Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

ING Direct enables person-to-person mobile payments via bump technology

ING Direct has unveiled a person-to-person payment service powered by bump technology to make it easy to help customers save time and money.

This technology lets Electric Orange checking account customers with iPhones instantly and securely send money to one another. ING Direct claims is the first United States bank to offer this bump-enabled feature to checking account customers.

“At ING Direct, our No. 1 priority is to save customers time and money,” said Rudy Wolfs, chief marketing officer and chief information officer of ING Direct, Wilmington, DE. “With the Bump Person2Person Payment technology – we’re accomplishing both.

“We are also incredibly proud that ING Direct is the first bank in the U.S to offer this technology to checking account customers,” he said. “In addition, Bump technology adds to Electric Orange’s appeal as an innovative, no fee online checking account.”

ING Direct is a financial services giant. Since its inception in 2000, more than 7.6 million Americans have put their savings in the bank, building it to nearly $91.3 billion in assets.

Bump Technologies is powering ING Direct’s new service. The company has enabled similar services for companies such as VeriFone and PayPal.

Bumping can make for easy transactions

With bump technology, Electric Orange customers with iPhones can send money to each other by entering a dollar amount into ING Direct’s mobile Person2Person Payment feature by bumping their two mobile devices together.

This will initiate an instant payment between their Electronic Orange accounts—making it easy to reimburse a friend instantly, instead of trying to locate an ATM machine.

The bump technology adds to Electric Orange’s offerings. Currently, customers receive free online bill pay, free access at more than 35,000 ATMs, a no-fee overdraft line of credit, free Person2Person Payments and the ability to mail paper checks for free.

There are no monthly fees and no minimum account balances required.

Customers using ING Direct’s BlackBerry or Android banking apps or the mobile Web site can continue to send money for free using the email-based Person2Person Payment feature.

They can send money to anyone who has a checking or savings account in the United States through a secure link connected to the user’s email address.

Mobile banking going strong
According to NetBanker’s Online Banking Report, the number of Americans using only a smartphone for banking is increasing.

The number of users is up from 1 million in 2010 to 2 million in 2011 and expected to increase to 10 million in 2015.

At ING Direct, there has been 200 percent annualized growth in mobile Person2Person Payment usage in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the last quarter of 2010.

“Current P2P mainstream email solutions has instant response but typically takes two business days to settle funds, bump is real-time—essentially as close to digital cash as you can get,” Mr. Wolfs said.

“In today’s marketplace, cash is no longer king,” he said. “It’s becoming obsolete and Americans are more likely to leave cash at home and get to dinner with friends with just their smartphone.

“Bump makes it easy to pay a friend back for a meal and avoid the hassle of coming up with exact change.”

Final Take
Mackenzie Allison is associate reporter at Mobile Commerce Daily