Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tweak ATMs to do away with cheques

This letter was printed in Straits Times Forum Page. Do you agree with the suggestion? Give your views here.

Forum Page
Straits Times

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


Anonymous said...

What are the security measures to be taken by both users and banks to allow such a facility?
Would the cost of implementing these additional measures be passed directly or indirectly to users?
At this moment, OCBC charges a fee for withdrawal by cashier's order payable to the account holder which really puts me off.


Redstar said...

The banks have quietly raised their fees and charges.
OCBC just raised credit card late payment charge from $50 to $55; impose service charge for Money-max accounts above $50,000; cut deposit rates across the board; increase interest charged for credit card cash advance to 28.92% (calculated on daily basis) per annum etc.

Somehow I think we need a price regulating body just like the public transport council (PTC) in public transport, in order to rein in unjustified increases. Inflation and cost of doing business rise as a result.

At the same time, consumers should explore other options. I suggest Starlight use another bank or withdraw in HARD CASH. There are many ways the consumers can give the banks a good RUN for their money. Sorry, pun unintended.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Robert for the suggestion.

I wonder when the other banks will start imposing or hiking fees quietly.


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