How it works
Adults buy prepaid angpows from vendors or online. Each angpow has a barcode, code, or QR code. The giver does not have to stuff money into the red packets.
When the kids receive the (empty) angpow, they will be understandably disappointed. But the novelty is when they go back home, go into www.eangpow.com, and type in the code and their bank account number. The money gets credited into their account, and everybody wins:
Adults do not need to queue for clean, crisp notes, and wait in line to collect free angpow paper. And there's no need for stuffing money into angpows, keeping track of how many $2s, $5s and $10s to use, and to keep spare angpows "just in case". Oh, and those damn kids can't see how much you're giving on the spot. A definite win!
Kids get their money, right into their savings account (good financial education there!). And they have no choice anyways, how they receive their money:-P
Every lunar new year, religious tradition has it that certain zodiac animals would have insulted the Jade Emperor in heaven. Persons born under that zodiac would have to visit a temple for some rites.
Now these rites ain't exactly convenient. During this season, you'll need to queue for your turn with the priest, and on those weekends, the queue can be bloody long. And for the lazy buggers.. yes, you do have to go down to the temple.
How it works:
Internet based religious rites are coming up in niche applications. eWanshan will be the to-go portal for a quick, simple means for a priest to bless you remotely. Just login, submit a fixed fee, and you'll get an email when your rites are done. In 3 working days, you'll get a lucky coin used in the rites.... and a certificate of completion (of course).
3. Alternative financial instruments for angpows
Hard cash is passè. Time to jazz it up with unit trusts, bonds, ETFs and for the foolhardy, derivative products! It'll be a great way to teach children financial literacy, the extreme way. ("Mummy.. what is a structured derivative tracking the price of commodities in BRIC?")
How it works:
The angpow will hold a certificate of authenticity stating that the bearer will own a unit of a specially structured product that can be as low-cost as $2. The unit will be held in trust at a licensed financial institution until it matures, or upon a fixed date, whereupon the holder can liquidate it.
There's more opportunities right on front of us. Check back regularly for more ideas, fresh from the idea factory!