Pop-up ATMs help customers get new, good-as-new notes easily


ATMs among initiatives to help time-strapped customers in CNY preparation

The Chinese New Year celebration is a time of great excitement for many. There is a jubilant sense of excitement, homecoming and good cheer as families prepare to welcome the new year.

Homes are cleaned from top to bottom as bad luck is swept away and good fortune is welcomed. New clothes and shoes are a must-have to herald new beginnings, while a feast is prepared for the much-anticipated reunion dinner.

And of course, the traditional red packets are packed with crisp notes, to be given out as a symbol of good fortune and blessings.

It is a busy, busy time.

In recognition of this, DBS decided in 2015 to offer some help to time-strapped customers. The bank introduced, for the first time in Singapore, pop-up ATMs conveniently located in community centres across the island and accessible after banking hours.

It meant customers could stop by most of these community centres at any time of the day, and withdraw new or good-as-new notes at the specially installed DBS/POSB pop-up ATMs.

Pop-up ATM locations in 2018

With ATMs being familiar to most Singaporeans – DBS’ ATM network on average see 25 million transactions a month – these pop-up ATMs would be simple to use, and not require additional effort from customers.

The novel approach was a success. Usage increased consistently through the years.

In 2017, more than 110,000 customers used the ATMs, with most withdrawing notes outside of banking hours or over the weekend. Over the last two years, more than 40 per cent of people who made use of the pop-up ATMs withdrew their notes outside branch opening hours.

Accordingly, the bank expanded its network of pop-up ATMs and ATM capacity. From an initial 29 ATMs at 10 community centres, 36 ATMs were set up in 27 community clubs this year. Almost all ATMs are accessible 24/7, except for the ATM at Chong Pang Community Club.

In addition, DBS introduced more options for customers to withdraw notes in different denominations, to reduce the need for multiple transactions and time spent at these ATMs. For customers who need guidance, bank staff continue to be stationed at the locations from 9am to 9pm, until Feb 14.

"Every year, our customers tell us that they want to spend less time queuing for their notes and more time with their loved ones. We have taken their feedback seriously."

Jeremy Soo, DBS Bank’s Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking Group (Singapore)



The 2018 DBS red packets are inspired by the “animoji” trend with supersized mascots Xing and Jaan, while POSB red packets feature beloved mascot Smiley attired in a onesie and “pop-out” fluffy ears. Photos: DBS

Putting customers first

Other initiatives have also been rolled out to ensure customers have different options for getting their new or good-as-new notes.

For example, customers who prefer going to bank branches can use the SMS ‘Q’ notification service to obtain a queue number via SMS before going to the branch, and receive notifications on the availability of new notes. They can also reserve their notes online and collect the notes from a full-service branch on their preferred date and timing.

The elderly and those with special needs will have special priority queues at the branches.

Tech-savvy customers or those who are overseas can send red packets digitally, through DBS PayLah!’s eAng Bao feature. The mobile wallet, which has close to 800,000 users, has seen a five-fold increase in the number of eAng Baos sent in 2017, compared to 2016.

Customers who observe Li Chun, which falls on 4 Feb this year, can also deposit money into their bank accounts during their “lucky timings” via DBS PayLah!.

"By creating hassle-free and convenient banking experiences for our customers, we hope to make festive banking simpler and faster, so that they can focus on the people who matter."

Jeremy Soo, DBS Bank’s Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking Group (Singapore)