Reinventing the role of banking for 150 years

At ING, our objective has always been to support those who dare, who realise their ambitions, big or small. For that, we are continuously creating a more personal and accessible way of banking. We try to innovate and create new tools so you can do banking your way. Innovation means above all thinking about what allows you to build, to grow, to create. Let's take a look back at some important innovations, which completely changed the way you “do your thing”.

Pioneer in innovation

The evolution that banking has undergone over the years is enormous. From the first current accounts in 1884, to the first credit card in 1950 and the first cash withdrawals in 1969, people are searching for new ways to make banking easier, clearer. The 1980s and 1990s were marked by spectacular progress in the field of computer science, and the Bank Brussel Lambert, ancestor of ING, resolutely took the lead. With the use of Bancontact, the development of Telelink (an electric banking platform that allows you to execute and process European payments and receivables smoothly and securely) and the installation of Self'Banks, BBL was one of the forerunners. At the end of 1994, it was the first bank to set up a My’Bank service, the forerunner of the Home’Bank.

In 2007, ING Belgium was the first major Belgian bank to introduce a free online current account, the ING Lion Account. This quickly grew into the bank's showpiece, which probably was for you the first acquaintance with our bank. ING started from 2019 on contactless payments and even launched this year the ‘One view’ functionality on the app, where you can manage your subscriptions with total ease.

First Self'Bank

First Self'Bank

Rooted in economy and society

The secret behind 150 years of being deeply rooted in the Belgian economy and society? Being close to people and understanding their needs better. By the end of the 20s, Banque de Bruxelles had branches in all the big cities of Belgium. Today, these branches definitely fulfill a different role. Branches will continue to play an important role in our mobile led bank. However with a refocused role on advice.

With the Client Houses for instance, we introduced a new office concept where innovation, expertise and customer-friendliness come together. The Client Houses are 2.0 offices where the digital approach and personal services are reconciled, while at the same time having strong local roots. Not only on the basis of the layout, but also because of the attention for and support of organizations that are active in the region. A meeting room is also available during and outside office hours, which contributes to economic, cultural and social life in the region.

Client Houses

Client Houses ING

Banking made simple

The launch of the ING Banking-app in 2011 was a giant leap in the digitalization of banking. Since that day we have 1.3 million satisfied users. We are more than ever aware that so much is happening online. And it’s more than ever ING's mission to help you manage your money. Thanks to the app, you can be in charge of your own finances. Via the Self-service corner, there are stacks of things you can do yourself. Changing your card limits, activating your Maestro outside of the EU, or managing your standing orders… you name it, you can arrange it there.

Do you want to make your own investment decisions? Do you want to grow your wealth or build up extra income? Invest online with ING Self Invest and get access to a worldwide assortment of shares, funds, bonds and trackers. Our experts share their analysis and insights through newsletters and webinars to inspire you and give you the confidence to act yourself. You can invest in a user-friendly way, anytime, anywhere. Simple and secure.

"We have 1.3 million satisfied app-users"

More committed

ING has always reinvented banking. From making banking easier, through expertise and advice, to engagement in society. An example of that engagement is the sustainability loan. Corporate companies who take out such a loan, borrow cheaper if they become more sustainable, and more expensive if they become less sustainable. So the more sustainable the suppliers work, the better the financial conditions.

Bpost was the first Belgian company to take out such a loan and in February 2021, we contributed to the largest sustainability-linked revolving credit facility (RCF) ever issued. AB InBev’s $10.1 billion credit was provided by a consortium of 26 leading global

financial institutions. It was the largest sustainability loan ever. A milestone.

Most of these innovations are so well integrated into our daily lives that we don’t even remember how we did before. That’s the power of innovation, to reinvent the way “we do our thing”. And there is definitely plenty more to do!