ING – Germany’s first agile bank
Should banks stay conservative with hierarchical structures and keep everything exactly the same as always?
Not at ING. You won’t find entrenched structures at ING, because the digital transformation is constantly presenting us with new demands. Our customers are looking for individualized solutions around the clock, at any location, and that is exactly what we do. Banking should be intuitive, clear and simple – and it should be fun!
“Home” instead of real estate financing – what’s behind it?
At ING, real estate financing is all about keeping the focus on the customer. After all, the customer’s main focus is not on the financing: it’s on their home. That’s why the real estate financing department at ING is called Home. With our Beyond Banking concept, we assist our customers with all kinds of questions concerning home ownership: from talking with realtors and notary appointments to insurance coverage. Our IT people play a decisive role here – because banking is becoming a digital experience that enables everyone to take their financial life into their own hands.
Is ING like an IT company with a banking license?
Yes, because IT isn’t only important in real estate financing. More and more positions require a technical background – today, it’s at nearly 80%. We have created new fields for our IT experts, such as: UX & Web Design, Application-Driven Software Development (Development Engineering), Operation Engineering as well as Enterprise, Solution, Platform, Security and Information Architecture.
How does ING operate as a modern bank?
In one word: agility. In short, this means that instead of overanalyzing, we simply try things out. Essential ingredients that make this possible include our flat hierarchy, short decision-making channels and cooperative teamwork. This agility enables us to develop quick, effective, but also secure and convenient solutions for our customers. From the idea, implementation and continued development, we work together in so-called squads. We are supported in agile working methods by our specially trained Agile Coaches. For IT, this not only means trying out something new, but also close cooperation with the business and gaining inspiring insights into a whole range of topics. More than anything, your own contribution to success becomes visible much faster.
Who can come on board at ING?
We are looking for employees who are passionate about exciting challenges and are motivated to develop themselves and our bank: employees who remain curious about tomorrow – and who want to think from the customers’ perspective. Because as an agile company, we need a courageous team that doesn’t shy away from change. We think it is particularly important to assume end-to-end responsibility – from development and implementation to operations and its optimization.
What entry-level possibilities exist?
For entry-level employees, we offer combined studies and work experience with the Junior Expert Program, as well as other individual programs. We think it’s important to have the opportunity to try out a number of areas. Curiosity shouldn’t only be limited to the beginning of one’s career though. Every year, all our employees receive a continuing education budget. And we have our “ING Scholarship” – which, for example, could enable an IT professional to train in Java programing or User Experience & Usability Expert training. And there’s even something for those who would like to go abroad: from Germany to Sydney, we are active in over 40 markets around the world. English-language skills are a must.
What is “unbanky” all about?
Independent, self-directed, and flexible work is a given at ING – regardless of your position. Instead of insisting on rigidity, flat hierarchies are particularly important to us. That's why we all stay on a first-name basis – even with our Executive Board. Working in sneakers next to someone in a suit is nothing unusual. We value everyone as they are and encourage diversity in all our teams. Different life paths, experiences and lifestyles are all welcome. Plus, in addition to the startup mentality, we offer the security, stability and multi-nationality of a global company. With our laptops and MacBooks, we are flexible and mobile, working in Frankfurt, Hanover, Nuremberg and from home. In this way, we ensure that our customers can also do their banking when and where they want.
Heiko has been employed at ING Germany since 2006. As TECH Lead, he has complete responsibility for the IT units of an agile bank, which are organized as Areas or Centers of Expertise.