Hongkong Post to launch cash withdrawal service for senior citizens progressively
Hongkong Post will launch an EPS cash withdrawal service without purchases for senior citizens in selected post offices in phases starting from April, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, said during his visit to the General Post Office (GPO) today (February 6).
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority earlier proposed that a number of post offices provide the service. After initial assessment, Hongkong Post aims to launch the service progressively in seven post offices, mainly on outlying islands and in the New Territories, after installing the required equipment and system testing with EPS. Senior citizens may then withdraw cash of up to $500 per transaction at those post offices. Hongkong Post will announce the details later.
"I am pleased to see Hongkong Post moving quickly to help fill a gap in the services to senior citizens. This fully demonstrates that the governance of the current-term Government is 'people-based'. For any measures that can assist the public as proposed in the community, we will actively explore and, as appropriate, introduce initiatives promptly," Mr Yau said.
During the visit, Mr Yau observed the operation of the post office, noting that many operations are now supported by Hongkong Post's Integrated Postal Service System, bringing higher operational efficiency, and more convenience and shorter waiting time for customers.
Mr Yau also noted that with the popularity of e-commerce, there have been more and more packets and parcels being posted and collected by the public. Hongkong Post has been introducing new products and services to serve customers in the light of this trend. These include setting up iPostal Stations for customers to collect their mail items at their selected locations unconstrained by office hours, providing electronic platforms for e-commerce traders to pre-process postal steps online before using the streamlined acceptance processes at post office counters, and introducing new services to help e-commerce traders to obtain customs clearance at destination points.
"The GPO building, now over 40 years old, is quite worn out and too small to support Hongkong Post's present-day operations. The Hongkong Post Headquarters and its units housed elsewhere will be reprovisioned in a new building in Kowloon East with new and improved facilities, while the district-tied postal facilities in the existing GPO building will be reprovisioned in the developed New Central Harbourfront," Mr Yau said.
During the visit, Mr Yau was also apprised of the latest trends in Hongkong Post's mailing business. With online substitution, the volume of traditional letters continues to drop but the booming e-commerce in recent years has led to increasing demand for inexpensive and reliable mailing services for large volumes of packets and parcels.
"There is an obvious need to redevelop Hongkong Post's Airmail Centre at Chek Lap Kok, which commenced operation almost 20 years ago, to upgrade its capacity and operational efficiency to capture this new trend in international mail. The redeveloped Centre will enhance and fortify Hong Kong's strategic position as a hub for international air cargo and international airmail transit," Mr Yau said.
Mr Yau also visited the Philatelic Bureau to gain a glimpse of the production process for philatelic products and the PostShop at the GPO, an outlet for such products and philatelic stationery. He thanked the colleagues in Hongkong Post for their dedication and continued efforts in providing to the community affordable and efficient postal services as well as a wide range of other services through its post office network.
Ends/Tuesday, February 6, 2018