The volume of mobile payment transactions has increased by 787 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year to MOP1.33 billion (US$166.6 million), an amount higher than the values reported for the whole of 2019, the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) indicated today (Wednesday).
The amount also represented a considerable 60 per cent rise from the first quarter of this year, when MOP830 million in transaction values were reported.
In total, the first half of 2019 had reported MOP240 million and 3.2 million transactions, with transaction volumes rising gradually and ending at MOP1.23 billion and 16.5 million transactions by the end of last year.
A total of 13.3 million mobile payment transactions were reported between April and May of 2020, a 567 per cent year-on-year hike, in a period that also coincided with the MOP2.2 billion consumer e-card scheme initiated by the Macau SAR government.
The scheme provided MOP3,000 to each resident – excluding non-resident work permit holders – to be spent in businesses equipped with Macau Pass payment terminals, with a MOP300 limit for spending per day.
A second consumer scheme round will be held from August to December, with MOP5,000 provided to each resident and with MOP3.6 billion provided by local authorities.
During the first round, no transaction fees were collected by Macau Pass from local businesses for payments under the scheme, but with the company to charge up to 0.5 per cent in handling fees from businesses in the second round.
In comments today, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong indicated that this charge would be negotiated between Macau Pass and local businesses, with no expense to come from the amounts provided to residents.
AMCM data also shows that the number of mobile payment terminals also gradually increased in the last two years, going from 22,000 terminals in the first quarter of 2019, to 58,000 terminals by the end of June of 2020.
Only businesses equipped with Macau Pass payment terminals could be included in the govenrment consumer e-card scheme, which could help explain the increase.