With just days to go before April — when the government will begin distributing the previously announced HK$10,000 consumption vouchers to most Hong Kong permanent residents and new arrivals — we’ve got some of your most burning questions answered.
1. Am I eligible for the consumption vouchers?
The vouchers are only for Hong Kong permanent residents and new arrivals from mainland China aged 18 or above. However, the government has yet to announce the cut-off date to meet the age limit.
2. How can I use the consumption vouchers?
For the first phase, vouchers will be distributed and can be used via the same stored value facilities as last year, namely AlipayHK, Octopus, Tap & Go and WeChat Pay HK. Authorities said they are exploring other stored value facilities for the second phase.
3. When will I get the vouchers?
People who have successfully registered under last year’s Consumption Voucher Scheme can first get HK$5,000 worth of vouchers in the first phase on April 7. They will get the remaining vouchers by installments together with the new eligible persons in the second phase in the middle of the year.
4. How do I get the vouchers?
If you have successfully received last year’s vouchers, there is no need to re-register if your account for the stored value facility is still working.
People who collected last year’s vouchers via AlipayHK, Tap & Go or WeChat Pay HK will receive, through the same account in April, a HK$5,000 voucher.
The vouchers collected via Octopus will be disbursed in two installments. The first HK$4,000 voucher will be disbursed together with the other three e-wallets in April. If your cumulative total eligible spending has reached HK$4,000 between May to October, a second HK$1,000 voucher will be disbursed on the 16th day of the following month. People using Octopus to receive the vouchers need to collect the vouchers by tapping the card at the Subsidy Collection Points of the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme; designated convenience stores and supermarkets; Octopus Service Points, or via the Octopus mobile app.
The government has yet to announce details of registration for those who are applying for the first time this year, who will get the vouchers in the middle of the year.
5. What if I’ve lost my Octopus card, or deleted my stored value facility account?
If you have used AlipayHK, Tap & Go or WeChat Pay HK to collect the consumption vouchers last year and have already removed the relevant mobile app, or cancelled the e-wallet account, you can first try to re-install the relevant mobile app or re-activate their old account. Failing that, you will need to open a new account with the same stored value facility to receive the consumption voucher in the first phase.
If you have used Octopus to receive the vouchers last year but have lost the card, or it is not working, you will need to use another Octopus card to collect this year’s consumption vouchers.
For more information on how to get a new AlipayHK, Tap&Go or WeChat Pay HK account, or an Octopus card, for the consumption vouchers, you can visit the operators’ website or call them:
AlipayHK: (Phone: 2245 3201)
Octopus: (Phone: 2969 5500)
Tap & Go: (Phone: 2888 0000)
WeChat Pay HK: (Phone: 3929 1666)
You can then change your stored value facility account by downloading the “Application Form for Amendment of SVF Account” from the Consumption Voucher Scheme’s website, completing the form and mailing it together with a copy of your Hong Kong Identity Card to “Consumption Voucher Scheme Secretariat, GPO P.O. Box 185000, Hong Kong”. No postage stamp is required for local postage. You can also call the hotline at 185000 for more information.
People who are using Octopus to collect consumption vouchers can also visit this page to change their registration record and use another card to receive the consumption vouchers.
Do note that those requesting for an amendment of the stored value facility account will get their consumption vouchers later.
6. Can I change the stored value facility used to collect the consumption vouchers?
The government said that in order to disburse the vouchers as soon as possible under the first phase, people must use the same stored value facility as last year. People who wish to switch to another stored value facility can do so in the second phase.
7. Is there an expiry date for the vouchers?
The expiry date for vouchers distributed in the first phase through AlipayHK, Tap & Go or WeChat Pay HK is October 31.
For Octopus, there is no validity period, but the deadlines for collection of the first and second vouchers in the first phase are both December 31.
8. Where can I use the vouchers?
In general, consumption vouchers can be used at local retail, catering and service outlets or their online platforms that accept payments by Alipay HK, Octopus, Tap & Go and WeChat Pay HK. Examples include retail shops, market stalls, department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, fast food shops, coffee shops, recreational facilities, beauty salons and public transport.
However, the vouchers cannot be used for certain payments, such as those to the government and public utilities. Click here for the full list.
9. Can I receive the voucher if I am staying or serving sentences abroad?
Authorities said people staying or serving sentences overseas who have successfully registered for the vouchers last year do not need to go through any procedure if their registered stored value facility account is still working. They can receive this year’s consumption voucher directly via the same account.
10. What if I have other questions?
You may visit the Consumption Voucher Scheme’s website or call the hotline at 185000.
Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to include the exact date of the distribution of the first phase of the consumption vouchers.