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October 26, 2020

Westpac to cease accepting cheques in New Zealand from June next year

Westpac New Zealand (Westpac NZ) has confirmed plans to phase out cheques as the bank aims to move to other forms of payments.

On its website, the bank said that cheque payments will be unavailable after 25 June 2021.

Plan details

The bank will offer free face-to-face workshops and online seminars on digital banking in collaboration with education platform SeniorNet.

As many as 150 digital ambassadors will receive advanced training to work with cheque users.

Communication channels including letter, email and phone will be utilised to help these users adopt other ways to pay.

Changes

The bank will provide cheque facilities and chequebooks until 27 November 2020.

Customers requesting for manual chequebooks can do so until four months (26 March 2021) after this date.

Westpac NZ will allow its customers to encash and deposit their cheques until 25 June 2021.

Westpac NZ GM of consumer banking and wealth Gina Dellabarca said that as more customers switch to digital payments, the usage of cheques is declining rapidly.

Dellabarca said: “Cheques have a long and proud legacy; however, the speed, safety and ease of digital payments has changed the way people bank.

“Cheques now represent less than 1% of payments and that figure continues to fall.”

She added that the lender is helping cheque users explore other payment methods, which will be introduced by its team.

She said: “In recent years we have been working with our personal, business and government customers who write or accept cheques to help them move to digital payments and we are stepping up our activities in that area as cheques are phased out.

“We know some cheque users will be concerned about the transition and are yet to discover the security and convenience of online payments.

“Anecdotally, we have noticed a recent increase in adults helping their cheque-using parents move to other forms of payment.”

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