Something Is Seriously Wrong With KCB’s System Upgrade – 5 Days Later

I have used a pre-paid KCB general purpose credit card for over 3 years for almost all of my personal online purchases. In this time, I have never experienced any major downtime or service related issues. I usually top-up my KCB card using M-Pesa which is super convenient meaning I have no need to go in person to one of their branches in order to do so. Therefore, it comes as something of a major surprise that their on-going system upgrade which started last week has clearly messed up services to an unprecedented level.

Its now 5 days since I got an error when buying an Amazon Kindle eBook that my credit card had a problem even when I had recently topped it up sufficiently. Indeed, I just got off the phone with KCB customer service and they are still ‘offline’ and are unable to provide an update as to when it will be back up and running. This system upgrade has clearly gone badly for Kenya’s largest bank, revenue-wise. I dread to imagine how many customers have been affected and I am surprised that the media have not yet picked this up given that we are headed for a week offline with a long weekend looming.

The problem with KCB’s system upgrade means that ALL credit cards are unusable and unable to transact at point of sale (POS) systems online or offline. If one is using these cards for business transactions or even just personal expenses it goes without saying that this has been a challenging week. All I hope is that they sort this problem out by today or else the could lose loads of customers to competitors. More importantly, online payments have become a way of life for me as well as many others in Kenya and the whole process of finding alternatives is something I am not keen on doing.

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  1. December 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm — Reply

    The upgrade actually happened a while back. The issue for me was loading cash onto my General Purpose card. Thrice I deposited cash at one of the branches and had to call customer care to update the balance on my card manually.

    The worst part is they did not know how long the process would take and I couldn’t get my money back until the process was complete. All they could do was forward an email request to the relevant department and wait. It once took a whole week for the balance to reflect on my card.

  2. Buberwa Kemibaro
    December 12, 2013 at 10:01 am — Reply

    Hi Moses,
    Pole Sana, I myself am having teething problems with another bank I use to activate mobile banking here in Tz. So the technology break downs in banking services can be horrendous especially when you need to use the service far from your base/home station. I can only imagine what must be happening to people depending on the KCB cards abroad right now???

  3. Andrew
    January 17, 2014 at 8:11 am — Reply

    I’ve had this problem TWICE now! Whenever I load money into my card I have to call them because it never gets deposited automatically. I’m moving to another bank. The inconvenience is too much.

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