Machines, trolleys being prepared to accept new Singapore coin series

Machines, trolleys being altered to accept new coins

BUSINESSES are gearing up for the new Singapore Third Series coins, which will start circulating in 10 days' time.

NTUC FairPrice said its customers will be able to use new 50-cent coins on its trolleys, which currently accepts only the $1 coins.

By doing so, the supermarket chain will not need to change the mechanism on its 8,000 trolleys because the new 50-cent coins are of the same dimensions as the current $1 coins.

NTUC FairPrice communications director Jonas Kor said it wanted to make the transition phase "as convenient as possible too" for customers.

Supermarket chain owner Dairy Farm Singapore, meanwhile, said the locks on its 7,800 trolleys will be replaced in phases from September to cope with the different-sized money.

Those at its Giant stores will have two slots so customers can use both the new and old $1 coins.

Locks at the company's Cold Storage outlets will be replaced with a type that accepts only new $1 coins, which customers can pick up from service counters if necessary.

Apsara Vending operations manager Eugene Seah said that only its older machines will be affected. From next year, the company will spend about $500 per machine to change the coin mechanisms.

Le Tach will not have to modify its vending machines' hardware, but will need to reprogramme the software so that it accepts both old and new coins. The company's sales director, Mr Steve Chia, said: "I'm not too worried about it yet because of the transition period. It will take a while for the new coins to circulate."

On Tuesday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the new collection will be available at banks in Singapore from June 25. All past and current series coins will remain legal tender.

Earlier this year, the MAS announced a new series of coins depicting Singapore landmarks such as the Merlion, Changi Airport and the Esplanade. Over the next four years, the Third Series coins will replace the current collection - the Garden Series - which depicts local plants and flowers.

melpang@sph.com.sg