Where And How to Get New Bank Notes For CNY 2021

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 14 January, 2021

A complete guide to getting new bank notes for Chinese New Year during COVID-19.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, getting new bank notes for Chinese New Year will not be the same as previous years.

For one, safety measures prohibiting long queues and crowds may prevent you from even getting anywhere near the bank - especially popular ones. Additionally, branches will face capacity restrictions, reducing their ability to serve your needs.

In anticipation of the coming rush, five banks in Singapore will offer online bookings for individuals to reserve their CNY bank notes for self-collection via appointment.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting your new bank notes for CNY 2021. 

How to get new bank notes for CNY 2021

Bank Online reservation periodCollection periodNew bank notes withdrawal via ATMs
DBS/POSB18 to 23 Jan
24 Jan to 5 Feb
25 to 29 Jan26 Jan to 10 Feb
(Not available on Saturdays and Sundays)
Yes, from 25 Jan to 11 Feb
OCBCFrom 18 Jan 25 Jan onwardsNo
UOBFrom 18 Jan25 Jan onwardsNo 
Standard Chartered18 to 24 Jan25 Jan onwardsNo 
Maybank18 Jan to 5 Feb25 Jan onwardsNo 

DBS and POSB - Self collection by appointment, Pop-up ATMs

As the largest bank network in Singapore, DBS and POSB will no doubt see the largest number of new bank note requests. This means you’re likely to encounter large crowds and long queues if you choose to get your ang pow money from them.

To better manage the crowd, DBS has implemented two separate sessions for bank note collections, both of which require a reservation to be made online beforehand. Here are the two sessions: 

  • Register online from 18 to 23 Jan to collect your bank notes from 25 to 29 Jan
  • Register online from 24 Jan to 5 Feb to collect your bank notes from 26 Jan to 10 Feb
  • Online reservation page TBC (we’ll update once we know)

Do note that you’ll have to make your reservation at least two days before your collection date. Also, collection is not available on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Pop-up ATMs for new bank notes

Another way to get new bank notes from DBS and POSB is via both banks’ ATMs, which will be loaded with newly minted and mint condition bank notes for the season. 

There will be a total of 41 pop-up ATMs set up at selected community clubs and self-service lobbies around Singapore specially for this purpose. 

For quicker service, these ATMs will offer denominations of $2, $10 and $50 via the following packages:

Package valueNotes and denominations
$100$2 x 50pcs
$300$10 x 30 pcs
$500$50 x 10 pcs
$600$10 x 20 pcs +$50 x 8 pcs 

Here are the dates and operating hours for these special ATMs. 

  • 25 Jan to 10 Feb, 10am to 10pm
  • 11 Feb, 10am to 1pm

OCBC, UOB and Standard Chartered - Self collection by appointment only

OCBC, UOB and Standard Chartered are three more banks that will be offering CNY banknote exchanges. 

However, you’ll have to first make an online reservation for the amount and denomination you need. In addition, you’ll also have to select a branch, date and time for self collection. 

The reservation and collection details for each of the three banks are:

For OCBC customers

For UOB customers

  • Online reservation available from 18 Jan
  • Self-collection via appointment from 25 Jan
  • Online reservation via: UOB Personal Internet Banking or UOB Mighty  

For Standard Chartered customers

Maybank - Walk-in self-collection

Another option for new CNY bank notes is Maybank, which is offering walk-in service without the need to make an appointment beforehand. 

While this may sound appealing to the time-starved, there’s a risk that you may run into long queues or encounter a shortage of new notes in the denominations you need. 

To ensure you get your ang pow stuffing, be sure to make an online reservation for your LNY Fortune Bundle. Each account holder may make one order for up to two Fortune Bundles, and only $2 and $10 notes are available.

Planning to try your luck with a walk in? Note that the first banking hour of each branch is reserved for elderly persons above 60, or persons with special needs.

Here are the details for Maybank customers:

  • Online reservation for Fortune Bundles ($2 and $10 notes) from 18 Jan to 5 Feb
  • Self collection at branch from 25 Jan and 10 Feb
  • Walk-ins without appointment from 25 Jan

Other banks to get new CNY bank notes

Besides the five banks listed above, new bank notes are also available at a number of commercial and other banks. 

The need for appointments have not been announced for these other banks, so depending on your location and luck, you may be able to quickly zip in during lunch or after work to get your CNY bank notes without fighting the masses. Still, it might be useful to call ahead.

Here’s a complete listing of other banks to get your crisp new notes.

  • Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited
  • Bank of America, National Association
  • Bank of China Limited
  • Bank of India
  • BNP Paribas
  • CIMB Bank Berhad
  • Citibank Singapore Limited
  • Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft
  • First Commercial Bank, Limited
  • Habib Bank Limited
  • HL Bank
  • HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited
  • Indian Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch
  • KEB Hana Bank
  • Mizuho Bank Limited
  • MUFG Bank Limited

Things to note when exchanging CNY bank notes

No appointments needed for the elderly and persons with special needs

For individuals 60 and above, or persons with special needs, no reservations nor appointments are required. You may simply pay a visit to your nearest branch to exchange your CNY bank notes. 

It may be helpful to call ahead and check for any special arrangements that can let you skip the queue. 

Book your slot early and be flexible 

Bank appointment slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with safe distancing measures and a limit on the number of customers they can serve. 

As a result, you could find yourself being locked out of your nearest bank branch, especially if it’s located in a busy precinct.

To heighten your chances of getting a spot at your desired branch, be sure to book your appointment as early as you can. 

Working with family members to keep your schedule open during this period can also help you secure a suitable appointment.  

Give sufficient lead time

Most banks will require at least two working days between the time you make your online reservation and your self-collection appointment. Also, collection may not be available on weekends and public holidays.

Be sure to plan ahead to allow yourself sufficient time to get your ang pows ready.

Bring identification and confirmation 

As cash is being collected, expect your bank to insist on collection in person (i.e., the person who made the online booking must be the one who collects the bank notes). 

Be sure to bring along your original identification, as well as any confirmation emails or notification if applicable. 

Have a backup plan

Due to the extremely high demand for new bank notes during CNY, banks are being extra strict. Reservations are restricted to one per account older, and likewise for appointments.

Having a backup plan might be prudent, in case you fail to collect your bank notes as planned. 

If you choose to book a second appointment at another bank as a backup, be sure to cancel your appointment once you no longer need it so your place may be given to others. 

You may also try your luck at other banks (see the list above) which are also offering new bank notes. 

Alternatively, take the eco-friendly, pandemic-cautious route and offer e-ang pows instead.

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An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.