ING Direct Checking Account Payment Options

by Millie Kay G. on 2011-06-0917

Click here to start saving with ING Direct! I wasn’t so sure how well I would take to an online checking and savings account set up. I use PayPal frequently and like it; but I wondered how it would all work with an actual online checking account that didn’t have the convenience of allowing me to make deposits at a brick-and-mortar bank location. I got my answers after signing up with ING Direct. I’ve had both an Electric Orange (ING’s online checking account) and an Orange savings account for two years now. I thought I would focus on ING Direct’s Electric Orange payment features and discuss its versatility.

4 Ways to Make Payments From An ING Direct Checking Account

#1 Electric Orange Card
When I signed up for the ING Direct Electric Orange checking account, I received a free MasterCard debit card that lets me buy things at local stores and online. This card allows me to withdraw up to $1,000 per day from an ATM in the Allpoint network. ING Direct won’t charge you fees when you withdraw from any ATM (although the non-Allpoint ATM you draw from might). In fact, if you get charged in error, you can always get a refund. You can also use this debit card anywhere a MasterCard is accepted.

#2 Person2Person Payment (or Electronic Checks)
My favorite feature includes the ability to send an “electronic check” to someone. Basically, it’s a lot like transferring money between PayPal accounts, or wiring money into someone else’s bank account. The Person2Person Payment feature can be a time saver if you need to split a rent payment or your portion of dinner out with friends, for instance. There are no charges or fees when you to send a payment to someone else’s bank account. And if you’re sending money to another ING Direct member, then the transfer happens instantly. Otherwise, the transfers should only take about two business days if your recipient doesn’t have an ING Direct account.

To make a Person2Person Payment, you can head to the Payment section of your Electric Orange account. To make a payment, you’ll need to know the recipient’s email address and the last four digits of their bank account number. You can send a personal message with the payment. You can either make the payment now or schedule it to happen at a later date. Then ING Direct will send the recipient an email notification about your payment.

Person2Person Payment can be more convenient than payment services like PayPal, which requires both sender and recipient to be PayPal members. Also, by using Person2Person Payment, you skip the fee that PayPal charges people who use credit or debit cards for their payments.

#3 Paper Checks
Personally, I rarely write an actual check anymore. I transact a lot using my debit card and have set up automatic payment withdrawals drawing from my accounts in order to make bill payments. With ING Direct, if you want to send an actual written check, you can literally fill out the check online and ING Direct will mail it to the company or person you want to mail it to. You don’t pay for the stamp, the envelope, or have to take it to your mailbox or post office. The service is free, unless you need to send the check by overnight courier, in which case you pay $15.

#4 Online Bill Pay
You can also use the free online bill pay service to really save some time each month. Instead of writing a dozen or more checks for your bills each month, Bill Pay allows you to log in to make electronic payments through your Electric Orange account. There are no fees associated with using the service, and everyone is automatically enrolled when they open their ING Direct account.

Bill Pay is included as a part of your Electric Orange account and you can access it by going to the Make Payments section. Here you can add one bill or multiple bills. If you have an account number for the bill, adding it will help your payment get credited. You can search for a company or add the address by hand. If these companies allow you to receive your bills electronically, you can set them up as eBills with your ING Direct checking account. You can look at your eBills, print them, or save them — and skip the trouble of checking your mailbox each day.

When you’re ready to pay a bill, you can enter an amount and payment date for your creditors. You can also set up your eBills to become highlighted when they become due. There’s a section for pending payments to help you stay on top of recurring bills and their due dates.

Account Features: Overdraft Line of Credit & Fees

If you are someone who plans to use the electronic check feature often, you would benefit from using the address book feature. With the address book, you can record people’s names and enter their bank account information — that way, whenever you want to send them a payment, you can just choose their name from the address book, enter the amount and hit “send”.

I use this feature frequently in my business. When I have to pay subcontractors who do not use PayPal, I use the Person2Person Payment feature. If I happen to come across an individual who is fearful of giving out their bank information (which by the way, is silly because the routing number and account number are on the bottom of every check you write and mail out!) then I just use the regular printed check option.

Overdraft Line of Credit. There are no fees for having the accounts, unless you make a mistake and cause an overdraft. However, with ING Direct, if you overdraw your account, you don’t get hit with a $35 overdraft fee like most banks — instead, the amount you overdraw is taken from the “Overdraft Line of Credit”, which is a line of credit connected to your account that is used anytime your balance falls below $0.00. Subsequently, you get charged a competitive interest rate on that amount used from your line of credit until you pay it back. Pay it back in a few days and you’ll pay pennies for the mistake — a better deal than forking out the typical $35 fee!

The only other fees associated with the checking account are related to replacing your debit card with an overnight delivery fee, requesting a stop payment, using your debit card at a foreign ATM, or having a check mailed out overnight.

Tip: If you’re after savings accounts, you can check out our ING Direct Orange Savings Account review and this list of other high interest savings options.

Final Thoughts

As someone who performs a lot of business transactions using PayPal, I appreciate the fact that ING Direct accounts can be directly linked to PayPal. It’s something I find important as I do a lot of electronic transactions through PayPal and need a way to get that money over to an online checking account.

One more thing to keep in mind about the Electric Orange checking account: it pays interest. The APY is 0.25% to 1.15% based on your balance. This may be a higher rate than you can find at your local bricks and mortar banks. Don’t forget that your checking account is covered by FDIC insurance.

Created May 17, 2008. Updated June 9, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard @ StudentScrooge May 17, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Nice overview of the benefits of the ING Checking and Savings accounts. With regards to Paypal, I’ll be honest — even if I could, I wouldn’t even consider linking PayPal to my primary checking or savings account. I’ve heard of too many nightmare experiences with PayPal (and had a few myself) to give PayPal any sort of direct link to my primary accounts.

PayPal has its uses, though, and it can definitely be gamed, but I keep it limited to my secondary accounts.

Silicon Valley Blogger May 17, 2008 at 11:38 pm

That’s interesting Richard though I think it may be a natural thing for people who use PayPal as an online business account to link it to other business checking accounts.

I agree with you that perhaps having it associated with secondary accounts is “safer”, at least at this time.

Michele May 18, 2008 at 8:48 pm

I’m a little confused when you say you can’t use your ING account for paypal.

About a month ago I set up an ING account and I have my ING checking account linked to a paypal account. I have been using the account with separate sub accounts for Amazon, Ebay and Stubhub. All payments are deposited into the main account, and I transfer them from there. At this point all the money in there is from either paypal or amazon payments. I am not sure how much I trust paypal, but if you take stubhub payments via paypal, it only takes about 10 days, vs. the 24 or more you have to wait for a live check.

Debbie Dragon May 19, 2008 at 4:34 am

Hi Michele,
I have had my ING account for a few years, and when I first opened it, and for quite awhile afterwards- there wasn’t a way to connect it with PayPal (that I could figure out at least!)

After reading your comment, I went in and checked and connecting my PayPal to my ING account was as easy as connecting it to my bricks-and-morter bank account! Now I’m even happier 🙂

Regarding the trust issues with PayPal, Richard and Michele- I haven’t had any major problems. Sometimes I get annoyed because PayPal limits my account until I call and verify transactions, because they suspect suspicious activity or something- but I’d rather do that then worry about my account being compromised.

Broke Grad Student May 20, 2008 at 11:54 pm

As Michele and Debbie mentioned, ING accounts link fine with PayPal now. I linked my ING account to my PayPal account about 6 months ago without any issues.

David Carter May 22, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I use a credit union, it pretty much gets the best rates and offers all of the same features you just listed. It also has some of the best rates in town. Its a shame that they don’t let every1 join (have to be a state employee.

rocketc May 28, 2008 at 1:25 pm

My small stream of blogging income goes right from paypal to an ING sub-account. It is a convenient way to keep track of everything.

Tony Roberts June 4, 2008 at 8:01 am

Coulee Bank ( @ ) offers an incredible APY with their Rewards Checking account. The rate is easy to earn. All you have to do is make 10 check card transactions a month, use e-statements, and do 1 automatic payment a month (they call it ACH). Coulee Bank pays a tiered % on the first $25,000 and a lower return for anything above that. The best thing about this account besides the rate is it is FREE, you can apply online, and it is from a great bank with real people that answer the phone. And as they like to say, Banking Green has its Rewards. The Rewards Checking account saves paper and preserves our natural resources. No wonder I feel good about recommending this to everyone I know. Check it out. I guarantee you will love it.

Dividends4Life June 25, 2008 at 11:21 am

Great read on the benefits of electronic banking! I could never go back to the traditional way.

Best Wishes,

The Happy Rock July 3, 2008 at 5:35 am

I love me ING Electric Orange too, I am not sure I could go back to a regular checking account after having been spoiled.

Couple of other notes, transfers to ING savings accounts are instant. This makes it really nice to setup ten savings accounts and drop money in different bins.

The other this is that you can send yourself a check, if you need to hand to to someone in person. I posted about this feature a while back, and even got an official response from ING on the matter.

Anonymous September 16, 2008 at 11:25 am

The Electronic check is a total rip off. ING claims to save your money whereas electronic checks work against their money saving policy. ING removes your money out of your account the moment you create a check. Now if the receiver does not encash the check, the money does not stay in your account till 90 days expire. So technically you loose 90 days worth of interest on the check amount unless you happen to post the check back to ING. Make sure you receive the check back so you can post it back to ING. If the check is ripped off by the receiver, you have to wait for 90 days or pay 25$ as penalty to put your own money back in your own account. Morons!

JGVfinance December 11, 2008 at 7:45 pm

This is an excellent article about ING Direct. It almost sounds like an ad for ING Direct. pardon my saying that but I believe this online bank si a whole lot better than all the major banks in terms of giving interest on your savings account. There si no bank here in Canada that I know of that gives 4.50 percent on your savings account.


JGV December 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Sorry about that 4.5 percent that I mentioned. i didn’t realized that there is an ad on the top that says 2.75 percent on Orange account. But I do read something like 4.50 percent here in Toronto, Canada sometime ago. And to be honest with you guys, I do not have an ING direct account.

But even with 2.75 interest rate taht would still be better than the major banks here. And if they are not charging thsoe exorbitant 35.00 to 40.00 dollars if you have overdrafts.

Its still an excellent bet.


Pascale December 16, 2008 at 10:56 am

I have been using ING account for 2 years now… And I just love it!
And I always pay myself first now, so the money keeps rolling in my account!

Ferne Lohmann November 30, 2010 at 8:44 am

Well I definitely enjoyed studying it. This information offered by you is very practical for proper planning.

Nate@ Checking Account Promotions February 17, 2011 at 8:51 am

I have heard a lot good things about ING. I don’t have an account with them but I think if I ever did need to switch banks I would look at them first.

Michael June 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm

ING will also let you deposit checks by scanning them into your computer. This will be happening soon.

Leave a Comment