Many people were unimpressed with the cashless society when the money machine broke down on the first pension day after the Kamo ASB branch closed.

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, an 'out of order' sign greeted pensioners and others who would usually use the ATM or tellers for cash withdrawals and general banking services.

The ASB closed its Kamo branch on October 7, citing a decline in staff-assisted transactions as the reason.

Despite the bank's suggestion customers should use more internet banking or travel to a central Whangarei branch, the closure was met with dismay from people for whom those were not options.

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The bank promised that people would still have the Kamo ATM facility to withdraw cash.
Several elderly people were lined up early on Tuesday wanting to use the Kamo ATM to access their pensions.

When customer Susan Vercoe called the freephone number for assistance, she was told "something would be done".

Two hours later something was done, Mrs Vercoe said.

"There is now a sign to say the machine is out of order!"

More than 24 hours later, the machine's screen message still showed it was out of service, while next to it another sign notified customers about the branch's closure and recommended they use the Walton St ASB.

But that is almost impossible for some people who live in Kamo so they do not have to go elsewhere for essential services, said Lindsay Caley, chairman of Kamo Community Incorporated, the local business and residents' association.


An ASB spokesperson said the bank apologised for the inconvenience to customers over the fault that was fixed by midday Wednesday.

"We are very disappointed about the situation. As for a technology failure of this type, if people can't use online services or get into Whangarei, how else are they going to get their money?

"If the machine's broken, at the very least they should have a bank's representative on site," Mr Caley said.

Mrs Vercoe said she did internet banking but still needed an ATM for cash. She went to the ATM on Tuesday with a friend who relied on manual transactions.

"Great service. Well done ASB. I have banked with you for over 40 years but am wondering why," she said.