JMMB Haughton Terrace Branch.

THE much-anticipated JMMB's MoneyLine app is expected to be launched this year.

Group chief executive officer of JMMB Group Limited, Keith Duncan hinted at the app's impending completion while making announcement standardising its banking platform.

"That is the most annoying mobile app that we've ever had to deploy," Duncan expressed while speaking at a Mayberry Investments Limited investor forum on Wednesday.

Several failed attempts as a result of human resource issues resulted in an almost two-year delay in the MoneyLine app's roll-out. "We were working with a vendor — which I will not name the vendor — they did not deliver the results. However, we went back to the drawing board and we are now on our way to delivering that mobile app," he said optimistically.

The bank also had its hands full this past year with cyberattacks and system disruptions. Duncan shied away from giving an exact timeline, instead said customers will be getting a "surprise" at its annual general meeting in October. "We are very confident, within this year we are going to deliver our mobile app," he asserts. "I must apologise to our customers and clients for the fact that we have not been able to deliver this and we have made promises and not been able to deliver."

The CEO also announced that the bank is currently focused on diversifying its business lines and looking at how to integrate and build efficiencies coming out of all them. "One of the things in the last two years is to standardise our banking platform, so all the banks operate on one platform. Then we are now looking at digitise and centralise operations," he said. "So we've build out a shared services model, a group structure and now we're going to centralise operations across the various countries to get efficiencies," he added.

Each entity that JMMB has picked up has operations within each entity that have various processes and Duncan says the aim is to get it all under one operation. "We have been working very hard at it; there are challenges along the way but we are continuing where we would like to see our group operating efficiency come down to is about 65 per cent, we were on that path down to about 70 something and then with the movement of interest rates in Jamaica DR, what you've had is a squeeze margin on net interest income," said Duncan.

On the revenue side, he said there's a squeeze by monetary policy within an inflationary environment but the bank continues to work on its operational productivity. "As we go forward into next year and as we expect monetary policy to ease somewhat, then you will see our margins on net interest income and that trading that we do — both on the equity market and the fixed income market — to begin to return and therefore we can get back on our drive for efficiency by continuing to standardise our banking operations, standardise our investment operations across the three countries and also to centralise operations and build out our shared services model even more."

In the meantime, JMMB Group is continuing its diversification of payment solutions with the introduction of an airport card and a prepaid debit card. "Our remittance company is launching a product where you can remit funds to that card; you don't have to have an account so people can remit money. Construction companies can use it for payroll and you bring people into the digital world without using cash," Duncan explained.

BY CODIE-ANN BARRETT Senior business reporter

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