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Hong Kong’s voucher program has sparked a significant leap in local use of electronic payment systems, the city’s finance chief said, highlighting the creation of more than 2.2 million new accounts over the course of the last few months.
A week after the deployment of the first HK $ 2,000 installment of the HK $ 5,000 electronic vouchers, Hong Kong’s finance secretary said the program was meeting its goal of boosting the economy and supporting employment, noting the “festive atmosphere” in the company. . Many merchants said the flow of visitors has increased recently as some consumers are more generous in their spending, the official wrote on his official blog on August 8, 2021.
It was also noted that the vouchers laid the foundation for Hong Kong’s transformation into a digital economy. The city has long lagged behind mainland China in its adoption of electronic payment systems.
By the last month, the total number of four major electronic payment company accounts – the four systems designed for use with the program – had grown to more than 2.2 million users. Meanwhile, the number of merchants accepting these payments had increased by more than 48,000. In an effort to attract consumers, the four companies have partnered with malls and chain stores to roll out billions of dollars. in lotteries and discounts.
The voucher system allowed citizens to choose stored value facility operators according to their needs. It not only facilitates competition between different operators, but also lays the foundation for electronic payment.
Recently, the Consumers Council said it has received 42 complaints about the consumer program so far, revealing that some stores have asked their customers to spend a minimum amount or charge a transaction fee for the privilege of using the good ones.
Residents were reminded that there was no allowance in the program for either move, adding that e-payment operators or the Consumers Council would follow stores that break the rules. He also called on the public to register for the vouchers before the end of the registration period while urging stores that had not yet accepted electronic payments to embark to take advantage of the consumption power that will be released by the good ones in the coming months. .
The second set of vouchers will be distributed from October 1, 2021 and, depending on the payment systems, will remain valid until March 31, 2022.
The HK $ 36 billion initiative was introduced by the finance secretary in his February budget plan to boost spending at local retail stores, restaurants and public transport, and boost the economy by 0.7%. city economy hit by coronavirus.
A report from December 2021 indicates that Hong Kong ranks second behind Singapore in Asia-Pacific and third globally among the world’s most digitally advanced economies. The territory is one of the most advanced digital economies with a score of 88.12, behind Singapore (98.82) and the United States (89.82), but ahead of other Asia-Pacific economies, such as South Korea (83.09), Taiwan (80, 75), Japan (77.76) and China (61.89), according to the Digital Intelligence Index, which was prepared by the Fletcher School at Tufts University in partnership with a global payments company and leading technology.
The Digital Intelligence Index is a holistic, data-driven assessment of the progress of the digital economy in 90 economies, combining more than 358 indicators in two dashboards: “digital evolution” and “digital trust”.
In the “digital evolution” category, research places Hong Kong among the 13 “remarkable” markets, along with Singapore, the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Estonia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates , Malaysia, the Czech Republic. Republic, Lithuania and Qatar, which are very advanced digitally and show strong momentum.
“These economies are leaders in driving innovation, building on their existing advantages efficiently and effectively,” the study notes.