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Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitter might have noticed that my tweets and photos depicted a slightly different skyline on Monday afternoon. That’s because I was in Toronto! ING DIRECT had very kindly invited me to join them for a big event, so I joined some other bloggers including Cait from Blonde on a Budget and Bridget from Money After Graduation, to see what all the fuss was about.
I didn’t initially know what I was there for, but the longer I talked with staff, the more clear it became that this event had something to do with the fact that they’d been purchased by Scotiabank last year.
Scotiabank Bought ING DIRECT Canada in 2012
For those of you who don’t know, ING DIRECT was bought by Scotiabank in August of 2012. When it was announced, the blogosphere filled with laments about how their products and services might be changing now that they were owned by one of the “big banks”.
Although I hadn’t written about this situation, I was among those with concerns. I had accounts with ING DIRECT and I loved the fact that they had competitive savings rates and no fees on any of their accounts. I didn’t want that to change! I didn’t jump ship, but I did resolve to sit back and wait to see if anything was going to be changing.
ING DIRECT’s New Name
One of the conditions of ING DIRECT’s purchase was that they had to give up their well known brand name in favour of a new name. I knew this had been coming, but they aren’t legally required to do this until next Spring. The event that I was invited to was the launch of that new name.
So, I’m in Toronto, I’m not 100% sure why I’m here, but I know that it’s for a big reason. Our little group had the opportunity to tour the company’s headquarters, chat extensively with staff, and ask questions about the what’s going to change about the ING DIRECT products and services. And ask questions we did! Although I didn’t ask any myself, as a group we collectively grilled them on things that I’ve been worried about ever since the big announcement back in 2012.
What’s Going to Change at ING DIRECT?
Here are a list of things that, from what we were told (no promises here), aren’t going to change at ING DIRECT, even after the new name and branding campaign is launched:
- Login information
- Access to debit cards
- The no fee chequing and savings accounts
- Website functionality
- Savings vehicles like Streetwise Portfolios
This is great news for me, since I love ING DIRECT because of the fact that they don’t charge fees and their savings accounts actually pay interest without requiring a minimum balance. Of course, some things will be changing, and we got a little information about that too:
- They’ll soon be integrating their services with Scotiabank, so you’ll be able to access your ING account through Scotiabank bank machines. Customer service will still remain separate.
- They’re looking at introducing a credit card into their product offerings.
- They’re changing their brand name, they’ll no longer be ING DIRECT by Spring 2014.
We got all of this information, but we couldn’t worm the new brand name out of them. It wasn’t until after some more activities that we went to the big reveal. It was us and 1000 other guests and employees, and after some remarks from the CEO Peter Aceto, we learned that the new name for ING DIRECT is…
I know right? Kind of, well… You know, it doesn’t really matter what I think. That’s the new name and I’m still going to use their products and services because the name of the company is probably #50 on my list of things that are important about a bank. It just doesn’t matter.
The name was announced fairly early and then we got treated to performances by Walk Off the Earth and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. We even got to meet Macklemore, which I’m told is a big deal, although I don’t really keep up with popular music so I wasn’t as excited as Bridget was.
Tangerine Moves Forward
One thing that became pretty clear during the whole course of the two day event was that
ING DIRECT Tangerine is going continue to provide banking services that appeal to young, mobile friendly people who don’t need access to branches and financial advisors to feel comfortable with their money.
They seem pretty hell bent on embracing the things that have given them a competitive advantage over traditional banks, and they don’t plan on changing that in the future. I’m really happy about this, because while I like
ING DIRECT Tangerine, if they become just another big bank, I’ll be taking my services elsewhere.
What’re your thoughts on the new name?