Retail sector lawmaker Peter Shiu says the government’s electronic spending voucher scheme will hopefully promote e-payment in Hong Kong, but a representative of hawkers questions whether this would be sustainable among small shops.
The government on Sunday announced it would hand out the HK$5,000 vouchers announced in the budget proposals via four service providers, namely Octopus, Alipay Hong Kong, Tap-and-Go, and WeChat Pay Hong Kong.
Speaking on a radio programme, Shiu said he believes the scheme will attract more small shops – especially stalls in wet markets – to install e-payment systems.
The Liberal Party legislator noted the service providers had undertaken to waive installation and removal fees, and minimise administrative fees for each transaction.
"It is simple, it is free, there won't be any harm to the shops… there are only benefits, nothing bad," Shiu said.
Francis Fong, an honourary president of the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation, said he believes 60 to 70 percent of shops in Hong Kong are currently offering e-payment, and he thinks the figure would go up by around 10 percent because of this voucher scheme.
Chan Kam-wing, who chairs the Federation of Hong Kong Kowloon New Territories Hawker Associations, however, said he's concerned that the e-payment operators would charge up to three percent of administrative fees after the scheme ends.
He said that would be a big bill to pay for stall owners at wet markets, as they never earn much money in the first place.