Kiwibank is going cheque-free. For some of us, receiving a cheque book was our first banking experience, and the uncertainty that comes with a significant change like this hasn’t escaped us. Rest assured, we’ll do everything we can to help make your transition to faster, cheaper and safer alternatives as easy as possible.

What’s happening to cheques?

Kiwibank is going cheque-free from 28 February 2020. From 17 May 2019, you’ll no longer be able to open new cheque facilities. This means you won’t be able to get a cheque book on a newly opened bank account. If you already have cheque facilities on existing accounts, you won’t be able to order a new cheque book from 30 September 2019.

We’re not stopping accepting cheques immediately, but if you currently write cheques or receive cheques as payments, you’ll need to start using other forms of payment.

From 28 February 2020, you shouldn’t write cheques as they may not be honoured by Kiwibank. From this date, we’ll also no longer accept cheque deposits and will stop providing bank cheques.

There are a number of ways we can help you get prepared for this change including Stepping UP digital banking workshops, Kiwibank Tech Teas or our digital support hub. We also created a handy list of frequently asked questions.

If you're a business customer, we've created a checklist and resources to help you inform your customers that you'll no longer be able to accept cheques.

Why will Kiwibank stop issuing and accepting cheques?

Stopping our cheque service wasn't an easy decision to make. However, for the last five years the use of cheques at Kiwibank has been declining at a rate of 20% year-on-year as customers choose less expensive ways to pay. In fact, more than 99% of our customers' payments are via alternative methods.

Timings of changes

There are three dates you need to remember:

*Any bank cheques issued prior to this date will be honoured as usual even if they're presented after this date.

Important: You'll need to be using alternative methods of payment before 28 February 2020.

What about deposit books?

From 30 September 2019, you'll no longer be able to order personalised deposit books. If you have deposit books issued before then, you'll be able to keep using them. You'll also still find deposit and withdrawal slips in Kiwibank branches.

Frequently asked questions

For a full list of frequently asked questions about the changes to cheques, visit our FAQs page.

What are my other payment options?

There are plenty of easy ways to make and receive payments.

  • If you want to pay someone, you can use internet, mobile or phone banking. All you’ll have to do is ask for their bank account number. If you don’t have this set up, we can help.
  • If you think you’ll be paying the same person again, you can save their bank account details on your Saved Payee list to make future payments by internet, mobile or phone banking easy.
  • If you make regular payments to the same person or organisation for the same amount, you can set up an automatic payment.
  • To receive a payment, just give the person paying you your bank account number. If you aren’t sure where to find it, we can help.
  • You can set up a direct debit from your account to pay your utility bills. Just talk to your provider. In some cases, doing this will get you a discount.
  • To transfer money from your account at another bank to your Kiwibank account, use the other bank’s internet banking or mobile app. If you don’t have this, just call them and they’ll be able to help. You can also withdraw funds from your other bank and make a cash deposit into your Kiwibank account.
What if I receive a cheque after the cut-off date?

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to accept cheques after 28 February 2020.

If this happens, you’ll need to contact the person who gave you the cheque and ask them to pay you directly into your bank account. This can be done online or in branch.

If you receive regular payments by cheque, please contact the person paying you to set up a payment direct to your bank account.

I'm worried about staying safe online.

We have an internet banking guarantee to help protect our customers from scams. If you've been the victim of unauthorised activity on your accounts within internet banking or our mobile app, we'll reimburse any money you've lost as long as you’ve complied with our general terms and conditions (PDF 196.5 KB), haven’t acted dishonestly or negligently and have taken reasonable steps to protect your banking.

We’re also partnering with Stepping UP to run workshops for anyone keen to learn more about staying safe online.

Learn more about Stepping UP workshops

What are the key differences between cheques and electronic transactions?

There are many advantages to going digital:

  • Electronic transactions can give you faster access to funds and can be used immediately the money appears in your account.
  • Cheques can cost both you and the person you’re paying. Electronic transactions are usually much cheaper and often free.
  • If the cheque is going to dishonour, you may not know for up to a week. An electronic transaction can be used as soon as you receive it.
  • Electronic transactions give you greater transaction insight and transparency.
  • Electronic payments can be future dated.
How can I pay people who work for me at home like the plumber or electrician?

The best way to pay is through a direct deposit into their account. Ask them for their account details and save them as a payee to make it easier in the future.

The good news is these businesses will receive your payment much faster than they would have if they were paid by cheque.

How can I help my customers move to digital?

We can help you set up more efficient ways of accepting payments.

Some payment alternatives include:

  • Register as a public biller with all New Zealand banks for free.
  • Ensure your customers have access to your account number on invoices.
  • If you're eligible, get set up with Merchant Services, Fetch, direct debit services or Kiwibank QuickPay®, which is a low-cost solution for accepting card payments on the go.
  • Use contactless donation technology. One UK charity has seen a 309% increase in donations from an unattended contactless donation point.
  • Ask your regular donors to set up an automatic payment.
  • Get set up with text donations.

We can also help you educate your customers on why they should pay electronically:

  • Lower cost of processing
  • Lower fees
  • Easier cash management (no clearance times or dishonours)
  • Lower reconciliation effort
  • Greater transaction insight and transparency
  • Payments can be future dated.

Alternatively, let them know they can give us a call on 0800 11 33 55 (anytime between 7am and 8pm, Monday to Friday and between 8am and 4:30pm on weekends).

Learn more about our payment solutions

Need help going digital?

We're here to help as you switch from cheques to alternative methods of payment. The good news is there are lots of easy and convenient ways to make payments, that are cheaper, faster and secure.

Staying safe online

We do everything we can to protect your money and personal information. This includes two online authentication services that provide an extra layer of security when you're using internet banking and our mobile app.

Educate yourself about scams and safety

If you haven’t spent a lot of time online, then the independent online safety watchdog Netsafe would be worth a visit. Netsafe is full of information and tips about how to stay safe online and avoid scams. We also have resources to help you stay safe online.