Westpac to phase out cheques

It is helping cheque users to explore other ways to pay

Westpac to phase out cheques

Westpac New Zealand hinted in May that it would switch to other forms of payment as more customers go digital amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it has confirmed that it will phase out cheques as a means of payment after June 25, 2021.

Westpac confirmed that November 27 is the final day that new cheque facilities will be opened and chequebooks will be reissued automatically.

Next year, March 26 is the final day that chequebooks and bank cheques will be issued, and June 25 is the final day that cheques can be cashed and deposited at Westpac.

Gina Dellabarca, the general manager of consumer banking and wealth at Westpac NZ, said cheque usage is becoming obsolete as more and more customers switch to digital payments.

“Cheques have a long and proud legacy. However, the speed, safety, and ease of digital payments have changed the way people bank,” Dellabarca said.

“Cheques now represent less than 1% of payments, and that figure continues to fall. We've reached the point where it makes sense for us to focus our payment options on the future, not the past.”

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Westpac is helping cheque users to explore other means of payment by collaborating with SeniorNet to offer free face-to-face workshops and online seminars that teach participants about digital banking and staying safe online.

It also trains 150 digital ambassadors who will proactively work with cheque users in their community and uses a variety of direct communications to help cheque users identify other ways of banking.

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

“We know some cheque users will be concerned about the transition and are yet to discover the security and convenience of online payments. We want to help them on that journey.”

“Anecdotally, we have noticed a recent increase in adults helping their cheque-using parents move to other forms of payment. It's great seeing families lifting their financial capability together,” Dellabarca concluded.