What I’d Love to See from Tangerine

tangerine forward banking

On Friday, I mentioned that I spent a few days in Toronto last week, taking part in some exciting events around the new name announcement made by ING DIRECT Canada. In case you’re out of the loop, ING DIRECT Canada was acquired by Scotiabank last year, and part of the deal was that the bank would have to change its name. After Capital One acquired ING DIRECT USA and changed the bank’s name (and associated branding) to Capital One 360, Canadian clients feared the same fate for their beloved orange brand. After spending just a few short days with ING DIRECT Canada, I can assure you the only thing that’s changing is their name.

On Monday, we were taken on a tour of the new ING DIRECT Canada offices. As someone who’s fascinated by the open concept workplace vs. cubicles/offices argument, I loved seeing how the company had a mix of both. It was also cool to see that CEO Peter Aceto’s desk is in a fairly open space, so anyone can go up and talk to him. After the tour, we were treated to a cocktail hour, games and dinner prepared by the office chef.

On Tuesday morning, we had breakfast with members of the marketing and social media teams, followed by a quick visit with CEO Peter Aceto. The intimate setting gave us a chance to ask some questions about the acquisition and what announcements we could expect that day, as well as share our concerns as clients. The one question no one would answer: what’s the new name? We had to wait for the big reveal!

cait flanders peter aceto

After breakfast, a few of us were taken to a cooking class, where we learned how to prepare a four-course meal for less than $10 per person. I tweeted a few of the lessons I took away from it, but what we learned could easily be turned into an entire blog post. We ate a small portion of each course for lunch, then travelled back to the Toronto Centre for the Arts for the big announcement.

2013 orange rally

Walking into the 2013 Orange Rally (an annual gathering of all staff), you couldn’t help but feel the buzz in the air. We had just learned that the staff didn’t know the new name was going to be announced that day – or that they would be treated to “some entertainment”. So when Peter came onto the stage and explained what was in store, the cheers were loud and authentic.

peter aceto tangerine

After teasing the crowd with the upcoming announcement for 20 minutes, Peter (with the help of a magician) finally made it official. In Spring 2014, ING DIRECT Canada will become Tangerine. I wasn’t sure about the name at first, but the more I think about what it could mean for Canadians, the more it’s growing on me. The events that followed the announcement helped me come to that decision.

walk off the earth

A short concert by Canada’s own Walk Off the Earth got the crowd pumped up.

macklemore and ryan lewis

But I don’t think two people were more excited to sing along to Thrift Shop with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis than Bridget and I were. (It’s the personal finance theme song, didn’t you know?)

tangerine celebration

The two concerts closed the show, along with two smaller announcements: 1) that Tangerine clients would be granted access to all of Scotiabank’s ATMs (so awesome!) and 2) that Tangerine would be launching a no-fee credit card.

The entire trip gave me the sense that Tangerine was targeting a slightly younger audience – or at least one that is actively engaged online. And with the promise that Tangerine has “very ambitious plans for the future”, it got me thinking about what I’d like to see from the bank:

  • A no-fee cash-back-into-savings rewards credit card – If Tangerine launched a cash-back card that put your cash rewards directly into one of your savings accounts, I’d sign up today.
  • A cool app – I think ING DIRECT Canada’s current app is easy enough to use, but I don’t really love how it looks and I also don’t think they market how effective their “Small Sacrifices” could be.
  • A budgeting tool – I mentioned this at dinner with members of the social media team once, but what all Canadian banks are missing is a budgeting tool. Think: Simple. We need this in Canada.

If Tangerine integrated a budgeting tool into their website, it would be game-changing. I also think it would help people come around to the new name. When I think of the name Tangerine, I think of a really cool app/tool. I’d love to say to friends, ”Have you heard of Tangerine? It’s an online bank that lets you set financial goals and track your progress.” Seriously, how cool would that be?

Now, these are big requests made by only one person, haha. But I’ve written a few posts before about how unfair it feels that Americans have access to so many cool apps and websites that help people track their debt repayment progress and budget for upcoming purchases or trips. When is it going to be Canada’s turn? We have finance-related goals too! And since the only reason I can think of why more budgeting tools don’t exist here is that entering your banking information into a third-party site (i.e. Mint) breaks the terms and agreements with your bank, a bank should be the one to come out with the tool!

Of course, even if none of my Tangerine dreams come true, I still wouldn’t let the name change scare me off or deter me from becoming a new customer if I wasn’t one already. It was evident throughout each event I attended that ING DIRECT Canada is determined to operate as the same bank it always has. In fact, I’d say the new name proves the bank is determined to hold onto 16 years of branding that its customers and ambassadors have grown to love.

To find out more about how ING DIRECT Canada came up with their new name, visit Tangerine.ca.