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Empty ATMs Spell Trouble Ahead of Tet

Have a Vietnamese bank account? You may want to withdraw some cash now before it's too late.

Next week, ATMs across Vietnam will likely be running low, as workers all over the country take holiday and banks shut down. However, according to Vietnam News, the standard Lunar New Year dong drought is taking place earlier than expected.

At industrial parks and export processing zones around Vietnam, cash machines ran out of money last weekend, prompting angry bank customers to wait in line for extended periods of time only to discover the ATM was empty. Though this is a common occurrence at weekends and holidays, this year's Tet holiday could cause real problems, as the nine-day break will require bank cardholders to go over a week without replenishing their wallets.

In 2014, the State Bank of Vietnam imposed a regulation which would fine commercial banks up to VND15 million for failing to keep their ATMs stocked over the holiday. While State Bank officials are planning to inspect ATMs in specific areas over the break – namely, industrial parks and export processing zones – there is no word yet as to whether banks will actually have to bear these fines.

According to Vietnam News, Vietnam currently has 16,000 ATMs serving 80 million separate bank accounts. These machines can become overwhelmed by as little as 10% of account holders making withdrawals at the same time.

[Photo via Cafe F]

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