Consumers in most East Asian markets have a tendency to spend only the money they have earned or saved. MasterCard is hoping the changing Asian consumer attitude will help its business in the region.
A growing middle class and rising consumption also set Asia apart from the West, the electronic payment giant’s CFO Martina Hund-Mejean said.
“We are seeing a change in Asia. The older population are saving first and then they are spending. But when we do analysis on the younger population, we are seeing people using more and more of the credit line,” she said in an interview.
“I sure hope that Asia doesn’t go the way that the U.S. went, where they had to learn their lesson, but I think at this point, we see responsible behaviour in Asia. It could be honour or ‘face’ that makes them not go overboard.”
There were bad memories in some Asian markets like South Korea and Taiwan with stories of credit card abuse partly due to overextending of credit limits to unqualified borrowers. But things have changed over the years as Asian consumers increasingly realize the benefits associated with using credit limits on cards with ways to control the risks associated with it.
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