iDEAL is more popular than ever. A study by the European Institute for Brand Management reveals that Dutch consumers rank iDEAL among the top five most indispensible brands. What is the reason for this success? And how much more can be achieved, in the Netherlands and abroad?
It is 4 October, 2005 and the first iDEAL transaction has just successfully taken place. A milestone, thanks to the three large Dutch banks that, in the years prior, joined forces for a new payment solution that simplified offering and making online payments. Before this, each of the banks had its own solution and each separately concluded contracts with webshops owners who had the logos of each bank on their payment pages. But they realised that it wasn’t a great success. Currence, owner of the national payment product PIN, Chipknip, Acceptgiro and iDEAL, became the independent ‘brand owner’ and other banks, including and SNS and at the time Fortis, joined.
iDEAL has since become an essential part of the Dutch e-commerce world and was recently again
chosen as the most indispensible financial brand in the Netherlands. Rob Hoitink summarizes
the success of iDEAL: “One brand addresses all consumers; everyone can pay directly online
via their own bank. And what iDEAL offers entrepreneurs is the guarantee
that payment is made and that that payment cannot be undone”.
Some foreign financial institutions have now also become iDEAL licence holders: Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, RBS, and most recently PPRO, the first non-bank. Partly because of this you can now pay foreign merchants with iDEAL, merchants such as Netflix, Microsoft and – yes, indeed – even PayPal, that want to conquer the Dutch market.
Dutch people can pay with iDEAL in webshops in more than 50 countries. One in five iDEAL payments takes place in a foreign webshop. “Per country, these entrepreneurs choose a different payment mix that suits that country. In the Netherlands they of course choose iDEAL.” Does the Payments Association have ambitions for consumers abroad? “For the time being, you have to have an account with a Dutch bank to be able to pay with iDEAL, but there may be opportunities in the future.”
The development that Hoitink is expecting a lot of is the arrival of PSD2, the new European legislation that requires banks to make their clients’ accounts accessible to third parties if the customer asks them so do so. “We see that as an opportunity”, he says. “There is an overlap between PSD2 and iDEAL. With iDEAL you can, as a merchant, already initiate a payment from the customer’s account. Thanks to PSD2, iDEAL can in principle extend that possibility to bank accounts in other European countries”.
“No-one can really predict what PSD2 will mean for iDEAL. We hope of course that we will become even more of a leading online payment system than we are now. We’re holding the right cards for a long-term, leading position.”
There are more than enough opportunities in the Netherlands for the Payments Association, and not only online where iDEAL adoption is huge, but even in the physical environment. Opportunities like a QR code for paying with iDEAL in restaurants or to charities. The possibility of ordering and paying for concert tickets from a poster with a QR code leading to iDEAL is currently being researched.
The iDEAL concept, whereby the customer is led online to his own bank, can be applied on a wider scale. “Digital collection authorisation already follows this concept. And online identification via the bank is based on it. We started this in the Netherlands and perhaps we can roll it out to the rest of Europe and beyond.”