This letter was printed in Straits Times Forum Page. Do you agree with the suggestion? Give your views here.
MANY people are familiar with the use of automated teller machines (ATMs) to withdraw cash or transfer funds to another account.
The transfer funds facility can be used to pay a third party, in place of writing a cheque. If this is widely promoted and used, it will reduce the number of cheques that have to be mailed and cleared through the banking system, and improve efficiency of companies.
There is a drawback in the existing transfer funds facility that needs to be addressed. DBS and POSB ATMs do not allow the transferor to enter a reference number to notify the payee about the party making the transfer. I am not sure if other banks' ATMs have a similar restriction.
I suggest that the ATM system be modified to allow a reference number to be entered in making a fund transfer. This number can be entirely numeric, as the ATM does not have the facility to enter letters.
If this facility is provided, many companies will actively encourage their customers to pay by bank transfer via the ATM, instead of writing a cheque. It will benefit all parties involved in the transaction and reduce the cost of making a payment.
I also suggest that the banks provide a facility for the account owner to ask for fund transfer transactions to be downloaded daily for processing. This will suit companies that do not wish to give full access to their employees to view other transactions in the bank account.
I hope the Association of Banks in Singapore or the Monetary Authority of Singapore will take up this suggestion.
Tan Kin Lian
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