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Singapore, 13 February 2018 – Is romance in Asia Pacific slowing down? Mastercard’s latest Love Index findings suggest otherwise, as sentimental spending in the region has heated up by 22 percent since 2015. Overall transactions during the Valentine’s Day period also shot up by 74 percent over the last three years, indicating Asia Pacific’s consumers are feeling more loved than ever.
The annual “Mastercard Love Index”, created by analyzing global credit, debit and prepaid transactions from 11 – 14 February between the years 2015 – 2017 shows that food is the universal language of affection. Across Asia Pacific, dinner dates remain the most popular way to say “I-Love-You”, consuming a 69 percent share of spend and nearly a third of transactions in 2017.
Although the stomach may be the quickest way to a loved one’s heart, it isn’t the only one. Jetting off for Valentine’s Day (via plane or train) also saw a significant rise as the number of transactions increased by 17 percent in 2017, accounting for 21 percent of total spend over the most romantic time of the year.
Indulging in a hotel stay remains a firm favorite with a 34 percent share of spend, but couples who prefer nesting at home aren’t alone. Mastercard’s research found that nearly 1 in 3 people celebrated this holiday with a quiet, but romantic night in.
Though it is the thought (and experience) that counts in love, material gifts are always appreciated. Mastercard’s research showed that 42 percent of people planned to buy a present for their loved ones. Consumers in Philippines (71 percent) and Thailand (71 percent) are the region’s most enthusiastic givers, followed by China at 63 percent and Singaporeans at 59 percent. Traditional treats like flowers and jewelry have been the gifts of choice since 2015, as overall spend bloomed by 39 percent and 21 percent respectively.
So, for those wanting to wow a loved one with an unforgettable Valentine’s Day, advice from the Index is to plan ahead. The data suggests that people are no longer leaving purchases to the last minute, as the majority (28 percent) of Valentine’s purchases are made on 11 February (4.6 million transactions over the last three years).
While treats and gestures continue to endure, the ways we purchase them are changing. Swiping took a left turn over the last three years, as contactless payments rise in popularity. Tap-and-go payments tracked a 46 percent increase in transactions made, while its value rose by 166 percent.
Meanwhile, appetite for online shopping has grown with a healthy 30 percent increase in the number of e-commerce transactions. Yet, as payments become more digitized, the power of the physical touch remains – 89 percent of Valentine’s Day transactions are still made in person.
Rustom Dastoor, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said, “Whether it’s a small, sweet gesture or a sumptuous surprise for that special someone, consumers in Asia Pacific are feeling the love and spending more than ever before. The proof is in the purchase, as Valentine’s Day continues to be one of the most popular spending periods of the year.”
He added, “Now in its third year, our Mastercard Love Index offers retailers priceless insights into how customers want to enjoy the most romantic day of the year. These insights, coupled with world-class technologies, enable us to co-create priceless experiences with cardholders and the people they care about most.”
Regional summary of consumer spending habits across the globe
KEY SPENDING PATTERNS PER REGION DURING VALENTINE’S DAY PERIOD ACROSS 2015 – 2017
|Latin America and the Caribbean||
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard 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, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
Georgette Tan, +65 6390 5971
Wei Wen Sng, +65 6825 8038
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