17 May 2019

Cheques still allowed at big banks

2:11 pm on 17 May 2019

The big banks will continue to honour cheques, even though the largest New Zealand-owned bank is scrapping the service.

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New Zealand's big banks will continue to accept cheques despite Kiwibank's decision to axe them from next year. Photo: RNZ

Kiwibank said it would stop accepting cheques for payments from next February, because they were used so rarely.

Cheques account for less than 1 percent of bank transactions, with most customers using some form of digital payment system to conduct their business.

However, the other large banks were not preparing to follow suit.

The largest bank ANZ said there had been a year-on-year 20 percent decline in cheque use in 2017 and 2018, with less than 1 percent of customers using the service.

However, it said it was still committed to honouring cheques, although it expected it would look to phase out cheques in due course.

The other big banks, Westpac, BNZ and ASB, said they would continue to offer customers a cheque service, without any indication of when they might be phased out.

"But while cheque usage continues its long-term decline in popularity as a payment method, it is still the most convenient for some ASB customers and that is why we're continuing to offer cheques as a choice," ASB retail banking manager Craig Sims said.

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