A man touches his wallet to an Octopus stored-value card reader as he exits a mass transit railway (MTR) station in Hong Kong on Aug 5, 2010.
(ED JONES / AFP)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong government said on Friday that it had disbursed the second installment of the consumption voucher to about 5.5 million eligible people who had completed their electronic registration by July 17.
A government spokesman said in a statement that for people who opted to use the AliPay, Tap and Go, or WeChat, the HK$3,000 vouchers had been directly injected into their stored value facility accounts.
The HK$3,000 voucher has a validity period of three months and will expire together with the first HK$2,000 voucher on Dec 31, the spokesman said. The unused voucher value will automatically become invalid after the expiry date.
In addition, about 17,000 eligible people who had resubmitted paper registration forms between Aug 16 and Sept 15 under the government's special arrangement were also disbursed with the first voucher on Friday
Meanwhile, those who chose to collect the vouchers via Octopus cards may collect the second installment of HK$2,000 by tapping the card at the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme's subsidy collection points at MTR stations, light rail customer service centers, designated piers and public transport interchanges within three months from Friday.
They can also tap the card at designated convenience stores and supermarkets, Octopus service points or via the Octopus app.
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The voucher will be combined with the value stored in the Octopus card.
The value of both the first and second installment of the voucher obtained via Octopus cards is HK$2,000.
Registrants can receive the remaining HK$1,000 voucher in mid-December at the earliest if their "eligible spending" from the first two installments reaches HK$4,000 within the fourth to seventh month from the disbursement of the first voucher.
In general, the vouchers can be used at local retail, catering and service outlets or online platforms which accept payments by the four designated SVFs, such as retail shops, market stalls, department stores, supermarkets, and restaurants.
However, the vouchers cannot be used for payments to the government, public utilities, public organizations, education expenses, purchase of financial products or services, donations, direct purchases from merchants located outside Hong Kong, person-to-person payments, and encashments.
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The government added that if merchants accept payments through any of the four SVFs under the program, they cannot reject the use of consumption vouchers through that facility or impose additional fees.
In addition, about 17,000 eligible people who had resubmitted paper registration forms between Aug 16 and Sept 15 under the government's special arrangement were also disbursed with the first voucher on Friday, the spokesman said.
Those who received the first consumption voucher on Sept 1 will get the second one on Nov 1.
The government announced the HK$36 billion consumption voucher program in February's budget in a bid to boost the pandemic-hit economy. The government estimated some 7.2 million people to benefit from the program, which is expected to contribute 0.7 percent to GDP growth in 2021.