Kiwibank has announced it will go cheque-free from February 28 2020.
Over the nine-month transition period, the New Zealand-owned bank has committed to supporting impacted customers as they move to faster, safer, and cheaper payment options.
“Stopping our cheque service wasn’t an easy decision to make. However, for the past five years, the use of cheques has been steadily declining,” says Kiwibank CEO Steve Jurkovich.
“With less than one percent of Kiwibank payments now made by cheque, we’ve come to a tipping point. We’ve chosen not to invest in a shrinking service and outdated technology, instead we’re moving forward and equipping customers for a world that is increasingly digital.”
Last month Kiwibank partnered with Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa and is supporting Stepping UP, an initiative that provides free, community-based training that works to build digital skills and knowledge in communities.
“Online tools can offer a more convenient and cheaper customer experience, but there can be barriers to usage. This new partnership is about making sure all Kiwis have the same opportunity to build their online skills, feel more included and gain confidence. It will also mean they have access to cheaper and faster financial products and be confident they are doing so securely,” says Steve.
Kiwibank has worked with Stepping UP to design and develop online banking training. The free banking workshops will be piloted in several regions before going nationwide through Stepping UP’s 120 community partners. Training venues include public libraries, schools, and community centres around the country.
“We understand cheques may still play a role in the day-to-day lives of some of our customers. For this reason, we wanted to provide customers with plenty of time to prepare for this change,” says Steve.
Customers who have used the cheque product over the past year will be receiving personal letters advising them of the change. Kiwibank will also work with business customers and large cheque issuers, including government departments, through the nine-month transition period.
How the phasing out of cheques will work:
• After 30 September 2019 Kiwibank won’t issue cheque or deposit books.
• After 28 February 2020 cheque deposits will not be accepted into a Kiwibank customer account; other banks may stop accepting Kiwibank cheques.
• After 28 February 2020 Kiwibank will stop providing Bank Cheques.
For more information on the change customers can visit: https://www.kiwibank.co.nz/cheques.