March 9 , 2011
ING DIRECT rolls out no-fee daily chequing account nationally
TORONTO--ING DIRECT pushed the national rollout of the THRiVE Chequing Account, an online, no-fee daily chequing account that actually pays interest. THRiVE Chequing enables Canadians to make payments, deposit, withdraw or transfer money for free, all without being nickel and dimed. Building on its history of innovating new financial products for savers, THRiVE Chequing marks a new era for ING DIRECT, as the no-fee daily chequing account and client card makes banking with ING DIRECT a part of Canadians' daily lives. Earlier this week, THRiVE Chequing won a consumers choice award as Product of the Year in the Financial Services category based on innovation.
"We launched the THRiVE Chequing preview last fall and have used client feedback to build on what is already a unique product in its category," said Peter Aceto, President and CEO, ING DIRECT. "Canadians have embraced THRiVE Chequing not only for its great features but out of the frustration many of us feel about unfair bank fees that continue to rise. Canadians have really responded by providing us with ongoing feedback that we'll continue to use to enhance the product. This really is a product designed for Canadians, by Canadians and it's an exciting new way to engage with people and allow them a say in how this account works. Best of all, there are no fees for daily banking and it pays interest!"
Aceto applauded the more than 22,000 ING DIRECT clients who participated in the preview that began in September, and whose feedback is built into the latest THRiVE Chequing offering — increasing the number of free cheques to 50 and adding hundreds of new bill payees. The hold policy is also being adapted to include incoming bank transfers, meaning more money will be available sooner. New "THRiVERs" will also receive a state-of-the-art chip enabled, vertical THRiVE Chequing client card.
"The new card represents more than a piece of plastic," says Aceto. "Just as we did in 1997 when we revolutionized banking in Canada, the new THRiVE Chequing Account will allow people to conduct transactions daily, free from the constant nickel and diming that eats away at most chequing accounts and Canadians' hard earned money."
THRiVE Chequing offers many no-cost features such as unlimited transactions and bill payments, free ABM access through the THE EXCHANGE® Network's 2,400 machines, free email alerts and monthly online account statements, as well as the ability to write, deposit and view cheques online for no extra charge. THRiVE Chequing also offers Whoops! ™ Protection that covers clients up to $250 when they are a little short on funds for future dated transactions with no fee or interest, provided funds are paid back within 30 days. Whoops! Protection is designed to remove the exorbitantly high and surprising non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees that can set back savings significantly.
A recent national poll conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on behalf of ING DIRECT, which explored Canadians' changing patterns in usage of chequing accounts, found that 80 percent of Canadians rarely use cheques or use less than three cheques per month. A quarter of those polled said nearly all of their cheque needs could be replaced with email transfers, which are unlimited and provided for free with THRiVE Chequing, the only chequing account in Canada which offers this option for free. The survey also found Canadians are heavy users of debit cards with 67 percent of them making 1-5 transactions a day.
A similar survey conducted last August as part of the preview found that 75 percent of Canadians would switch to a no-fee chequing account if available. As part of the product rollout Canadians who open a new THRiVE Chequing Account and switch their payroll before May 4, 2011 will have a chance to win $25,000.
The new card will figure prominently in a national advertising campaign highlighted by the "THRiVEtastic Four" - a contest being held today in four Canadian cities featuring celebrities who will compete for charities by using the new client card to give away $7,000 as quickly as possible in one day. The first to spend all of the money through "random acts of kindness" on the streets in each community will be the winner and will be rewarded with additional funds to their charity of choice. More than $100,000 will be given away. Celebrities include former Vancouver Canuck captain Trevor Linden (Vancouver), Calgary Stampeder quarterback Henry Burris (Calgary), TV host Amber MacArthur (Toronto) and Tammy Verge, a popular actress and comedian in Montreal.
About the Survey
"From February 9 to 10, 2011, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,000 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender, and region Census data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Canada."
Product of the Year is the only distinction award for consumer products that rewards innovation, is voted on by consumers, and has global recognition. Established in France over 23 years ago, this consumer-driven award is presented annually in over 25 countries, including the U.K., Brazil, Italy, the U.S., and now in Canada as well. Product of the Year Canada invites a representative panel of over 12,000 consumers across the country to vote on products that demonstrate innovation in design, function or packaging, via an online survey conducted by independent research company TNS. productoftheyear.ca
ING DIRECT is Canada's leading DIRECT bank with over 1.7 million Clients and more than $37.6 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges, and low rates on mortgages. Low cost, balanced, index-based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and paid more than $4.5 billion in interest to Clients.