MAS Encourages Use of Recycled Notes and E-Hong Baos for Chinese New Year

MAS Encourages Use of Recycled Notes and E-Hong Baos for Chinese New Year

by January 16, 2024

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is encouraging the use of previously circulated, high-quality currency notes, termed as “Fit-for-Gifting” notes or digital red packets also known as e-hong baos for the upcoming Lunar New Year (LNY).

This initiative, starting on 17 January 2024, aims to lessen environmental impact and is part of a broader, multi-year effort towards a greener future.

Fit-for-Gifting notes, or fit notes, are recycled currency notes that have been thoroughly inspected and deemed suitable for reuse, including festive gifting.

These notes, which are as pristine as those dispensed from ATMs, present a more sustainable alternative to the tradition of giving brand new notes during LNY.

The environmental benefits of this practice were evident during the last LNY when over 11 million fit notes were exchanged, resulting in reduced carbon emissions which equated to the annual emissions of powering approximately 220 four-room public housing flats.

Source: MAS

DBS, OCBC, and UOB customers, excluding seniors over 60 and persons with disabilities, are required to pre-book online for exchanging fit or new notes at bank branches.

This can be done via official bank websites or mobile apps, a measure also designed to safeguard against phishing scams.

Additionally, fit and new notes are accessible without pre-booking at certain pop-up and branch ATMs of DBS, OCBC and UOB banks. Other bank customers are advised to check their respective bank’s website for details on note exchange.

The schedule for pre-booking and collecting notes starts on 17 January 2024, with further details available here.

As for the e-hong baos, banks have upgraded their digital red packet services with new features and designs over the years, allowing for more personalised Lunar New Year greetings.


Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik