By 6 p.m. on Thursday, 482,035 registrants – over three-quarters of local citizens – had submitted their details to apply for the government’s consumption smartcards in the first two days since the process started on Wednesday at 9 a.m., according to a statement by the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM).
According to demographic figures released by the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) early this month, Macau had a population of 679,600 at the end of last year. The figure included 196,538 non-resident workers.
Both permanent and non-permanent residents are entitled to sign up for the scheme, including those who currently do not live in Macau.
The registration period for the government-issued 3,000-pataca consumption smartcard will last until April 8, the statement said.
Registration can be done on-line at the AMCM official website at www.amcm.gov.mo, as well as off-line at AMCM and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) service centres, and 23 branches of the Bank of China (BOC) and the main branch of Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) in the city centre, the statement noted.
The statement pointed out that the off-line registration has been carried out in good order, adding that registration assistance provided by officials at the service centres is free of charge.
Each resident who successfully registers will receive an SMS informing them of their registration number, the statement said.
The Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) will provide additional assistance to elderly and disabled residents in registering for the consumption smartcard, the statement underlined.
In order to avoid crowds gathering during the current COVID-19 pandemic, registrants are advised to pick up their consumption smartcards as per their selected dates (from April 14 to 30), at the time and location stated on their registration details, the statement noted.
The 3,000-pataca consumption smartcards need to be spent from May 1 to July 31, with a maximum spending per day set at 300 patacas.
The government has said the scheme aims to give a much-needed boost to Macau’s economy which has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus epidemic. The government has budgeted MOP 2.19 billion (US$274.8 million) for the smartcards.
The cards cannot be used for spending on gambling and betting activities.