This Chinese New Year is set out to be a little different than usual, with the Singaporeans being urged to send angbaos (or red packets) digitally instead of the usual tradition of giving a physical red packet.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has openly encouraged Singaporeans to send angbaos digitally instead of giving out physical ones since 11 January 2021. They have also made it compulsory for Singaporeans to make an appointment with their respective banks to collect new banknotes, in hope to avoid the long queues at banks and reduce the spread of COVID-19 through physical interaction, while at the same time promoting an eco-friendly initiative.
To further encourage the use of digital red packets, mobile wallets and banks in Singapore roll out plans to incentivise Singaporeans to send e-angbaos to friends and relatives with prizes.
If you are looking to jump on the bandwagon, here are some ways to send e-angbaos and stand a chance to win something for yourself at the same time.
Google Pay Singapore launches Huat Pals, where users can win up to S$88.88 when they collect five “huat pals” through everyday transactions using the Google Pay app. Users can either send money to fellow Google Pay users or make payment through the app for any transactions from 4 February to 26 February 2021 to qualify.
GrabPay users can send money to friends and relatives as angbaos using the app to win a bonus angbao. The bonus angbao ranges anywhere from S$0.08 to S$8.88 in Grab Credits and are given at random up to eight times per user every day from 16 February to 24 February 2021, according to their official page.
The Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) has a QR Gift which users can utilise as a substitute for physical angbaos. According to their announcement, these QR Gifts can be customised with personalised greetings or festive animations to go with the angbao. These customisations can be viewed when the QR code is scanned. When users gift or redeem a QR gift of at least S$2, they can stand to win up to S$888.
Revolut Singapore, a digital wallet platform, revealed its animated designs for e-angbaos which its users can send along with a message in a press release. Users can do an immediate transfer or schedule one on a later date. For those who spend S$355 with their Revolut cards and send e-angbaos to three other users this month, can win one of the three mega cash prizes in Revolut’s Lunar New Year Lucky Draw.
PayNow can also be used to send e-angbaos through connecting your PayNow account with your bank account. These e-angbaos can also be sent with a festive message and design according to an announcement from the Association of Banks in Singapore.
With all these options, Singaporeans have every reason to switch over to sending e-angbaos instead physical red packets.
However, Singaporeans seem apprehensive on changing the tradition just yet. Despite MAS encouragements, Channel News Asia reported that local banks have received an “overwhelming” demand for time slots for the collection of new banknotes for hongbaos.
Despite the wide options for users to adopt digital red packets, Singaporeans seem more inclined to go with the traditional red packets to represent their well-wishes, at least for now.
Written by John Paul Joaquin