Republic’s online banking upgrade goes wrong


Above: Derwin Howell, Executive Director of the Republic Bank. Photo courtesy of the Bank of the Republic.

On Monday, Republic Bank rolled out a new mobile app and online banking verification system for its derailed customers for hundreds of them.

Some initial concerns were about the availability of the US version of Apple’s App Store, but these were quickly resolved.

More serious are concerns about the security of the new system, which prohibits special characters, while allowing standard letters and numbers, with a requirement of at least one uppercase letter and one number in a password limited to eight to twelve. characters.

Since the previous version of the bank’s verification system allowed special characters, some saw this as a step backwards in its security measures.
Logging into the system again requires either a special one-time password, a QR code or a code sent by SMS.

Users report that the SMS is taking too long to reach their mobile devices and the verification session times out before they can enter it.

Cyber ​​security professionals have expressed concern that the app generates its own security by creating the optional special one-time password (OTP) offered for login. The QR code option requires the user to work with two devices for a successful result.

Some users reported that they were able to log in using a desktop computer with the Edge browser, but even among the users who did, they found their accounts and other information missing.

The result has been a general flooding of Republic’s contact systems, with users reporting hours of waits on the phone to reach the bank’s customer service staff.

The bank has apologized on social media and traditional media houses, apologizing for the system’s problems resulting from what it described as “a huge response from thousands of customers.”

Republic Bank’s social media presence has been swamped with desperate comments, and the company has so far posted standardized responses to often quite angry posts, asking customers to contact its internet banking team at or call their call center at 627- 3348.
Massive personal emails apologizing for the problems were sent to the bank’s customers.

Questions were posed to the bank’s management on this matter on Tuesday morning, and a revised list of questions incorporating additional concerns raised by users was sent this morning.

Derwin Howell, executive director, explained that he forwarded the questions to the bank’s marketing team for a response.
No response was received after 32 hours.

Letter of apology from Republic Bank dated 07 July 2021

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