What is iDEAL?
iDEAL is a standard payment method for making secure online payments directly between bank accounts. When you offer iDEAL as a payment method in your online store, a direct link is established with the systems of your bank. In other words, this one connection to iDEAL enables any visitor to your site who has access to online banking with one of the participating banks to make payments in this way. No other payment product offers this facility!
How does iDEAL work?
A few simple steps is all it takes for the consumer to pay using iDEAL.
- At the checkout, your customers simply have to click on the special iDEAL payment button on your website.
- From a drop-down list, customers then select their own bank, which opens the online banking environment they are familiar with, where they authorise the payment.
- Within seconds, after the consumer has authorised the payment, the successful payment status will be available to you.
- As soon as the payment has been authorised, the amount due is debited from the consumer’s account and transferred to your bank account.
- Since you know that the funds are on their way, you can proceed with shipping immediately. This does not involve any risk for you because your customer cannot reverse the payment.
- Depending on which bank your customer uses, you will have the payment credited to your account within 1–2 working days.
iDEAL is a payment method and consists of a set of agreements and standards for a direct online transfer from the bank account of a buyer to the bank account of a merchant. The English animation below shows how an iDEAL payment is established behind the scenes.
Mobile payments with iDEAL
Some banks have developed special versions of iDEAL to enable payments from a mobile device. Merchants don’t have to change their implementation to accept iDEAL payments initiated on a mobile device, the consumer’s bank recognizes if the consumer operates a mobile device. Please read our explanation on mobile payments via iDEAL for consumers.
Advantages for you as online merchant
iDEAL is suitable for all merchants selling products and services on the Internet. iDEAL allows both business-to-business and retail transactions to be settled in a way which is both secure and simple. Using iDEAL, your customers make their payments in their familiar online banking environment.
iDEAL offers a number of advantages compared with other payment methods:
- Consumers with access to online banking with one of the participating banks can use iDEAL straightaway and without charge. There is no need for them to register, download any files or open a special account.
- Some 10 million consumers already use online banking with either ABN AMRO, ASN Bank, Friesland Bank, ING, Knab, Rabobank, RegioBank, SNS Bank, Triodos Bank or Van Lanschot Bankiers. That’s 10 million potential customers with immediate, free access to iDEAL!
- iDEAL gives your customers a familiar, secure and simple method of payment, just like making any other online banking payment.
- Payments made with iDEAL are guaranteed and cannot be reversed.
- There is immediate confirmation of successful payment, enabling the shipping process to start immediately.
- iDEAL can be used for both business-to-business and retail transactions.
There are more than 70,000 online stores and other parties (e.g. charities) that accept iDEAL payments, making it by far the most widely accepted payment method for online payments. Also online shoppers like to use iDEAL. Read all iDEAL key figures in our factsheet.
Click here for the monthly figures for iDEAL transactions processed.
Click here for the graph showing iDEAL transactions processed.
Every effort is made to make sure that your customers are able to buy online with iDEAL 24 hours a day. However, your bank also needs to perform vital maintenance to their systems to keep them up-to-date. This is usually done at night when the online banking systems are used the least.
To make sure iDEAL can be used 24 hours a day, Currence – owner of the iDEAL brand and payment product – has set up standards for the banks. In order to guarantee the availability of iDEAL, banks have to be in compliance with these standards.
The set standards are:
Standard prime time (7 am to 1 am):            99,0%
Standard non-prime time (1 am to 7 am):     93,5%
The published availability percentages are weighted according to market share of all iDEAL parties and therefore represent the average availability of:
- The availability percentages of all issuing banks* during prime time
- The availability percentages of all issuing banks* during non-prime time
- The availability percentages of all acquiring banks** during prime time
- The availability percentages of all acquiring banks** during non-prime time
** The bank of the web merchant or Payment Service Provider.
The availability figures are analysed and published every month. (See table, PDF 8 kB)