OCBC Bank in Singapore has upgraded its ATMs to accept checks and cash them instantly, according to a release.
The bank said that even though the country is moving toward being check-free by 2025, the form of payment continues to be used, especially by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
They’re especially used for payroll and by vendors.
Although the use of checks among its retail banking customers has fallen 40 percent since 2018, the bank said, “one in six cash transactions performed by OCBC Bank tellers over the counter are still cash [check] encashments” with 95 percent of those checks being issued by SMBs.
OCBC Bank has introduced the new service at ATMs through 23 branches. The maximum amount is $30,000 per check, and the ATMs can process about 90 percent of all checks. It usually takes less than three minutes at the ATM as well, according to the release.
The bank also noted it has specially-trained “Digital Ambassadors” who use mobile devices to verify the identity of customers and help them with transactions. So far, OCBC’s newly-upgraded ATMs have processed almost S$17 million.
“As we continue to push Singapore’s cashless and cheque-less agenda, we are also accelerating our pace of digital transformation by continually upskilling our branch staff to take on digital roles. We recognise that there are still segments of customers who require services like cheque encashments; it takes up a significant amount of time for a customer and counter teller staff just to fulfil a single such transaction. We have addressed this by enabling transactions such as cheque encashment to be performed seamlessly on our next-generation ATMs instead,” said OCBC Bank Head of Consumer Financial Services Singapore Sunny Quek.
“As we embark on our branch digital transformation journey, we don’t forget our staff. Through our OCBC Future Smart Programme, our tellers and branch service staff have acquired digital skills,” he added.