By LYDIA NATHAN
Credit card expenditure among Malaysian women has increased 129% within the last five years, compared to 71% recorded by male shoppers.
United Overseas Bank (M) Bhd (UOB) MD and country head of personal financial services Ronnie Lim said that the growth in women’s spending using credit cards reflects their capacity for greater earnings and balanced spending priorities.
“As more women join the workforce and enjoy greater financial security, so too does the size of their disposable incomes.
“In addition to spending on the basic necessities such as groceries, utilities and insurance, it is good to see that Malaysian women are prioritising their own personal development as they direct some of their income towards life-enriching activities and pleasures like travel, dining and fashion,” he said in a statement.
Topping the list for credit card usage among women include insurance, groceries and utilities.
Recent reports have also shown that women also splurged on lifestyle choices like travel and retail.
In 2016, there was significant growth in this area with 28% more on travel and 13% more on shopping compared to the year before. The figures are twice the amount spent by men who spent 14% more on travel and 5% on retail.
Lim added that the findings were an indication of how “slick and sharp” women are in managing their expenses.
“Women are using their credit cards rather than cash to make both priority and discretionary payments. This suggests that women, more so than men, value the cost management benefits credit cards have to offer,” he said.
By centralising spending on a single credit card, he said that consumers earn cash back rebates and reward points, enabling them to offset their expenses and benefit from greater savings.
In UOB’s case, the bank will be rewarding its Lady’s Card holders with a dedicated spend campaign and a chance to win a return trip to one of Europe’s top three fashion capitals — Paris, London or Milan.
Cardholders will also be in the running to receive RM1,000 cash back when they use their credit card to make purchases at home or abroad before the end of Aug 4 and have the flexibility to convert designer purchases of RM2,000 and above into a six- or 12-month installment plan at 0% interest.
In order to keep up with the present day preferences of women, UOB has also recently revamped its suites of Lady’s Card.
UOB launched its Lady’s Card in 2003, the first card designed exclusively for women.
“Over the years, we have seen how women’s rising income and management of their expenses have encouraged them to turn to their credit cards as a more convenient way of budgeting. So long as you use your credit card wisely and responsibly, earning while you spend is an efficient way to budget and manage monthly expenses,” Lim added.