A unique partnership of six New Zealand banks will trial a new approach to providing banking services in small regional communities.
Banking Hubs will be trialled in four small towns for 12 months, with the first starting by early 2020. The hubs will feature a Smart ATM, support staff and online and technology support.
During the pilots the participating banks – Kiwibank, BNZ, TSB, ANZ, ASB and Westpac – will not close regional branches. This excludes co-located Kiwibank/NZ Post premises.
“New innovation and technology has brought huge benefits and convenience to customers such as 24 hour banking but some communities, especially small towns, can feel left behind when physical branches close,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont.
“While many people hardly ever visit bank branches, some people still prefer to bank face to face. Banks want to help those customers by using innovative ideas and technology.
“Each Banking Hub pilot will test different ways of adapting to community demand and requirements and services will evolve over time. They will provide different capabilities, with variations in technology and personal service.
“NZBA will establish partnerships with local organisations or use existing bank infrastructure branches to host the hubs.
“NZBA has held a series of discussions with the government ministers on the best ways to help regional New Zealand. Those constructive conversations and feedback from local communities and customers have been part of the process leading to this trial,” Beaumont says.
The hubs for the trial will be located in Martinborough, Opunake, Stoke and Twizel.
For the purposes of this pilot, regional branches are defined as those outside the city council boundaries of the six main urban centres: Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.