Credit card expenditure among Malaysian women has grownby 129 per cent in the last five years, while men’s credit card spend has grown by 71 per cent over the same period.

According to data released by United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia), women are increasingly using their credit cards to pay for basic necessities such as insurance, groceries and utilities; as well as the niceties such as travel and lifestyle shopping.

In 2016 alone, women cardholders spent 15 per cent more than they did in 2015 on insurance-related products versus men who spent 12 per cent more on insurance. Women’s spend on groceries saw a 10 per cent growth over the year before in contrast to men who spent just two per cent more on their cards for this necessity in 2016.

As for the niceties in life, women’s credit card spent showed significant growth in the areas of travel and lifestyle shopping. In 2016, women spent 28 per cent more on travel and 13 per cent more on their cards for lifestyle shopping compared with their spent in 2015. For both these categories, it was more than twice that of men who spent just 14 per cent and five percent more on travel and lifestyle shopping, respectively.

Mr Ronnie Lim, Managing Director and Country Head of Personal Financial Services, UOB Malaysia, said the growth in women’s credit card spending across both discretionary and non-discretionary products and services reflects women’s greater earning capacity 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.”

Mr Lim added that the data is also indicative of women’s savvy expense management skills. “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. By centralising spending on a single credit card, consumers earn cash back rebates and reward points, enabling them to offset their expenses and benefit from greater savings,” Mr Lim said.

Source: Media Release