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South’s banking hub now set for November launch

The banking hub is likely to be set up in the town’s Waihinga Centre. PHOTO/FILE

The Regional Banking Hubs pilot which would have seen some services return to South Wairarapa has been put on hold, with the scheme now set to launch in Martinborough in November.

The village is set to be one of four rural settlements across New Zealand to host the service, alongside towns in Taranaki, Nelson, and Canterbury.

A March launch was delayed by the covid-19 crisis and lockdown.

New Zealand Banking Association chief executive Roger Beaumont said the project team had already put a lot of work into the scheme.

A Spring launch was the aim, but that timescale was subject to review, he said.

“By that time it should be clear if the hub pilots can operate in as normal a setting as possible.”

The hub, which is likely to be set up in the town’s Waihinga Centre, and will allow basic transactional services such as cash withdrawals,  deposits and account transfers.

A support person will provide guidance and assistance for customers of one of the banks behind the project, which include Kiwibank, BNZ, TSB, ANZ, ASB, and Westpac.

“We, and the six participating banks, want to make sure the hubs have the best chance to succeed,” Beaumont said.

“That makes it important that the pilot is run when social activity is as close to normal as possible.

“Otherwise the visitation and transaction data we need to test the viability of these hubs won’t provide a realistic picture of how popular they will be in the community.”

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