Dutch branchless bank uses orange bikes to drive promotion

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TORONTO -- ING Direct, based in Toronto, is spreading the word about its branchless banking products and services using some rather unusual methods.

The subsidiary of the Dutch ING Group of Amsterdam has people on orange bikes riding around Southern Ontario giving out orange Tic Tac candies and postcards that offer information on its services. ING began operating in Southern Ontario last April.

ING provides its customers with service over the phone, including opening accounts, handling transactions, and fulfilling customer requests for information. ING's primary product is an investment savings account, which pays daily interest on any balance, with no service charges or monthly fees.

The company expects to expand across Canada in the coming months. When ING began promoting itself, it used Garneau, Wurstlin, Philp of Toronto to create ads for billboards, TV and newspaper. Public relations is handled by Clarke Fraser Communications of Toronto.

Copyright August 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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