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New Zealand Moves To Protect Cash

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has today moved to protect the cash economy. The RBNZ announced “a new role of steward of the cash system to preserve the benefits of cash for all who need them.”

RBNZ Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby said:

“Cash is being used less as a means of payment and access to cash is declining. However, cash provides important benefits to many people, including legal tender money, social and financial inclusion, peer-to-peer payments, backup payments, and privacy and autonomy.”

“We encourage every banking sector participant to consider their role in supporting the needs of their customers, including those who depend on cash for their everyday needs.”

RBNZ has established A Future of Cash Office and is working with industry and the community on the future of money.

“We welcome the RBNZ moving decisively, after listening and engaging with the community, to protect cash,” said Sandra Smith from the ATMIA (Asia Pacific)

“The New Zealand cash economy is strong, safe, reliable and surcharge-free. New Zealanders love cash and flocked back to using cash after the lockdown period finished.”

“The Australian government and the RBA need to move, like New Zealand, to support the right of the elderly, diverse communities, regional centres, remote towns, everyone, to access and use cash,” said Sandra Smith.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s new “stewardship” for cash direction emerged from its’ Future of Cash – Te Moni Anamata public consultation in 2019.

Sandra Smith from the ATMIA (Asia Pacific) said cash from an ATM is clean and is not more risky than any other contact surface.

“The WHO, the RBNZ, NZ and Australian health authorities, the Royal Australian Mint and the RBA have all confirmed that cash is not a virus risk if the health advice is followed – hand sanitising, distancing and masking.”

“Cash withdrawn from an ATM is clean and can be trusted and used with confidence.”

“However you pay, the World Health Organisation and the Australian health authorities say use good hand hygiene and social distance are advised.

“And don’t mix payments and cash with food handling and eating,” said Sandra Smith.

Cash Welcome is a cash industry initiative to give a voice to the millions who trust and rely on cash.

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