Comment: Printing money for Chinese New Year in Hongbao is just too expensive



Sustainability is not the only reason why we should be persuaded to give e-hongbao a chance. The practical cost of printing paper money is also a key factor.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing Currency 2021 operating budget was $ 1.1 billion. The cost of printing a US $ 1 ticket was 6.2 cents per ticket, or just over 6% of the dollar value of the ticket.

Traditions can change over time, especially when looking at China where Hongbao native. In 2014, Internet giant Tencent introduced the e-hongbao feature to its ubiquitous WeChat platform.

Many other players joined the fray, some adding innovative bells and whistles such as embedded videos and hongbao snippets. The rest is history – the vast majority of the nation’s people now donate electronically.

Fortunately, the use of e-hongbao is on the rise in Singapore. In 2021, DBS Bank reported more than 32,000 QR Gift transactions through the PayLah app for a total of S $ 2 million (US $ 1.48 million) on the second day of the Chinese New Year, compared to 18,000 for one. total of S $ 660,000 (US $ 490,000) in 2020 over the same period. period in 2020.

Other banks also saw an upward trend in the transaction. UOB saw three times as many e-hongbao transactions through the UOB app. Likewise, OCBC Bank observed a 140% increase in e-hongbao transactions through the OCBC app compared to 2020.


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