Wellington, Dec 4

N

ew ways to help individuals and retailers withdraw and deposit cash will be piloted in New Zealand's rural communities lacking commercial bank over-the-counter or ATM cash services.

Several rural communities will be invited to take part in trials starting next year, which are funded by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and will test new ways for people, including retailers, to withdraw and deposit cash, including change and takings, at little or no cost to them, reports Xinhua news agency.

"We know that New Zealanders, particularly in rural areas, still often rely on cash and value the certainty and convenience it provides, including when electronic options aren't available or are off-line as we saw for large parts of the country during Cyclone Gabrielle," said Ian Woolford, the central bank's director of money and cash.

This research project recognises the important role of retailers in the cash system and will test ways of ensuring that cash remains easy to get, spend, give as change, and bank, Woolford said.

The trials will run for about 18 months to inform future Reserve Bank work to support cash use and the cash system, he said.

New Zealand to make cash service easier in rural areas

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