- Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the e-voucher scheme is currently undergoing testing, and more details will be announced later this month
- AlipayHK, Octopus, Tap & Go and WeChat Pay HK have been chosen to operate the programme, which will benefit 7.2 million people
Hong Kong residents can start registering for HK$5,000 worth of spending vouchers in July provided testing of the scheme’s operating systems goes smoothly, the city’s finance chief has said.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po told lawmakers on Monday the e-voucher scheme – designed to boost local spending and accelerate the city’s economic recovery – is in the final stages of preparation. The government is expected to announce more details, such as the sign-up process and payment methods, at the end of this month.
“We are now conducting systemic tests with the four service providers and other partners to ensure that the registration and voucher distribution processes are running smoothly,” he said at a Legislative Council panel meeting.
“If the testing outcome is satisfactory, we’ll announce the scheme details at the end of this month … We expect the scheme to be open for registration in July.”
Four electronic payment service providers – AlipayHK, Octopus, Tap & Go and WeChat Pay HK – have been chosen to operate the programme.
The scheme, a key policy from Chan’s budget speech in February, will offer every adult Hong Kong resident HK$5,000 in local spending vouchers, benefiting 7.2 million people.
The government originally planned to issue them in five stages over as many months. However, authorities have so far not stated the exact expiry date for each instalment.
Chan later promised to provide more flexibility for using the vouchers, saying the expiry date for the digital vouchers might be extended to Lunar New Year and distributed in fewer instalments.
Ahead of the scheme’s launch, Octopus said new customers who between June 1 and August 31 transferred their physical cards to iPhone or Apple Watch devices and made a payment would be entitled to HK$100 in top-up value. Those who simply signed up for a new Octopus card on those devices and made a transaction would be entitled to HK$50.