Response to media coverage on Payvision
ING and its subsidiary Payvision have recently been mentioned in the media.
In early 2018, ING acquired a 75% holding in Payvision to expand the bank’s payment services, particularly in the rapidly growing e-commerce segment. Payvision’s omni-channel payment platform offers over 80 alternative payment methods, including Maestro, Visa and Alipay, in over 150 currencies, enabling customers to accept payments on any device via any channel, including retail terminals and webstores. ING acquired the remaining shares in Payvision in 2019 and 2020, at this point Payvision’s previous management team left the company.
At the time when ING acquired the initial 75% stake, it was already known that part of Payvision’s customer base did not meet ING’s desired risk profile. Hence, arrangements were made during the acquisition to progressively reduce customers in these segments – especially in ‘adult’ entertainment and gambling, and not to acquire new ones in these areas. As a result, a large proportion of these customers were exited from Payvison’s customer portfolio.
Although there is no legal objection to the ‘adult’ and gambling segments, ING applies its own policy which excludes the ‘adult’ industry as it does not fit the bank’s desired risk profile. Hence, Payvision’s entire ‘adult’ industry portfolio was closed. The gambling industry is not excluded, provided only a limited percentage of a customer’s revenue is earned from this activity. Any illegal gambling activities are not serviced by Payvision or any part of ING.
Immediately after acquiring Payvision, steps were taken to align Payvision with ING’s risk profile, further strengthening Payvision’s governance, policies and processes. For example, Payvision’s risk and compliance functions were reinforced, its chief risk officer is now a member of its board and there are continuous efforts to improve compliance.
This process is in line with ING’s activities in recent years to strengthen its role as a gatekeeper to the financial system. It is ING’s responsibility to protect customers, society and the financial system against financial-economic crime. This is a challenge facing the financial sector around the world. In recent years, ING has taken many steps to improve the management of compliance risks and to anchor greater awareness throughout the organisation. These steps are part of a worldwide programme that we have been implementing since 2017, in all the markets we operate in. The programme involves a series of initiatives, including enhancing customer files (‘know your customer’, KYC) and working on various structural improvements in compliance, tooling, monitoring, governance and knowledge and conduct. Currently more than 4,000 FTEs are involved in our KYC work.