KeyBank is rewarding some First Niagara customers for their patience - with $100 deposited into their accounts.
Thousands of First Niagara customers have run into problems accessing their online accounts with Key for the first time this week, after their accounts were switched to Key last weekend. Adding to those customers' frustration, some faced prolonged waits - several hours in some cases - to get help from Key's customer help line.
"KeyBank is contacting these clients to explain the problem and apologize," said Jodi Johnston, a Key spokeswoman. "Additionally, as a token of appreciation to them for remaining loyal customers through this transition, KeyBank is making a $100 deposit in their accounts."
Key would not disclose exactly how many customers were receiving an apology and the $100 credit, but said the total was more than 10,000.
Key provided an update Friday on the online banking access issue:
Nearly half - 48 percent - of eligible First Niagara customers were enrolled in Key's online banking. The number enrolled is 200,000.
Through Thursday, First Niagara customers had logged into Key's online service more than 570,000 times.
Through noon Friday, 53 percent of calls to Key's help line were answered in 30 seconds or less.
While Key said it has made headway, some First Niagara customers still complained Friday about delays in getting their calls answered in a timely fashion.
KeyCorp chairman and CEO Beth Mooney on Thursday apologized for the problems some First Niagara customers encountered, and she said Key is determined to make a better impression with them.
Mooney said the access problem was traced to the security questions customers were asked to answer to verify their identities - questions the customers had not chosen for themselves. Plus, not enough of its contact center personnel were trained to handle online issues when calls from locked-out customers surged.
Since then, the bank adjusted the security question process, and trained more of its contact center employees to deal with online banking issues.
About 1 million customer accounts were moved from First Niagara to Key.