More ATMs dispensing only $50 notes

More ATMs dispensing only $50 notes

She does not like withdrawing $50 notes from the automated teller machines (ATMs) if she is going to the wet market. "The change that you get back will be all wet," housewife Coni Yap said with a laugh.

But more ATMs are now dispensing only $50 notes.

Earlier this month, Marine Parade GRC MP Seah Kian Peng filed a parliamentary question on whether banks should dispense $10 notes at ATMs, instead of just larger ones.

In reply, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, also Finance Minister and Minister in charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said that 85 per cent of the roughly 2,700 ATMs here dispense $10 notes.

In other words, about 400 ATMs do not provide such a service.

According to a report in The Straits Times, OCBC still issues $10 bills at all of its roughly 600 ATMs, and fewer than 2 per cent of United Overseas Bank's (UOB) more than 600 ATMs do not dispense $10 notes.

Singapore's largest bank, DBS Bank, which also operates POSB and its ATMs, declined to provide the number of its ATMs issuing only larger bills.

Many of the people that The New Paper spoke to were unhappy over such a trend, and added that they prefer $10 bills instead of $50 notes.

Mrs Yap, 52, told TNP: "I am worried that my mum will lose the $50 note, and I would also want to give my son smaller notes for his allowance. So $10 bills are definitely better."

On a more positive note, she finds that she is spending less and saving more because there are times when she chooses not to withdraw any money if the ATM does not dispense $10 bills.

Mr Eddy Suherman, 46, also thinks that having more ATMs dispensing only larger notes is not a good idea.

The restaurant supervisor said: "$10 bills are easier to use because some shops don't want $50."

He told TNP he was frustrated at not getting smaller notes from the ATMs thrice in a week just last month.


He said: "It was the fasting month and I was buying food for breakfast. When I gave the stall owners the $50 note, a lot of them said that they didn't have change."

He also added that it is not just a problem that he experiences with DBS ATMs, but also those belonging to Citibank.

Many shop owners that TNP spoke to said that they were seeing more people handing them $50 notes, even for purchases of less than $10.

The owner of a store that sells small food items in a wet market, who wanted to be known only as Miss Sng, said: "We don't have that much loose change as we are running a small business where each item costs only a few dollars.

"So I would not take the $50 note if I really don't have change."

She claimed that she has lost a couple of customers because of that.

The owner of a flower shop in the same wet market at Block 93, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, who wanted to be known only as Ms Kang, told TNP that many of her customers had been coming to her with $50 notes this month, saying that many ATMs do not issue $10 bills any more.

This article was first published on July 31, 2014.
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