CNY 2023: New and 'fit-for-gifting' notes available at selected ATMs from Jan 5

CNY 2023: New and 'fit-for-gifting' notes available at selected ATMs from Jan 5
DBS and UOB will also provide $2 and $10 in larger quantities for withdrawal from selected pop-up and branch ATMs.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – From Jan 5, the public can make appointments to exchange their cash for fit-for-gifting notes for the upcoming Chinese New Year, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday (Dec 27).

Those who wish to do so will need to pre-book through DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and UOB online reservation systems to minimise the likelihood of overcrowding at bank branches.

DBS and UOB will also provide $2 and $10 in larger quantities, as well as $50 notes, for withdrawal from selected pop-up and branch ATMs. Walk-in exchanges at DBS, OCBC and UOB branches are available for those aged 60 and above and people with disabilities.

Fit-for-gifting notes are notes that are generally clean and of suitable quality for recirculation, including for festive gifting.

The condition of these notes has been verified by banknote processing machines. The notes are similar in quality to those dispensed by ATMs.

This is part of MAS' push to encourage people to adopt more environmentally friendly options, as issuing new notes to meet the demand for festive gifting generates unnecessary carbon emissions and is a waste of resources.

MAS noted that the public demand for notes for festive gifting is typically in bundles of $2 or $10 denominations, which cannot be easily obtained in the desired quantities from ATMs.

New and fit-for-gifting notes can be withdrawn without any prior booking at pop-up ATMs offered by DBS and selected UOB ATMs.

Apart from fit-for-gifting notes, people are also urged to use digital red packets – or e-hongbaos.

On Tuesday, DBS said it will have 72 ATMs disbursing fit-for-gifting and new notes across 47 locations, up from the 64 ATMs in 2022.

From now till Jan 12, customers can also place an order for the DBS QR gift – or e-hongbaos – via a chatbot on the DBS website ( and the cards will be mailed for free.


Besides encouraging the use of fit-for-gifting notes, the central bank will also cease the issuance of good-as-new $2 notes from the upcoming Chinese New Year. These notes were issued during Chinese New Year and deposited back to MAS shortly thereafter by the banks.

They were processed twice by MAS to ensure that only good quality good-as-new notes were harvested and reissued for the next Chinese New Year.

About 100 million pieces of new notes for Chinese New Year and other festive periods were issued annually.

A large majority of these notes were used only once for gifting and then returned to MAS shortly after each Chinese New Year.

The carbon emissions related to these excess new notes are the same as powering 430 four-room Housing Board flats annually, and about 10,000 new trees would need to be planted to offset these emissions.

MAS has said the practice of printing new notes for festive gifting – and subsequently destroying most of them – is not in line with environmental sustainability and Singapore's aspiration to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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