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Curtis Martin, managing director, JN Bank.

JN Bank, the commercial banking arm of the JN Group, says its intensified investment in the digitalisation of its business processes has allowed it to offer greater convenience to its members, customers and employees, while increasing operational productivity and efficiency, says Curtis Martin, managing director, JN Bank.

He said the projects, which commenced pre-COVID-19, have been targeted to improving key business processes within the company, including the on-boarding of members and customers; expanding its payment options; improving customer experience, as well as boosting operational efficiencies.

“The digitalisation, in the final analysis, is about creating opportunities for us to serve our members and customers in ways that allow them more convenience and speed when accessing banking services; while also creating more opportunities for us to be responsive to their needs and to changes in the market,” said Mr Martin.

Detailing the projects, Ricardo Dystant, chief, digital transformation and special projects at JN Bank, said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank had commenced a series of projects to improve service delivery. This includes a remodelling of its branches to include expanded conveniences for members to serve themselves and to improve the management of traffic through its branches.

“As part of our initiative, to enhance customer experience, a queue-management system was implemented last year, which has been very successful in managing the traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he outlined.

He continued: “Through strategic partnership with our sister JN Group Member Company, MC Systems, the Group’s technology arm, JN Bank has also been able to move up to 80 per cent of some teller transactions at some locations to its Smart ATMs. As a result the bank will be moving aggressively to expand the services, while increasing the number of terminals and locations to create the best experience for our members.”

The bank’s Smart ATMs, for example, facilitate card-less deposits to any JN Bank account, once the user has the account number for which the money is to be deposited, so that customers don’t have to join a line to make such transactions, including JN Small Business Loans payments. The deposits are also real-time.

The mix of ATMs also include, state-of-the art Automated Coin Machines (ACM) located across seven JN Bank locations, Mr Dystant noted, to which members and customers can deposit any amount of mixed Jamaican coins (except 50, 25 and 10 cent coins) all at once.

“Previously, members had to join lines and go straight to the tellers who would then have to sort the coins by denomination and place them into a coin machine that would be to the side of their counter,” Mr Dystant explained.

The ATM deposit capabilities were complemented by a simple increase in the daily withdrawal amount, allowing customers to withdraw funds of up to $100,000 via ATMs daily.

Beyond its ATM network, the bank has also heavily invested in a straight-through processing system that has significantly increased the speed of processing, accuracy and the ability to track transactions. These transactions include payments and transfers to and from other banks, using the real time gross settlement (RTGS) and automated clearing house (ACH) and credit card payments.

The improvement in customer experience to be derived from its strengthened capacity to process transactions faster is supported by further investment in the bank’s pioneering online banking platform, JN Bank LIVE- which was among the first in the country to offer local bank-to-bank transactions (ACH and RTGS) in 2011 , wire transfers and phone top-up. The platform allows JN members to do almost any banking transaction online, including bill payments to scores of billers, purchase foreign exchange and access every day needs, such as phone credit.

Automation of credit; synergised on-boarding

The JN Bank managing director disclosed that the bank is also set to benefit from the Group’s three-year project to automate credit processes across its member companies, and to also better link the Group’s lines of business, so that members can seamlessly access various products and services through the use of a personalised card.

In support of a more aggressive sales model, the bank is also benefiting from the Group’s investment of a new customer management software. Implementation of the software began in July 2019, to better manage leads and customer information so that its sales teams can generate better solutions for members.

The digitalisation of JN Bank in Jamaica is also parallels the Group’s launching of a largely digital bank in the UK in October last year- Britain’s first Caribbean-owned bank- and its preparation to launch a similar bank in The Cayman Islands, with the conversion of the JN Cayman building society.

“We expect that the synergies to be created among our new sister banks in the UK and Cayman will allow us to offer solutions to Jamaicans, and persons who wish to bank with us, wherever they are in the Diaspora, as well as create opportunities for Jamaicans locally,” Mr Martin said.

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