Singapore-based OCBC Bank has launched a new service that allows customers to instantly encash cheque all its next-generation ATMs at 23 branches.

With this, OCBC Bank has become the first bank in Southeast Asia to offer such services.

OCBC Bank claims that its next-generation ATMs can now process 90% of all the cheques which are customarily encashed at its branch teller counters.

OCBC Bank head of consumer financial services Singapore Sunny Quek said: “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.”

The bank revealed that cheque usage by its retail banking customers has declined 40% since 2018. However, one in six cash transactions performed by the bank’s tellers over the counter continues to be cheque encashments.

Approximately, 95% these cheques are issued by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the bank noted.

Singapore has set a target to become cheque-free economy by 2025. OCBC Bank latest digital push at branches is aligned with the country’s overall digital strategy.

Coronavirus hits OCBC Bank

Furthermore, one of the employees of OCBC Bank has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, The Business Times has reported.

The employee, according to the report, works at OCBC Centre on 65 Chulia Street.

“We are giving our colleague and our colleague’s family the best possible support. We wish our colleague a speedy recovery,” the publication quoted Koh Ching Ching, the bank’s head of group brand and communications, as saying.