Integrated payment machine ‘Simple Pay’ to be launched in Q1: Lei

2021-01-08 03:19     Comment:0

The government will launch a new integrated payment machine called “Simple Pay” in the first quarter of the year, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong told reporters yesterday, adding that the government will have a test run in the first phase next month and launch the second phase in March.

Lei made the remarks on the sidelines of a Macau Greater Bay Area Human Resources Association (Macau GBAHR) event at Wynn Macau yesterday.

According to a Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) statement earlier this week, the “Simple Pay” system is an integrated payment machine, which combines all digital payment methods, including Mpay, Macau Pass, Alipay, BOCPay (Bank of China) and Tai Fung Pay, in one machine. Currently, there are different machines for different digital payment methods.

Lei said that the first phase, which will be a test run of the system, will start at the beginning of February. Lei stressed that in the first phase customers’ QR codes on their smartphones will be scanned by the cashier. Lei added that the first phase will test the capability and reactions of the public.

Lei also said that the second phase of “Simple Pay” will get off the ground in March, in which customers will scan shops’ QR codes instead.

City worth coming back

Last month Lei said he expected this year’s government receipts from gross gaming revenue taxes to be around 130 billion patacas, which is around 10 billion patacas per month. Lei said yesterday he was confident about the prediction, as the government has been working hard to attract more tourists from the mainland. The policy secretary overseeing the gaming sector also said that he expected 14 million visitors this year from the mainland and Hong Kong.

Lei noted that starting from September 6 last year until yesterday, the government had given out 105,000 hotel stays to visitors, adding this figure showed that more and more mainlanders have seen the promotions going on in Macau. He noted that the number of visitors has been increasing steadily in the past few months. He stressed that Macau should strive to leave the impression on its visitors that it is a “city worth coming back to”.

Lei noted that in 2020, the number of business closures decreased by 30 percent over 2019. He also pointed out that around 11,000 new businesses opened in the past year, which was similar to the number in 2019.

Lei also noted that local residents’ unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 4.0 percent in the September-November 2020 period, which showed that the economy is slowly recovering. The number of residents who applied for unemployment subsidies decreased from 780 to between 320 and 330. He also stressed that the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) has hosted 15 business matching sessions with a success rate of around 40 percent.

Behind reporters are residents

Lei said that Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) Vice Director Leong Man Ion decided to take “unpaid leave” due to personal reasons. Lei said that after considering the situation, the government has approved Leong’s request and Lei thanked Leong for his hard work during his time as DICJ deputy chief.

When reporters asked why the media was not invited to last year’s third general meeting of the Standing Council on Social Concerted Action last week, Lei replied that it was a communication issue as the government always welcomes reporters. He said that “regardless of whether big or small matters”, reporters were welcome to report as “behind reporters are residents”.

Yesterday was the Macau GBAHR’s establishment day and inauguration ceremony. According to a Macau GBAHR statement handed out on the sidelines of the event, the non-profit organisation aims to create an interaction platform for talents from different areas between Macau and the mainland The statement said that the association would strive to improve the human resources development in Macau and in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA).

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong talks to reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a Macau Greater Bay Area Human Resources (Macau GBAHR) event at Wynn Macau in Nape.

Photo: Prisca Tang

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