New chequebook policy makes no sense

From now on cheque books will no longer be sent out automatically. For businesses that still need them, this is silly. We need cheques for special reasons, namely cash cheques for bond refunds and to claim cash expenses. But from now on we have to apply for chequebooks. I suppose it is to annoy us enough to stop using cheques. We would if we could, but we have no choice.

I promise we’re definitely not trying to annoy you and I’m so sorry if it feels that way! Thanks for getting in touch. I’ll pass this feedback on to the right team.

It makes a lot of sense to me. Cheques should have gone the way of the dodo years ago.

Obviously you don’t deal in the financial end of a business. There are still many valid reasons for businesses using cheques, even if you, in your private capacity, don’t.

Sorry michaelnz - completely wrong. There have been MANY reasons to retain use of cheques for payment e.g. no internet access, the elderly and more. And the overriding reason must surely be personal choice.

Fine. They can “personal choice” elsewhere. I don’t want cheques and neither do a lot of other businesses. We are setup for electronic payments and this is what the overwhelming majority of customers want. Not some stupid piece of paper which then obliges me to go into town during bank hours, pay a fee and wait for my money.

No internet access = no money, so no loss there. But even then the low end seem to have no problems getting on the internet facebooking and so on.

Elderly = Most of them have caught up. It’s not like electronic payments or the internet was invented yesterday.

The very small number who call me out to do a job and then insist on paying by cheque promptly end up on my “meh” list. That means next time they call when they want something I won’t be in a great hurry. Why? Because they have had many years to adapt. Failing to do so is their problem.

WOW what sort of business do you operate, to have such an attitude you must have an absolute monopoly.

One of the first things I learned when I started dealing with the general public is you can’t please everyone and working out who the bottom 10 or even 20% of customers are makes a business more profitable.

I accept cash, eftpos, credit card (no surcharge) or internet banking. But if someone thinks they are special and want to get upperty about what they wrongly believe is their right to pay by cheque - basically how you come across.

1/ to me looks like you’re the one with the entitlement attitude
2/ you’re wrong again - it is my right to pay by cheque IF I CHOOSE that’s not me being special

The definition of legal tender is:

coins or banknotes that must be accepted if offered in payment of a debt.

So you are plain wrong.

For a more fullsome explanation:

" Legal tender is a medium of payment recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation.[1] Each jurisdiction determines what is legal tender, but essentially it is anything which when offered (“tendered”) in payment of a debt extinguishes the debt. There is no obligation on the creditor to accept the tendered payment, but the debt is nevertheless discharged. The creditor is not obligated to give change. Some jurisdictions allow contract law to overrule the status of legal tender, allowing for example merchants to specify that they will not accept cash payments.[2] Coins and banknotes are usually defined as legal tender in many countries, but personal cheques, credit cards, and similar non-cash methods of payment are usually not. Some jurisdictions may include a specific foreign currency as legal tender, at times as its exclusive legal tender or concurrently with its domestic currency. Some jurisdictions may forbid or restrict payment made by other than legal tender."

There is a specific section for New Zealand which includes:

"In 1964, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act restated that only notes issued by the Reserve Bank were legal tender. The Act also ended the right of individuals to redeem their bank notes for coin, effectively ending the distinction between coin and notes in New Zealand. The Act came into force in 1967 establishing as legal tender all New Zealand dollar five dollars banknotes and greater, all decimal coins, the pre-decimal sixpence, the shilling, and the florin. Also passed in 1964 was the Decimal Currency Act, which created the basis for a decimal currency, introduced in 1967.

As of 2005, banknotes were legal tender for all payments, and $1 and $2 coins were legal tender for payments up to $100, and 10c, 20c, and 50c silver coins were legal tender for payments up to $5. These older style silver coins were legal tender until October 2006, after which only the new 10c, 20c and 50c coins, introduced in August 2006, are legal.[26]"

Wikipedia - Legal tender

If you want something official the Reserve Bank has a whole web page and PDF devoted to this subject. This also confirms only notes and coins* issued by the RBNZ have the standing of legal tender and must be accepted in payment of a debt.
RBNZ - Payments and the concept of legal tender

*The Act places limitations on the dollar value of coins which must be accepted.

In summary this article states:
"The Bank commonly receives queries about legal tender and members
of the public often ask for advice on how to resolve payment disputes,
where they have tendered cash in some form and it has not been
accepted by a seller.
Legal tender is a tender of payment that, by law, cannot effectively be
refused in settlement of a debt denominated in the same currency.
Without the concept of legal tender, cash transactions could not always
take place with sufficient certainty to satisfy the needs of consumers
and sellers. The enactment into law of the concept also supports and
reinforces currency issue by the State, by guaranteeing its currency has
an exclusive legal status that is good to settle debts. These benefits are
largely taken for granted.
On the other hand, the practical limitations of legal tender should be
acknowledged. It is always subject to the intention of the parties, who
may contract to receive payment in other than legal tender. For larger
transactions, the courts will likely presume that the parties do not
contemplate legal tender. And where disputes arise over payment,
members of the public will rely on pragmatic solutions while the formal
rules underlying legal tender will rarely have any bearing on the outcome."

So in effect the only payment a merchant must accept to satisfy a debt is cash. Acceptance of any other payment method is subject to the contract between the merchant and the buyer.

Keep in mind these are the views of fellow BNZ Community users, and not BNZ.