Open borders mean extended business hours for money changers


Nur Syaidah says hundreds of customers have been coming to change currency daily since April 1.

Money changers are being kept busy with the sudden increase in customers following the reopening of the Johor-Singapore border, especially during the festive season.

Nur Syaidah Mohd Malik, 24, who is the regional manager of a money-changing outlet in Johor Baru, said the company had been getting hundreds of customers daily since April 1 and even ran out of ringgit at one point.

“Before the border reopened, we were getting about 10 to 20 customers daily. But the situation has changed drastically.

“On April 1 alone, we had more than 300 customers.

“The number has now increased to between 400 and 600 daily,” she added.

Nur Syaidah said operating hours were now extended to 24 hours to meet demand. Before this, the outlet was open between 9am and 6pm.

“On April 1, we initially planned to open only until midnight.

“However, we changed our service hours when we realised that there would be a huge crowd heading to Johor from Singapore.

“As expected, just after midnight, dozens of people made their way here to change their Singapore dollars to ringgit,” she recounted.

Nur Syaidah noted that most customers visited the outlet late evening or at night.

“Malaysians would come around 6pm while Singaporeans normally made their way here after 10pm.

“There are usually not many customers during the day,” she said.

Nur Syaidah said it had also been hectic at the money-changing outlet that she managed in a mall in Johor Baru.

“Before the border reopened, we could not even get one customer at the mall. These days, we serve at least 100 customers despite not operating round the clock,” she added.

Cashier Fatihah Azman, 23, echoed similar sentiments.

“The number of customers we get these days has increased to almost half of that before the border closed two years ago.

“With the border reopening just before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, many Singaporeans took the opportunity to shop in Johor Baru,” she said.

Fatihah said that during the border closure, most of the customers at the money changer were Malaysian lorry drivers transporting goods into Singapore.

“These days, our customers include Singaporean tourists and Malaysians working in the island republic,” she added.

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Money changers , reopening , Johor , Singapore , border

   

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