Thousands of retailers may be unaware their Eftpos machines will stop working at the end of April if they don't upgrade them, a survey suggests.

Research by Eftpos provider Smart pay has found 49 per cent of retailers were not aware of the switchover and 57 per cent didn't know they needed to upgrade their software or terminal to accommodate the change.

The switchover will mean older versions of Eftpos software - Eftpos 6.1 and PTS 2013 software - are no longer supported on the New Zealand network from April 30.

All new terminals will allow contactless payment allowing people to use Applepay and Androidpay.

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Its survey covered around 400 retailers but Smartpay estimates between 20,000 and 40,000 retailers nationwide will be affected by the upgrade.

Chief executive Bradley Gerdis said it was speaking out about the issue because of concerns that it would impact ordinary Kiwis as well as retailers.

"We feel it is important that we step up and make a concerted effort to inform all retailers - not just our customers of the changes because this will impact all New Zealanders."

He said Smartpay was working with payment network operator Paymark to establish which of their customers have terminals that need upgrading and will automatically upgrade all its retail customers.

But Retail New Zealand says the concerns are overblown and there is still plenty of time for retailers to switch over.

Retail New Zealand spokesman Greg Harford said he believed most retailers were aware the change was coming and there was still another six weeks before it kicked in.

"There's no need to panic."

He said most retailers leased their equipment and suppliers were responsible for ensuring new equipment was brought in.

Harford said he had not heard any widespread concerns about retailers not being ready for the April 30 change.

"It has been pretty well signalled."

He expected suppliers to be well geared up for the change.