November 1, 2017 3:37 pm

CIBC sees bumpy transition of PC Financial accounts to Simplii

CIBC's new Simplii Financial direct banking brand officially launched Wednesday.

CNW Group/Simplii Financial

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.

READ MORE: CIBC’s new banking brand, Simplii, to take over 2 million PC Financial accounts

The bank has switched over customers from President’s Choice Financial to the new brand after reaching a deal with PC owner Loblaw in August to take over its banking operations.

Some customers 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.

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Others are simply confused about where their new banking cards are, which will be mailed out between today and next April, and some were pleased by new offerings like 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, but he said any impact on the brand will be limited if they fix it soon.

“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.”

READ MORE: Ottawa’s review into business practices at Canadian banks not enough for NDP

“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,” said Smythe.

All PC Financial customers have been switched over to the new brand, which offers online, phone, and mobile banking, while PC Financial MasterCard operations are still with Loblaw (TSX:L).

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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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