Even After Lifting COVID-19 Curbs, Chinese New Year Digital Red Packets Are Still Popular With Bank Customers


SINGAPORE: Digital red packs and QR gift cards have surged in popularity this Chinese New Year, with some local banks seeing up to a 30 percent increase in e-hongbao compared to last year.

This is despite the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions allowing families and friends to meet in person, regardless of group size.

Customers who choose to give digital red packets won’t have to queue for new notes or worry about which red packets to use for Chinese New Year, observers said.

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Hongbao, or red packets, are traditionally handed out by married couples to children or young relatives during Chinese New Year as a sign of blessing.

Some banks have organized lucky draws to encourage customers to use digital red packs.

UOB said digital red packs have helped some customers “save a lot of time”.

These customers don’t have to queue for new notes, wrap them or give red packets to their loved ones, said Ms Choo Wan Sim, head of UOB TMRW Digital (Singapore).

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“Importantly, we think it helps with sustainability,” she added.

DBS said customers are also becoming more environmentally conscious.

The bank said that the use of e-hongbao has increased by a third compared to last year. But for customers who still prefer to hand out physical red packets, QR gift cards can be used.



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