The attack of the DBS atm queues

Aug 27, 10 The attack of the DBS atm queues

Being Singaporeans, most people started out having a POSB bank account as their first ever bank account. From then, they move on to DBS, and then having DBS credit cards etc..

Not me.

My first ever bank account was a UOB Funsavers account. This was one of those fun savings accounts for young kids that come with a bank book and all those stuff. Then, I graduated to the TX account, which is basically a low minimum balance account for teens, with a cool looking ATM card to flash around your friends. When we all got older, I moved up to the Campus account, which comes with a nice debit card that allows you to act cool in front of your peers by doing the ‘grown up swiping card for payment’. It also comes with nice cheque books that make you SO business-man like!

dbsqueueOne of the sights that always amazes me is the queue in front of a DBS/POSB atm. In a typical shopping center, whenever you see a hub of atms, there will usually be 2-3 DBS/POSB atms, 1 UOB atm, 1 OCBC atm, 1 Citibank atm (because citibank is almost like the 4th local bank of Singapore. *heh heh*), and occasionally a ANZ/Maybank/StanChart/etc atm. What I would typically do, is walk to the UOB atm, which has no queue at all, withdraw my money in 1 minute flat (with the quick customised menu thing), and do a quiet snigger at the bunch of DBS/POSB customers queuing 10-20 minutes to withdraw their money. Hur Hur!

For some reason, there will usually be around 10-15 people queuing 2-3 dbs atms, but there will be at most 1 person, or usually nobody waiting for the uob/ocbc atms. Why, I would never understand. There hasn’t been any inherent benefit in having a dbs/posb savings account ever since they instated the $500 minimum deposit for a normal savings account, which brings in on par with the other local banks. So why not just open a UOB or OCBC account?

Not many people might know this, but a UOB customer can actually withdraw money from a OCBC atm, though you would need to pay a convenience fee if you exceed 3 times a month. But seriously, there are enough UOB atm machines to go around! Most people have the impression that there are more dbs/posb atms. That’s probably true.. But sometimes it’s not about the sheer quantity. DBS/POSB usually have 3 to even 5 or 7 machines congregated in a single location. UOB would then have 1 atm at that location, usually with little or no queues of course. But recently while walking around town area, I realised that within a 10 minute walk, I could actually walk pass 5 to even 12 UOB atms! Definitely good placement is more important than the sheer quantity.

So seriously, someone please help me understand why are there long queues in front of DBS/POSB atms?


  1. Thend /

    Haha… i guess it’s just habit of nature… and the reluctance to change that’s causing people to stick with POSB/DBS.

  2. Hi Fergus,
    Probably this is the result of Dbs/Posb branding in Singapore.
    More people are comfortable with the national bank.
    They feel that they are more secure with these banks.
    Never did we expect their atms to fail us at the critital moments.

    My 2 cents worth, Alan

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