Tens of thousands have signed up for e-vouchers: govt

People have started registering for the HK$5,000 consumption voucher scheme on Sunday, and officials say as of noon, over 700,000 people have signed up.

A government spokesman said things have been going smoothly, even though those signing up through the government’s mobile phone app tend to have a longer waiting period.

Authorities announced last month that the first e-vouchers for adult residents would be handed out, in instalments, from August 1.

Four electronic payments providers have been designated to dole out the vouchers, including Octopus Hong Kong, AliPayHK, Tap & Go and WeChat Pay HK.

Liberal Party leader Felix Chung said he’s surprised to see so many residents rushing to sign up for the scheme, saying it’s probably because the four electronic payment providers had offered incentives, such as rewards and lucky draws, to attract people to register early.

The government had earlier said that it hopes the vouchers, expected to cost about HK$36 billion and benefit around 7.2 million people, can boost local consumption.

Chung said he believes people will spend more than the HK$5,000 they’re given.

“Everybody is looking forward to spend the HK$5,000. Certainly that will boost the economy and that will have the multiplying effect,” he said.

“Eventually, people will spend more than HK$36 billion. It will probably go up to HK$50 billion. That will absolutely help the economy.”

Meanwhile, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said he hopes the voucher scheme can inject new vitality into the local economy.

Writing in his weekly blog, he said many small businesses have now set up their own digital payment platforms to facilitate the use of these vouchers, adding that there is still a lot of room for Hong Kong to further develop and boost the use of electronic payment services.
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Last updated: 2021-07-04 HKT 15:46