The Reserve Bank has been co-ordinating commercial banks, cash service and security companies, ATM providers and maintenance firms to restore services.
“We recognise this is a very difficult time for many people, and we are doing everything possible with industry and emergency response to support across the cash system. There are now working ATMs in Northland, on the Coromandel Peninsula, and in Hawke’s Bay,” says Ian Woolford, Director of Money and Cash.
“Keeping working machines full is a priority for the industry. ATMs may still occasionally shut down if there is a power or data interruption, but will automatically re-start when service returns. Retailers are also able to offer cash outs if they have working EFTPOS and surplus cash available. There is no shortage of cash for working ATMs, or need to withdraw more than you need for a few days,” says Mr Woolford.
“The industry is also working with emergency management authorities to restore what we can or to put in temporary solutions for Wairoa and Tairāwhiti/Gisborne where power, data and road access are still missing or severely limited.
“Banks tell us that as they re-open branches they will be prioritising the needs of vulnerable customers. Retailers and other businesses with cash needs should also contact their bank,” says Mr Woolford.
The Reserve Bank is compiling a list of working ATMs in the affected areas. This will be published on its website and shared through social media when available, and distributed to the media and emergency response operations. Your bank will not charge you a withdrawal fee if you use another bank’s ATM.
“Members of the public can help out retailers by paying with the smallest denomination notes they have available and with coins. This will help keep change circulating in communities,” says Mr Woolford.
The Reserve Bank advises that anyone concerned about cash contaminated by flood water should wash it with soapy water or wipe with diluted disinfectant. Do not use hand sanitizer, powerful or abrasive cleaning agents, extreme heat, microwave ovens or other household appliances as these will damage both the cash and appliances.