Workers queue up in front of an ATM to withdraw money. — Photo news.zing.vn
State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has urged commercial banks and card issuers to ensure smooth operation of automatic telling machines (ATMs) before the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays begin.
The move comes after local media reported many ATMs were running out of cash over the past few days. Customers were forced to queue up for hours and were often unable to withdraw cash. The situation was most serious in industrial and export processing zones.
According to SBV’s statistics, there are 106 million bank cards issued by commercial banks, 16,500 ATMs and 217,000 point-of-sale machines.
A bank leader said in a normal day, cash is filled in twice in each ATM on average, equivalent to VND1-1.5 billion (US$44,400-66,600).
However, in recent days, each ATM was being refilled three to four times per day because the number of transactions had increased by some 40 per cent per day, which meant cash amounting to VND6 billion had to be put into an ATM.
This year, the pressure of cash withdrawals was even heavier than the previous year because the Calendar New Year and Lunar New Year festivals were close to each other.
Dao Minh Tuan, deputy general director of the Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam (Vietcombank), said in some places, the bank arranged mobile ATMs for workers to withdraw money.
However, he said ATMs would be overloaded if companies paid Tet bonus on the same day.
Therefore, Vietcombank called for co-operation from corporate customers and management boards of industrial and export processing zones, asking them to stretch the period of salary and bonus payments and arrange time off for workers to withdraw money.
Individual clients have been advised to go directly to the nearest transaction offices or bank branches for cash withdrawal, while corporate clients should plan to pay bonus in cash directly to their workers. — VNS
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