1st. period (1988-1995) 2nd. period (1997 - ...)
ATMs type ALMEX ATMs type S.A.M.
(Spanish version only) (English version)

S.A.M. issues

Study: The self-service S.A.M. machines - Printing varieties - Values
(Spanish version - English version)

From 1997 Singapore Post began the installation of a new generation of self-service postal machines known as S.A.M. (Self-service Automated Machine).
More information...

Over the years these dispensers have used labels with different designs when issuing variable value stamps or ATMs.

The first ATM issued by the new machines S.A.M. was launched on May 19th 1997.
The design shows a family enjoying a sunny day in a garden landscape and the issue was called Sunny Singapore.

This ATM exists on different types of self-adhesive papers, with small differences in the design, with and without the phosphor strip.
There are 2 main or basic formats of the main label and small side label:

The first format, (on a waxed backing paper of approximate size 69-70 x 40 mm), has 2 self-adhesive labels of which one is 49 x 26 mm (with the pre-printed design and a vertical phosphorescent strip), used as a stamp, whilst the second (with the black marker), is 10 x 26 mm separated from the ATM by 25 mm. The black marker is read by the printer in order to get the correct impression and position of the machine number and face value. The black marker exists in 2 sizes; 10mm. – in the upper image- or 20mm (right image), although this can only be recognized only in mint ATMs with the original waxed backing paper.

The second basic type of paper is phosphorescent, size 63.5 x 33.5 mm, with a central precut area resulting in a stamp of size 49 x 26 mm, on a waxed backing paper of approximate size 70 x 40 mm.
Also in this case there are 2 sizes black side markers.

Depending on which postal kiosk issues them, there are ATMs of the different designs with different printing varieties (See study >>>).

From November 8th 2000 the S.A.M. machines used a new label.
Following after the series started in 1997, the design of the ATM shows different subjects related to the healthy life. Its an issue called Healthy Living or Healthy Singapore.

Starting from this design, all the stamps include on the reverse side a pre-printed reference and control number indicating the number of labels remaining in the roll (4000 per roll).

This design was produced with the numbers in red, and later reprinted with black numbers.

In the following designs the numbering is always black, although again this feature can only be seen on mint stamps, since the numeration is on the back of the waxed backing paper and is discarded when using the stamp as a franking.

The third ATM series was issued by the S.A.M. machines from June 10th, 2003.
It is a design called Tourist attractions, and shows different tourist sights and attractions of this island city-state in Southeast Asia.

Official First Day Cover edited by the Singapore Philatelic Bureau.
Size: 220 x 110 mm.

Ten years after the first issue, the fourth design for the S.A.M. machines was available from March 15th 2007.
The design is by Leo Teck Chong on the subject of the Garden City, and the rolls of labels on self-adhesive phosphorescent paper are manufactured by the British security printing company BemroseBooth.

The pilot launch of the new design label was on March 15th from S.A.M. machine nr. S001 at the Killiney Road Branch. From March 20th the labels were gradually introduced at all Self-Service Automated Machines.

Covers with ATMs issued by the S.A.M. 2 - S001, with the 2 printing varieties available
(face value in Singapore cents and dollars)

The Singapore Philatelic Bureau produced and sold ATMs and First Day Covers, and despite the number S001 on the stamps they were not really issued by the S.A.M. machine installed at Killiney Road. Just compare the images with the ATMs on the previous covers.
(More information about the printing varieties >>>).

Size: 218 x 110 mm.

Some reprints have been produced during the 3 years that this design has been in use, and include slight paper variations, the print quality, the colours of the main design, and the size of the black marker at the right hand side.

In the case of mint ATMs, some of these varieties can be recognized by the font and direction of the control number printed on the back.
1 - Dot matrix print, oriented to the left 2 - Dot matrix print, oriented to the right
3 - Courier font, to the right 4 - Times New Roman font, to the right

The right hand picture show a very unusual error. In the early part of 2009, some rolls of ATMs with the missing text 'Garden City', under the Singapore skyline, were used in some postal kiosks. The rolls were immediately replaced when collectors reported the error to SingPost.

2010. ATM issue 'Destination Singapore'

Three years after the previous issue, SingPost issued a new design for use in SAM (Self-Service Automated Machines) postal kiosks.

The new design is by Eng Siak Loy, using an adaptation of the 4-stamps set issued in 2009, dedicated to the anniversary of 150 years of Singapore botanic gardens (see picture below).

The composition, based on the last 2 stamps in the set, shows the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ best-loved icons, including the sculpture 'Girl-on-a-Swing' (1984), a work in bronze by British sculptor Sydney Harpley, the Visitor Centre, the Swan Lake, and the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid, Singapore's national flower.

The rolls of thermal self-adhesive paper labels were manufactured by SprintPak, a wholly owned division of Australia Post. Labels measure 64 x 34 mm, but only the central pre-cut area, with a size of 49 x 26 mm, is used for postage. Unlike previous designs, this one is not printed on phosphorescent paper, but only includes two phosphorescent vertical strips (measuring 5 x 20 mm.) at each edge of the design. The label does not include the black marker at the side. In fact the SAM postal kiosks software was upgraded to allow ATMs to be fed without the black detection marker
As with previous designs, a pre-printed control number can be found on the reverse of the mint ATMs, indicating the number of remaining labels. The full rolls contains 4,000 labels, but due to problems in the first few days of issue, rolls of 500 labels were also used.

The first day of issue of the 'Destination Singapore' design was February 22nd 2010, as a trial at 2 SAM postal kiosks (numbers S151 and S712) located in the Singapore Post Centre Post Office.

It was envisaged that the new issue would be available from February 24th onwards at the SAMs located in the 10 Philatelic Post Offices, located at Changi Airport, Change Alley, Chinatown Point, Jurong Point, Killiney Road, Robinson Road, Tanglin, Thomson Road, Toa Payoh Central and Woodlands Central, and gradually introduced into all SAMs from March 1st 2010.
Due to unforeseen technical problems, label jamming occurred on the first day (mainly because the new labels are thinner and the surface is smoother), so the release at the remaining post offices was delayed. Finally, the release from the 10 Philatelic Post Offices happened between March 2nd and 15th, and distribution to more than 300 SAM postal kiosks in service (approx. 200 SAM 3, 16 SAM 3 PLUS and 104 SAM 4) occurred gradually from March 16th. Following these problems, SingPost requested SprintPak to manufacture a new batch of rolls.

Depending on the SAM postal kiosk used, on the release dates, it was possible to obtain this ATM with up to 3 different thermal printing versions.

Variety Postal kiosks Programmed values (February 2010)
1 SAM 3
(S096 to S301)

(S701 to S716)
5¢- 10¢- 20¢- 1st local- 30¢- 2nd local- 45¢- 50¢- 55¢- 65¢- 80¢- $1.00- $1.10- $2.00- $5.00- $10.00
2.1 SAM 4
(S401 to S420 and S501 to S584)
5¢- 10¢- 20¢- 1st local- 30¢- 2nd local- 45¢- 50¢- 55¢- 65¢- 80¢- $1.00- $1.10- $2.00- $5.00- $10.00
2.2 SAM 4, using the scale
(Only S401 to S420)
$0.05- $0.10- $0.20- $0.26- $0.30- $0.32- $0.45- $0.50- $0.55- $0.65- $0.80- $1.00- $1.10- $2.00- $5.00- $10.00

2013. The ATM issue 'City in a Garden'

On June 16th 1963, the former Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, launched an ambitious tree planting campaign to transform Singapore into a green city. Over the decades, many parks and gardens have been created, and greenery invades streets and buildings. Today, Singapore is the greenest city in Asia, and also, probably, in the world.

To commemorate 50 years since the beginning of this transformation, Singapore Post released, in July 2013, the stamp series 'Our city in a Garden', portraying 'Singapore’s vibrant urban landscape nestled within a thriving garden with native plants and wildlife' (right image). As a point of interest, the local rate stamp value of the set is made from a special biodegradable paper including seeds, and can be planted ...

This release is complemented by a new ATM issue entitled 'City in a garden', for use in S.A.M. (Self-Service Automated Machines) postal kiosks.

The design is by Janny Jin and features various images of flowers. Among them, the recurrent Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid - Singapore's national flower. Different tourist highlights appear between the flowers, such as the Marina Bay Sands, the world's largest observation wheel at the Singapore Flyer, the Changi airport control tower, the supertrees, the Esplanade cultural complex, and the Merlion statue, the national icon.

The rolls of 4,000 thermal self-adhesive paper labels were manufactured by SprintPak, a division of Australia Post. Labels measure 64 x 34 mm, with a central pre-cut area, size 49 x 26 mm., which includes two phosphorescent vertical strips (measuring 5 x 20 mm.) at each edge of the design.
A pre-printed control number can be found on the reverse of all the labels, indicating the number of remaining labels in the roll.

The first day of issue of the 'City in a Garden' design was August 26th 2013, in a trial at only 3 S.A.M. postal kiosks (numbers S151, S304 and S414), located in the main post office, the Singapore Post Centre.

From August 27th 2013, the rolls of labels with the new design were progressively introduced at the 297 S.A.M. postal kiosks in service across the city.

Singapore Post released a pictorial first day cover, but no special postmark.

The philatelic service sold, in advance, sets of 16 values and first day covers (right image), from the three postal kiosks used on the first day.

On the date of issue, 16 basic franking values were programmed in the S.A.M. postal kiosks (see table below). Depending on the postal kiosk used for the ATM issue, it is possible to distinguish 3 main printing varieties.

The face values ​​in S.A.M. 3 machines are printed in cents - the symbol is a c with one diagonal stroke (¢), and in dollars for face values of $1 and above. The zero is also printed with a stroke. The length of the gap between the machine number and the face value is about 36-37 mm., depending on the face value.

The S.A.M. 4 postal kiosks print on the ATMs using an Arial type font. In the S.A.M. 4 machines fitted with a scale, it is possible to obtain ATMs with face value below $1 in cents (with vertical stroke - ¢) or dollar ($), depending on whether the user selects the face value from the programmed tariffs, or uses the scale to obtain the corresponding rate, respectively.
(More information about the postal kiosks and printing varieties, see the article >, also published in VARIABLE 16).

Variety Postal kiosks in service Programmed values (August 2013)
1.1 SAM 3
(S151 to S306)

(S702 to S715)
5¢- 10¢- 20¢- 1st Local-
30¢- 2nd Local- 45¢ - 50¢-
55¢- 65¢- 80¢- $1.00-
$1.10- $2.00- $5.00- $10.00
2.1 SAM 4
(S401 to S420 and S501 to S619)
5¢- 10¢- 20¢- 1st Local-
30¢- 2nd Local- 45¢- 50¢-
55¢- 65¢- 80¢- $1.00-
$1.10- $2.00- $5.00- $10.00
2.2 SAM 4, using the scale
(Only S401 to S420)
$0.05- $0.10- $0.20- $0.26- $0.30- $0.32- $0.45- $0.50- $0.55- $0.65- $0.80- $1.00- $1.10- $2.00- $5.00- $10.00

However, there are ATMs that do not comply with these basic varieties. These are ATMs sold by the philatelic service, in sets of 16 button values ​​and first day covers, supposedly issued by the three machines in service during the first day of issue - S151, S304 and S414. Although, according to the numbering, the machines are two S.A.M. 3 postal kiosks, and one S.A.M. 4 with scale, all the philatelic service ATMs have an identical 'hybrid' imprint, which does not correspond to the actual printing of the postal kiosks with the same numbering. The philatelic service uses a sole piece of equipment, an older S.A.M. 3 postal kiosks with modified software - the imprint font used, the cent symbol with the diagonal stroke, ... shows that they are printed by a S.A.M. 3 machine, but the length between the equipment number and the face value is shorter, and also the face values $1, $2, $5 and $10 does not include decimal places.

Variety Postal kiosks in service Programmed values (August 2013)
1.2 SAM 3 used by the philatelic service, with codes S151, S304 and S414 5¢- 10¢- 20¢- 1st Local- 30¢- 2nd Local- 45¢- 50¢- 55¢- 65¢- 80¢- $1 - $1.10- $2 - $5 - $10

As an example, the images below show ATMs actually issued by the S414 postal kiosk (left column), and these sold by the philatelic service with the same number (right column).

S.A.M. 4 postal kiosk Philatelic service

2014, The first special imprint in Singapore - 'KASS 35 YR'

The first philatelic event of the year in Singapore is the traditional exhibition organized, in January, by the Kreta Ayer Stamp Society and dedicated to the Chinese Zodiac.

The Kreta Ayer Stamp Society (KASS) is a philatelic association with more than 500 members. It was founded in 1979 to promote the study of classical philately in Singapore, in particular the Straits Settlements era and the subsequent Japanese occupation.

In 2014, the philatelic fair and exhibition was held, from January 3rd to 5th, in The Plaza, National Library Building, a large public space located on the first floor of the Singapore National Library (images). The Year of the Horse Stamp Exhibition was dedicated to the new Lunar Year, which started on January 31st.
For this occasion, the philatelic event had special significance, because it celebrated the 35th anniversary of the philatelic association's foundation.

To commemorate this, the organization produced some special publications and pictorial covers. In collaboration with Singapore Post, they released a sheetlet of personalized stamps plus, for the first time in Singapore, a special SAM type ATM edition with the commemorative text - 'KASS 35 YR'.

The ATMs were issued in November 2013 by the philatelic service, with its SAM 3 machine specially programmed for the occasion. To print the ATMs, they used a roll of the current label design 'City in a Garden' (see article >, and also in VARIABLE 30).
Only ATMs with 5 different values were printed - 5¢, 1st Local, 2nd Local, 50¢ & $1.10.

Due to the requirement to reprogram the philatelic service SAM 3 machine, Singapore Post charged a fee to the organizers, and the ATMs were sold above their face value. In total, only 500 sets of ATMs with the 5 values, were produced, which the philatelic association sold to its members. The remaining sets were put on sale, from January 3rd, on the stand of the association at the exhibition, and were sold out within hours.

On January 3rd 2014, coinciding with the opening of the philatelic fair, Singapore Post released a new stamp set dedicated to the Year of the Horse. The images below show details of first day covers for the ATMs, with the postmarks corresponding to the stamp series (left),
and commemorating the first day of the philatelic exhibition, with the text Singapore Year of the Horse Zodiac Stamp Fair in Chinese characters (right image).

The postage rates in Singapore

up to 20 g.
Local -
Zone 1
Malaysia & Brunei

Zone 2
Asia &
the Pacific

(except Japan,
& New Zealand)

Zone 3
Australia, Japan
& New Zealand
Zone 4
Rest of the world
Letter (20-40 g) Letter Postcard Letter Postcard Letter Postcard Letter Postcard
April 1995 22 c. 30 c. 35 c. 30 c. 60 c. 50 c. 70 c. 50 c. $ 1.00 50 c.
03.02.04 23 c. 31 c. 40 c. 30 c. 60 c. 50 c. 70 c. 50 c. $ 1.00 50 c.
        Zone 3 - Rest of the world
Letter Postcard
18.12.06 25 c.
1st local
31 c.
2nd local
45 c. 30 c. 65 c. 50 c. $ 1.10 50 c.
01.07.07 26 c.
1st local
32 c.
2nd local
45 c. 30 c. 65 c. 50 c. $ 1.10 50 c.

More information about the postage rates and programmed values in S.A.M. machines ...

Study: The self-service S.A.M. machines - Printing varieties - Values
(Spanish version - English version)

UP HOME PAGE  The world
of ATMs
ATM Web - Spain and Latin American Postal Services:
© J. Jove - ATEEME. Variable value stamps study group. All rights reserved
This page was created in 2002
and last updated:  10.02.14 . English edition last rewritten by S. Goodman (9.02.2014)