NCB upgrade affects processing of monthly salaries

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A $2-billion upgrade by the National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCB) is now the cause for distress among several workers across the country who did not have their salaries credited to their accounts yesterday.

The workers’ salaries which, under normal circumstances, would have been available for withdrawal by end of day Friday, May 24, 2019, has been delayed as the financial giant continues to upgrade its banking platform.

A statement sent out by the company late yesterday conveyed NCB’s regrets in not being able to clear the payroll files on time, as the bank continues to experience technical delays.

“The issues being experienced by our customers have our complete and undivided attention. Despite our teams working around the clock to manually upload and process payroll files as a result of unavailability of our upgraded platform, some customers have yet to receive their salaries and for this, we are deeply sorry,” said NCB’s CEO Patrick Hylton.

NCB began upgrading its banking platform on Friday May 17 but only anticipated disruptions to regular services, including the unavailability of online banking and mobile app services, to last up to May 20. The upgrade, which will span a four-to six-week period, should result in speedier transactions for business and personal customers of NCB.

The platform will also allow connectivity to third-party platforms, providing the opportunity, for example, for local fintech companies to “integrate within NCB’s technical ecosystem to create new financial products and services”.

“This is the most significant upgrade the bank has undertaken in recent history. The decision to upgrade over the weekend of May 17, 2019 was taken after undertaking multiple rounds of rigorous testing which indicated that core systems would have stabilised prior to payroll date.

“Unfortunately the stabilisation has not occurred in the expected time frame. We will not rest until we are able to restore our systems and more importantly, our customers’ confidence. We are committed to turning this around and creating an experience and platform that is worthy of your loyalty,” Hylton continued.

While the bank acknowledged the potential impact on customers’ ability to make loan, credit card, and utility payments in a timely manner, it’s unclear if NCB would allow a grace period for loan repayments from some of its customers.

“Customers who have been impacted in this manner are encouraged to contact NCB at, and we commit to reviewing and addressing in the shortest time possible,” Hylton said.

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