March 07, 2011
Hong Kong, 7 March 2011: Women in Hong Kong ranked in the top five for Investment and Basic Money Management across Asia/Pacific, however they were outshined by their counterparts in terms of Financial Planning skills, according to MasterCard Worldwide’s inaugural Index of Financial Literacy released today.
The MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey of consumers from 24 markets across Asia/Pacific Middle East Africa (APMEA). It comprises three major components: Basic Money Management, which examines the respondents’ skills in terms of budgeting, savings and responsibility of credit usage; Financial Planning, which assesses their knowledge of financial products, services, concepts and ability to make long-term plans for financial needs; and Investment, which indicates their basic understanding of the various investment risks and different investment products, and if they have the necessary skills.
Hong Kong women had the third and fourth highest scores in Basic Money Management (71.0) and Investment (60.9) respectively across Asia/Pacific. However, they were particularly weak in Financial Planning as indicated by their score of 67.8, which is near the bottom of the ranking for that component in Asia/Pacific and below the regional average (74.6). They ranked eighth in the overall Financial Literacy Index with an Index score of 68.0.
In Asia/Pacific, women scored the best in Financial Planning (74.6), followed by Basic Money Management (63.9) and Investment (56.7). They are financially savvy to some extent, in particular among the over-30, married, working group, but the level of financial literacy in women can be raised further, especially among the younger generation.
“With the financial world becoming increasingly complex, there is a compelling need for women to be more financially confident and competent,” observed Jeroen van Son, Head of Hong Kong & Macau, MasterCard Worldwide. “This new MasterCard Index has certainly provided us with fresh insights into women’s aptitude for, and knowledge of, managing their finances. It is encouraging to see that women in Hong Kong scored high in basic money management and investment, reinforcing Hong Kong as an international finance hub,”
The MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy is calculated from the weighted sum of the three components (Basic Money Management, Financial Planning and Investment), with 100 as the maximum score in financial literacy and zero as the lowest possible score. The survey was conducted between 13 September and 11 November 2010 and will continue to be conducted on an annual basis.
 Markets surveyed include Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
- China (60.1) reflected a lower Financial Literacy score among women. Chinese women were particularly weak in Basic Money Management and Investment (both 54.4), near the bottom of the ranking for these two components in Asia/Pacific.
- Taiwan (68.7) in sixth place did relatively well in terms of Financial Planning (82.4) and Investment (61.3) – it ranked third in Asia/Pacific for both components.
- Thai women topped the Financial Literacy Index with an Index score of 73.9. They had the highest scores in Financial Planning (87.0) and Investment (69.3), outshining their peers in the other 13 Asia/Pacific markets surveyed.
- Also noteworthy were Vietnamese women, who took fourth place, with an overall Index score of 70.1.
|Overall Financial Literacy Index||Components of Financial Literacy Index|
|Basic Money Management||Financial Planning||Investment|
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.