Is romance in Asia-Pacific slowing down? And more importantly, is there an infographic for the previous question? The answers are no and yes, according to the Mastercard Love Index, which measures romantic activity in the form of consumer spending because it’s 2018 and capitalism is the only True Love that matters.
The third annual Mastercard Love Index – calculated by analyzing global credit, debit and prepaid transactions from February 11-14 between 2015 to 2017 – says that “sentimental spending” in the Asia Pacific region has heated up by 22% since 2015. Overall transactions during the Valentine’s Day period also shot up by 74% in that time frame.
As for what Asia’s lovers are spending their money on, it’s mainly dinner dates, travel (via planes or trains) hotels (… quite), and gifts. For the latter, says Mastercard, consumers in Philippines (71%) and Thailand (71%) are the region’s most enthusiastic givers, followed by China at 63% and Singaporeans at 59%. Gifts of choice: flowers and jewelry, which saw spending increases of 39% and 21%, respectively.
For the non-romantics among you who only care about which payment methods are the most popular, the index did track some changes in how people pay for all this:
Swiping took a left turn over the last three years, as contactless payments rise in popularity. Tap-and-go payments tracked a 46% increase in transactions made, while its value rose by 166%.
Meanwhile, appetite for online shopping has grown with a healthy 30% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions. Yet, as payments become more digitized, the power of the physical touch remains – 89% of Valentine’s Day transactions are still made in person.
NOTE: One thing the index doesn’t cover in its Asia-Pacific figures is that a number of markets – including Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and China – have extended Valentine’s Day traditions in the form of “White Day“, which takes place on March 14. So it’s possible romance-related spending in those countries could be higher than the Mastercard index indicates.
Also, Korea has “Black Day” (April 14) for the people who don’t qualify for the first two Valentine’s Days. Isn’t that nice?
Didn’t we mention something about an infographic at the beginning of this post? Indeed we did. And here it is now.
If that’s not enough romance for you, here are some stats in chart form.
Key spending patterns per region during Valentine’s Day period across 2015 – 2017
Sentimental spending has increased by 22% since 2015, with the overall number of transactions up by 74%
30% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions
People are planning ahead with the majority (28%) of Valentine’s purchases happening on the 11th February (4.6 million transactions)
The number of transactions on transportation (air and/or train) increased by 17% in 2017, accounting for 21% of total spend during the Valentine’s Day period
The share of contactless transactions has seen an increase of 46%, and the value of these transactions increased by 166%
Spend on flowers in APAC increased by 39% vs. 2015 and the number of transactions also increased by 61%. Jewelry has seen overall spend increase by 21% with transactions increasing by 58% vs. 2015
The number of transactions on transportation (air and/or train) increased by 27% in 2017, accounting for 33% of total spend
The share of contactless transactions has seen an increase of 96% since 2015, and the value of these transactions increased by 206%
Canada saw a 216% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions in the period
Canadians are planning ahead with the majority (30%) of Valentine’s purchases happening on the 11th February (1.6 million transactions globally)
Sentimental spending increased by 19% since 2015 in Europe, with the overall number of transactions up by 39%
The number of transactions on transportation (air and/or train) increased by 38% in 2017, accounting for 31% of total
Share of spend on dining out at restaurants has remained stable; taking a 29% share of spend and a 65% share of transactions in 2017
Spend on flowers has increased by 29% vs. 2015, and the number of transactions has increased by 48%. Jewelry has seen spend decrease by 5% with transactions increasing by 15% vs. 2015
Latin America and the Caribbean
LAC saw a 327% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions
The number of transactions on flowers has increased by 28%. Jewelry also shows a similar trend with spend decreasing by 57% but interestingly transactions increased by 6%
Share of spend on hotels has actually decreased by -29%; taking a 18% share of spend and a 8% share of transactions in 2017
The number of transactions on transportation (air and/or train) increased by 27% in 2017, accounting for 8% of total spend during the Valentine’s Day period
People are planning ahead in MEA with the majority (29%) of Valentine’s purchases happening on the 11th February (620k transactions globally on February 11th over the past 3 years)
Share of spend on hotels has also remained stable over the past 3 years; taking a 41% share of spend and a 21% share of transactions in 2017
Spend on flowers has increased by 96% vs. 2015 with the number of transactions increasing by 71%
America saw a 106% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day
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