MAS promotes the use of e-hongbaos for the upcoming Chinese New Year

digital red packet via QR code Image Credits: The Straits Times

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) shared on Monday (Jan 11) that those marking the upcoming Chinese New Year are advised to offer e-hongbaos. This would help minimise queues for new bills and for individuals to do their part for the environment.

Individuals who want to use physical notes would need to make online bookings to receive the bills.

Pre-booking & pre-ordering required

For DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB), pre-booking is mandatory. Before entering bank branches, visitors would need to schedule an appointment online. But there are exceptions for the elderly above 60 years old and people with disabilities.

Pre-order of new notes are available at Maybank and Standard Chartered starting Jan 18. The collection will be available from Jan 25.

DBS customers to take note
atms in Singapore

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DBS is expanding the number of online reservation slots up to two times this year to serve more people.

Users can also withdraw new banknotes from 61 pop-up automated teller machines (ATMs) throughout 41 locations from Jan 25 to Feb 11, marking an increase from 2020. This service does not require a reservation.

DBS’ new notes pop-up ATM map locator can advise approximate wait times at each venue to help its users avoid busy places. Click through the link before you make the trip down.

“Remote gifting” an ideal way forward

Here is a reminder that Singapore is currently in phase three of its reopening of the economy and social events of up to eight people are permitted.

The MAS said that e-hongbaos would facilitate virtual gifting across a range of visits, like video conferences. It is also more environmentally friendly to have e-hongbaos because it lowers the printing production. Also, it lessens eventual wastage of new bills returned to banks after the festivities.

Mr Bernard Wee, MAS’ assistant managing director for finance, risk and currency, commented that for each Lunar New Year, the carbon emissions produced by the development of new notes are forecasted at around 330 tonnes.

“This is equivalent to emissions from charging 5.7 million smartphones or one smartphone for every Singaporean resident for five days,” he added.

Banks share their thoughts on this
red packet recycling bins

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Customers who give e-hongbaos using PayNow can attach specifically designed holiday visuals! This includes Chinese New Year good wishes, revealed the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).

DBS adds that those who prefer to stick to physical hongbaos can choose to recycle them instead. Consumers can drop off used red packets into specific recycling bins at full-service DBS and POSB Bank branches.

According to the authorities, e-hongbaos are part of a broader move to e-gifting advocated by MAS and ABS.

“The coming Lunar New Year offers an opportunity for us to build on this momentum, to spread the benefits of e-gifting, and to forge new traditions with our families and friends,” Mr Wee remarked.

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