You are encouraged to give out e-hongbaos for Chinese New Year 2021
You will have to make reservations at some banks to change for new notes too.
Every year, banks face long queues as people line up to receive new notes that will be used for giving out hongbaos.
But this year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is encouraging the public to give out e-hongbaos instead, as this will help to reduce queues for new notes and is more environmentally friendly.
For DBS Bank, Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB), you will be required to pre-book your slots.
For Maybank and Standard Chartered, you can pre-order the new notes themselves starting from Jan 18 and can begin collecting them from Jan 25.
From Jan 25 to Feb 11, DBS customers can also withdraw new notes from 61 pop-up ATMs across 41 locations. This does not require prior booking.
To help avoid crowds, the DBS new notes ATM map locator will allow you to track the locations of the ATMs and also help give detailed information on estimated wait times.
For those who are more environmentally conscious, this new move towards e-hongbaos would be good news.
According to the MAS, giving e-hongbao is more environmentally sustainable as it reduces the printing and subsequent wastage of new notes returned to banks after each festive season.
The MAS has also stated the carbon emissions generated by the production of new notes for each Chinese New Year is estimated at about 330 tonnes, which is equivalent to emissions from charging 5.7 million smartphones.
But fret not, the festive spirit isn’t quite dead yet as you can still customise your e-hongbaos with Chinese New Year decorations and greetings.
At least you won’t have to stress over forgetting your new year greetings in front of family.