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New Zealand, 13 February 2018 – Kiwis are continuing to invest in experiences, as new data shows sentimental spending has increased by 33% since 2015, with the number of transactions up by 47% during the Valentine’s Day period.

The annual “Mastercard Love Index”, which is measured by analyzing credit, debit and prepaid transactions across the past three Valentine’s Day periods (11th-14th February 2015-2017) has revealed that whisking a loved one off on a romantic getaway is increasingly popular, with transactions for travel experiences (via air or train) rising 75% in 2017, making up 29% of total spend over the most romantic time of the year.

Classic experiences like a romantic dinner are still popular with Kiwis, making up a 72% share of transactions and 28% share of spend in 2017. Indulging in hotel stays is still a firm favorite with a 16% share of transactions and 36% share of spend.

The data supports the rise of the ‘experience economy’, with people happily creating special experiences and lasting memories, instead of making material purchases.

Ruth Riviere, Mastercard Country Manager for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, says “Spoiling your loved one on Valentine’s Day shows no sign of slowing down. Whether it’s a ‘date night’ at your favorite restaurant, a hotel stay or an unforgettable travel experience, Kiwis make a significant effort to impress their partner.”

Contactless payments are an increasingly popular way to impress and skip awkwardness when it comes to paying the bill for romantic dinners and activities on Valentine’s Day.

The value of contactless transactions in New Zealand rose by a massive 604%, and a 370% increase in the number of transactions since 2015.

“Contactless payments are designed to be convenient and make life that little bit easier, so it’s great to see Kiwis embracing the technology. Contactless payments are also great for those who need to quickly buy last minute gifts like flowers, chocolate or jewellery,” says Riviere.

The study found that Kiwis are often spontaneous and prone to purchasing gifts last minute for their loved one, with 28% of Valentine’s purchases happening on the 14th February.

Kiwis are also buying traditional gifts like flowers (42% increase since 2015) and jewellery (38% increase since 2015).

The Mastercard Love Index – now in its 3rd year – highlights global and regional trends to offer retailers priceless insight into consumer buying habits over the romantic period.

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Mastercard Communications Contact
Emma Hilton
Acumen Republic, for Mastercard
+64 9 354 0583
+64 21 024 95013