Registration for consumption smart cards begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow, with the website being able to process 250,000 registrations per hour, the government announced in a press conference at the Macau Trade and Investment Institute (IPIM) on Monday.
The government previously said it was giving each Macau permanent and non-permanent residents 3,000 patacas through a smart card to spend locally, as part of its measures to stimulate the local economy, support local businesses and stabilise the job market during the COVID-19 epidemic.
The smart card is operated by Macau Pass. Residents can spend the 3,000 patacas in the contactless stored-value smart card by placing it over Macau Pass terminals installed at local shops or other businesses for goods and services between May 1 and July 31, with a maximum spending per day set at 300 patacas.
According to a government statement on Monday, the registration period for the smart cards begins tomorrow and runs until April 8. It will be done via the Macau Monetary Authority (AMCM) website www.amcm.gov.mo where residents have to submit their personal information and choose a pick-up point and time to collect the card. Residents will receive an SMS if registration has been processed successfully.
Residents can then pick up their card between April 14 and 30 upon presentation of their ID card. People picking up the card on behalf of their family members or caregivers collecting it for their service users have to present their own ID card as well as the ID card of the person they are picking the smart card up for, in addition to a signed letter of authorisation or declaration, which can be downloaded from the AMCM website.
Cards are transferrable
The cards are transferrable, but cannot be exchanged for cash, cannot be topped-up, and cannot be reissued if lost. The 3,000 patacas cannot be used in casinos, to pay for water, electricity, gas and phone bills, nor can it be used to buy ferry or plane tickets.
According to official information, a total of 34 elderly homes and seven teams of home care-givers can assist their service users to register and pick-up the cards if needed, while 81 subsidised elderly centres can help with the registration if needed, and 29 subsidised family and community service centres can also help elderly people, those with disabilities and those with other needs to register.
During Monday’s press conference, Economic Bureau (DSE) Director Tai Kin Ip said that the card does not show residents’ ID information, and does not limit who can use the card.
In addition, Tai said that the money remaining in the cards after the three-month spending period would revert to the public coffers, and the card then would just be an empty Macau Pass card where people can top it up themselves if they want to keep using the service.
AMCM Department of Finance and IT Infrastructure Director Johnny Lau Kei Fong said that their website currently can process 250,000 registrations per hour.
Lau said that if too many residents rush to register on the first day of registration at the same time, there could be network congestion, urging people to try registering again later.
In regard to data privacy, Lau said that while Macau Pass was providing the tools to assist in distributing and using cards, the whole software system is built by the AMCM, and when residents collect their card, all information will be sent to the AMCM system so that Macau Pass would not be able to get any residents’ personal information.
Macau Pass Deputy General Manager Wong Kam Man said during Monday’s press conference that his company has doubled the number of staff to process applications from local businesses to install Macau Pass terminals at their shops. Wong said she was confident that all installations would be ready before May.
Wong also vowed that the company won’t charge small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the installation of the terminals, or the annual service fee and deposit this year and next year.