Singapore, 4 September 2017 – Keen to nurture future generations, consumers across Asia Pacific ranked children’s education and health (37.8 percent) as the cause closest to their hearts, according to findings from the latest Mastercard Ethical Spending and Charitable Giving Survey. Released ahead of the International Day of Charity on 5 September, the study revealed children’s causes as one of the top three causes consumers across all 14 markets would donate to.

More than half of the consumers surveyed (50.4 percent) in November 2016 said they were doing their part for charity through donations, a slight increase from 49.9 percent in the previous year. Vietnam led as the region’s most generous market, with 78.5 percent of consumers giving to charities, followed by Thailand (66.3 percent) and Hong Kong (60.2 percent).

Georgette Tan, Senior Vice President, Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said, “As Asia continues to make strong economic headway, we must not forget that the development needs in the region remain pervasive. We are very encouraged by this year’s findings, which show that consumers across both developed and emerging markets are doing their part to help those less fortunate and give back to their communities. Additionally, with the high value placed on education in Asian culture, it’s strongly encouraging to see that children’s education and health is the cause that consumers are looking to support.

“Through our citizenship initiatives, we collaborate with partners to provide consumers with convenient ways to support the causes that matter most to them. These partnerships aim to encourage consumers to think before they shop so we are all working together to create more inclusive communities across the region.”

Monetary donations are not the only way Asia Pacific’s consumers are giving back. The survey found that 53.2 percent of consumers were making purchases in support of ethical causes. Southeast Asian consumers, led by Indonesians (75. 5 percent), Thais (72.3 percent) and Malaysians (70.5 percent), are most likely to consider whether a product is fair trade, environmentally friendly or donates a portion of proceeds to charity, when making purchases.

Detailed findings

  • Apart from causes that support children’s health and education, Asia Pacific’s consumers care most about local natural disaster relief efforts (33.7 percent) as well as poverty and starvation alleviation initiatives (32.1 percent).
  • Affinity towards social organizations that address poverty and starvation is particularly strong in emerging markets such as Indonesia (61.6 percent), India (49.1 percent) and Philippines (45.1 percent).
  • More consumers in New Zealand (+11.1 percent), Vietnam (+8.7 percent) and Hong Kong (6.6 percent) are donating to charities compared to the previous year, while less from China (-7.0 percent), India (-5.8 percent), Indonesia (-4.1 percent) are doing so.
  • Products based on fair trade principles (58.5 percent) were the biggest driver of ethical spending, followed by environmentally friendly products (56.8 percent), and products that donate a portion of their sales to a good cause (44.4 percent).
  • When choosing which merchants to make a purchase from, consumers in the region have the highest preference for merchants who are environmentally responsible (50.2 percent), followed by socially responsible (49.7 percent), and merchants who partner with/ donate to charities (46.1 percent).
  • Shoppers in emerging markets, particularly China (75.2 percent), Thailand (67.6 percent), Malaysia (65.7 percent) and Philippines (64.6 percent) are more likely to purchase products from a merchant they consider ‘ethical’.
  • On the other hand, consumers in Japan (20.4 percent) are least likely to show a preference for a merchant who acts ‘ethically’, followed by Australia (28.0 percent) and Singapore (29.1 percent).

Please find full data on the final page.

– End –

Methodology
The Mastercard Ethical Spending and Charitable Giving Survey was carried out across 14 markets in Asia Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam. A total of 8,738 consumers were polled online in November 2016.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.Mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP and @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard communications contact:
Georgette Tan, +65 6390 5971
Georgette.tan@mastercard.com

Samantha Yong, +65 6825 8035
samyong@webershandwick.com

 

Appendix: Data in full

Donating to charities — %

2016 2015 Change in % Points
Vietnam 78.5 69.8 8.7
Thailand 66.3 65.8 0.5
Hong Kong 60.2 53.6 6.6
Malaysia 60.0 55.1 4.9
Taiwan 56.9 60.1 -3.2
Singapore 54.6 54.9 -0.3
New Zealand 53.9 42.8 11.1
Australia 52.6 48.2 4.4
Indonesia 52.1 56.2 -4.1
India 49.9 55.7 -5.8
Philippines 41.9 45.1 -3.2
China 36.8 43.8 -7.0
South Korea 33.3 28.2 5.1
Japan 23.5 21.8 1.7
Asia Pacific Average 50.4 49.9 1.4 

Reasons for Buying Certain Items – %

They are environmentally friendly They are based on fair trade principles A percentage of the sale is donated to a good cause Average
Indonesia 80.2 83.0 63.2 75.5
Vietnam 76.3 70.6 45.9 64.3
Thailand 75.3 87.1 54.6 72.3
India 75.2 66.1 60.5 67.3
Philippines 71.0 67.8 50.9 63.2
Malaysia 69.6 77.0 64.8 70.5
China 66.8 76.5 57.8 67.0
Taiwan 49.0 64.1 38.3 50.5
Singapore 42.1 38.9 33.3 38.1
South Korea 41.3 39.2 27.6 36.0
Hong Kong 40.2 38.0 33.0 37.1
Japan 35.2 53.5 26.9 38.5
New Zealand 35.0 31.0 27.4 31.1
Australia 32.6 28.9 25.6 29.0
Asia Pacific Average 56.8 58.5 44.4 53.2

Likelihood to Purchase from Different Merchants – %

Socially responsible Partnering with / donating to charities Environmentally responsible Financially responsible Give back to community Average
China 78.5 72.7 80.5 74.2 69.9 75.2
Thailand 68.9 67.4 68.9 65.4 67.3 67.6
Malaysia 66.0 64.7 67.8 65.1 65.1 65.7
Philippines 65.9 63.9 65.7 63.2 64.2 64.6
India 59.7 54.2 59.4 56.0 54.4 56.7
Indonesia 57.3 51.7 55.3 55.0 51.9 54.2
Vietnam 55.9 47.9 54.9 50.3 46.3 51.1
Taiwan 39.5 36.3 43.1 31.8 33.8 36.9
New Zealand 34.6 33.4 35.4 31.4 32.7 33.5
Hong Kong 32.6 31.6 33.7 30.8 31.5 32.0
Korea 32.3 30.6 32.8 30.2 30.6 31.3
Singapore 32.1 29.8 32.3 21.2 30.2 29.1
Australia 31.0 28.0 31.4 21.1 28.3 28.0
Japan 23.5 17.3 22.8 21.1 17.5 20.4
Asia Pacific Average 49.7 46.1 50.2 45.7 45.8 47.5