Double boost for Octopus thanks to voucher scheme
Octopus has seen customers double their daily spending over the past four months compared to the first seven months this year, thanks to the disbursement of consumption vouchers, the stored-value platform said.
This came as around three million Hongkongers who collected the first consumption voucher via Octopus on August 1 are set to receive the last installment of HK$1,000 today after having used up the first two installments totaling HK$4,000 by November 30, the government said.
Those who have yet to meet the HK$4,000 mark, however, should do so by February 28 next year so they can receive their last HK$1,000 installment on March 16 - the last distribution date of the scheme.
Speaking in a radio program yesterday, Octopus sales and marketing director Rita Li Yuk-yi said consumers are more willing to spend. She noted that the number of daily transactions increased by 150 percent.
Li added that the Octopus Card stored-value limit upgrade to HK$3,000 might be one of the factors that boosted spending.
She also said the consumption vouchers had a positive effect on Hong Kong's economy and anticipated public consumption to remain high during the Christmas season.
From October to November, the number of jewelry-related transactions increased 30 percent, compared to the previous two months ending September.
"As we are approaching the end of the year, more people are getting married and more banquets are being held. That's why I think more people are buying gold ornaments and jewelry," Li said.
Octopus has also become a more popular payment method for taxis as the number of monthly transactions increased four times between August and November compared to the first seven months of the year. Again, Li said this could be attributed to the voucher scheme and the increasing popularity of electronic payment.
Currently, there are over 130,000 merchants accepting Octopus payments.
When asked about concerns over people switching back to cash payment when the voucher scheme ends, Li said it is hard to predict, adding that Octopus spending amounts might decrease.But she said that with more top-value options offered by their platform, it might lead to fewer people using cash payments.
She added that Octopus will introduce schemes to encourage continued use of the company's services.