People can apply to digitally download their stimulus vouchers from today, with the vouchers themselves becoming available as planned from 7 June, the government announced on Thursday.
With the scheme – which is the second round of stimulus vouchers – every Maltese resident and foreign national with residency status who was over the age of 16 as of the end of April this year will receive €100 in vouchers to use.
The vouchers will be distributed as follows:
Four red vouchers, each worth €15 to make up a total of €60, can be used at restaurants, hotels, accommodation places, bars, or diving centres.
Four blue vouchers, each worth €10 to make up a total of €40, can be used at retail shops which sell clothes, footwear, jewellery, and gifts, hair and beauty salons, sports clubs and gyms, museums, arts and culture centres, and band clubs amongst others.
The vouchers will remain valid until 15 September.
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri explained that in this round people will either be able to receive their vouchers by post or download them digitally.
The vouchers can be downloaded digitally from the website wallet.vouchersmimcol.com from today up until 4 June.
Those who do not download the vouchers digitally will automatically then receive them by post.
Prime Minister Robert Abela said that the vouchers will be coming at an investment of €50 million.
He said that the previous round of vouchers had seen people spend an extra euro for every €1 of voucher. This means that a €45 million initial investment, resulted in an injection of €90 million to the Maltese economy.
He said that the voucher scheme had also improved domestic tourism, with 19,000 Maltese booking stays in hotels last summer, compared to 15,000 in the same period in 2019.
Abela noted that the same effects – if not even more amplified – are expected this year as the vaccine has given people higher confidence levels as well.
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri meanwhile said that around 25,000 businesses will be eligible to receive the vouchers, and that the first scheme was estimated to have saved some 1,900 jobs.
Explaining the technicalities of the system, Schembri said that people can download their vouchers through their smartphone either by using their e-ID and password, or by registering for a new identification account using their ID card or residency card.
He said that having the vouchers digitally will allow people to transfer their vouchers to family and friends using the app, and also pay outlets remotely.
All households will also be receiving a user guide leaflet on how to download the vouchers.
Whether they are printed or not, the vouchers will only start to be accepted from 7 June. Those who opt to get their vouchers by post will have to wait a bit longer: mailing of the physical vouchers will only start on 7 June.
The printed vouchers will be sent automatically to all those who do not download the digital vouchers: no application is required.
Turning to procedures for businesses, Schembri said that those businesses which had already activated their business account last year do not need to do anything, and can use the same login details.
All they need to do is verify that the credit card linked to their account is still valid, and update it if it is not.
Eligible businesses which did not activate their account last year will have the chance to do so again, while new businesses which opened last year and are in industries eligible for the vouchers can apply online on www.vouchersmimcol.com.
The updates business application will allow businesses to scan vouchers from their mobile phone, and to receive remote voucher payments as well. It will also feature transaction lists of each registered outlet under the same account.