ANZ Bank has become the latest Australian bank to discontinue ‘cheque books’ due to reduced usage

ANZ Bank

ANZ bank has declared that it will discontinue issuing new cheque books starting mid-year, attributing this decision to a “continual decrease” in their usage.

The cessation will commence on June 16 and will affect bank customers seeking to acquire a cheque book for the first time.

However, existing customers who already utilize cheque books and desire to request a new one after this date will still have the opportunity to do so.

“Due to the persistent decline in usage, ANZ has informed its customers of the gradual discontinuation of cheque books,” stated a representative from the bank.

“Customers who already have cheque books can continue using them, and there will be no changes for those obtaining replacement cheque books,” the spokesperson noted.

The spokesperson also mentioned that only 3.5 percent of ANZ customers eligible for a cheque book actually possess one or are actively using cheques.

These developments follow the federal government’s declaration that Australia will phase out cheque usage by no later than the end of 2030.

In a statement made in June 2023, Treasurer Jim Chalmers revealed that the government is in the process of discontinuing its cheque system and will assist Australians in transitioning to other payment methods to reduce the effect of this change on cheque users.

“Given the sharp decline in cheque usage and the fact that numerous banks and financial institutions have ceased issuing cheque books to new customers, it’s crucial to handle this transition in a structured and deliberate manner,” Mr. Chalmers stated at the time.

In Australia, cheque usage has fallen by approximately 90 percent over the last decade, now representing just 0.2 percent of non-cash retail payments.

This decline coincides with significant shifts in Australian payment methods and the development of more secure and efficient payment systems and technologies.

ANZ bank is the most recent Australian bank to declare it is phasing out cheques, joining other institutions like Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Macquarie, and Bendigo Bank that have made similar announcements.

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