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Vodafone drops cheques in move it calls (sigh) "Chexit"

16 Mar 2020

Vodafone New Zealand has announced that it will no longer be accepting cheques as a method to pay bills from 30 April onwards in a move it is calling 'Chexit' (like Brexit but with cheques and less severe economic ramifications).

This announcement comes via a statement that gives “an increased focus on digital-first services” as a reason for moving away from the dying payment method.

“Last year we saw a decline of almost 40% in cheque volumes, and as of February, we had less than 3,500 customers paying by cheque – with the downward trend continuing every month,” says Vodafone NZ CFO John Boniciolli.

The statement points to Vodafone’s recently updated mobile app which includes a payment portal for customers’ bills.

Boniciolli goes on to say that for those who wish to pay without having to go online, “people can still visit a Vodafone retail store.”

Vodafone is hardly the only organisation that is choosing to say no to cheques as commerce is moving more and more into the digital world.

“A number of other businesses and government agencies are undertaking similar measures, and we hope six weeks’ notice gives Vodafone customers ample time to prepare for what we’re referring to as Chexit,” says Boniciolli. 

“The increasing security considerations and sophistication of digital channels, as well as a reduction in business banking services that physically process paper payments, means breaking up with cheques was inevitable.”

Customers can still choose to pay via direct debit, credit card, internet banking or by physically visiting a Vodafone retail store and using EFTPOS or cash.

The ‘Ways to Pay’ section of the company’s website will be updated in real-time as the cheque payment method is phased out.

With New Zealand moving increasingly online, last month Vodafone announced unlimited data mobile phone plans for its pay monthly and business customers.

The plans offer an endless supply of mobile data, with the difference in plans being the amount of data that runs at max speed.

Vodafone NZ reports that it has seen an average 52% increase in mobile data consumption year-on-year over the last three years and a large increase in customers looking for greater data limits.

A recent consumer study commissioned by Vodafone and conducted by independent market researcher Colmar Brunton found that 78% of New Zealand mobile telecommunications customers say it is important that they have access to (and credit to use) data on their mobile phone.

In a special launch offer, Vodafone New Zealand will be offering its two largest new plans at half price for the first three months.