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VyStar Online Banking Troubles Resolved After Weekend Outage


Updated Wed. 2/10 at 4:30 p.m.:

Jacksonville-based VyStar Credit Union has online banking up-and-running again after customers experienced technical difficulties over the last couple days.

Vystar CEO Terry West says online banking was supposed to be up Monday morning, after the bank ditched its old Internet-banking system for a new one Friday night.  

“So many people tried to access the system and could not get in as fast as they wanted, started calling us, so it was just a huge volume impact,” he said.

West says he would have liked to switch users to the new system in increments, but that wasn’t possible. Now everything should be running smoothly now.

Of VyStar’s 260,000 online customers, about half had enrolled in the new system as of Wednesday afternoon.

In order to enroll in the new system, customers will have to download a new online VyStar app and delete the old one for smart phone banking,

West says the new system means more current technology, like alerts when deposits post, instant balance information and increased security.

The original story is below:
Frustrations continue to grow for members at VyStar Credit Union with the bank vowing to fix things and get customers back online.

VyStar upgraded its online platform and its mobile banking over the weekend. During the first two days of this week many members are having a tough time regaining access.

“I’ve been trying to log on to VyStar through the new website. They want us to re-enroll. I did all that. And I still can’t get to my account,” said Jamil Maddox, a VyStar member. “I had to download a new app. And it’s not working.”

This story was echoed by many others, many of them heading for their local branch locations.

It’s the same story for thousands trying to follow the directions and re-enroll in the new banking system and the new mobile platform. 

President and CEO Terry West said he can't provide a time as to when it will all be resolved, but promised his team is pulling out all the stops to help members get their banking done.

“I cannot honestly give you an exact time,” West said. “We are hoping that over the next couple days this will ease down a whole lot.”

VyStar advised its members in December to expect this changeover to a new online banking platform, and a new mobile banking system.

West said they planned on tens of thousands of members trying to get access to their accounts when the new system came online Monday. But, even so the system was overwhelmed by the numbers.

“It’s not about me, this is about our members. I want them to be able to get into their accounts, do anything they want to,” West said. But so many are trying to access them, and so many trying to hit it at one time, that’s part of the problem.”

VyStar reports more than 82,000 members have re-enrolled, since Monday.

“I’ve had people say they got in once, couldn’t get back in. I’ll just say, give it a few more days or go up to the branch if it’s an emergency,” Maddox said.

However there are more than 500,000 credit union members at VyStar and about half of them were already enrolled, prior to the upgrade.

“I tried calling VyStar, they said keep trying, they’re getting an overload of people all rushing the website at one time,” Maddox said. “But it’s going on day two, so you’d think they’d have it under control now.”

West admits the transition is taking its toll on members and explained the credit union researched the changeover and took what all their experts thought would be the right steps including increasing capacity over their expectation.

“We care a lot about our members and we want to do the best we can for them. So it’s just been bigger than any of us expected. We do think, after people have enrolled, and we’ve had over 82,000 enroll since yesterday (Monday), that this will begin to ease down some and this will become a more typical usage.

West continued, “But right now, they need to pay bills, want to go in, look at their money. Do all sorts of things. We know that. We understand. We’re trying to get to it as fast as we can.”

One of the frustrations boiling up for people like Maddox  is they can’t get to the credit union during regular hours because of their own jobs.

VyStar has extended branch hours from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and West said they have more than 200 people in their call center working longer hours. 

Kent Justice anchors News4Jax newscasts on the weekend, and hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Civic leaders, business professionals, and non-profit activists spend time in conversation with Kent about the big issues in our area.