Reply to Parliamentary Question on installation of ATMs in non-mature estates
QUESTION NO 437
NOTICE PAPER 181 OF 2020
FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
Date: For Parliament Sitting on 5 January 2021
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Don Wee, MP, Chua Chu Kang GRC
To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether MAS will consider regulating the installation of ATM machines in non-mature estates where there is a scarcity of these machines; and (b) whether MAS can incentivise banks to provide this service through temporary schemes.
Answer by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:
1. Generally, there is good access to ATMs across Singapore. There are over 220 retail bank branches, and more than 2,660 ATMs located across Singapore. Whether near workplaces or homes, at MRT stations and bus interchanges, at town centres or near food centres, there are ATMs available for the majority of Singaporeans.
2. Further, ATMs are not the only way for individuals to withdraw cash from their bank accounts. In the last few years, banks have been enhancing the availability of cash withdrawal touchpoints – at post offices, and retail stores like 7-Eleven, Guardian, Buzz Kiosks, NTUC FairPrice, Giant Supermarket, Sheng Siong, and Cold Storage. These merchants are present in both mature and non-mature estates. There are now over 4,100 cash withdrawal touchpointsThis comprises 2,660 ATMs and about 1,500 merchant cash withdrawal touchpoints. around Singapore.
3. Nonetheless, we recognise that there may be residents, especially the elderly, in non-mature estates who find it difficult to get cash conveniently. MAS will work with banks to ensure accessibility to cash withdrawal touchpoints in specific areas where this is a problem, and promote awareness of these touchpoints.
4. More fundamentally, we must continue to encourage and help the public to use digital payments and banking services as an alternative to cash transactions. The volume of cash withdrawals per month has fallen by over 20% over the past three years alone, from about 18 million to 14 million transactions, and the trend continues. Our older folk are getting special help to acquire the basic skills they need to transact digitally. We will continue to help our merchants and the public to move to e-payments.