ATM card upgrade: Cash prizes on offer

PHOTO: ATM card upgrade: Cash prizes on offer

SINGAPORE - DBS and POSB Bank will launch a campaign with cash prizes next month urging customers to upgrade their magnetic stripe cards to ones with chip tech- nology.

The new cards have an embedded chip and are more secure and better at deterring fraud.

The two banks started replacing the plastic held by their 4.5 million card holders in May but 40 per cent of the cards still in use have magnetic strips.

DBS and POSB will entice card holders to upgrade by giving away $1.2 million in cash prizes during the campaign, which will run until December next year.

A lucky draw for card holders who have made the switch will be held every two months, starting in November, with 100 card holders each winning $1,000.

The earlier a customer upgrades, the more draws he or she will be able to participate in.

The campaign will culminate in a grand draw in January 2015, during which one card holder will win $500,000.

POSB head Derrick Goh said on Thursday: "We want to raise awareness of debit cards - which can do what you need to do with an ATM card, and which are more secure and get rewards as well - and attract those who might be held back by inertia."

The upgrade, being undertaken by the three local banks as well as others such as HSBC, comes in response to increasing incidences of card fraud. The changeover is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

The new cards have a microprocessor chip that is protected by encryption so the content cannot be copied easily.

These cards are also hard to reproduce, said Mr Anthony Seow, the head of cards and unsecured loans at DBS.

Customers can either swop their old plastic for a debit card embedded with the chip or get a credit card linked to their savings account.

Mr Seow added that more people are using debit cards, with debit spending rising by 25 to 30 per cent year-on-year.

At DBS, an increasing number of customers are upgrading from basic ATM cards to debit cards as well.

POSB's Mr Goh said: "Over the past couple of months, 70 per cent of customers (have been) asking for debit cards."

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.