HCM CITY — Workers are queuing up outside automatic teller machines in industrial parks and export processing zones around the country to draw their Tet bonuses.
|People withdraw money from ATMs which are particularly busy for the lunar new year. — VNA/VNS Photo Truong Vi
The huge demand for cash ahead of the Lunar New Year has been overwhelming ATMs for the last few years, especially at IPs and EPZs since workers have their salaries and Tet bonuses credited to their bank accounts. This year is no exception.
Between January 10 and 15 many companies in the Song Than IP in southern Binh Duong Province paid workers the first instalment of their Tet bonus, and from 4pm to 10pm on those days ATMs in the IP had been constantly busy, Tuoi Tre quoted a worker it named as just Quang as saying.
He said many had to get up early in the morning or come after 10pm to withdraw money.
Following the surge in the number of transactions, ATMs belonging to many commerial banks have been running out of money or facing system problems.
Vietcombank is closely monitoring transactions at its ATMs to make sure they always had enough cash, Le Huynh Ha, ATM card manager of the bank's main office in HCM City, said.
The bank tried to have at least VND200-300 million at each of its ATMs every day, he said.
The State-controlled bank is also keeping larger denomination notes this year to double the value of cash at each ATM. To reduce inconvenience for customers, the bank is also allowing them to withdraw VND5 million per transaction instead of the normal VND2 million.
Since December the bank has set up many ATMs in and around IPs and EPZs, including at least five in busy areas.
Dong A Bank (East Asia Bank) has also increased the number of ATMs at IPs and EPZs ahead of Tet.
But bank representatives admit that the sudden surge in demand was bound to cause long queues in front of ATMs.
Many small banks have issued a large number of cards though they do not have many ATMs.
Tuoi Tre quoted an unnamed official from a leading bank as saying that his bank had been serving a large number of customers of other banks since they cannot draw money from their own ATMs. — VNS