Banks use tech to ease CNY rush for new notes

Banks are turning to technology to meet the demand for crisp new bank notes for Chinese New Year.

UOB, DBS and POSB will let people reserve notes online, while OCBC customers can use the bank's mobile app to check which branches have new notes in stock.

DBS and POSB customers will also be able to get new notes at 36 pop-up ATMs in 27 community clubs across Singapore from next Monday.

The ATMs are part of a collaboration between the banks and the People's Association.

All the machines, except the one in Chong Pang Community Club, will be open round the clock. Bank staff will be stationed at each venue between 9am and 9pm daily until Feb 14.

Mr Jeremy Soo, managing director and head of consumer banking group (Singapore) at DBS Bank, said customers often say that they want to spend less time queueing for notes.

"We have taken their feedback seriously, which is why we are introducing more pop-up ATM locations this year," he added. "We have also upgraded our machines to hold more notes."

DBS customers can also make online reservations for notes from Monday and those who deposit money using its PayLah app on the auspicious day of Li Chun on Feb 4 could win $88.

UOB customers can reserve new notes online from Tuesday. They come in bundles of $800, each with two packs of eight red packets.

OCBC launches its virtual queue system on its mobile app on the same day.

"Due to their popularity, new notes usually run out within the first few hours after a branch opens," said Ms Jean Oh, OCBC's head of branch service and risk management.

The app will let customers see in real time which branches have new notes in stock.

They can then take a virtual queue ticket and head to the outlet to collect their money.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2018, with the headline 'Banks use tech to ease CNY rush for new notes'. Print Edition | Subscribe