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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

Launch of consumption vouchers

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government said today that the Consumption Voucher Scheme, announced in the 2021-22 Budget, is open for registration from July 4 to August 14 and the $5,000 will be disbursed in up to three instalments.   Hong Kong permanent residents and new arrivals aged 18 or above residing in Hong Kong can register for the vouchers.   The vouchers should be used at local retail, catering and service outlets or their online platforms, but cannot be used on government or public utility payments, study fees, financial products or donations.   Unveiling the scheme’s details this afternoon, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said: “The whole idea is to give the people of Hong Kong these vouchers for them to spend so as to also revive our economy. That is why we really want the recipients of these electronic consumption vouchers to spend the vouchers.”   The scheme will also help local small-and-medium merchants explore potential business opportunities by adopting electronic payments, he added.   Four stored value facilities, namely AlipayHK, Octopus, Tap & Go and WeChat Pay HK are designated for the registrants to receive the vouchers.   Registration can be conducted online from July 4 and those who have completed registration this way by July 17 will get the first disbursement on August 1 after the registrants’ eligibility is confirmed.   “For people using Octopus cards - depending on the date of registration - if the registration is done within the first two weeks, the first payment (of $2,000) will be on August 1 and the second payment (of $2,000) will be on October 1,” Mr Chan said.   The registrants will receive the remaining $1,000 if their cumulative totals have reached $4,000 within the specified period from the disbursement of the first consumption voucher.   Those who choose to receive the vouchers through AlipayHK, Tap & Go or WeChat Pay HK will get $2,000 first and $3,000 two months later.   Registration for the consumption vouchers can be done online or in paper format. Registration forms that can be downloaded from the thematic webpage should be completed and put in drop-boxes at designated locations together with copies of the registrants’ identity documents from July 5.
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