CIBC's Simplii Financial direct banking launches but customers find glitches
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TORONTO — The launch of CIBC's new Simplii Financial direct banking brand on Wednesday has not gone exactly to plan, as some customers are finding glitches with the new offering.
The bank (TSX:CM) has switched over customers from President's Choice Financial to Simplii after reaching a deal with Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (TSX:L) in August.
The companies decided to end a decades-long partnership and go their separate ways, with Simplii taking the savings, chequing and mortgage accounts and PC Financial keeping its MasterCard credit cards and PC Plus points program.
Some customers say they have found long call waits for customer services, and others are complaining on Twitter that the mobile application isn't working or that they're unimpressed with the changes.
"There are no innovations. They simplii just changed the app logo and colour. It’s still the worst mobile banking app in Canada," tweeted Andrew Chisholm.
Others were simply confused about where their new banking cards are (they will be mailed out between today and next April) and while some were pleased by new Simplii offerings such as free e-transfers.
The company has responded on Twitter saying that its mobile app is being updated throughout the day and suggesting customers delete and reinstall the app if they have issues.
Communicating with customers is key in situations like this, said IDC Canada associate analyst Bob Smythe, adding that any impact on the brand will be limited if problems are fixed quickly.
"In any situation where someone's forced to do something, you're going to find people who are annoyed. But I guess it depends how smoothly it goes over the next couple of days."
"I think if it carried on for very long it would be a problem but, if it's rectified quickly, they can overcome any negative feelings," Smythe said.
In announcing the deal in August, CIBC (TSX:CM) promised a smooth transition for existing PC Financial clients, with no changes to account numbers, mortgage terms or automatic payments and deposits.
CIBC spokeswoman Olga Petrycki said by email Wednesday that the company "seamlessly transitioned nearly 2 million clients to Simplii today," and that the technical issue experienced by a few people was limited to a slow refresh of the Apple app that customers could solve by reinstalling it.