ING Bank maps out PH retail expansion with e-payment, debit cards rollout

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — ING Philippines is expanding its services to offer e-payment cards and even physical debit cards to depositors.

In a virtual briefing on Tuesday, the Dutch banking giant unveiled ING Pay, a virtual payments card linked to the online bank accounts of clients. This runs on Visa technology and assigns a unique card number that can be used for online shopping, bills payment, and other digital payment gateways.

The service is free and can be funded through money transfers from an ING Save or deposit account or from other banks, as well as electronic check deposits.

Mohammed Keraine, head of ING's retail banking segment, also said the bank will roll out physical debit cards in the next few days, which can be used to withdraw cash from automated teller machines and for point-of-sale card swipes. A 5% cashback promo is also offered until December 31 to encourage usage.

Keraine added that the bank is also keen on offering consumer loans by early 2021.

READ: E-wallets drive surge in deposit accounts, but over 51M Filipinos still unbanked

ING is one of several fully online retail banks in the country, where funds can be transferred through the central bank's PESONet and InstaPay channels. It does not charge fees for fund transfers unlike most banks and e-wallets. 

In a speech, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said the central bank remains supportive of innovation for electronic payment channels, adding that it is close to approving the country's digital banking framework.

The BSP is working on improvements on online transactions, such as faster clearing times and more options for merchants and individuals to collect money.

"Very soon, we plan to stretch further the usefulness of PESONet by increasing the clearing frequency of its transactions. This means that the payees of PESONet fund transfers will no longer wait for the end-of-day crediting of such transfers, since crediting will be done multiple times on a banking day," Diokno said, adding that this could be further expanded to clearing during weekends and even holidays.

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QR or quick response codes have also been enabled, which accepts merchant to client and even person-to-person fund transfers. On the pipeline are the creation of a central bills payment facility, as well as a "request to pay" service sent to a payee. Direct debit, which is commonly used for loan amortization, will also be mounted on e-payments, he added.

The BSP has been pushing for increased digital payments, with the goal of migrating at least half of total transactions to electronic channels by 2023 – the end of Diokno's term as governor.