The rise of Bank of Me: MasterCard research reveals that far from being a chore, people like monitoring their money – and women have power over the purse strings

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Waterloo, BelgiumSeptember 17, 2014 While most of us might skip over the latest charts and graphs in the finance section of the newspaper, it seems we don’t shy away from keeping a keen eye on our own money: 80% say they like to keep track of their finances and look for greater control over their spending, according to new pan-European research from MasterCard conducted by Ipsos MORI.

Across the six countries polled, 77% of people regularly check their current account balance and 79% know exactly what their credit card limits are. And in an era where most eemails are unwanted and the majority of post is junk, money email is the exception, with 66% of people across Europe reading all or most of the communications received from their bank or card provider. The demand to take more control over our money coincides with a lack of trust in our banks, with only 54% of people saying that they trust their banks and just 31% saying that their bank provides sufficient information.

With accessing and controlling bank accounts now widely available online and through mobile apps, people are embracing being more financially aware than ever, with 76% taking advantage of technology and managing their finances online. We’re also likely to avoid options that can make controlling money more difficult, with 64% of people saying they try not to buy things on credit.

In spite of this online access, the jam-jar is still the resting place for many people’s money and remains a common practice whether their funds are few or many[1]. This type of saving isn’t just age-old – it’s also unconventional in the modern internet age where only 35% of us visit a bank branch regularly. People’s reasons for doing it include ‘If money is in the bank […] all of a sudden it’s all spent without my even noticing it’ – even though most of us prefer to make payments using card (64%) instead of cash (42%).

When it comes to the age old question of who holds the purse strings, women who are more engaged with money matters. 83% of women say they more commonly keep track of household finances compared to 78% of men. Women are also more likely to regularly check the balance on their current account (79% of women against 74% of men). This contrasts with who men think is in charge, with 62% thinking that they make most household budgeting decisions.

“We know that more than ever, people want to feel they are in control of their own money, and are embracing new technologies that help them achieving that” said Antonia Stroeh, Senior Business Leader, Global Prepaid Product Management at MasterCard. “Our prepaid cards have been created to give people another tool, and they’re proving invaluable to those that use them, with 69% of people saying they think it can help them control spending, and 73% going as far to say that it could prevent them going into debt.”

As control over our money becomes important to us, prepaid cards can also help with some of the other concerns that we have over handling our money:

  • 70% of parents of children aged 13+ think that prepaid is a good way to teach children about money management
  • 67% think that prepaid offers more security when travelling abroad
  • Keeping money safe from other people, or even themselves!

Notes to editors

The research was conducted between April & June 2014 with consumers across six markets (Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland Spain & Turkey) to understand their current financial behaviours and where prepaid currently fits, or has potential to fit, into their lives. The approach was designed with breadth and depth in mind. The quantitative element contained a sample of 2400 respondents, including 1000 prepaid users and 1400 non prepaid users. This was combined with an in-depth ethnographic study, looking qualitatively at how 36 different households live day-to-day, how they manage their finances and where they currently struggle.

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

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 @MasterCardNews,join the discussion on theCashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media Contact:

Corinne Raes, +32-2-352-5237, Corinne_Raes@mastercard.com, MasterCard

[1] Research from an in-depth ethnographic study by Ipsos MORI looking qualitatively at how 36 different households live day-to-day, how they manage their finances and where they currently struggle.