People queue up early for second cash payout

Dozens of people were seen queuing outside a convenience store in Tai Koo Shing on Friday, as they waited to redeem the second installment of consumption vouchers.

The HK$36-billion voucher scheme was part of a raft of government measures to help the economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The first HK$2,000 instalment of the HK$5,000 payout was paid in August.

Victor Au, one of those waiting in line on Friday morning, said the vouchers helped to boost the territory’s economy, noting that he was more willing to spend on luxury goods.

“Actually, I wanted to upgrade my camera, so it will be a good way to spend it,” he said.

“I think it serves as a good incentive, a good motivation, or good cost to spend, so it definitely help boost [the economy]” he added.

Another person waiting in line gave his surname as Lui and said he spent the previous handout instalment on a staycation and food.

Instead of skipping the line and redeeming his money via a top up machine in the MTR station, Lui said the shop offered extra incentives.

“There were coupons given [by the convenient store]” he said.

Annie Yau Tse, chairperson of the Hong Kong Retail Management Association, said that unlike the first round of hand-outs – in which many people spent most of their money on the first day – consumers might wait to use their vouchers.

“The end of the year is usually the peak consumption season. People will spend their money on gift-buying. Some of the shopper’s desire to spend might be delayed to late November to December.” she said.

Anyone who registered electronically between July 4 and July 17 would receive HK$3,000 – provided they opted to use either AliPay, Tap and Go, or the WeChat e-wallet.

Those who opted to use an Octopus card or app would get HK$2,000 – and the remaining HK$1,000 will be paid on December 16 at the earliest – subject to spending requirements.