ING Direct USA, Canada, UK, and Australia are divisions of an interesting virtual bank and financial services options originated in the Netherlands by the ING Group.
The ING Group specializes in a wide range of banking and insurance services. One of the most powerful aspects in their banking arm was their unique and clever creation of the direct bank model, which are banks that exist completely without "branches" like we are so familiar with.
Because these banks are branchless, this means there was very little overhead for the company and they were able to pass on those savings in the form of interest paid to their customers.
As an ING customer, you would take care of your banking and financial needs online, over the phone, or at an ATM machine near you. Another unique feature with ING Direct was their local ING cafes.
These were local storefronts where you could access your accounts and ATM, but you could also discuss your financial needs with an ING representative.
NOT a teller! :) This ING rep would have no way of accessing your accounts or transacting business for you, but they could serve as a "financial adviser" in some ways to help you determine your best options.
More than simply banking and saving advice, there were also car direct ING insurance offerings along with life insurance, home insurance, and for some, even educational plans.
ING Direct USA had a reputation of ensuring that their clients were their top priority. In car insurance, for instance, ING lines are open 24/7; making claim-filing a breeze.
In addition, if you have proven yourself a good driver, ING car insurance costs don’t only go down, but you can benefit from their Responsible Driver Guarantee, which makes ING treat your successive accidents as your first one. Keep in mind, though, that you have to earn it.
If you're wondering why I am writing in the past tense, it's not because ING Direct USA is no longer, it's just that it is no longer the way it was.
There's been a huge shake up at ING Group, and it has affected the majority of the ING bank and ING insurance arms in North America, Australia, and Asia. In fact, it seems that the European segment is the only part of the company that will remain with the ING Group.
ING Direct USA was bought by Capital One and is still servicing all existing clients, but those clients will definitely have noticed the changes in the air. Apart from the logo and name (now Capital One 360), those great interest rates that savers were receiving have dropped considerably, though they are still better than most you'll find anywhere else.
To be honest, if you want to insure your car, direct ING insurance no longer seems to be available in the USA, as far as I can tell. I've tried to have a pretty thorough look around, so I'd be happy to hear from you if I've just lost it in the transition. ;)
Have you insured your car with Direct ING Insurance in the past or are you still a current customer? It doesn't matter which country you're residing in, we'd love to hear from you. Add your review and let us know if you'll be riding the wave of change or if you're going to jump ship and find a different insurer (and why!).