E-voucher rewards get quirky

Top News | Sophie Hui 21 Jun 2021

AlipayHK is offering people who use the electronic payment platform for the government's HK$5,000 consumption coupons the chance to win 365 Big Mac meals.

With four electronic platforms competing with each other for residents to choose them when receiving the vouchers, AlipayHK has come up with gimmicky prizes for those who are the quickest to register.

It has selected six days between July 4 and August 8, on which the first two users who register Alipay HK as the platform for the vouchers on the government website can each receive a top prize.

The prizes include 365 regular Big Mac meals that can be gulped down over one year, costing HK$14,235 - or winners can choose to share with family and friends if they have health concerns.

Sports fans can vie for VIP box tickets at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open 2021, and VIP ticket packages of a HK$1 million boxing match between Hong Kong Esports' founder Derek Cheung and former barrister Joseph Lam Chok.

Other prizes include a fusion cuisine tour by celebrity chef Ricky Cheung Kam-cheung, and a meeting with a popular fung shui master nicknamed "Master Seven" - famous for her appearance in several ViuTV shows - at noodle chain Tamjai Yunnan Mixian.

The 10 people who used the payment service most frequently each month will get an additional HK$5,000 worth of electronic coupons.

For other users who do not register quick enough to get a big prize, they are still eligible to get as many as five prizes with the highest total value of HK$5,000 from more than 100 merchants, including restaurants, supermarkets, cosmetic chains, luxury retailers and hotels.

The Alipay gambit comes a day after rival Octopus announced that the first two million citizens using Octopus card to collect their vouchers, complete registration at the government's website and with their Octopus card added to the Octopus mobile app can win HK$18 Octopus top-up value. Any customer who makes retail payments of HK$200 or above, up to a total of HK$1,000 within a month, can receive HK$50 Octopus top-up value.

Each customer will be entitled to receive up to HK$100 Octopus top-up value between August and September on a first-come, first-served basis, limited to a quota of one million.

A number of merchants will offer coupons worth more than HK$3,000 in total, which can be downloaded in the Octopus app.

From early July, Octopus card users can enjoy up to 27 percent off on dining and shopping at the 12 MTR Malls, while from August, 22 Sun Hung Kai Properties malls will offer spending rebate eCoupons worth over HK$3 million to Octopus card users.

Separately, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the government chose electronic consumption vouchers over cash for handouts this year to promote electronic payments, but it is too early to say for future handouts.

Chan announced details of the HK$5,000 electronic voucher scheme last Friday, with electronic applications to open from July 4 until August 14. Recipients who register before July 17 will get the first installment as soon as August 1, and the second in October.

Octopus Card users will first receive HK$2,000, another HK$2,000 two months later, and then HK$1,000 several weeks after that.

People who receive the vouchers via their AlipayHK, Tap & Go or WeChat Pay HK digital wallets will first get HK$2,000 and then HK$3,000 two months later.

The entire HK$5,000 will expire on December 31 for those who apply before July 17, and January 31 next year for those who apply after.

Citizens can spend the vouchers separately or wait for the entire sum and spend it all in one go.

The coupons can be spent on public transport, at local retailers, caterers and service industries, as well as local online shops. But they cannot be used to pay government fees, utility charges or financial products. Nor can they be turned into cash.

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