In the old days, parents wrapped 50 Hong Kong cents or one Hong Kong dollar in red paper for their children as lai see. But few children now would accept such lai see. They would not only expect a lot more money, but also a more fancy lai see packet. Today, colourful and innovative lai see packets are the norm and, in many cases, have become marketing tools for companies which stamp them with their name and logo. MassMutual Asia will send out 100,000 lai see packets - money not included - for its 2,000 agents and staff to give to customers for this Lunar New Year. Each will bear a Chinese calligraphic design with a new year blessing message and the Chinese name of the company. 'Our company name is also a blessing for good fortune,' said Tay Keng Pueng, the managing director and chief executive of MassMutual Asia. The firm's name roughly means you can do 10,000 things smoothly. 'The design of the lai see cover projects a good corporate image.' ING, another insurance company, sends out about 150,000 packets each year to its estimated 2,000 agents to give to clients. Its cover also carries the company logo, name as well as its corporate colour - orange. 'It does help to promote our brand and is very well received among agents and clients,' an ING spokeswoman said. 'This turns out to be one of our most popular company souvenirs.' Bank of East Asia said it gave out 'tens of millions' of lai see packets each year in a bid to strengthen customer relationships. Its spokeswoman said the giveaway was 'one of the services Bank of East Asia gives to customers because we are a community bank'. HSBC will start to distribute lai see packets at its branches starting today on a first-come first-served basis. Customers can exchange money for new notes starting on February 2 until February 12 before the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 14. In addition to banks and insurance companies, retailers and shopping malls also have followed this strategy in recent years. Customers who make a purchase or dine at restaurants around the Lunar New Year period will receive lai see packets as souvenirs. Each year the designs change and the packets have become more environmentally friendly. Most companies no longer depict the animal for the year on the design of the lai see packet. That way customers can reuse the packets. HSBC's lai see packet is made with recyclable paper. Hang Seng Bank's lai see packet and its popular God of Wealth posters are also made of environmentally friendly materials. MassMutual Asia's lai see is a slightly thicker stock which it said could be more durable for reuse.