ING Group is partnering with US person-to-person payments operator PayPal in an initiative to roll out e-mail-based funds transfer services to European consumers.
The Dutch bank and PayPal say they will jointly take steps to export the PayPal concept to Europe. To strengthen the partnership ING has also made an investment in PayPal's parent company X.com.
With more than 4.5 million customers in the United States, PayPal is seeking to broaden its horizons and become a global payments network. ING says it will roll-out the PayPal system throughout Europe, both through its extensive existing customer base and by using the inherent "viral growth" of e-mailed payments to acquire new customers throughout the region. PayPal is currently adding more than 20,000 new users to its US service each day.
The partnership will also include an exploration into the possibilities of wireless payments. Paypal already runs a mobile phone-based service in the US, which followed the development of its initial Palm Pilot application.
Jacques Kemp, global head of e-business for ING, comments: "We have to look closely at specific circumstances in Europe, but the simplicity and security of the e-mailed payments concept appears a very interesting one for ING's European strategy. PayPal has proven to be successful in the United States and may well become, with its European rollout, the global standard for e-payments."