IBM Tops Middleware Market 12 Years in a Row

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-04-09 Print this article Print

IBM recently announced that ING DIRECT Canada is applying a Smarter Commerce approach to consumer banking with IBM's help in meeting the rising expectations of its 1.8 million digital customers. IBM is working with the online bank to deliver innovative, mobile financial services that improve ING DIRECT's customer experience, including simplified account access across mobile and social media, voice recognition and advanced security.

Based on IBM software and services, these innovations support ING DIRECT's Orange Snapshot initiative, designed to give its clients greater control to manage their accounts within their increasingly mobile and social lifestyles. Orange Snapshot gives mobile consumers a complete and simplified view of all their accounts, as well as bill payment and email money transfers, in two clicks. This allows consumers to sign on once from their mobile device, saving time and aggravation from multiple log-ins, a leading pain point identified in customer surveys.

"There is a seismic shift in what is happening in financial services," ING DIRECT Canada CIO Charaka Kithulegoda, said in a statement. "Mobile banking is changing not only how people bank, but also what they expect from their banks and, ultimately, whom they choose to bank with. ING DIRECT, with IBM's help, is committed to making banking simpler, more engaging and more relevant by giving customers the easy tools they need to bank whenever, wherever and however they want."

Working with IBM, the bank's latest mobile innovation allows clients to easily and securely access their ING DIRECT account information from within Facebook's social networking site. Clients who opt-in to this app are able to view their account balances, history and pending transactions as well as receive account notifications—real-time messages automatically pushed to them within Facebook. With security and privacy top of mind, ING DIRECT plans to expand this application further to include transactions such as transfers, bill payments and email money transfers.

Furthermore, ING DIRECT allows clients to share their experiences through Facebook and Twitter to make saving money more intriguing. In a recent survey, ING DIRECT learned that 52 percent of consumers were able to forgo nonessential purchases when they could better visualize the impact their spending habits had.

"From online to mobile to social banking, ING DIRECT Canada has led the Canadian financial services industry in connecting with clients through new channels," Kevin Custis, IBM's global leader for mobility services, said in a statement. "IBM has become an essential partner in helping ING DIRECT build a flexible and scalable online and mobile infrastructure that enables the bank to support new devices and other digital channels while responding to changing customer demands."

Meanwhile, in March, IBM and Coupa Software today announced that Rent-A-Center has achieved millions in savings by optimizing and centralizing its purchasing process in the cloud. With approximately 4,000 locations and 20,000 employees, Rent-A-Center was challenged with a highly decentralized and manual purchasing process with low employee adoption. In addition, signing up suppliers was time-consuming and complicated. As a result, the company was not efficient at consolidating purchasing to influence pricing or optimizing its contract, invoicing and supplier management processes.



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