The results of MasterCard International's second Consumer Lifestyle survey in the South Asia, Middle East and Africa Region (SAMEA) has found that 48 per cent of Indians prefer a credit card over cash due to the convenience factor, while 41 per cent cardholders prefer cards because it is a secure way to pay. Thirty per cent of Indians say they are influenced by the credit card brand, while 23 per cent choose a card depending on the credit limit.
According to the survey, only 14 per cent of Indians currently own a credit card. This is in sharp contrast to countries like the UAE and Kuwait where 63 per cent and 50 per cent of respondents own a credit card respectively. Of the credit cardholders in India, 70 per cent own just one card, while 20 per cent own two and the remaining 10 per cent own three or more credit cards.
Seventy-three percent of Indians spend less than $ 35 on average each month, while 25 per cent spend between $ 35 and $ 300. Only two per cent of Indians spend over $ 300 on their credit cards in a month. On the other hand, only six per cent of cardholders in the UAE have an average monthly spend below $ 35, whilst 58 per cent spend over $ 300 on an average, every month.
Seventy-two per cent of Indians use their credit cards one-two times (or less) a month, while 23 per cent Indian credit card users swipe their cards between three-five times and the remaining five per cent use cards six to 10 times or more every month. In the UAE, 31 per cent of the cardholders use their cards more than 10 times during a month while only 15 per cent use their cards once or twice (or less).
Going by the spending habit, in India, 44 per cent of cardholders use their credit cards most often for purchase of clothes, 14 per cent use it at supermarket/grocery shopping, nine per cent at hotels and six per cent at restaurants. Twenty-seven per cent of Indian cardholders use their credit card most often for other purposes such as household bills/utilities, business expenses, luxuries and petrol, etc. In the other six countries surveyed, the majority of cardholders use their cards most often for supermarket/grocery shopping.
Nitin Gupta, VP and GM, MasterCard International, South Asia, said, "The Consumer Lifestyle Survey, like the MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence, is a very unique initiative that truly exemplifies MasterCard's knowledge leadership in the global payments industry. The findings of the second wave of this lifestyle survey are indeed very interesting and clearly demonstrate the huge untapped potential of the Indian payment card industry. I am certain the survey will not only help us but also our member banks to understand customers' mindsets better."