ING set to win over SME customers in Germany

10 April 2024 ... min read

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany are underserved when it comes to digital banking offerings, said CEO of ING in Germany Nick Jue in an interview with the Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad. This creates huge growth opportunities for banks, like ING, who is prepared to invest in this area.

Eyes on the prize

ING is well-established in Germany. We are the third largest commercial bank in the country after Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, and consumers have voted us ‘most popular’ bank in Germany 17 consecutive times in a survey by business magazine €uro.

To be truly successful, according to Nick Jue, we need to break into the SME market, which lacks good digital banking offerings. ING wants to focus on serving self-employed professionals and small companies with annual turnovers of up to €20 million with fully digital banking services.

“We launched an SME savings account in December and we plan to launch a current account and an instant lending product for SMEs later this year. Then we have all the products in-house to be successful in this market.”

A conservative market

Going fully digital can be a daunting task in a market like Germany, which has been traditionally reluctant to adopt digital innovations, Nick points out. But he reckons the market is ready for it. The pandemic spurred consumers into becoming more digitally savvy, which in turn tasked banks with speeding up their digitalisation agendas to satisfy consumer demand.

We have a card up our sleeves: ING’s model is digital at the core, which takes years to build, while competitors like Sparkassen and Volksbanken maintain an office network. This is our advantage, which also keeps our costs low.

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