ING Group is a Dutch financial institution based in Amsterdam. It is among the top 30 largest banks in the world, with over $1 trillion in total assets as of 2020. In this review we will discuss whether this bank is a viable option for customers transferring money overseas, by assessing the speed, security and cost-effectiveness of these international remittance services.
Founded in 1991, as a result of the merger of Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Groep, ING Group has grown to be one of the biggest financial service providers in the world. With products and services to suit individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, and mid-corporates, ING Group has a total clientele of approximately 38 million customers across more than 40 countries.
The company headquarters of this global bank are found in the recently launched Cumulus Park, an innovation centre located in southeast Amsterdam. In this review, we will focus on ING’s international transfer services as we complete a full review of their global reach.
We will provide an overview of the foreign exchange rates and fees that customers incur when using ING Bank to make international transfers.
As is tradition with many banks, ING applies a mark-up onto foreign currency transfers. The exchange rates offered through ING are provided by a third-party financial market data company called Refinitiv. This company have been known to apply a steep exchange rate spread, up to 5% above the mid-market rate, for foreign currency conversion.
There’s a fixed fee of €6 for sending and receiving global payments (transfers outside the European Economic Area or EEA). For transactions with SEPA compliant banks, the transactions denominated in Euros are free.
ING doesn't cover any additional charges levied by the receiving or intermediary banks during transfer.
ING has an advantage over some money transfer providers regarding costs with transactions under the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Sending Euros to SEPA-compliant banks costs nothing, except any charges for the receiving bank's fee, in which the actual costs vary by country and institution.
However, for transactions other than Euros to banks within SEPA states and even outside, ING's fixed fee applies along with the exchange rate mark-up. This is where ING falls short against most providers since its exchange rate margin alone is enough to run up the costs of each transaction.
Most providers either refrain from imposing an exchange rate markup higher than 1%, and some don't add any at all. And aside from that, the fixed fee of €6 is still much higher than what money transfer companies require.
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Opening an account with ING takes place at one of ING's branches. You need to bring the required documents (see the Opening Account section below) to start the process. Once the account is active, you can either use the mobile app to send money or by logging in to the bank's website.
Here is a list of documents that ING accepts as valid proof of identification:
These documents should be at hand upon visiting one of the bank's branches. If you do not have Dutch documentation, you must prove that you live, work, study, or own a house in the Netherlands.
Foreign individuals living in the Netherlands must provide an extract from the Dutch Personal Records Database (BRP).
Working individuals (ex-pats) need an employment statement (model ING).
Interns in the Netherlands should bring their statement of their internship.
Students must provide proof of enrolment with an educational institution.
Homeowners need an 'Eigendomsinformatie' (Ownership Information) document issued by the Dutch and registry agency.
Once you've prepared all the necessary documents, you need to book an online appointment first before visiting an ING branch.
To transfer euros or other currencies internationally with ING, you need to log in to the bank's mobile banking app and then follow these steps:
Step 1: Choose "Overwrite"
Step 2: From the top right, click the Globe, which will redirect you to My ING.
Step 3: Log in to My ING and select "Transfer."
Step 4: Choose the country and currency of the recipient.
Step 5: Enter the amount, currency, and cost breakdown and confirm the transaction.
If you choose to bear all the costs of non-European credit transfers, the fee can range from €9 to €50. However, ING allows you the option to avoid paying all the costs: You can either pass everything to the beneficiary or share it.
On the other hand, transfers to EEA countries can only be processed by cost-sharing because of specific laws and regulation that applies to all currencies. There is also an additional €30 for requesting World Payments.
Private customers who wish to contact ING other than the app can reach the bank through these numbers:
ING Private person 020 228 88 88
ING Balance Line 020 228 88 44
ING Service Desk Relatives 020 228 88 77
ING Seizures 058 234 00 31
ING customer support staff are available between 8 am to 9 pm during weekdays, and 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays.
Alternatively, customers can also initiate a chat from the mobile banking app or reach ING’s Webcare Team through its social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter, as mentioned.
Yes, the two methods to do this are sending euros to a SEPA country or transferring a foreign currency to a non-SEPA country.
What ING offers is pretty much a standard way to transfer money across borders. It is much the same as other banks whose transfer fees and high exchange rate markup are the primary sources of revenue for such a service. While it is a safe and secure way to send money abroad, being one of the largest and most trusted banks globally, ING is still a more expensive option compared to most money transfer providers. Its only advantage in terms of cost is its SEPA transfers, but of course, not all transactions are within the EEA or among SEPA states.
The following are some key questions about ING services: