ING Brings Contactless Payments to Netherlands

ING bank is on its way to become the first bank to bring contactless payments services to the Netherlands as it unveils its plan to launch the payments app in summer. Customers owning an Android device with 4.4 KitKat or higher can use the services, provided it is NFC-compatible.

The payments app is currently in its final phase where the app is being tested by the firm’s employees. The application is expected to be launched country-wide this summer. However, the date of launch has not been decided yet. Customers who use the bank’s mobile banking app will be able to login to the new contactless payment app by entering the same PIN created earlier. In addition, purchases of under EUR 25 will not require a PIN. There are more than 80,000 contactless POS terminals in the Netherlands where the app can work initially. The bank already has more than 6.5 million cards equipped with the necessary technology to support contactless payments.

ING Bank is also the first bank in the Netherlands to include host card emulation services. The system does not store a user’s card details on the secure element but rather stores it in the phone memory. A token infrastructure has been built for additional security.

Likewise, ING has invested a lot in bringing biometric authentication to payments. In September 2014, ING became the first bank in Europe to provide hands-free banking. The bank introduced a voice control mode in its mobile banking app called Inge. The voice control mode will be introduced in a step-by-step fashion in the Netherlands. At the beginning, the bank’s customers will be able to use Inge to check account balances or request payments, followed by authorization and logging on through voice recognition.

In March 2015, the bank introduced its second biometric feature by adding fingerprint authentication to its mobile banking app. Customers will be able to login to the bank’s mobile banking app with their fingerprints. In the next update of the app (expected this summer), the fingerprint will also be used to authorize payments within the app. Furthermore, the bank had already confirmed its support to Apple Pay in January 2015.

The bank seems to be well-placed to address the growing demand for mobile payments. The key to the bank’s success would be customer adoption. A research from Telecompaper shows that 44% of the users in the Netherlands were not interested in mobile payments. This number is higher than those who were keen to use mobile payments (31%).