Queues for cash withdrawals ahead of Spring Festival holiday

Ding Yining
Preparing gift money during the Chinese New Year is a traditional custom and many people have limited occasions these days to use cash in their daily lives.
Ding Yining

Shanghai residents queuing to make cash withdrawals ahead of the Chinese New Year made social media headlines, as many rushed to local banks and ATM machines.

Preparing gift money or lucky money during the Chinese New Year, known as yasuiqian (压岁钱), is a traditional custom and many had to make earlier preparations as nowadays there are limited occasions to use cash in daily payments.

Friday is the last working day before the weeklong Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, and those who were late to visit banks found some ATMs already running out of cash, according to social media posts.

Queues for cash withdrawals ahead of Spring Festival holiday
Ti Gong

Dozens of customers queue for five ATM machines inside the Bank of Shanghai's Tianlin Road Branch.

Local branches of commercial banks have made preparations for a large amount of visits, according to Jiefang Daily's online news website.

Some have also made extra arrangements to allow more convenience for the elderly.

At the Bank of Shanghai's Tianlin Road Branch in Xuhui District, staff opened the branch one hour earlier at 8am to host more customers.

The monthly pension for city retirees was paid in early February, ahead of the normal schedule, to allow residents to better prepare for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

In other places around the country, banks have also been busy handling requests from customers.

Beijing Youth Daily reported that some commercial banks offered online reservations for cash withdrawals in 20 yuan (US$2.81) or 10 yuan notes instead of 100 yuan notes, for better preparation of lucky money in small amounts.

At one of the downtown Hangzhou sub-branches of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, bank staff handled around 1 million yuan of cash withdrawals within one day, Zhejiang Daily Press Group's online news site Tide News reported earlier this week.

Queues for cash withdrawals ahead of Spring Festival holiday
Ti Gong

Volunteers at local banks help the elderly to withdraw cash from ATM machines.





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