March 08, 2011
Sydney, 8 March 2011 -- In celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (8 March), research conducted by MasterCard reveals Australian women possess high levels of financial literacy knowledge compared to the rest of region, with a sound understanding of basic money management and experience with budgeting and responsible credit usage.
The MasterCard Index of Financial Literary, which surveyed consumers across 24 markets in the Asia / Pacific region, shows that Australian women have an overall financial literary index of 70.2, third overall in the table. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.
The Index consists of three separate components, Basic Money Management, Financial Planning and Investment. Australian women were particularly well versed in Basic Money Management, second in this category only to New Zealand, with a score of 75.8. This category looks at budgeting, savings and responsibility of credit usage. They also performed well with Financial Planning, 69 index points, which assesses their knowledge of financial products and services and ability to make long-term financial plans. Index points across all countries are lower in the Investment category, which indicates a basic understanding of investment risks and products, with Australia coming seventh in this area.
|Overall Financial Literacy Index||Components of Financial Literacy Index|
|Basic Money Management||Financial Planning||Investment|
To coincide with International Women’s Day, MasterCard provides top tips for managing your finances. Whilst spending within your means is a great way to manage day to day finances, understanding the fundamentals of credit and banking, means better financial decisions can be made.
- For those looking to spend only what is available to them in their account at any given time, likewise more convenience and control over their finances, debit cards come with the same level of security and acceptance as credit cards, whilst still maintaining control on spending limits. There are a range of Debit MasterCards available on the market from a variety of banks and the global acceptance of MasterCard means it can be used online, over the phone and at the point of sale at over 31 million locations around the world
- It’s important to manage your money and funds available responsibly to build a better financial future:
- To keep on top of your spending, set a monthly budget with incoming and outgoing spend and monitor your progress in order to keep within your limits
- Charges on credit cards should be paid back in a timely fashion, to avoid interest charges on the remaining balance
- Always check your card statements carefully and on a regular basis
- Using your credit or debit card to pay for purchases and make payments will help you to keep track on all of your spending and monitoring your progress will also makes it easier to spot any irregular entries on your monthly statement
- Make sure you update your personal details when you move address – ensuring your financial information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands
- Credit cards provide you with a line of credit, as purchases are made, the available credit line decreases until you reach the maximum amount you can charge to that card. Credit cards provide greater flexibility in planning payments and the choice to repay the whole amount or part of the amount at the end of the interest free period. Credit cards also come with additional security over paying with cash
- With the growth of online shopping, consumers need to remain alert when shopping online and the security of their payment card details when making a purchase:
- Always purchase from reputable retailers
- Avoid giving out too much information
- Where possible use MasterCard SecureCode when making a purchase, it provides enhanced protection when buying online
- In the event something unfortunate does happen, MasterCard cardholders are protected by MasterCard’s Zero Liability policy for any unauthorized transactions on their accounts
* More information on conditions and exclusions to MasterCard’s Zero Liability policy can be found at:http://www.mastercard.com/au/personal/en/zeroliability/index.html
Further hints and tips on money management can be found on the Budget Basics section of the MasterCard website http://www.mastercard.com/au/personal/en/education/budgetbasics/index.html
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Index of Financial Literacy, and the Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).
MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004.
MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley & Sons.
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 the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.