Retrieving your valuables from your safe-deposit box at the bank can be a little like extracting teeth. You can only go when the place is open and you’ll have to wait for your turn. Truth be told, it’s not the most pleasant experience.
And like good dentists, demand outstrips supply. Banks are cutting back on the space-hogging service, which they say in view of rising rentals don’t quite cover costs (think also of the staffing and the liability issues). Waiting lists can stretch for years at prime locations.
Enter the newest game in town: Vault@268, a 24/7, wholly automated facility located at 268 Orchard Road, the former Yen San Building located next to Robinsons The Heeren. Instead of rows upon rows of stacked lockers hidden behind a maze of doors, there are calmingly only secure rooms with a kiosk and dispenser inside them at the 1,500 sq ft vault. Customers need just provide a security card, biometric identification and a PIN number to access their box – dispensed by a robot for complete anonymity. Think of it as an ATM for any conceivable thing you can fit into a box.
Designed by Swedish security firm Gunnebo, these boxes come in two sizes at 137x325x235mm and 206x325x235mm, with the smaller one being roughly the size of a shoebox, for an annual fee of $888 and $1,388 respectively.
All things considered, the boxes are considerably more expensive and much smaller than those offered by banks. Plus, you will have to bring yourself to trust a relatively unknown player with your priceless heirlooms; the company suggests you buy insurance to cover yourself comprehensively. But, if you want to quickly deposit your valuables after a gala in town, the convenience can’t be beaten.