It's a timely question for ING Direct customers: What, or who, is in your wallet?
Capital One, the credit card issuer known for its cheeky TV ads featuring Visigoths and the "What's in your wallet?" tag line, said Thursday that it's buying the online bank ING Direct. The $9 billion deal is poised to make Capital One a major force in online banking and the fifth largest bank in the country by deposits.
How that will play out for customers is yet to be seen. But a few facts shed some light on what to expect.
A Smooth Transition
To start, the deal is expected to close late this year or in early 2012. Capital One will have the right to use the ING Direct name for one year after the closing, which will give it time to ease ING customers through a brand transition.
Capital One CEO Richard Fairbank stressed the value of ING's unique franchise and customer loyalty in a conference call after the announcement. As a result, he said a primary objective of the conversion period will be to reassure ING customers that the products and services they've come to expect will continue.
That includes the "orange" branding customers are familiar with.
After the transition period, Capital One will be able to continue using the "orange ball" and hold onto account names such as "Orange Savings" and "Electric Orange."
Customers of both companies can also expect cross selling, and perhaps access to greater services. For example, Capital One has about 1,000 branches, mostly in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Fairbank said the company might open more locations in other areas with a high concentration of ING customers.
And Capital One customers may soon become familiar with ING's online brokerage. Fairbank said ShareBuilder will play a key role in helping Capital One deepen relationships with customers _ meaning the company is hoping to capture a greater portion of their wealth.