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Reference no. IMD-3-1845
Published by:
Institute for Management Development (IMD) (2007)
16 pages
Data source:
Field research


Arkadi Kuhlmann launched ING DIRECT USA in 2000. The direct bank was very successful and by 2006 it had grown to be the largest on-line banking business and the 3rd largest savings-and-loan institution in the US. Faced with fierce and growing competition from both other direct banks and the on-line banking operations of such major traditional banks as Citibank and HSBC, ING DIRECT USA was faced with some tough decisions about how to move forward. One of the options under active consideration was the launch of a high interest paying checking or payments account. This was a product that ING DIRECT USA had always avoided in the past due to its complexity and high support costs. Learning objective: the challenges facing a successful low cost competitor as it responds to a changing market environment and increasing competitive pressure from established banks.


Direct banking; On-line banking; Low cost competition; Competition; Simplicity; Innovation; Entrepreneur; Marketing strategy; Financial services; New products; Product strategy
USD47 billion in deposits, 4.6 million customers
Other setting(s):
October 2006

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