Butterfield coming to grips with online banking changes

Butterfield Bank’s new online banking system, which features enhanced security procedures and new functionality, has left some customers unable to log on to their accounts and with difficulties in setting up wire transfers or bill payments.

The bank migrated to the new system over the Easter weekend in Cayman. Butterfield says the change is an important transition “that means greater efficiency, better fraud protection and the flexibility to introduce new and innovative products and services in the Cayman market,” according to Mike McWatt, deputy managing director, Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd.

Together with the online banking system, the bank has upgraded internal banking applications to become more efficient, the benefits of which will be passed on to customers, Mr. McWatt said.

In the first days of the system transition, however, many customers struggled with newly introduced security questions and the time it took to set up familiar transactions like wire transfers on a slightly different- looking interface.

Customer Jane Snow said she was well aware of the changes and had received an information package in the mail. While logging on was straightforward, it was the different interfaces for bill payments and wire transfers and the information that needed to be submitted that “tripped me up”, she said.

This meant that she had to go to a Butterfield branch to get help, but she showed some sympathy for the bank despite the inconvenience. “I have worked in a bank for six years and we have gone through the same process,” she said, adding that although they did not have that many “hiccups”, she appreciated the issues that can arise.

Other customers struggled with the fact that existing templates for beneficiaries, for instance, may no longer work and have to be created again.

Additionally, shared bank accounts under the new system will have different log-ins for each account holder. This has the benefit that customers will be able to see all their single and joint accounts in the online banking system with the same log in.

Butterfield’s online banking system now also includes a new fraud monitoring system, which requires customers to set a selection of private, security questions, Mr. McWatt said. These items require some adjustment and may take some time to set up.

The new security questions were also one of the functions that left some customer confused. One customer told the Compass that when he was unable to log into the system it left him questioning his sanity. “Is my favourite beverage tea?” he exclaimed, referring to one of the many possible security questions that have to be answered during the log-in process. “Or did I put beer?”

“With any banking system conversion and the change that it introduces, there will be issues that arise,” said Mr. McWatt, who conceded that this meant some customers needed assistance in resetting their accounts. “We wish to take this opportunity to let our customers know how much we truly appreciate their patience. We recognise that each and every person’s banking business is extremely important, as well as time-sensitive, and [we] encourage our clients to reach out for the support that we have on offer,“ he said.

Mr. McWatt said customers who experience any problems should call customer service. “Most transitional issues can be sorted in a few moments with a telephone walk-through or perhaps with a few points from one of our professionals,” he said.

The bank has also set up upgrade desks in each of its three branches with information and staff to assist with customer enquiries.

“These guys were very good,” said Ms Snow. “My only qualms are that there should have been more terminals where people can get support.” Conor O’Dea, Butterfield’s senior executive vice-president, Caribbean, said this important upgrade in the bank’s systems and technology is a strategic step in Butterfield’s growth.

“We were the first to introduce online banking in Cayman in 2001, so we are proud of our reputation for innovation,” Mr. O’Dea said.

“However, we do appreciate any change can cause inconvenience in the short-term for our customers. We apologise for any such inconvenience but believe that the functionality and enhanced products that we will offer our customers in the future will more than justify any inconvenience,” he added.

Butterfield’s customer service and relationship managers are available for assistance to all customers. The customer service hot-line is 815-7575 and the general bank line is 949-7055. For general information on the upgrade, Butterfield has developed a dedicated help website that includes easy-to-use help videos at 

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  1. In all likelihood the system was never backtested prior to release. When asked to answer the security question, for example South Sound for Where were you born, the space kicks you out. Do it 5 times and you’re locked out. Then you get to wait in line with me at Butterfield to rejoin your money

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