You know how it goes. You’re out and about in Singapore, you’re patting your pockets, turning out your wallet and checking the ash tray of your car. There’s never a gold ingot around when you need one.
Many is the day when I’ve gone to whip out a gold ingot in a bar or restaurant to show how much gold I carry on my person, and found myself red-faced because I’ve left it on the coffee table at home, and that’s a thirty-minute bus ride away.
But now, you can save yourself those head-in-your-hands moments with a gold dispensing ATM that’s just been installed in Singapore. Actually there are two, which doubles your chances of getting your hands on some gold, just as long as you’re in Marina Bay Sands or Resort World Sentosa.
Run by a company called Asia Gold ATM, the Singapore machines contain gold bars from one gram up to ten grams, as well as customised gold coins. The gold is said to be 99.999% 24-carat quality, and is priced on that day’s prevailing world gold price.
When IB Times visited the machines last month, they found the 10 gram ingots selling for around S$660, but were slightly put out to find that customers paying by cash don’t receive change on their purchases. You can, however, use your credit card in these machines, which means you’ll never feel ripped off at your lack of change.
The motivation behind the machines isn’t really for people who deal in gold. We think they’d rather do their business face-to-face with a dealer where they can haggle over a price and come away slightly better off.
These machines are aimed directly at tourists, Gold Asia ATM’s Kong Kok Chee says. “We want to give tourists something that they can collect and keep. You tend to buy and lose souvenirs, but for gold products, you tend to keep them for a very, very long time, and pass the item down from generation to generation,” he told reporters.
As such, there’ll even be special ingots in the machine celebrating the golden anniversary next year, which buyers able to make their purchases in English, Chinese, German, Russian and Arabic.
As uses for your credit card go, we’ve seen stranger. But welcome to Singapore, gold vending machine!