Pop-Up ATMs Quickly Run Out Of CNY New Notes; Netizens Ask Why Cannot Use Old Ones

New Notes Spike In Demand Every CNY For Ang Pows

Every year, as Chinese New Year (CNY) comes by, the demand for new notes will spike as people use them in their red packets, or ang pows.


This is due to the traditional belief that only clean, crisp notes should be used, to signify good fortune.

However, with the mad rush to the banks to get the new notes every year, this has left some people frustrated and disappointed when the notes run out of stock.

New notes quickly depleted in stock

Imagine you had jio-ed your friends to head down together to the nearest pop-up ATM to get the new notes just in time for CNY.

When you got there, there were already snaking queues despite it being early in the morning.

After waiting for nearly an hour, you are finally going to reach the ATM when the announcement was made — no more new notes for CNY in stock!

This is exactly what many members of the public have been experiencing over the past few weeks, with less than a week to CNY.

This year, banks have run out of new notes as soon as less than an hour after opening.


According to The New Paper, some members of the public were left frustrated at the long queues and lack of stock of new notes.

One member of the public had started lining up at the POSB pop-up ATMs at Toa Payoh Community Centre at 8.30am. By 10.30am, the queue had more than 30 people waiting for the ATMs to be restocked.

Another customer had gone there 3 times only to find them out of new notes.

He expressed sympathy for the elderly, saying it is hard on them to wait in line for 2 hours for the money to be replenished.

Similarly, customers had found that the 3 banks, DBS, OCBC and UOB, at Toa Payoh Hub have been out of stock of new notes just 30 minutes after opening every day.

Measures in place

For those still seeking the new notes, some banks have measures in place to cope with the demand.

Customers can book new notes using the online reservation services of the 3 major local banks, DBS, OCBC and UOB.

In particular, OCBC has a mobile banking app showing the availability of new notes across their branches. Plus, you can also get a queue number online before heading down.

In view of the difficulties the elderly and those with special needs face in queuing for long hours, DBS has launched special priority queues for them.

Do we need new notes?

However, for those who eventually do not succeed in getting the notes, their situation begs the question — are new notes really necessary?

A student interviewed by The New Paper said he wouldn’t mind getting old notes in his ang pows as they will still serve their function, unless damaged.


This netizen raises a point on whether recipients of the ang pows will reject the money if they are not new notes.


Another commenter suggests that banks should stop offering the service of exchanging for new notes altogether.


Are new notes a must for our ang pow money or is it alright to give out old notes instead? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Featured image from Singapore Motherhood.

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