June 14, 2021 Share
Originally published as a column in Whats on Invers
In this high-tech world many will say that cheques are outmoded, but I’m not convinced.
ANZ stops cheques at the end of this month, Westpac in June, BNZ in July and ASB in August.
I’m concerned for the elderly, those with disabilities, people in rural areas with limited access to internet banking, the Southland towns where banks have shut down, and those who haven’t got, or can’t afford, the technology for internet banking.
Despite what the banks say, cheques are still a useful and important part of people’s lives. A Rural Women NZ survey earlier this year revealed that 61 per cent of respondents were worried about the disappearance of cheques.
I believe this decision affects people’s independence, their dignity and will likely create social problems or abuse.
Older people may trust friends or family with their online banking - potentially opening themselves up to security risks and exploitation, if personal information or PINs are given out. Grey Power Southland shares my concerns.
We also don’t want people, particularly seniors, drawing large amounts of cash from their accounts and keeping money at home, with the obvious safety issues involved.
Labour has recently voted against an inquiry into how banks and government agencies will make sure people can still manage their finances without cheques.
Sadly this reflects the Government’s disregard for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
National is pushing for an investigation and I intend to put my full support behind it.