Kiwibank to stop accepting cheques
Kiwibank customers are being urged to bank any remaining cheques they may have before the bank goes cheque-free at the end of this month.
Kiwibank announced in May 2019 that it would no longer accept cheques as cheque use declined and customers moved to faster, safer and cheaper ways to pay and get paid.
“Since we announced our plans to go cheque-free we’ve seen a steady decline in the number of customers writing cheques. Over the nine-month transition period we’ve contacted all known cheque users and we continue to work with those still using them to ensure they are ready for the change,” explains Kiwibank chief customer officer Mark Stephen.
“With only four weeks left to deposit a cheque at Kiwibank, we want to make sure our customers, particularly those who rarely use cheques but might receive a once-a-year bonus or dividend payment, are not surprised when we go cheque-free,” he says.
Stephen says Kiwibank is confident large cheque issuers are aware of its move to go cheque-free and of the many faster and cheaper options that can be used instead of a cheque. The New Zealand-owned bank is also encouraged that there will be less hassle for customers as more large organisations reflect the significant change in customer preference and are also going cheque-free.
“We’d like to remind our customers cheques are not legal tender in New Zealand, they are instead a method of payment. If you owe someone money or want to pay for some goods or services, the receiver is not obliged to accept a cheque. Cash, as in notes and coins, are the only legal tender in Aotearoa,” he says.
“For non-Kiwibank customers who still write cheques, we’d encourage them to ask the person or business they need to pay if they accept cheques.”
Over the past nine months Kiwibank has supported thousands of customers to transition to alternative payment options.
“We’ve had an overwhelming positive response to the support we’ve offered. More than 1,800 customers have worked with our teams in branch to transition to faster, safer and cheaper payment options.
“Many customers have told us it was surprisingly easy, and they wish they had had the confidence to move to alternative payments sooner,” says Stephen.
The bank will stop accepting cheques as of 28 February 2020.
“Customers who receive cheques after 28 February 2020 will need to contact the issuer and ask them to make a payment directly into their bank account or by cash,” explains Stephen. “If you receive regular payments by cheque, we suggest you contact the issuer to set up a direct payment.
Kiwibank teamed up with Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa to bring Stepping Up online banking courses to communities around the country as well as supporting DORA (Digital on Road Access), a WiFi enabled bus that provides online banking training to more remote communities.