A drop in the use of cheques has prompted one of New Zealand's largest retailers to stop accepting them.

The Warehouse Group which includes its red sheds and blue Warehouse Stationery stores stopped taking cheques from January.

A company spokeswoman said its decision was based on evidence that cheques had declined as a payment method.

"Most customers wanting to use cheques are business customers, and those customers have been offered our BizRewards programme as an alternative."


BizRewards offers businesses a credit account with an interest free period as well as rewards on purchases.

The spokeswoman said it also offered a range of other payment options for customers including Union Pay, Ali Pay and online shopping payment options including delayed payment service Part Pay.

"We communicated the change with customers via information at checkouts prior to this date."

Cheque use in New Zealand has been on a steep decline for the last 10 years.

Latest Payments New Zealand figures show there were 120 electronic payments for every cheque written last year.

That compares to 2010 where there was only 18 electronic payments for every cheque.

In October 2018, cheque volumes dropped to 0.31 per person, with a monthly total of 1.5 million cheques written.

That compares to October 2013 when there was 0.99 cheques per person or 4.4 million cheques for the month.