ING Direct

Company Snapshot

ING Direct is a leading online bank focused on the consumer market.

It is best known for its high interest savings rates and orange colored branding and marketing. ING Direct is a subsidiary of ING Group in Holland, one of the world's largest financial services institutions, with over 90,000 employees in 50 countries and about US $1.5 trillion of banking and insurance assets.

Blue Ocean Strategic Move

ING first launched ING Direct in Toronto, Canada in 1997 and based on success there opened in the U.S. in 2000. Unlike traditional savings banks struggling to compete in a Red Ocean, ING Direct made a move into Blue Ocean market space by offering consumers superior interest rates on their savings with no fees, no minimum balances, minimal hassle, and a great customer experience. The bank eliminated expensive branches and ATMs, and set up efficient operations to interact with customers online, by phone, and by mail. To reach beyond existing demand, ING made significant marketing investments, built awareness through public service and community activities, and opened Cafes to help traditional banking customers learn about Internet banking. The bank pushed to simultaneously pursue differentiation and a low-cost operating model.


ING Direct grew to become the largest direct bank in the world, and in 2011, sold its US division, which had about $80 billion in deposits, to Capital One for $9 billion in cash and stock. ING Direct continues to lead and operate in other countries through its superior execution and principle-focused growth.