Excessive bank card debt in Singapore not a priority but whilst discretionary spending picks up, specialists say

SINGAPORE – Regardless of rising inflation and slower progress in 2022, cardholders continued to splurge on discretionary purchases akin to bubble tea, on-line gaming and journey, financial institution information confirmed.

The info additionally revealed a soar in bank card debt ranges all year long to its highest since earlier than the pandemic, though trade insiders mentioned this seems to be underneath management for now.

Knowledge from UOB Financial institution, which was based mostly on spending patterns and transaction volumes on its credit score and debit playing cards between January and November this yr, confirmed that cardholders spent essentially the most on bubble tea in contrast with different drinks. For instance, the entire quantity spent on bubble tea was nearly triple that of coconut shakes, which can be a well-liked beverage amongst customers.

UOB’s head of group private monetary companies Ms Jacquelyn Tan, mentioned that each hour, UOB clients drank about 100 cups of bubble tea in contrast with 38 cups of coconut shakes in the identical interval. That works out to roughly 1.7 cups of bubble tea per minute, UOB added.

The financial institution declined to offer absolute figures on transactions and volumes and spending figures.

The opposite excessive spend class was on-line gaming, the place the quantity spent grew by nearly 25 per cent from January to November. The typical spend per transaction rose 17 per cent through the interval in contrast with the identical interval in 2021, UOB mentioned.

Communications supervisor Kelly Chiew, 29, is a type of who spends fairly a bit on bubble tea and gaming.

Ms Chiew instructed The Straits Occasions that she spends round $50 or extra each month on bubble tea. She additionally bought a Sony PlayStation 5 and new video games for the console lately.

Ms Chiew, who’s anticipating her first youngster quickly, mentioned the extra spending takes her month-to-month bills as much as $1,800 per thirty days on common.

One other massive spending class for cardholders is journey – South Korea was the highest vacation spot for UOB clients, adopted by Australia and Japan, mentioned UOB’s Ms Tan.

Belief Financial institution Singapore, a digital banking enterprise between Customary Chartered and FairPrice Group which launched on Sept 1, is seeing the same pattern. The financial institution mentioned its clients travelled to 102 international locations, with Malaysia being the preferred vacation spot and Argentina being the farthest from house.

Certainly, Singaporeans had been bitten by the journey bug after being confined at house for 2 years.

As borders reopened, some like enterprise proprietor Mr Tay, 37, travelled around the world together with his household, from Bangkok and Perth and to Norway and Switzerland. Mr Tay has already deliberate and budgeted for the household’s holidays to South Korea and Japan in March and December 2023.

Lab technician Mr Goh, 31, additionally spent fairly a bit on a visit to South Korea this yr together with his spouse and daughter.

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