29 October 2021
ASB has today announced it will continue to waive merchant fees on contactless debit card transactions for eligible small business customers until 31 December, 2021.
ASB's executive general manager for Business Banking Tim Deane says, "ASB is acutely aware small business owners throughout the country are doing it tough and every little bit of financial relief helps them get through."
In September we waived merchant fees for contactless debit card transactions for eligible small business customers until the end of October to support them as they traded through the latest COVID-19 disruptions. We've now extended that relief until the end of the year to continue to provide support through the traditionally busy Christmas trading period.
"We've been impressed with the way many small businesses have learned the lessons of last year's lockdowns to better position themselves this time around. We are seeing diversification and digitisation of small businesses across New Zealand as business owners have found ways to innovate to secure new cashflow streams under difficult COVID trading restrictions.
"But we know we have a role to play and we are committed to supporting them through.
"The bank has a strong track record of backing business, including throughout the COVID era, through a range of financial and non-financial support initiatives. For example, when the RBNZ increased the Official Cash Rate by 0.25% in October ASB committed to holding our Business Base Rate steady through to the end of 2021. "While the OCR increase puts pressure on our funding costs, we won't be passing this cost through on our business base rate, which is used to price loans most used by our small business customers."
Last year ASB grew its business lending by 9% in a year when total business lending in New Zealand fell by almost 1.5%. It also helped boost 100 small businesses with its Borrow the All Blacks campaign and provided grants through a Backing Business partnership with TVNZ.
"Over the past month we hosted a series of Backing Business: Mental health and wellbeing sessions to give all Kiwi business owners the opportunity to learn practical tips and tools to help them, their employees and their families navigate through this time.
"We continue to back our business customers and encourage any business - or personal customers - who are concerned about their situation to contact us to discuss the many ways we can support them."