News & Views - Savantor

All change for wallet lint

Monday, 16 July 2007

We know that major changes are on the way for the plastic we keep in our wallets, for not only are credit card companies taking tentative steps to ensuring the material the cards are made of is more environmentally friendly, but there are moves to make the cards easier and quicker to use with contactless and NFC galloping over the horizon.  But how bothered are UK consumers about their cards?  A recent study by Halifax Credit Cards found that:

  • When asked which items they would least like to lose, consumers say their credit cards (16%), above mobile phone (8%) and driving licence (7%).  However, younger cardholders are less protective of their plastic: fewer than one in ten (7%) of 18- to 24-year-olds say they would least like to lose their cards. By contrast, over a quarter (26%) of over-65s say cards are the thing they would least like to lose.
  • When asked how long they could last with their credit card alone, over 54% of respondents say a week or more. Almost one in three (29%) say they would feel comfortable going a month or more.
  • When asked "why do you use your credit card?" the top answer was convenience (49%), followed by the fact consumers don't like to carry cash (17%) and that cards offer added protection (16%).  Not carrying cash is much more important for those aged over 65: almost three in ten (29%) over-65s say they use a credit card because they do not like to carry cash.
  • people living in the South-east are the most likely consumers to always pay their credit card off in full, with 55% doing so. Those least likely to always meet the full bill live in the North-east, the North-west and Scotland - all at 49%.
  • While the ownership of standard card types such as Visa, Mastercard and store-cards is evenly spread across regions, Londoners are more likely to own American Express or Diners cards and frequent-flyer cards. American Express cards are owned by 4% of Londoners (up 50% on the national average), compared with only 1% in Wales.

So if you are planning to issue rolling credit cards to anyone in the South East or an Amex card to anyone in Wales don't hold your breath waiting for the profits to roll in.

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Evert R Fekkes, SVP - Payment & Savings Services - Rabobank Nederland

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Richard Sanders, Principal Solution Consultant - ACI - Worldwide EMEA

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