Singapore. Local banks report a 30% surge in digital red packets and QR gift sales compared to 2022.
This increase can be observed despite the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, therefore allowing friends and families to meet face-to-face.
Also called hongbao, red packets are traditionally handed out by married individuals to young relatives and children as a token of blessing.
A number of local banks have organised lucky draws to motivate customers to use e-hongbao.
Choo Wan Sim, head of UOB TMRW Digital (Singapore) shared that customers do not need to queue up for new notes, pack them, or miss out on giving hongbao to their friends and family. These notes also help with sustainability.
“So we recognise that consumers are getting more environmentally conscious. The feedback from our customers is that they still prefer the act of giving red packets, thereby preserving the Chinese cultural gift-giving,” stated Diane Chang, executive director of DBS’ consumer banking group, adding that the QR gift card marries the benefits of technology and preserves Chinese culture at the same time.
Meanwhile, OCBC saw a quadruple increase in e-hongbao on the first day of the Chinese New Year. In 2023, OCBC also introduced new e-hongbao features that give customers a more personal touch.
“One of the things that we’re introducing this year is the ability for customers to actually choose their own designs, and these designs mimic some of the physical paper red packets that we have,” said Gary Wong, head of the bank’s digital payments and ecosystems.