Changes spark ‘tech savvy’ event

Otago Neighbourhood Support regional co-ordinator Joy Davis is hosting a seminar to teach online banking skills to anyone struggling with them. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A change in the banking landscape in Mosgiel has sparked a “tech savvy” information event in the town.

Otago Neighbourhood Support regional co-ordinator and Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairwoman Joy Davis said it was “very disappointing” some Mosgiel banks closed or reduced opening hours after lockdown.

The ASB branch had closed.

The Westpac branch had reduced its opening hours.

Before lockdown, Westpac was open between 9am and 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.

After lockdown, Westpac opened between 10am and 2pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

After lockdown, BNZ Mosgiel resumed its usual hours of 10am to 3pm from Monday to Friday.

ANZ Mosgiel had also resumed its usual hours of 9am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.

Mrs Davis was concerned the staff in branches open for reduced hours would not have enough time to deal with clients with more complex requests.

It was unrealistic for banks to expect all customers to do their banking online as some people lacked the necessary skills.

In a bid to bridge the gap, Otago Neighbourhood Support was holding a “tech savvy” information morning, in conjunction with ANZ Mosgiel, to help people struggling with internet banking.

“We can’t put our head in the sand – this is the way of the future but how do we ensure the most vulnerable people aren’t disadvantaged?”

The session would be held in the Downes Room at the Mosgiel Library from 10am on August 19.

At the talk, Ministry of Social Development staff would explain how to navigate its website.

Mosgiel Library manager Linda Roxburgh would talk about internet access at the library.

Numbers to the event were limited.

Bookings were being taken by Jacqui Hyde at the Mosgiel Police Station.

She hoped more of the information sessions could be held across Dunedin, Mrs Davis said.

In the meantime, if anyone was struggling with internet banking, they should contact their bank and ask for help.

“It’s all very well to put these changes in but where is the education and support around it?”

In a statement, an ASB spokeswoman said the decision to close nine ASB branches across New Zealand, including the Mosgiel branch, after lockdown was to ensure its staff could continue to deliver “a more responsive service on the phone and via email”.