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Moving On From Cheques, Younger Generation Can Help

Until late last year, 94-year-old Sylvia used cheques to pay her bills. She walked to the shops each week, without fail, to post cheques to pay her phone, power, Sky and newspaper subscription.

But now, with government organisations like IRD and ACC, and now banks phasing out cheques, she’s made a change for the better.

With the help of her granddaughter Emma, who works for ANZ, and the local ANZ Dunedin branch, Sylvia has arranged to pay all her bills automatically via direct debit.

“She was a bit cautious about the idea at first,” Emma said.

“I think people my grandmother’s age can be quite private with their money, and they like to be in control of it all - I had to chip away at it for a while and reassure her that this is the way that I do it and it will make life easier and simpler in the long run.”



“It’s really important that the younger generation, who know how to do this stuff, teach the older generation about different ways to do their banking.”

- Emma Shaw, Granddaughter



Emma said it’s important that younger family members check in with elderly relatives to see if they’re ready for the change.

“It’s really important that the younger generation, who know how to do this stuff, teach the older generation about different ways to do their banking,” she said.

“The scary thing is that lots of people may not know this is coming and may not be set up for it, and if they don’t do that by the end of May, they could find themselves getting behind with their bills – so it’s important to get on the front foot.

“Even though it’s a couple of months until cheques are phased out, it does take a bit of time to change them over – so starting it now is the key so you can make sure you’ve got everything set up properly by June.”

Emma first checked in with Sylvia’s local ANZ branch, before going through the process of contacting Sylvia’s service providers to sort out direct debits.

“They make it really easy, some providers can even do it over the phone, so that part of the process is pretty easy once you start getting in touch with them,” Emma said.

For Sylvia, the change means more time doing the things she loves – like watching rugby or horse racing, going out for a meal, and knitting.

It also means Sylvia won’t need to head out on foot during a freezing Dunedin winter to post her cheques any more.

Sylvia filling out one of her last-ever cheques.

Most NZ banks are currently phasing out the acceptance of cheques as a method to receive or make payments. 


Online and Automated Phone Banking are other great options – and they’re easier than you think.


If you have a family member or friend who needs help, check out our step-by-step how-to guides at https://www.anz.co.nz/banking-with-anz/ways-to-bank/guides/ or encourage them to talk to one of our team.


We can help get them set up and on their way to easy, convenient banking from home! 


Our branch and contact centre staff all over New Zealand are helping customers migrate from cheques to electronic payment options, including using ANZ Internet Banking, the goMoney mobile app, Automated Phone Banking, and direct debit, as they did for Sylvia.


Find out more


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