Kiwibank to go cheque-free from 2020

Kiwibank will become the first major New Zealand bank to ditch cheques as it commits to "faster, safer, and cheaper" payment options.

The bank will go cheque-free from February 28 2020, and says it will trial free online banking workshops in several regions.

Chief executive Steve Jurkovich said it wasn't an easy decision to make.

"For the past five years, the use of cheques has been steadily declining," he said in a statement.

"With less than one percent of Kiwibank payments now made by cheque, we've come to a tipping point.

"We've chosen not to invest in a shrinking service and outdated technology, instead we're moving forward and equipping customers for a world that is increasingly digital."

Kiwibank says customers who have used cheques more than five times during the past year will receive letters notifying them of the change.

"We understand cheques may still play a role in the day-to-day lives of some of our customers," Jurkovich said.

"For this reason, we wanted to provide customers with plenty of time to prepare for this change."

Jurkovich said online tools can offer a more convenient and cheaper customer experience.