Longer bank lines anger customers

November 03, 2020
Persons waiting to get inside a Western Union outlet in Spanish Town in April.
Persons waiting to get inside a Western Union outlet in Spanish Town in April.

Long lines of customers stretched along sidewalks waiting to enter banks or ATMs is part of the COVID-19 reality.

And while persons are usually wearing masks, there is hardly any real social distancing taking place, as persons try to shelter under coverings from rain or the sun.

Jessica Moodie told THE STAR yesterday that while it would be easier to bank online, some transactions, like opening an investment account require an in-branch visit.

"I stood in the line outside for almost an hour until I began feeling nauseous. I had to ask someone to keep my space," she said.

Moodie used the washroom at a nearby food outlet to splash cold water on her face to ease her nausea. When she returned to the line, she had to stand for another 30 minutes.

Overwhelming experience

"When I got inside, I still had to stand in line for about 15 minutes before I was issued a servicing ticket. And then I had to wait again before I was seen by the investment officer. It was quite an overwhelming experience and I do think the banks can do more to facilitate customers as they wait. A tent and chairs would be great. This took up my entire day. It's a good thing I had nothing else planned for today or had work."

Another bank customer, Joseph, is calling for banks to think about their customers in this COVID reality.

"It is very hard to stand up for so long in the sun, in your mask. When I take a little break from work to do some business, I can't stand up in no line so long. It is unreasonable," he said. Joseph suggested that banks get more tellers to reduce the waiting time.

"We are no longer sitting inside in the AC. They were always slow, but we were not waiting outside on our feet. They have us outside in one big bundle, causing the same crowd they claim they are trying to avoid," he said. One woman was furious that she cannot clear her cheques online.

"I have been doing this since COVID came, because this is how I get paid. Same long lines for hours," she said. "At least put the seats outside so we can siddung. We a nuh robot."

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