Need gold to go? Get ingots from this ATM
IF YOU have ever dreamed of having the Midas touch, two new ATMs that dish out gold could be the answer.
The machines - one each at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) and Marina Bay Sands - can dispense gold ingots with the touch of a few buttons.
The ingots are engraved with animal or other designs, and come in weights ranging from 1g to 10g.
Payment can be made with cash, plastic or a mobile transfer.
Prices are updated daily and pegged to global gold prices.
Yesterday, 1g cost $100, 5g cost $390 and 10g would have set you back $660.
The prices quoted on the ATMs yesterday were above the day's spot gold price of US$1,224.85 (S$1,550) an ounce or about US$43.20 a gram.
United Overseas Bank, which also offers physical gold to retail customers, was selling 1g of Produits Artistiques Metaux Precieux (Pamp) gold bars for $77 yesterday.
The ATMs' products are produced by independent Swiss refiner Pamp and have the highest 999.9 purity level, according to Asia Gold ATM, the firm behind the venture.
Chief executive Kong Kok Chee said at a briefing at the official launch of the ATMs at RWS yesterday that growth has been good since the soft launch about a month ago.
Mr Kong said sales have easily exceeded its original planning target of US$300,000 for the first month.
He added that the machines have sensors to know when they are stuck, or have been vandalised or tampered with.
"We have closed-circuit television cameras all around, monitoring it 24 hours a day."
Mr Kong said there are also measures within the ATMs to stop suspicious purchases, such as money laundering.
"We are selling novelty items...most of our products are very low (in weight) items.
"For money laundering, we are talking about more high-value items."
Mr Kong said the company, which was set up a year ago, plans to launch another two or three ATMs in other popular locations here "in the immediate future".
An online check found that India had its first ATM to dispense treasures like gold and diamonds in 2011, while China launched gold ATMs in the same year.
Two Indonesian tourists - salesperson Lim Gek Huang, 48, and 50-year-old businessman Tasman Budianto - were the first customers at the RWS launch yesterday, buying a 5g ingot each.