Customers kick as System breakdown hampers operations at Access Bank branches


Months after Access Bank consummated the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank, it is still facing serious system glitches as a result of poor integration of information technology software.

Customers in several branches of the bank across the country groan in frustration as they could not have access to their accounts for hours because the bank’s network system mal-functions frequently.

“The worst is that even their Automated Teller Machines ( ATMs) are not spared as they are often undergoing repairs or out of order,” a customer who would rather remain unanimous said.

He cited Aguda and Ijesha branches as two places he had experienced jerky services arising from poor IT-related issues.

THE CITIZEN learnt that in some former Intercontinental bank branches, it has been a huge task to receive data during the working hours.

In Access Bank, Edoezemewi Road branch in Nnewi,  Anambra State, it was a herculean task trying to pay Chikason Group’s staff salaries as the credit entry passed by their head office could not reflect at the branch for days.

The angry workers took the matter up and had wanted to lynch the branch manager who pleaded for their understanding, saying that the problem was from Access bank’s head office, promising that it would be rectified soonest.

An IT analyst, who spoke on the condition he be not named, blamed the glitches on the hurry with which Access Bank pushed the integration processes without proper planning.

Access Bank currently runs a core banking application (Flexcube) as well as 20 ancillary applications to support various aspects of their business. In order to ensure seamless services to clients, Access Bank has migrated Intercontinental customers into its own core banking application.

Access Bank’s transactions are processed on Flexcube Retail 6.2 and Flexcube 3.4 corporate applications. These applications interface with e-delivery systems that facilitate deployment of multiple delivery channels including mobile devices and the internet.

Intercontinental bank, which had over three million customers and close to 400 branches prior to the combination, was also using Flexcube, but a higher version (Flexcube 6.6).

Another IT expert, who also declined to be named said, the frequent glitches arise from poor integration concept of the banking softwares of the two banks.

He said, “Access bank uses Flexcube 6.2 version, which works well for their style of banking (corporate), their customer base and their number of branches. Intercontinental Bank was using the same Flexcube but a higher version 6.6,  which works well for their model of banking  given their number of branches and customer base.  The right thing would have been for Access to migrate from Flexcube 6.2 to 6.6 rather than what they did, move the huge customer base of Intercontinental  to the less robust Flexcube 6.2. That amounted to system downgrade and they would continue to pay for it for a long while.”

Attempts to reach Access Bank’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Segun Fafore, for his comments before press time proved abortive.

Source: The Citizen



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