Gold town cash bash

SHARE

Arrowtown has a hole in the wall.

Last week Westpac withdrew its ATM machine service from Buckingham Street, leaving only one remaining bank ATM – right before the town’s biggest event.

Arrowtown councillor Scott Stevens is “disappointed”.

“There’s going to be times of the year, particularly during events such as Autumn Festival, when the queue at an ATM is just going to be ridiculously long and the machine itself won’t be able to cope.”

Autumn Festival boss Carole Watts reckons they’ll be OK over the next six days, but hopes people don’t turn up reliant on the remaining BNZ cash machine.

In the past both machines have been “hammered” during the festival and either run out of money or gone out of service due to the influx of customers.

In an emailed statement, Westpac’s comms boss Heather Shiels says low use and the machine’s age are the reasons they pulled the pin.

But she says it’s all good: “We are aware that more people and businesses are choosing to use mobile and online banking and cards to make payments.”

She says Arrowtown still has an ATM machine available and people travelling from out of town can grab cash on the way out.

But it’s the convenience that Watts is concerned about – particularly during the Arts and Crafts Market as some stalls don’t have have access to eftpos machines.

Stevens says if the remaining bank ATM was to be ripped away from Arrowtown, it would be a much bigger issue.

But he doesn’t consider it a snub towards the town.

“I think it’s a reflection of the cashless society we’re moving towards.”

mandy.cooper@scene.co.nz