Chinese New Year is just around the corner and soon, we’ll be seeing small red packets being exchanged left and right. Handing out these intricately designed cash-filled envelopes called lai see in Cantonese and hongbao in Mandarin are a big part of the Lunar New Year celebration and seen as a symbol of good wishes and luck for the year ahead.
In the days leading up to this festive season, you’ll probably notice hordes of people scrambling to banks and ATMs for new banknotes to keep handy in their pockets. If you’re in Singapore and happen to be one of the many planning to wait in line, you can now spare the gruelling hours of queuing up and instead, reserve money online thanks to technology’s new, digital touch to this age-old, traditional practice.
Singapore’s DBS bank recently announced the opening of its online reservation system where DBS and POSB bank customers can now look forward to increased convenience by reserving new and good-as-new banknotes, choosing from denominations of S$2, S$10 and S$50, DBS said in its statement. Have your ATM / Debit Card and PIN ready and simply log-in on either of DBS or POSB’s online portals where you can select collection dates from full-service branches. Priority queues will also be made available to cater to the elderly and those with special needs.
Reservation for both DBS/POSB’s websites began January 15 and will continue until January 30, while collection begins on January 17, and ends on February 1.
In addition, POSB installed 42 new notes pop-up ATMs — an increase from 36 in 2018 — at 20 community clubs across the island accessible 24/7 (apart from those in Chong Pang and Teck Ghee, scheduled 9.00am to 9.30pm) for DBS/POSB customers to withdraw new notes in sums of S$100 (S$2×50), S$300 (S$10×30), S$500 (S$50×10) and S$600 (S$10×20 and S$50×8), reducing the need for multiple transactions.
And there you go, starting the New Year on a good (bank) note is just one click away!