It is customary for the Chinese to give each other hongbao — or a red packet containing money — during the festival, which begins this year on Friday (Feb 16). TODAY file photo
SINGAPORE — When Ms Linda Wong first received an electronic hongbao for Chinese New Year last year, she was “surprised” by the gesture. The 24-year-old sales executive, who got it from a relative, told TODAY that it was the first time she had heard of such a concept.
“I was quite excited to get the e-hongbao. I think the novelty (of receiving one) made it more special,” she said.
Still, Ms Wong, who declined to reveal how much she received, said that nothing beats the excitement of receiving “the physical red packet” that are familiar to most.
It is customary for the Chinese to give each other hongbao — or a red packet containing money — during the festival, which begins this year on Friday (Feb 16).
In Singapore and Malaysia, the e-hongbao trend is starting to catch on, with banks here noticing growth in the number of transactions year on year.
DBS, for example, launched its “eAng Bao” function on its PayLah! mobile payment service in 2015, the only bank here to provide the service. That year, close to 20 per cent of money-sending transactions during Chinese New Year were through e-hongbao, it said.
It added that the number of such electronic packets sent last year rose to a new high, being five times higher than that in 2016.