ING BANK N.V.-Manila will venture into payments and lending in hopes to boost its all-digital banking print in the country.

In the first half of 2020, the Dutch lender will tap into the payments sector and will then enter the lending landscape for their retail clients in the second half of next year, according to ING Bank N.V.-Manila Country Head and Managing Director Hans B. Sicat.

“We also know that with the payment proposition, the deposit numbers as well as those who hesitated to put maybe huge amounts will actually put more amounts because they will be dealing with daily banking on the platform,” Mr. Sicat said in a press briefing in Taguig before the launch of ING’s Christmas installation in Bonifacio Global City.

In February, the bank rolled out its all-digital savings bank in the country. Since then, ING has been downloaded over a million times and a six-digit figure from those have actually poured savings into their accounts, Mr. Sicat said.

He added that there has been a pickup in the number of users that have started to put money into their ING account since they launched.

“[It] is indicative of Filipinos wanting to save more, the interest rate helps… We started out the proportion with 2.5% per annum earlier this year right, which is either infinitely larger or 10 times more than what you would get from a brick and mortar bank,” he said, noting that their current 4% annual interest rate is equivalent to the wholesale rate that banks get from the overnight reverse repurchase facility of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

ING joins its virtual-only peers that allow bank clients to register onboard without having to go through the traditional process of filling out papers in brick-and-mortar branches of banks. Aside from their relatively higher interest rates, they also do not charge transaction fees from their customers.

Mr. Sicat said that 25-35-year-old users make up the bulk of their signups. There are also a number from the 35-45-year-old segment while the 50-year-old and above market make up a small chunk of their users.

He also shared the trend of catchup in countries where ING first set up as a wholesale lender before offering retail through an all-online savings account.

“A good example is between five to seven years, digital revenues kind of catch up to wholesale revenues in that period and then usually exceeded,” he explained.

For their payment proposition eyed to take off by the first half of 2020, Mr. Sicat said that they will offer ease of use and no charging fees for their clients.

“We hope that the ease of using it will also be hopefully your primary stop to not just your savings but also your payments, an integrated platform. It’ll be a very wide range of billers,” he said.

Without going into details, Mr. Sicat said they will forge partnerships with “typical names of billers” involved in utilities, water, as well as financial institutions.

As for the loan offers, he hinted that they are also looking to have it onboard the app as well as the credit granting process.

“Hopefully, that will be done in a very short period of literally minutes. We’re still calibrating on the appropriate levels and we’ll give you the details in time,” he added. — Luz Wendy T. Noble