InsideBusiness: the digital future of banking

Looking for uniformity and simplicity, real-time connectivity and anytime, anywhere services in corporate banking? Do you want increased insights into how to manage risks and liquidity? And how to get the best out of your working capital with better reporting and monitoring tools? ING InsideBusiness is coming to you!

By Steven van Rijswijk, global head of Client Coverage, ING

The banking world is in the throes of a transformation thanks to a convergence of technological innovation, the evolving demands of our clients, fierce competition from rivals and a fast-moving regulatory landscape that is unprecedented.

Advances in devices and the rise of the internet mean that everything from TVs to glasses to wristwatches to cars has the potential to be where people do their banking. And as they get more used to what the technology can offer, customers’ demands and expectations are rising. 

In today’s increasingly digital world, mobile devices have become ubiquitous and are fast becoming seen less as technology and more as an indispensable part of life. According to The Economist, the typical smartphone user checks it 150 times a day.

As customers have become more tech-savvy their trust in technology has grown and they take for granted that they can have anytime, anywhere access to a whole host of services, including banking at the retail level. They want more transparency and more control and they want it now. 

These changes mean that the future of banking is digital. When we launched ING Direct in 1997 for retail customers, we changed the banking landscape. We need to be similarly innovative and disruptive today for our corporate customers.

Almost 1 billion people now use mobile retail banking services. Our corporate customers use retail banking services too, and they are used to being able to do their banking online and on-the-go. Why shouldn’t they be able to do the same in corporate banking? 

After all, the digital revolution has already changed the landscape for companies as well as consumers. Businesses need greater transparency as they face increased pressure to cut costs, increased scrutiny from regulators and a growing list of geopolitical challenges. As a result, they are more focused on efficiently managing cash flows and becoming more sophisticated in the way they manage risks. 

'The key is to offer a truly integrated service that is focused on clients, not products. It marks a real step forward in the evolution of how technology has been used in banking.'

ING Commercial Bank is responding to these pressures with a new service called InsideBusiness. This will be an “omni-channel” strategy that will allow our corporate clients, including mid-corporates that bank with us across countries, a single point of access to the services and products they need wherever they are in the world. These include real-time overviews, customised reporting, self-service features, repricing and rollover services, and the ability to execute payment and hedging transactions online. 

The key is to offer a truly integrated service that is focused on clients, not products. It marks a real step forward in the evolution of how technology has been used in banking. Because previous advances have happened relatively slowly, corporate clients have ended up with multiple channels, starting with face-to-face contact with their relationship manager, moving on to telephone banking via call centres and then a range of online applications and websites. So, foreign exchange transactions would happen on one platform, trade finance would be managed on a different platform and accounts could be opened by phone. And if the client was travelling, then gaining access to the same product could require a different password from one country to another and could be run on different IT systems. Although ING was providing some of these services, in many ways, they might as well have been happening through different institutions because each process was highly compartmentalised.

We want to change that. Clients are asking us for uniformity and simplicity, real-time connectivity and anytime, anywhere services. They want increased insights into how to manage risks and liquidity, how to get the best out of their working capital and they want better reporting and monitoring tools. They also want to be able to do more of their own banking themselves. 

InsideBusiness will bring together all our channels, products and services on one platform with a single sign-on and a single contract for our clients to truly create a “One Bank” experience. This will allow customers greater access in real time to the critical information that affects their companies’ financial positions and empower clients to conduct more transactions themselves. Not only will this help our corporate customers by giving them more control and transparency over their banking activities, it will also allow us to better understand our clients’ needs and the way they are using our products – and therefore to provide them with a better service.

 

 

The changes that InsideBusiness will involve are significant and disruptive. That’s why we are launching it alongside our other channels, to a limited number of clients at first and offering a limited number of features. An important extra is that we will launch InsideBusiness with a single sign-on across the IOL and IBP channels, creating a virtual single window for our clients very early in the InsideBusiness development cycle. The service will be developed in short cycles, with new features becoming available every two months or so. Working this way means we can incorporate client feedback as we progress, giving our customers a stake in the success of the project as well as ensuring that we are giving them what they want. 

Doing it this way means that the roll-out of the omni-channel approach will be a gradual process over the next few years with interesting new features coming in on a very regular basis. There will be no one-off spectacular change from how we do business now to the new world of InsideBusiness but clients will experience the new way of working from day one. The first features will be introduced alongside our existing services and in time everything will be integrated under one name, contract and security, with clients having a single login.

Given that the technological driver for this digital future is mobile devices, this new single point of access will come with a strong focus on security. There will also be an app with a two-step approach – a new mPIN that will allow users to access InsideBusiness and authorise transactions, and other tasks; and an mToken that gives access to a mobile security app enabling InsideBusiness to be used on any device.

The new platform will be commercially launched first to around 225 selected clients in the Netherlands, with five features – order management for bulk payments; cash balancing reports; loan portfolio overview; foreign exchange and mark-to-market reports. Initially, the portal will only be available on the internet but the app for smartphones and tablets will follow a few weeks later. At launch , it will have limited functionality but more features will be added over the coming months including remote authorisation, alerts and the ability to download. One feature of the app that is not available online is a feedback function that allows users to tell us what works and what doesn’t in relation to the app.

From this low-key roll-out, we expect to have more than 15,000 clients using the portal by the end of 2016, as all our existing channels migrate to InsideBusiness. After the launch in the Netherlands we will start with Belgian clients around the summer and a full rollout schedule is in the making and will be published over the next six weeks.

Any change in the services that we offer inevitably throws up queries and the introduction of the new portal will be no exception. To make the transition as smooth as possible for customers, we have created a new central Channel Support team that will help them with the technicalities.

As said, there will also be a new, harmonised channel contract as clients adopt InsideBusiness, replacing all other channel contracts but involving no additional fees.

For centuries, banking has been about transactions. Today, there is more technology in banking than ever before and it helps our clients to manage those transactions more efficiently and effectively than in the past. But the advent of integrated digital banking and the shift from multi-channel banking to omni-channel banking will change the relationship between our bank and our clients from being based on transactions to one based on interactions, where the financial services that we offer are seamlessly embedded into the working lives of our customers.

ING Bank does not have a commercial banking license in the U.S. and therefore is not permitted to conduct a commercial banking business in the U.S. Through its wholly owned subsidiary ING Financial Holdings Corporation, and its affiliates, it offers a full array of wholesale products such as commercial lending, corporate finance and a full range of FM products and services.