Dutch financial services giant ING Group has a long legacy of innovation in the banking world. It introduced the first ATM in the Netherlands in 1966, six years ahead of any competitors. In 1997, the bank introduced ING Direct and disrupted the industry with its digital focus and high interest rates for savings accounts and in 2017, it launched ING Ventures, a USD 350 million fund aimed at investing in fintech companies to further develop the company’s innovation strategy.
At the heart of each of these ING initiatives is the customer, as they constantly emphasize. Innovation at ING isn’t about the latest gadgets or gizmos, but rather creating a differentiating experience for customers, and the bank was recognized by Forbes as being one of the most innovative companies today. In our long collaboration with ING, Maxcode has helped develop three tools that would, in the same spirit of the company, bring value and innovation to the customer as well as the industry.
Foreign Billing Tool
With a presence in over 40 countries, the company ensures the same experience for customers in banking both outside and inside the SEPA region, as well as in different currencies.
With this in mind, the Foreign Billing Tool was designed in 2014, which helps in the clearing and settlement of transactions processed outside of the Netherlands, as well as with the invoicing of the transaction fees of foreign accounts. Why is invoicing important? Because, according to ING, “your invoices define the sustainability of your business”, and you just need the right tool for managing your bills, receipts and your business.
Also, if you consider that the global e-invoicing market was valued at approximately USD 4,649 million in 2018 and is expected to generate around USD 20,529 million by 2026, at a CAGR of approximately 20.4% between 2019 and 2026, according to Zion Market Research, you need the right tools to do the job right.
And who knows what’s next? The developments in cloud technology and the increasing focus on SaaS-based offerings are currently the key drivers for the growth of the e-invoicing market. Cloud technology allows the creation of web forms and web invoicing to ensure that the electronic invoice data can be entered online, this simpler approach leading to the wider adoption of e-invoicing. Moreover, government initiatives towards standardization are expected to strengthen the global e-invoicing market and increase adoption of e-invoicing solutions. The finance segment held the major share of the global e-invoicing market in 2018 and is expected to register the highest growthin the next years, as Zion Market Research forecasts.
Introduced in 2005, iDEAL allows customers to buy on the Internet using direct online transfers from their bank account. The iDEAL system is based on bilateral relationships within the so-called ‘4-party’ model. The 4 parties involved in the model are as follows: the merchant (the owner of the webshop), the acquirer (the merchant’s bank), the consumer (the customer who wants to buy a product from the merchant’s webshop) and the issuer (the
Maxcode has created three libraries (written in PHP, .NET and Java) that, once integrated within a web shop, enable merchants, or merchants, to offer iDEAL as a payment method. The iDEAL merchant, after designing his online shop, can integrate then iDEAL using the software supplied by ING and Maxcode, and which is built on the basis of all usual security best practices. To avoid improper integration, Maxcode and ING have also put together integration manuals that would help merchants in this endeavor.
Access and visibility above all else
The importance of seeing how a merchant integrated with ING might look like is what kickstarted this third project. TestShops simulates the degree of accessibility of ING services from an outside server, so that the company can test and gather relevant information that can help improve the user flow of the customer on the platform, without impeding on his overall experience.
This way, ecommerce beginners as well as merchants who want to have an online presence in addition to their physical shop can have their platform tested with both fictive and non-fictive payments to make sure that it is the right fit. And, again with the goal of putting the customer first, ING can test and emulate transactions and test accessibility to make sure that both the end-user (the consumer) and the web shop owner do not experience any impediments.
So what’s in store for the future?
One of the most successful banks globally, ING has a variety of ways of turning great ideas into products and services that customers really need.
These include in-house innovations using the bank’s USD 25 million Innovation Fund, investing in and partnering with fintech companies via ING Ventures, as well as developing their own unique innovation method, PACE. ING has Innovation Labs in four cities around the world (Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Singapore) where they partner with others to bring disruptive ideas to the market by combining knowledge, network and skills.
We, at Maxcode, recognize first hand from our partnership with ING the company’s openness and desire to explore ideas and opportunities beyond traditional banking. Because these disruptive technologies have the potential to impact businesses and, most importantly, ensure customers and clients get access to best-in-class services.