Glitch with vendor, now resolved, caused transaction delays at Citizens Bank

Zahir Riley, standing outside the Citizens Bank branch at Seventh and Market Streets in Center City, just found out that he will not be able to pay bills Friday because of a problem at a company that processes transactions for Citizens.

A glitch at a company that processes transactions for Citizens Bank and other financial institutions caused delays in the posting of direct deposits and other transactions to customers' accounts, the bank said Friday.

By noon, the company reported that the problem had been resolved.

"As of 10:40 this morning, all customer accounts are current. We appreciate the patience of our customers as we worked through this issue, and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” spokeswoman Lauren DiGeronimo said in an email.

DiGeronimo said customers would not incur any overdraft fees because of the problem.

Alexandra Ferber of Norristown discovered the problem Friday when she checked her balance about 9 a.m. — after having placed a grocery order with Peapod at 5 a.m.

"I had a negative balance in my account. My jaw hit the floor," said Ferber, who had expected her direct deposit to have gone in overnight.

Ferber got little satisfaction from calling Citizens' customer service. The man she spoke to was unable to give her any time frame for when the problem would be fixed, she said.

"Are we talking an hour? Are we talking a couple hours? Are we talking days?" Ferber said she asked.

"It's not like I can't pay my bills, but it's also like I can't go without my paycheck for an indefinite amount of time," she said.

Coming out of the Citizens Bank branch at Seventh and Market Streets in Center City on Friday morning, Zahir Riley was dismayed to learn that he couldn't pay bills.

"They don't know how much money you have in your account," he said. "All they can do is accept deposits."

What was he going to do?

"I guess all I can do is wait it out. I don't have another bank right now," Riley said.

Consumers who want to file formal complaints about any problems caused by the processing delay can do so at the Consumer Assistance section of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s website (https://www5.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp).