Stash or stocks?
With bank interest rates so low, more and more customers are considering investing as an alternative to saving. ING in Germany is meeting that demand by offering an investment solution that makes investing easy and accessible to everyone, whether you’re an investment pro or a newbie!
Called ‘Komfort-Anlage’ (Comfort Investing), it allows German customers to invest online in seven global ING World funds. Each fund has a different combination of fixed income (bonds) and equity (stocks), so customers can invest in the recommended fund that fits their risk appetite. The higher the equity ratio, the greater the chance of return – but this also increases the risk. Customers indicate their risk and return expectations on an online platform, as well as their knowledge of and investment experience, financial circumstances and investment horizon. Based on this, they are offered an investment proposal, which they have 15 days to consider.
Customers can start investing with as little as one euro and can view and adjust their investments at any time. Savings plans and one-time investments are also available options.
Ilse Munnikhof, Germany’s head of Investment Advice, said many customers perceive the world of investments as complex and risky. They think advisory services are only accessible for a certain type of customer.
“With Komfort-Anlage we want to change their perception by opening up new ways for all our customers to get more out of their savings and generate positive returns.”
Online advice is available to customers at any time, based on information they submit via the platform. Some customers can also get help from an investment coach via video chat.
“We know that for many customers having the support of an expert they trust is vital to make the first step towards investments,” Ilse said.
The new advisory service is a positive addition to Germany’s existing investment business, which had already lowered the barrier to investing by offering securities savings plans for as little as €1 per month. Komfort-Anlage closes a gap in demand and addresses a new target group in addition to experienced investors, who have a self-directed account and are interested in technologies like robo-adviser Scalable Capital.
Remote advice across ING
ING’s ambition is to offer customers the possibility to get more out of their money by creating a new remote advice channel for investments that will transform the face-to-face advisory experience, making it accessible from anywhere. As a result, other countries will gradually be brought into the fold. This complements existing smart digital investments tools in other countries, like Coach Epargne in France and Easy Invest in the Netherlands.
Komfort-Anlage is based on ING in Spain's NARANJA+ investment proposition, which was successfully launched three years ago. The platform owes its scalability to the reusable components of Touchpoint, enabling it to be introduced to other countries quickly and easily.
What friends and family say about Komfort-Anlage…
“The coach explained everything very clearly. She was very professional and pleasant.”
“Very logical and easy to follow.”
“Having a coach makes a huge difference for beginners.”
What ING is saying…
“I’m very pleased that with Komfort-Anlage we can help more savers to become investors as some customers have been asking for advice like this.” - Daniel Llano, head of Retail Banking at ING in Germany
“We want to make investing as easy as saving, helping customers to achieve their long-term financial goals.” - Gabe Korver, global tribe lead Investment Advice
“With this core advice proposition we will be able to support our customers to make the most of their money.” – Aris Bogdaneris, head of Retail Banking and Challengers & Growth Markets