New ATM rules could affect spending: Leong

The introduction of new KYC measures in ATMs in Macau might have some effect on visitor behaviour, especially regarding spending in entertainment resorts, said Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Leong Vai Tac to reporters on Thursday.

Last weekend, the government announced it would be implementing ID checking and facial scanning technology to UnionPay ATMs in a measure to combat capital flows out of China.  

While there is no clear timeline on when these new measures would be implemented, the government noted that the changes will be made to ATMs near casinos first, before making their way across the city.

According to a Thursday report from the government information bureau (GCS), Leong said the new measures were put in place to prevent people from misusing cash withdrawal facilities, and said he expects it might take some time for visitors to get used to the new measure.

Safeguarding the city’s financial stability was a priority of the Government, especially in relation to Macau’s role as a tourist destination popular around the world. New technology in ATMs would also help protect the legitimate rights of cardholders and prevent money laundering in the city, he said.

The measure effects UnionPay card holders from China, but does not affect holders of UnionPay cards issued in Macau or other places outside the mainland.