To receive this interest, savers need to:

  • Deposit $1000 into an ING account in their name each month from an external provider
  • Use card for EFTPOS payment 5 x monthly or more
  • Add to savings each month

If you fail to meet these criteria, you only receive 0.5% interest.

ING Direct also offers a savings Maximiser offering just 0.65% per annum for savings over $100,000. A 2-year term deposit is available for a piddly 0.25%

ING Government Bonds

The ING direct website is currently warning about this scam. The scammers are using the ING name and logo to sell government fixed interest bonds. Watch out and check out the website for more details.

ING Mobile App

I have the mobile app downloaded on my phone. It is all you would expect, fast and convenient. I can transfer money to friends using PayID and check my balance before buying coffees for the team. You can instantly transfer cash from your savings account to your everyday account, and vice versa, when required.

ING Round Up Feature

ING offers a round-up feature, where you can automatically set the account to sweep small change into your savings account. It’s similar to a micro-investment account except the money is just deposited into savings. Could be useful for those wanting to force themselves to learn to save. I have never activated this feature.

No Branches

Apparently, my parents just went through the hassle of moving banks because their old one closed the local branch. In contrast, I can’t imagine many things I’d like to do less than spend time in a bank branch!

Everything being online suits me fine. When was setting up accounts, I ended up a bit confused about the account linking. The website prominently displays a phone number under the “Help and support” segment. The customer service when I called was excellent.

Recently, for the first time in a couple of decades, I have received a couple of cheques. With ING, these can be posted into the bank with the bank account and client number written on the back. In Sydney, there is an “ING lounge” where you can deposit cheques (but not cash).

Payment Methods

Bpay

Tap and pay

Osko – Almost instant transfer of funds in real time. No waiting for funds to clear

Pay ID – Receive money through your mobile phone number or email address

Google Pay & Apple Pay – Pay with your phone

Coming soon – QR code payments

ING Direct bank security

ING is an authorised deposit-taking institution covered under the Financial Claims Scheme (the FCS). This means that if ING bank were to fail, up to $250,000 per account holder is guaranteed by the government.

The bank uses SSL encryption (secure sockets layer) to keep your information confidential.

A green address bar is displayed with compatible web browsers on the ING online banking website to confirm it is a genuine website.

You log in using a customer number and a 4 digit access code, inserted into a virtual keypad designed to prevent hackers from working out your access code.

ING uses two-factor authentication for higher-risk transactions, for which you will have to enter a one time password texted to your mobile phone.

The online banking website also displays security tips to warn you about recent scams, and how to prevent identity theft.

The Barefoot investor had to go into bat for a couple whose account was defrauded recently. It took Scott Pape making a fuss for the bank to refund the defrauded amount. This is not great, and would probably make me think twice about putting thousands of dollars in an account with ING.

Children’s ING Accounts

ING has a youth banking account for 15-17-year-olds offering 1.35% interest at the time of writing.

There are no account keeping fees, 5 free ATM withdrawals per month and international transaction fees are rebated. There is a withdrawal fee of 50c for withdrawing $200 or more via EFTPOS.

Other Offerings

ING offers two credit cards. An Orange One low rate card charges 11.99% and an Orange one rewards platinum card charges 16.99% but with cash back rewards and free travel insurance.

ING offers personal loans from 7.99%. None of my readers will be interested in that!

They offer home loans with competitive interest rates, insurance and Superannuation

Conclusion & Recommendation

If you are looking for a fee-free account and will use your card regularly each month a linked ING personal account and savings maximiser may be right for you. Please share your experiences with ING below.

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Aussie Doc Freedom is not a financial adviser and does not offer any advice.  Information on this website is purely a description of my experiences and learning.  Please check with your independent financial adviser or accountant before making any changes.

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