ANZ the latest Australian bank to phase out cheque books citing ‘decline in usage’

Georgina Noack
The Nightly
2 Min Read
ANZ has announced it will phase out cheque books. (Esther Linder/AAP PHOTOS)
ANZ has announced it will phase out cheque books. (Esther Linder/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

ANZ bank has announced it will phase out new cheque books from mid-year, citing an “ongoing decline” in use.

The wind-down will begin on June 16 and will impact banking customers who want to order a book for the first time.

Customers who already use cheque books and wish to order a new book from that date will still be able to do so.

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“ANZ has communicated to customers it is phasing out cheque books due to the ongoing decline in usage,” a spokesperson for the bank told The Nightly.

“Customers already using cheque books can continue to do so. For those receiving replacement cheque books there is no change.”

The spokesperson said only 3.5 per cent of ANZ customers who are eligible for a cheque book “have one or are actively using cheques.”

The changes come after the federal government announced that Australia would be moving away from using cheques by the end of 2030 at the latest.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a June 2023 announcement the government was working to wind down its cheque system and would help Australians make the switch to alternative payment methods to minimise the impact of the change on cheque users.

“As the use of cheques plummets and many banks and financial institutions stop issuing cheque books to new customers, it is important to manage this transition in an orderly and planned way,” Mr Chalmers said at the time.

The use of cheques in Australia has declined by about 90 per cent over the past 10 years; they comprise only 0.2 per cent of non-cash retail payments in Australia.

It follows major changes to the way Australians make payments and with the advancement of safer, more efficient payment systems and technologies.

ANZ is the latest Australian bank to announce it was phasing out its cheques, following similar moves by the Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Macquarie, and Bendigo Bank, among others.

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