ING Direct Conto Arancio has been the first online saving account in Italy, but today is growing the number of people criticizing it. I esteem Conto Arancio since it has great merits, first of all having contributed to spread online banking and saving accounts. But I have the feeling that ING has now what we could call a “leader syndrome”: in other words, as often happens, the first of the class gradually subsides into idleness, and follower overtake him. So I hope, with a little criticism, to give my personal opinion on what should ING Direct to improve Conto Arancio.
As you may have noticed from the summarizing table of bank offers, Conto Arancio offer is quite disappointing compared to other competitors, especially if we look at standard interest rates, and not only to promotional ones. In fact, Conto Arancio saving account offers an interest rate that is nearly 1 point less than the best ones.
I must say that I was quite surprised when I noticed the difference was so evident: surely Conto Arancio by now isn’t the best option to invest your money, but this showed an offer nearly out of the market. Most of all if you consider that we are talking about a saving account, that should be by definition more remunerative than a bank account, while several bank accounts allow you to get interests higher than Conto Arancio: for example, Fineco gives 3.24%, Webank 3.90%.
Another Conto Arancio limitation is annual capitalization, while nearly every other competitor give a quarterly capitalization of interests (and someone, as IWPower even monthly). This maybe isn’t a big deal in terms of interests compounding, but it may be relevant in terms of liquidity: one thing is to wait until january to have the accrued interests at your disposa, another is to have to way just 90 days.
Italian translation of this post: Conto Arancio vs. resto del mondo
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