Sat | Dec 5, 2020

JMMB closes in on rectifying Moneyline glitch

Published:Friday | November 13, 2020 | 12:12 AMKarena Bennett - Business Reporter
Keith Duncan, CEO of JMMB Group Limited.
Keith Duncan, CEO of JMMB Group Limited.

Plans for the upgrading of JMMB Group’s Moneyline platform across the three countries in which it operates are still on the cards, but right now the focus is on resolving a thorny technical problem that has hobbled the banking side of the platform in Jamaica.

The problem has been ongoing for three months, at a time when the banking sector in general has been trying to migrate customers online to conform with distancing protocols to keep the coronavirus at bay.

But this week, JMMB told the Financial Gleaner that it is 99.9 per cent on the way towards full rectification of the issue, and that normality has resumed for some of its online banking services.

The update comes roughly two weeks after Group CEO Keith Duncan penned a personal letter to JMMB clients, apologising for the “frustration and disruptions” that the system has caused. It followed on a letter from JMMB Bank CEO Jerome Smalling, who, in outlining the issue in August, also asked clients for their patience.

Further assurances came this week through the group’s communications office in response to queries on the fundamental nature of the problem and its resolution. The glitches have not affected the investment side of the platform, and JMMB Group has not said how it is that just banking customers alone are affected, and even more, why the problem has manifested in just one of its markets, Jamaica, its home ground.

“We wish to underscore our unwavering commitment to continue to work assiduously, to ensure that there is consistent access to Moneyline, for all clients. We have been working with our partners and since our communiqué from our CEO over two weeks ago, we have had significant success as our system availability improved,” the bank told the Financial Gleaner via email.

Over the past months, JMMB has responded to the inconveniences caused to its clients with the temporary waiver of fees on several transactions, including those settled through the Automated Clearing House, or ACH, system, international wire transfer, manager’s cheque, and other cheques and foreign drafts.

Additionally, the bank is also reimbursing third-party costs to clients who may incur late fees and charges on obligations, such as utility bills, as a result of their inability to complete the transactions through the Moneyline system.

The total value of fees already forgone by the banking institution was not disclosed.

JMMB operates its Moneyline system in Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. While it edges closer to rectifying the banking issue, the group plans to finalise the upgrade of the Moneyline platform on schedule for the 2020-21 financial year – which would put the deadline at March 2021.

“The upgraded JMMB Moneyline is expected to deliver an improved user experience for our clients who use that platform. We will communicate the details about the value-added benefits, ahead of the scheduled final roll-out date,” JMMB said, without naming the specific date.

JMMB Bank has also been quietly working on the national roll-out of its intelligent ABMs on its journey towards digital transformation. The ABMs are expected to allow for faster processing of cash and cheque deposits, and will facilitate less in-branch visits for regular banking services.

“Of course, we will communicate all of the roll-out details to our clients and other stakeholders, including regulators, as these plans unfold,” JMMB said.

Since the start of the calendar year, JMMB has introduced a Visa-enabled debit card, real-time trading, JMMB Moneyline online sign-up, and in the near term is also looking to have its account-opening process done online.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com