POST COURIER Q&A
1) How has the transition been so far since September 23?
Kina Bank’s acquisition of ANZ was one of the biggest transitions to have happened in PNG in recent years and it’s one of the few examples where the smaller business acquires the larger one. As you can imagine with a project of this size it has been a busy month for us since we brought together our two teams into the one Kina Bank family. We’ve begun to bed down the new business and our people are settling into their roles across the different locations.
We had a few peripheral issues across the network in the first couple of weeks of business. Many of these we had anticipated and we’ve been working through them on a daily basis. Our view is that well over 95% of customers were not impacted at all and we are almost through the remediation of those customers that were. Mergers and acquisitions of this size will never be 100% perfect. Our view is that it has been very successful and ANZ have called it out as their most successful.
The intent was always to enable a seamless migration that did not require customers to do anything – they could still use their blue plastic cards; their account number would remain the same; PINs and log in credentials would remain the same. Largely this was successful for the vast majority. We expect by the end of this month almost all outstanding issues will be resolved. There are no systemic issues.
2) There was issues with payrolls and the lack of proper updates of BSB numbers? What has been the progress on this moving forward?
We’ve been working with individual businesses on payroll to ensure that everyone receives their salaries in a timely manner. Before the transition we initiated a major customer information campaign to notify customers of Kina Bank’s BSB 028-111 so that payroll officers could update their files, and individual employees could ensure their details had been updated in their employer’s files. Many customers did and payroll was processed accordingly. There have been a number of businesses or customers who still retained the ANZ BSBs which meant their payroll was sent to ANZ and then routed back to us. This added a day or two to processing times. We have been working with these businesses directly to ensure the processing time is restored to normal and we are continuing our customer information campaign.
3) Are all 15 ANZ branches up and operational?
All ANZ branches are up and operational and have been during the transition. As per a previous update, a major power outage in Port Moresby meant there was a slow start on the first week of business. But this was quickly addressed. Customers are now being served quickly with queues being kept to a minimum. Our teams have done a great job and it was encouraging to see everyone working together.
A particular highlight has been the performance of some of our digital channels. We launched the fastest eftpos terminals in the market that have received fantastic feedback from vendors and customers. Our mobile apps have one of the highest ratings in the app store and our USSD platform Konnect has been singled out as particularly strong and user-friendly – especially as it gives customers the ability to top up their electricity. For most customers the transition to our internet banking platforms has been good.
There are some who have experienced difficulties – for example, cards expired before 23 September; online passwords were locked out before the transition; some customers were trying to access ‘cheque’ accounts instead of ‘savings’ on ATMs which caused confusion; or trying to access personal banking rather than corporate banking or vice versa.
We know how frustrating this has been for them and we put together a dedicated team to help customers through the transition. We’ve doubled the size of our contact centre which is now operating 24/7 and set-up a digital hub to help customers with for example Internet banking.
We’re also monitoring social media where we private message customers who contact us via our Facebook or LinkedIn pages. We’ve also put up two more detailed FAQs on our website to help customers through the transition.
4) The status of the former ANZ staff members and their assimilation into the Kina system? How many did actually move across?
Around 300 ANZ staff have moved across to Kina Bank to support the retail, SME and commercial businesses. They are settling in well and we are seeing some great team work across the business. Over the next few months and through 2020 we will be continuing a culture programme to progress our culture of customer service, high performance, recognition and celebration.
5) Preparations for the busy festive period, which will be busy for both businesses and individuals, this will be perhaps one of the biggest tests for the bank now with its added load of new assets and customers. How prepared is the bank going to be for this?
The weeks leading up to Christmas are always a busy period for the banking industry. Our team is well-placed to manage customer requests and enquiries. Our digital platforms make banking simple, convenient and easy to access so that customers can do their banking anytime, anyplace. We will also launch new products in the next few weeks that will confirm our commitment to helping hard working mums and dads – watch this space!
6) Lastly, while there were minor tweaks, the transition has been somewhat smooth throughout, with not too many complaints received. What does Kina want to say to its customers, especially those migrated, in terms of their patience during the migration to Kina Bank?
For the vast majority of customers the transition went very well and they have been able to continue banking as normal. There are some that experienced a few issues and I understand how frustrating that is. I’d like to personally thank and reassure them that we’re working 24/7 to resolve these. We’re extremely grateful for their patience and we are committed to serving them quickly and efficiently.
One issue we are now working very closely on is a K15 charge for Visa cards on other banks’ ATMs. All the major banks apply it for their own Visa cards. Some banks even charge more than K15. However, we agree with customers that this is too high and we are leading the banking industry to have the charge reduced before Christmas. We’re up front about our fees and charges because we believe in transparency and offering customers clarity and simplicity. If any customers have queries about our fees and charges they can check out our website www.kinabank.com.pg. We know that every toea counts and we’re working to bring down the cost of banking for everyone across our suite of products and platforms – from daily transactions, our home loan products and our Visa Credit and Debit cards.