Next February Kiwibank will stop providing cheques, which has left some Te Awamutu senior citizens fearing how to manage their money and payments.

Te Awamutu Grey Power president Hazel Barnes said the local group's 400 members all mostly pay their membership fee with cheques which are then banked with Kiwibank.

"Kiwibank is our New Zealand bank for goodness sake and now it is going to stop cheques. For a New Zealand bank to be leading the charge on this and then put up advertising to say don't use Australian banks is a laugh," Hazel said.

Come February 28 Kiwibank cheque users will have to switch to digital banking as Kiwibank had indicated that the use of cheques has been steadily declining over the past five years and less than 1 per cent of Kiwibank payments are only made by cheque.


Kiwibank external communications manager Kara Tait said stopping their cheque service wasn't an easy decision and they have put services in place to help transition cheque users to digital marketing.

The services include one-on-one digital banking sessions at Kiwibank branches across the country, tech teas where groups can learn about digital banking over a cup of tea and digital inclusion sessions for groups such as Grey Power if they wish to host one.

Hazel fears though at such an age learning new digital and technological skills will be difficult and the decision to stop cheques is only going to make senior citizens' lives harder.

"As you age the memory bank slows down so even just remembering being taught technology doesn't work and then even if we did learn we don't all have the devices at home to do digital banking," Hazel said.

With the decision to stop cheques the Te Awamutu Grey Power group will stop banking with Kiwibank and instead change to one of Te Awamutu's other banks which include BNZ, Westpac and ASB.

"The only option we have to look after our elderly people is to change banks and unfortunately all the banks in Te Awamutu are Australian owned," said Hazel.

"We want to support New Zealand banks but this one has walked away from us."

Wearing her Te Awamutu councillor hat, Hazel has also decided she will be pushing council to broaden the Waipa age-friendly community policy.


Some of the things she hopes to achieve are to see hand rails on every set of stairs, for footpaths and pedestrian crossings to be levelled and have a local bus service introduced that covers a more expansive area than the current service.