How ING uses culture to develop innovative products – Tearsheet

ING is a multinational financial institution that boasts a global presence, with its main base in Europe. The goal of ING is to empower people by providing information to keep them ahead of the game. As revealed in people’s comments on, a French review website, European banks have transformed their structures and business operations over the years.

Competitive pressures, customer demand, new technological developments, and heavy regulatory burdens force them to seek new growth opportunities. ING has been known for its strategy of radical organisational restructuring over the last five years.

The Dutch bank attributes its earnings growth to its strategy of focusing on customer satisfaction and developing innovations. These figures portray that the method helped the bank to acquire around 650,000 new retail customers. The bank’s core lending has gone up EUR 14.8 billion since the beginning of the year.

Recently, ING launched several digital money management programs. The bank added a forecasting feature to its mobile banking app, enabling users to control their finances more confidently. ING in Spain launched a digital financial advisor called My Money Coach, which provides personalised financial advice to help them manage their current and future personal finances. And similarly, in France, the bank has launched Co-Pays or Co-Payments.

Additionally, ING and Banque Belgique joined forces to incorporate mobile payments and loyalty platforms. This plan merges the loyalty platforms of both banks and also utilises the Payconiq app. Banking employees initially developed Payconiq at Finance House. It’s a metaphor for how a change in the market can affect the bottom line.

ING has been employing a Chief Innovation Officer for the past year, and he/she reports directly to the CEO. The Chief Innovation Office was given the responsibility to initiate and facilitate innovation and transformation across the bank. Words like agile and lean are now part of the vocabulary in the financial industry.

One of the significant transformations in project-based teamwork, which acts as a catalyst for breaking organisational silos, explained Diederik Heinink from ING’s corporate communications office.

Based on a goal, groups of relevant people from various departments are brought together to develop solutions. This way of doing things will result in faster time-to-market and more customer-centric offerings.” This is about flexibility, open planning, and collaboration,” Heinink said. “We want to repurpose the talent already working for us.”

The bank holds an innovation boot camp every year. The competition provides an open door for 50,000 employees to submit product ideas from within its walls. The top 10 submissions then compete against one another. The top three fintech ideas develop alongside three fintech startups in the accelerator.

In 2019, there were over 1200 job applications submitted by bank employees. The bank created Payconiq, its mobile payment system, in this manner.

The push for innovation is part of the bank’s Think Forward strategy, designed to improve customer service and adapt to changing consumer demand. The bank focuses on its customers by helping them take better control of their lives through its products.

In addition to banking and credit, the bank focuses on payments, lending, Robo advice, money management, working capital solutions, and financial markets. ING is partnering with Kabbage to fund the loans. Currently, the bank has spent about 45% of its time working with fintech startups.” We can learn from the entrepreneurial qualities, agility, and knowledge of startups,” he said.”They have been able to parrot our strong product and 35 million customers.”

Banks are aware that they will likely need to collaborate more with fintech startups to attract new customers. As customer preferences change, many banks find the best ways to innovate to suit their customers.