Four months on from the closure of Kurow's only bank, some
elderly residents are still making weekly 120km round-trips
to the nearest bank in Oamaru, because they are struggling to
use eftpos cards rather than cash.
The National Bank closed its Kurow branch in July, and
although many of the town's businesses have accepted its
loss, despite increased costs, Grey Power North Otago
treasurer Thea McTeigue said many elderly residents were
still struggling to come to terms with life without the bank.
Ms McTeigue said many senior members of the community had
always used cash, but for those people with failing eyesight,
electronic card transactions were not easy to conduct.
The town's two ATMs also charged a $2 fee for cash
withdrawals, she said.
"The bank is sorely missed.
"It's a real nuisance for some people. They have either got
to go through to Oamaru or make alternative arrangements."
Kurow Museum and Information Centre co-ordinator Carron
Cossens said most residents now used electronic transactions
more frequently, in order to avoid the 120km round trip to
Oamaru, but she knew several older people in the community
who were having trouble adjusting and had found it hard to
learn how to use eftpos cards.
"I am aware of at least three elderly members of the
community who have had to acquire eftpos cards for the first
time, and I know that has been a steep learning curve for
The Bledisloe St branch closed on July 13 after an
engineering survey of all National and ANZ banks found the
1871 building did not meet earthquake safety standards.