SINGAPORE – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Tuesday, December 28th, stated that members of the public are strongly encouraged by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to give ecash during Chinese New Year in February 2022. This will support the environment, and reduce bank branch queues.
In a separate statement released Tuesday, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), also encouraged banking customers using PayNow to e–gift cash.
ABS and MAS have been working together with the financial technology sector in order to develop e-gifting options as an alternative to physical hongbao or CNY red packets.
DBS Bank stated that the DBS QR Gifts and DBS eGift options have gained traction over time, with customer adoption reaching a record high during CNY.
The combined number of unique users of these e-gift options grew by 74% year on year in 2021. Some $6.3 million was loaded onto DBS QR gift cards this year, compared to $2.5 million last year.
MAS also stated that it issues approximately 100,000,000 pieces of new notes each year for CNY and other holidays.
A large portion of the new notes, especially the $2 notes, are recirculated back to MAS after CNY.
The MAS stated that the notes returned were destroyed “as it far exceeds usual circulation demand”.
“The carbon emissions from the creation, transportation, destruction, and destruction of these new notes each year are highly wasteful and unnecessary and have negative impacts on the environment.”
People who prefer to give red packets in physical form are encouraged to reuse or give QR gift certificates instead of new notes. The central bank stated that most notes in circulation in Singapore are clean, of good quality, and suitable to be used in festive gifting.
People who still prefer new bills must reserve them online before they can be collected at the participating banks branches.
DBS, OCBC, UOB Standard Chartered Maybank and Citibank are some of the banks involved.
MAS said that this will also “complement existing safe management measures due to Covid-19”.
The initiative is exempt for people over 60 and those with disabilities.