Singaporeans Encouraged to Hand Out E-Hong Baos for Lunar New Year

Singaporeans Encouraged to Hand Out E-Hong Baos for Lunar New Year

by January 18, 2021

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is encouraging Singaporeans to use e-hong baos, monetary gifts given in envelopes, during the coming Lunar New Year. This is in line with the safety measures currently in place due to COVID-19.

E-hong baos will enable remote gifting across a variety of visitation practices, including virtual gatherings, during the upcoming Lunar New Year. Giving e-hong baos instead of physical notes is also environmentally more sustainable as it reduces the printing and subsequent wastage of new notes that are returned by the public to banks after each Lunar New Year.

E-hong baos are part of a larger shift towards e-gifting that MAS and ABS are promoting. MAS also encourages fintech firms to develop e-gifting solutions for different purposes, including gifting during festive periods.

DBS had previously debuted its loadable QR red packets in 2019

Members of the public, except those aged 60 and above and persons with disabilities, who prefer physical notes for the Lunar New Year will need to make an appointment through their respective bank’s online reservation system before visiting the branches to collect the new notes. The five banks offering the service are five banks DBS, OCBC, UOB, Standard Chartered and Maybank Singapore.

The pre-order period for new and good-as-new notes will start from 18 January 2021. The collection for online orders, walk-in option for elderly aged 60 and above and persons with disabilities, and withdrawal at DBS’ pop-up ATMs will start from 25 January 2021.

New notes can also be withdrawn without a prior booking at pop-up ATMs offered by DBS.

Customers should refer to the respective bank’s website for details on how to pre-book and collect their orders.

Bernard Wee, Assistant Managing Director, Finance, Risk & Currency at MAS said,

MAS’ Assistant Managing Director, Finance, Risk & Currency, Mr Bernard Wee

Bernard Wee

“The adoption of e-payments grew significantly this past year as it is more convenient than cash. The coming Lunar New Year offers an opportunity for us to build on this momentum, to spread the benefits of e-gifting, and to forge new traditions with our families and friends.


E-gifting helps to reduce the queues at banks, and also helps to reduce the carbon emissions generated by the production of new notes for each Lunar New Year, estimated to be about 330 tonnes currently. This is equivalent to emissions from charging 5.7 million smart phones or one smart phone for every Singaporean resident for five days.”


Featured image credit: DBS eGift