In December 2020, all Singaporeans over 18 received S$100 worth of SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRVs), which are valid until June 30, 2021.
However, as of Mar. 28, 2021, about 2.2 million adult Singaporeans have yet to redeem their SRVs, with only around 760,000 adult Singaporeans having used their SRVs at least once.
And for now, there won't be an extension to the deadline.
This was revealed by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing in a Parliamentary Written Reply on Monday (Apr. 5), in response to several Members of Parliament (MPs).
Hany Soh and Melvin Yong of the PAP and Louis Chua of the Workers' Party (WP) asked about the take-up rate, and asked the government to consider reviewing the redemption deadline so as to boost the redemption rates.
Only S$108 million spent under SRV scheme
According to Chan, more than S$108 million in vouchers and additional expenditure have been spent under the SRV scheme.
About S$320 million worth of vouchers were distributed last December.
Chan said that there will be no change to the redemption deadline of June 30, 2021 for now, and that the government will continue to monitor the redemption rate over the remaining months, before considering if any extension is warranted.
In the meantime, he said that Singaporeans are encouraged to redeem their vouchers early, so that they will be able to use their SRVs for their preferred products and activity time slots.
Merchants to encourage use of the vouchers
He also said that the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), together with the authorised booking partners and onboarded merchants, will intensify efforts in the next few months to encourage usage of the SRVs.
This includes sharing products and promotions across attractions, tours and hotels, through STB and authorised booking partner channels.
Chan said that merchants are also encouraged to continue creating interesting products or attractive bundles that will appeal to different groups of Singaporeans, or to work with each other to create such products, in order to make the SRVs more appealing.
In response to feedback, STB and the authorised booking partners have improved the user experience for the SRVs by placing additional reminders on child discounts and booking time slots.
Making vouchers digital because it's more accessible to Singaporeans
In addition, Chan explained that the SRV was designed as a digital scheme in order to make it readily accessible to Singaporeans, bringing up the fact that many Singaporeans are familiar with making online purchases.
A digital scheme also allows merchants to manage their capacity to be in line with safe management measures and helps to minimise fraud.
"There have not been any cases of fraud or profiteering detected thus far," he said, in response to Yong who asked about potential fraud cases.
For those who need more guidance, Chan said that the authorised booking partners provide booking assistance at more than 60 locations across Singapore.
Chan said that the government will continue to review and enhance the redemption process "where necessary".
Top image via Unsplash.