Capital One is Making ING Direct Change: New Name, Services, and Other Changes to Expect

As you might be aware, Capital One purchased ING Direct USA in February 2012. As part of the transition, there have been a number of changes that have been mostly positive for the customer and a few changes have yet to come that’ll have bigger impacts further down the line. On the positive side, the ING website was redesigned and is easier than ever to use. Additionally, Capital One has allowed customers to use Checkmate, a remote deposit capture application to take pictures of and deposit checks with your smart phone. However, there are going to be some changes that will be less positive. Time’s article on the Capital One acquisition written on February 22, 2012 noted that the ING Direct brand name will be going away. Also, depositaccounts.com reports that the FDIC protection for ING Direct account holders will be going away on November 1st, 2012.

So let’s talk about the positive things first. ING Direct was definitely in the need for an upgrade to their website and I think that the redesign of the website was definitely a positive. It better organizes the product offerings that ING Direct has and the log-in screen is more logically presented. Once you’re in, ING’s super easy to use interface hasn’t gone away. You can still mail checks to family or bill collectors for free from your Electric Orange checking account. Money transfers and automatic deposits are also as easy as ever. While the 0.75% interest rate isn’t great, it’s still more or less competitive with the market at large.

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Checkmate is a great feature that definitely improved my overall opinion on ING Direct. It allows you to take a picture of a check with your cell phone and remote deposit it. It definitely makes the account more appealing and makes it easier to subsist without a local bank account. I believe that Capital One helped institute this system and it’s a good one, you can find it by downloading the ING Direct app from the Apple or Google Play app stores.

So, let’s talk about some of the changes that you can expect from Capital One on ING Direct. As mentioned earlier, the Time article refers to the fact that the ING Direct name must be gone by February 2013. While a brand name only has so much impact on the services a vendor provides, I’m still sad to see the ING Direct name go away. My guess for the name of the entity was Orange Direct, trying to somewhat keep the brand equity alive. But it doesn’t seem that it’s meant to be. According to thedomains.com, Capital One has trademarked and bought domain names related to Capital One 360 and Capital One Quicksilver. It’s not clear if neither; either or both of Capital One 360 and Capital One Quicksilver will be the new name for ING Direct but it’s probably a pretty good guess that it’ll be one of them.

The last thing to note is that Capital One is attempting to drop the ING Direct banking license. This is a good cost cutting measure for Capital One and will likely have no impact to the average Capital One or ING Direct customer. However, for those folks lucky enough to have gobs of money, you will eventually lose your FDIC insurance on your combined balances above $250,000.

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Overall, it seems that Capital One’s purchase of ING Direct hasn’t had a huge impact on current ING Direct customers. Those changes that have been made to the website and app have been helpful and made customers’ experiences better. Two things to look out for, the name change of ING Direct to Capital One 360 or Quicksilver (probably) and the loss of the separate banking license which could affect rich customers who count on the separate FDIC insurance. I look forward to finding out the name for sure and to the future changes to ING Direct.

All mentioned articles are linked to and were accessed as of 10/25/2012.

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