http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/topnav/regions/asia-pacific2019-08-14T04:22:34.946ZAsia PacificAdobe Experience ManagerFew Women in South Asia Have a Seat at the Table in Business and Parliament: MasterCard Index Georgette Tan, Robert O’BrienMasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank">subscribe</a>&nbsp;</b>for the latest&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Georgette Tan,<br> MasterCard Worldwide,&nbsp;<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a>,<br> +65 6390 5971</p> <p>Vasundhara Subrahmanian,<br> Weber Shandwick,&nbsp;<br> <a href="mailto:vsubrahmanian@webershandwick.com">vsubrahmanian@webershandwick.com</a>,<br> +65 6825 8054</p> The South Asia edition of the MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement measures the socioeconomic standing of women across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2013/few-women-in-south-asia-have-a-seat-at-the-table-in-business-and2013-04-18T16:00:00.000Z2013-04-18T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Affluent Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY<p>Based on an estimated growth rate of 7% from 2012 to 2017, more than 70%, one billion of the total affluent population will be located in APMEA by 2017<sup><a href="#_ftn1">[1]</a></sup>. In terms of wealth growth, given a projected increase of 8% per annum, APMEA is well-placed to be the wealthiest region in the world as early as 20157<sup><a href="#_ftn2">[2]</a></sup>.</p> <p>MasterCard’s proprietary research of over 1,000 affluent individuals in selected key markets in APMEA (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, and UAE) throughout 2013 revealed that they are young, well-traveled, curious, pragmatic and discerning with a multi-dimensional view of wealth and success. At an average age of 37, the affluent in APMEA tend to be married with one child (aged 4) and have investible assets of at least USD200, 000.</p> <p>Increasingly assuming the identity of global citizens, they have a worldwide mindset, traveling for business or leisure at least six times a year, with a preferred airline and hotel chain, pre-registered seat and room requirements.</p> <p>Our studies also revealed a shifting tendency among the affluent to seek and discover authentic experiences as opposed to purchasing and owning physical luxury items. While they aspire to be financially independent through hard work, they also place high value in spending quality time with their families and loved ones. Wealth is perceived to be a means to experience the world and to truly live life, with travel being the best medium to explore the world.</p> <p>Increasingly discerning and savvy, we find them to be highly specific in what they want and what is considered to be important. In terms of banking, fee waivers, rewards, cashback, shopping and local dining are features that are the most appealing. Among their many passions and interests, Dining, Travel and Golf are the most highly desired. They also show a distinct preference for curated Experiences relevant to their lifestyle as opposed to just discounts and promotions.</p> <p></p> <p><i><a name="_ftn1"></a>[1] 2012 World Wealth Report<br> <a name="_ftn2"></a>[2] 2012 World Wealth report, Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management</i></p> INTRODUCTION<p>From a financial perspective, these affluent–– the majority of which are in their 40s–– are at a stage in their lives where they can afford to reassess their values, objectives and outlook in life. They are rapidly evolving and increasingly passionate about things that are valued and important in life.</p> <p>With these insights, MasterCard wanted to design a portfolio of products and services that is aligned with these traits and concepts of the affluent–– solutions that connect them with the world and other like-minded individuals, supports them in living their lives the way they want to, and enables them to share experiences and travel with passion. We wanted to bring to the affluent experiences that make them feel unique, differentiated and inspired.</p> <p>It was with this inspiration that led MasterCard to commission a series of studies and surveys in 2013 that were focused on the affluent in APMEA, where the growth of the affluent has not only been remarkable, but is earmarked to be among the fastest growing markets globally in the coming years. The results and key findings from these studies will be presented in the ensuing sections of this Affluent Report.</p> PSYCHOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS: VALUES & ATTITUDES<p>Across the markets, MasterCard’s surveys revealed various traits and trends to be evident among the affluent. There is a desire to look at the core pillars of happiness such as family, health/fitness, material wealth, and spiritual wealth (self-enrichment and self-fulfillment). While they aspire to strike a harmonious balance between work and life, there is also a greater sense of satisfaction in terms of what they have - this is reflected in them being more averse to risk-taking with their financial decisions</p> <p>Our findings indicated that there is an inclination among the affluent to associate ‘globality’ and ‘world’ with travel and experiences outside of their home country. More than ever, they are placing greater emphasis on seeking experiences (e.g. travel, fine dining), creating stories, mastering a new skill, or making unique journeys- all things that drive personal growth and happiness - as opposed to the ownership of opulent material possessions (e.g. home and personal luxuries, automobiles), status symbols, or reaching a destination.</p> <p>To the majority of the affluent, new experiences (especially cross border) are important in defining a sense of self, implying an inherent desire within the affluent to be unique and differentiated individuals.</p> VIEW ON SUCCESS<p>There is an underlying belief among the affluent that their global mindsets and experiences are key to their current success. Specifically, financial success is perceived as the foundation that allows them to be the best person they can be. In addition, their strive towards financial independence (freedom) is motivated by their belief that such status will grant them the choices, resources and time they need in life.</p> <p>The findings also revealed the affluents’ view on success and wealth to be multi-dimensional. In addition to achieving financial freedom, being successful also means being able to strike a balance between creating a successful family environment and making time to enjoy worthwhile experiences. For the majority, success is internally recognized but externally expressed through rewarding oneself to enjoy higher quality brands and services.</p> <p>Across the markets, success is generally determined by how life is lived and includes both financial and spiritual wealth. However, some variations across the markets are observed:</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table1.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="601" height="311" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table1.jpg"></a></p> ‘GLOBALIZED’ MARKETS VS. ‘GLOBALIZED’ MINDS <p>The findings from MasterCard’s surveys revealed two distinct dimensions to be relevant to and evident among the affluent in the region: ‘Globalized’ Markets and ‘Globalized’ Minds.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart1.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="409" height="473" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart1.jpg"></a></p> FINDING ON EXPERIENCES<p>In order to find out which types of experiences and benefits are desired, affluent consumers were asked to rate among five different types of experiences:</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart2.jpg"><img width="462" height="534" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart2.jpg"></a><br> </p> ‘GLOBALIZED’ MARKETS VS. ‘GLOBALIZED’ MINDS<p>Of the five major experience categories, those that were travel-related were consistently rated to be the most motivating and unique, followed by dining and golf.</p> <p>Chart 3 below summarizes the share of experiences liked at both the regional and individual market levels:</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart3.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="595" height="189" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart3.jpg"></a></p> <p>In terms of Travel, UAE topped the region with one in three (33%) affluent considering travel to be their top passion, followed by Singapore and Japan (32%), China (31%) and Hong Kong (25% and the only market lower than the regional average of 30%).</p> <p>In terms of Dining, China had the highest proportion of affluent (25%) choosing dining to be one of their top passions, followed by UAE and Hong Kong (24%), and Japan and Singapore at 22% and 20%, respectively, both being lower than the regional average of 23%.</p> <p>In terms of Golfing, the survey found it to be popular among the affluent in the region, with an average of two in every five (40%) having played golf in the past 12 months.</p> TRAVEL & EXPERIENCE<p>The desire to travel, gain unique experiences and discover authentic tastes around the world are evident across all markets; however subtle nuances that differentiated each market from one another were observed. For instance, the Chinese perceived travel as a way to expand worldview and gain knowledge that can be used for networking and establishing connections, while in Hong Kong, travelling was more to relieve stress, unwind, share time with family. In UAE, world travel was about fun, enjoyment, adventure, and spending time with family but at same time being tuned in to opportunities, new experiences and establishing connections with people. These similarities and differences are summarized below.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table2.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="491" height="287" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table2.jpg"></a></p> INSIGHTS TO THE AFFLUENT GOLFER<p>The popularity of golf continues to grow. Driven by the rising number of affluent enthusiasts and a robust golf tourism industry, fans and aficionados are spending more on the sport. MasterCard’s research revealed the following insights on the popularity of golf:</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table3.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="595" height="468" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table3.jpg"></a></p> GOLF AS A LIFESTYLE<p>Golf is perceived as the intersection of social time and personal time which provides an avenue for one to recharge and to connect with others. As a part of lifestyle, golf fulfills both social and emotional needs.</p> <p><b>Golf &amp; Travel</b><br> Golfers travel often for both business and leisure. However, golf is seldom an ‘add-on’ activity but a dedicated trip. Golf-specific trips tend to be short weekend trips. Longer male-dominated golf trips are seen as a time for making memories and bonding with friends.<b></b></p> <p><b>Golf Experiences</b><br> The affluent golfer survey revealed that the shared experience on the golf course is not only vested in the game itself, but also encompasses the conversations which took place such as: (i) discussions of current sporting and golf events; (ii) home, work and life ambitions and pressures; and (iii) exchange of tips and advice.</p> <p>There are also elements of challenge and moments of truth in the game: the belief that the true character of the person will be revealed on the course, and the notion that playing with someone provides insight into their character.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table4.jpg"><img width="590" height="344" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table4.jpg"></a></p> <p>The study on the affluent golfers revealed that golf transcends differences and emotional drivers are universal, but market nuances do exist. In general, female affluent golfers have the same emotional drivers and functional needs as male affluent golfers. However, while the all-male golf tour is perceived as a male bonding experience, the equivalent is not mentioned by the female counterpart. The study also showed that female affluent golfers are more likely to play with their spouses.<b></b></p> <p><b>Golf &amp; Sign Up Intent</b><br> Similar to dining, golf is also one of the three most motivating passions for card sign-up intent. Specifically, the findings revealed that affluent golfers aged under 40 share the following traits:</p> <ul> <li>Typically aged 30-39 years (45% vs. 41% of general affluent consumers)</li> <li>Tend to be interested in team sports (20% vs. 16% general), bars/clubs (31% vs. 26% general), or technology (43% vs. 38% general)</li> <li>Have played golf in the last 12 months (49% vs. 40% general)</li> <li>Among their many passions, travel, dining and golfing are considered to be the most important</li> </ul> <p>Among the markets, China had the largest proportion affluent golfers (63%), followed by Japan (52%). Hong Kong and Singapore, both at 41%, were closest to the regional average of 40%. UAE had the lowest proportion at only 7%.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart4.jpg"><img width="598" height="314" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart4.jpg"></a></p> SUMMARY OF THE AFFLUENT GOLFERS<p>The table below is a summary of the values, lifestyles, leisure activities, golf-consumption habits, and travel habits/preferences of affluent golfers.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table5.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="537" height="323" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table5.jpg"></a></p> TOP EXPERIENCE PILLARS<p>The overall findings of the surveys revealed the top three experience pillars to be Traveling, Dining and Golf. In order to find out which experiences are best suited to our affluent consumers’ perspective and needs, we went one step further to find out how they would like different experiences to be presented and offered. Based on the five main categories of experiences, we segregated them further into 4 sub-categories of ‘Motivating Reasons to Believe’: (1) Curation, (2) Branded Curation, (3) Privileged Access, and (4) Complimentary.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table6.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="474" height="458" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table6.jpg"></a></p> TOP MOTIVATING REASONS TO BELIEVE (RTBS)<p>The survey revealed a clear preference among the affluent for Curated Experiences rather than the generic offerings of discounted goods and services. Specifically, Curation Reasons to Believe (RTB) are the most appealing to the affluent and are considered to be the most important in all markets: China (32%), Hong Kong, Japan &amp; UAE (31%, same as the Regional Average), and Singapore (30%).</p> <p>The findings also showed that over three-quarters of affluent consumers (80%) are interested in a choice of Travel, Lifestyle or Dining RTBs.</p> <p>Privileged Access also has a fairly strong appeal, although this is more pronounced in the Singaporean (25%), Chinese (24%), and Japanese (23%) markets for Travel and Dining RTBs.</p> <p>In Hong Kong, Branded Curation related to Dining and Retail RTBs is the second most appealing to the affluent, while in UAE, Branded Curation RTBs related to Dining is the second most appealing.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart5.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="603" height="191" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart5.jpg"></a></p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart6.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="592" height="290" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Chart6.jpg"></a></p> TRAVEL<p>MasterCard’s research indicated that Travel benefits drive up to 60% of card sign-up rates. This led = to the design of a focused experience program that creates optimal value to the affluent consumers–– one that is geared towards providing meaningful cross-border experiences and bringing new discoveries of the world closer to the affluent global citizens. At the heart of this refocused program is a deep appreciation of our affluent consumers’ global outlook and the desire to include passion to travel experiences.</p> DINING<p>Our studies revealed that culinary experiences involving the exploration and discovery of different tastes and flavors around the world, the privilege of enjoying priority bookings at the world’s most sought after restaurants, participating in private cooking classes, or a personal meeting with top chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants are considered to be some of the most appealing and important motivating passions among the affluent consumers across all markets that would drive card sign-up intent.</p> PAYMENT CARDS<p>The attitude towards payment cards in general is different across the seven markets. In UAE, China, South Africa and Japan where access to premium cards are more limited, a greater sense of status and specialness is attached to the cards. In other markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore where premium cards are more readily accessible and privilege programs such as frequent flyer points are common, there is less sense of status and specialness attached.</p> <p>Privileged Access also has a fairly strong appeal, although this is more pronounced in the Singaporean (25%), Chinese (24%), and Japanese (23%) markets for Travel and Dining RTBs.</p> <p>In Hong Kong, Branded Curation related to Dining and Retail RTBs is the second most appealing to the affluent, while in UAE, Branded Curation RTBs related to Dining is the second most appealing.</p> KEY DRIVERS OF CARD USAGE<p>In general, the survey found the affluent to be in search of a card that would not only allow them to travel around the world with ease and simplicity, but provide all the emotional and functional benefits they desire. They want a card that is relevant to their lifestyle and helps them create the time to enjoy worthwhile experiences.</p> <p>Their ideal card will fulfill and balance the following priorities:</p> <p><b>Emotional</b></p> <ul> <li>Feels premium, aspirational</li> <li>A bit special, unique, new &amp; fresh</li> <li>Like belonging to a World-club</li> </ul> <p><b>Functional</b></p> <ul> <li>Assume better currency rates</li> <li>No handling charges</li> <li>Making for easier global travel/transactions</li> </ul> <p>When choosing a card, the affluent consumers consider travel, dining and golfing features to be the most appealing and attractive, while rewards and benefits such as fee waivers, rich rewards and cashback, and shopping &amp; local dining are considered to be the most important and also the top key drivers of card usage in the region.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table7.jpg"><img width="566" height="203" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/AffluentReport/Table7.jpg"></a></p> <p>MasterCard’s studies have revealed the affluent consumers of today to be believers of work-life balance, charming, sociable, and well-traveled with good tastes in wining and dining. Our in-depth analysis of the findings validated that World MasterCard is a card that is truly aligned with our affluent consumers’ concept of wealth and living well through meaningful experiences–– a card that connects them with the world and other like-minded individuals, supports them in living their lives the way they want to, enables experiences to be shared, and connects passion with travel.</p> <p>Our identification of the top motivating passions has allowed us to focus on curating those experiences that are considered to be worthy experiences by the affluent consumers.</p> <p>Our search for the top drivers of card usage means that our customers will be able to get the optimal value and benefits from the card they have chosen.</p> <p>In essence, the insights from the surveys and research work have allowed MasterCard to craft for the affluent consumers a Passport to the World that makes them feel unique, differentiated and inspired–– a card that can be used by our consumers with prestige and confidence that it will guide them and their families to places they never knew existed.</p> <p><a name="_ftn3"></a><i>[3] MasterCard’s proprietary research was based on online methodology, face-to-face interviews and fieldwork with over 1,000 affluent individuals aged 30 to 55 in 7 key markets in APMEA.</i></p> The Affluent Report presents the results and key findings from a series of studies and surveys commissioned by MasterCard. These findings will help MasterCard understand the mindset of affluent consumers, and how we can develop the most relevant and innovative payment solutions, and to curate meaningful and unique experiences for them. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2014/mastercard-affluent-report2014-05-26T16:00:00.000Z2014-05-26T16:00:00.000ZEvolution of Luxury: New Affluent Seek Rich Experiences over Material Wealth Changing Notions of Success and Achievement<p>This shift in mindset can be attributed to an expanding view the affluent hold toward success and wealth. Across the region, success is increasingly being measured by the way of life, with some variations across the markets. The diagram below highlights the different notions of success and achievement across the APMEA region:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/Affluent_PressRelease_Chart.JPG" target="_blank"><img width="502" height="304" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/Affluent_PressRelease_Chart.JPG"></a><br> <i>Chart 1: Notions of success and achievement across the APMEA region</i></p> Consumers with Experiential Needs<p>The survey found that this shift in attitude is transforming the consumption patterns of the affluent. More than ever, the affluent are placing greater emphasis on seeking new and unique experiences, such as mastering a new skill or making a unique journey, as opposed to the ownership of opulent material possessions, status symbols, or visiting a destination.</p> <p>For these affluent global citizens, products that cater to their aspirations of a deep and fulfilling life are essential. International travel (30%), which allows them to gain unique experiences, reconnect with family through shared leisure activities, and unwind while creating unforgettable memories, is rated as their most desired experience. This is followed by culinary experiences (23%), which involve the exploration and discovery of different palates and flavors from around the world, and golfing which allows the otherwise busy individuals to recharge and to connect with others (12%).</p> <p>Porush Singh, senior vice president for Core Products, Global Products &amp; Solutions, Asia/Pacific, Middle East &amp; Africa, MasterCard, said,&nbsp; “The affluent in APMEA are increasingly looking for things that drive personal growth and happiness, as opposed to the ownership of material possessions. This report helps us understand the mindset of affluent consumers so that we can continually develop the most relevant and innovative payment solutions as well as curate meaningful and unique experiences for them,” </p> Case-in-Point: The Affluent and Golf<p>In terms of unique experiences, golfing is one of the most popular categories that APMEA’s affluent are interested in. Two in every five affluent individuals across APMEA have played a round of golf in the past 12 months, and the rising number of affluent enthusiasts has led to a robust golf tourism industry, with fans and aficionados spending more on the sport.</p> <p>The affluent perceive golf as the intersection of social time and personal ‘me’ time which provides an avenue for one to recharge and also connect with others. As part of the lifestyle, golf fulfils both the social and emotional needs. </p> <p>“Our research has shown that affluent golfers from APMEA desire not just better quality brands, but also once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as training sessions with golfing legends and access to exclusive world-renowned courses that they view as a reward for their hard work,” he added.</p> <p>Some interesting nuggets about the rise of the golfing movement in APMEA:</p> <ul> <li>There are almost 40 million golfers in China alone – nearly twice as many engaged in the sport than in USA.</li> <li>The golf tourism industry in Thailand is expected to grow 15% to USD$4 billion by 2015.</li> <li>The daily spend of a golf traveler is double that of the average leisure tourist.</li> </ul> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>The MasterCard Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.ConsumerConfidence.tagend.html">MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence</a>, as well as the <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Women.tagend.html">MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement</a>, <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Shopping.tagend.html">MasterCard Survey on Online Shopping</a>, MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy, and the <a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/">MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities</a>. In addition to the indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.EthicalSpending.tagend.html">Ethical Spending</a> and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Travel.tagend.html">Travel</a>, <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Dining.tagend.html">Dining &amp; Entertainment</a>, <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Education.tagend.html">Education</a>, <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.MoneyManagement.tagend.html">Money Management</a>, Luxury and General Shopping).</p> <p>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 <a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/">Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard<p><b><u><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">MasterCard</a></u></b>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">www.mastercard.com</a></u></b>,<b>&nbsp;</b>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&nbsp;<b><u><a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@MasterCardNews</a></u>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Pioneers Blog</a></u></b>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank">subscribe</a></u></b>&nbsp;for the latest news on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>Engagement Bureau</b></a>.</p> Media contacts<p><b>Georgette Tan</b>,<br> MasterCard,<br> +65 6390 5971,<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a></p> <p><b>Samantha Yong</b>,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> +65 6825 8053,<br> <a href="mailto:samyong@webershandwick.com">samyong@webershandwick.com</a> &nbsp;</p> The Affluent Report presents the results and key findings from a series of studies and surveys commissioned by MasterCard. These findings will help MasterCard understand the mindset of affluent consumers, and how we can develop the most relevant and innovative payment solutions, and to curate meaningful and unique experiences for them.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2014/evolution-of-luxury2014-05-26T16:00:00.000Z2014-05-26T16:00:00.000ZThe Road to Inclusion: A Look at the Financially Excluded and Underserved About This Paper<p>There has been a growing need to understand what financial inclusion means and gain insight into the way in which people are included financially across emerging markets. Specifically, insights are needed on what the impact of being financially ‘excluded’ or ‘underserved’ is on people’s everyday lives. Those who are financially excluded have little access to many of the services that others may take for granted. While these target groups may have access to a basic bank account, this still does not automatically provide access to electronic payments.</p> <p>There is a growing need to look at how organizations can mobilize around these groups towards financial inclusion.</p> <p>A key part of this seeking of knowledge relates to profiling and gaining insights on those target groups across various markets that are not currently part of financial inclusion; instead deemed as financially excluded or financially underserved.</p> <p>Definitions of these two key groups are:</p> <ul> <li>Financially excluded – target groups without any access to formal banking services or any traditional relationship with a financial institution</li> <li>Financially underserved – target groups who are likely to have some sort of traditional account, but no access to any form of electronic transactions such as debit, credit or prepaid cards</li> </ul> <p>In general, those who are financially excluded have little access to many of the financial services that others take for granted, including the everyday bank account. Those who are financially underserved may have access to more basic financial services, but remain excluded from the technologically advanced, mostly electronic offerings.</p> <p>Focusing our research on these two key groups provides untapped insights into the everyday lives and perceptions of those who are currently ‘hidden’ from most financial institutions. It uncovers their reasons for not generally being part of their market’s financial inclusion, and provides a better understanding of how they could become involved in the future.</p> <p>Wanting to better understand and address the needs of these two key target groups from a cross country perspective, MasterCard commissioned Ipsos to conduct a research study which consists of ethnographic and quantitative approaches across six culturally diverse markets–– namely, India (Mumbai), Indonesia (Jakarta), Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City), Philippines (Metro Manila), Egypt (Cairo), and Nigeria (Lagos).</p> <p>An in-depth understanding of thirty six (36) households was conducted across markets (n=6 per market), looking qualitatively at how these target groups live day-to-day. In each market, we targeted five segments: young persons, migrants, small business owners, retirees and Opt Outs (used to be financially included – six months ago or less, but no longer either by choice or due to circumstances).</p> <p>The quantitative phase of this study consists of a total of n=604 people of the two target groups across six markets. These were face-to-face interviews, conducted on a door-to-door and/or street intercept basis. Each survey took, on average, 20 minutes to complete.</p> <p>For the quantitative element, no quotas set to be nationally representative among these target respondents. This is because there are no reliable official estimates of people belonging to the two target groups. This survey may, therefore, not be truly representative of the actual profile of financially excluded or underserved in the market surveyed.</p> <p>In summary, the two broad research objectives of this study were to:</p> <ul> <li>Generate a detailed understanding of the financially excluded and underserved target groups across different markets</li> <li>Understand the entry points to financial inclusion, including the target group’s potential/propensity to adopt electronic payments/prepaid accounts</li> </ul> <p><b>More similarities than expected</b></p> <p>Even though the markets that were researched are culturally diverse and geographically dispersed, some similar outcomes and trends have evolved across the study. This has enabled the emergence of some common themes which we have focused on in this paper, to deliver combined insights that can be applied to a wide variety of markets.</p> <p>In addition to providing a combined profile of the average financially excluded and underserved target groups, the common themes are that money management mostly remains via traditional means, financial institutions like banks are currently not playing a larger role in their lives, prepaid cards could be an entry point into financial inclusion, and access to technology is limited.</p> <p><b>In conclusion</b></p> <p>These themes, which are generated from the research data, form the narrative of this paper.</p> <p>This research was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MasterCard from Quarter 4 2013 to Quarter 1 2014.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebTable-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="526" height="259" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebTable-1.jpg"></a></p> Who are the Financially Excluded/Underserved groups?<p><b>A comprehensive study of the financially excluded and underserved</b></p> <p>These research results provide some thought-provoking, perhaps even stereotype-challenging insights into who are the financially excluded and underserved target groups.</p> <p>The average age ranges from 28 years in Nigeria to 41 years in Philippines. Thus, a typical member of the target groups could be said to fall in the economically active age group. Most do, in fact, claim to be currently working. More than 50% in Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt and Nigeria say that they are currently working. The proportion of working people was relatively lower in India (just 26%) and Philippines (at 42%).</p> <p>Given the current levels of employment, the lack of financial inclusion among these target groups seems significant.</p> <p>What is even more revealing is that most of them have achieved secondary education or above. The education levels are very high in Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt and Nigeria (ranging from 79% to 91% for secondary level and above education).</p> <p>These education levels indicate a stronger potential than may have been expected to reach out and educate these target groups about the benefits of financial inclusion.</p> <p>However, with the average monthly household income ranging from US$ 200 to US$500, there could be a common issue of low disposable income, translating into a lower likelihood of wanting to take on what they could perceive as extra financial expenses and commitments.</p> <p>As will be seen in a later section on savings and expense habits, this lack of disposable income may be one of the primary reasons for being financially excluded/ underserved.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="499" height="289" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-1.jpg"></a></p> <p>Vietnam has relatively higher household income compared with the rest–– potentially providing greater opportunities to target for financial inclusion.</p> <p>Over half of the target groups interviewed have lived in their current city all their life. This could indicate a level of familiarity and comfort with the economic and financial workings of their country.</p> <p><b>Stronger role of neighborhood/friends/family</b></p> <p>Based on the ethnographic research it is evident that political unrest in some countries leads to a sense of insecurity which in turn may exacerbate the need to control finances in a way that is familiar and trusted. This unrest causes anxiety over job security and general future prospects–– a bigger problem than how to transact money you potentially may not ever earn!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“I’m worried about not being able to graduate and find my dream job due to the current political situation which is affecting living standards in Egypt.”<br> ~ (Egypt, 19 years old, Excluded)</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“Our government is not stable and it’s affecting everything. Our education quality is deteriorating and there are no employment opportunities even after graduating with a university degree.”<br> ~ (Nigeria, 24 years old, Excluded)</p> <p>The ethnographic research also revealed issues with current infrastructure especially in Nigeria. Frequent power outages which occur at irregular times is a way of life for the target group in Nigeria. As will be seen later, this has implications in their adoption levels of technology.<b></b></p> <p><b>Does financial exclusion lead to social dependency?</b></p> <p>This research has shown, for various reasons that conventional forms of banking and financial inclusion are not working for these groups. Financial exclusion and social dependency seem to be inextricably linked, and being financially excluded/underserved clearly leads to a strong reliance on their social network in times of need.</p> <p>Vinod in India, because of unforeseen circumstances like sickness, turns to his trusted community to borrow money. At the age of 51, Vinod had a heart attack. With limited income, he had no extra money to pay for unbudgeted and big-ticket expenses like hospitalization. As his community’s way to support him and his family and on their own initiative, his neighbors pooled money together and paid for all his bills. Though repayment was expected, there was no pressure to pay back within a certain period and there was no interest charged. He explained that this was not an unusual situation in his local area: at times of dire need, sympathy and good will of close friends drive community spirit. Many people come to such agreements, and it is preferred to borrowing from an institution.</p> <p>Another example is Dele, a 57 years old man in Nigeria, who owns a small packaging business. Due to the slowing down of the economy, sales have also slowed down and cash flow has been a problem. This is a big issue for businesses as there are operating expenses, such as purchase of materials that need to be procured before the customer makes full payment. To solve this, Dele comes to an agreement with some of his loyal customers for a payment scheme that requires full payment when the project is commissioned. This way, he has cash on hand to not only buy the necessary things for the project but also help fund the operating expenses of other projects. Again, an agreement like this is preferred compared to an institution, as there is no interest charged on the loan.</p> Money Management<p>In most markets, salary is the most common payment type received; ranging from a high of 59% in Vietnam to a low of 15% in Philippines.</p> <p>An encouraging feature is that there is a small section of the target group who use banks for receiving these payments. Of those receiving a salary, the proportion of those using a bank in some form (direct debit, receive cash but deposit in bank) ranges from 20% in the Philippines to a high of 75% in Nigeria.</p> <p>Both the financially excluded and financially underserved still live within a cash economy. This is unsurprising given their current perceptions about banks (mentioned in detail later in this document).</p> <p>Besides salary, relying on friends and family for money is also prevalent across markets, especially in Vietnam (63%), Philippines (51%) and Indonesia (40%).</p> <p>When it comes to expenses, the majority of their expenses are for items such as clothes, transportation, food and telecom.</p> <p>Given their current lack of access/familiarity with payment cards or electronic payment methods such as direct debit, these expenses are paid predominantly in cash.</p> <p>Most also claim that they do not pay rent for their current accommodation either because they are living with others (friends/family/funded home) or someone else pays their rent. The proportion of those claiming to not pay rent ranges from a high of 71% in Philippines to 21% in Egypt. Of those who pay their own rent, they still use cash to do so.<b></b></p> <p><b>Savings regimen/controlling expenses</b></p> <p>The ethnographic research shows interesting savings habits across markets. Most tend to not save with financial institutions.</p> <p>Money is saved either in the form of cash at home or through some social saving schemes.</p> <p>For those with families, the savings were primarily for their children. Putting aside money for education is a priority we see across markets. A significant portion of Vinod from India’s income goes to support his son who is pursuing his MBA. In a highly competitive workforce market, having a post graduate degree is an advantage. He believes that this is key in getting a good job thus securing his son’s future. This led him to being prudent about other expenses especially when it comes to himself and his wife, such as not replacing their very old box-type TV at home.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-2.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="598" height="343" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-2.jpg"></a></p> <p>In Egypt and Nigeria, instead of saving money for the future, having money to spend now was perceived as important. In these markets, having money to spend among friends or buy goods was seen as necessary to maintain one’s status among their peer group.</p> <p>Nora of Egypt, 17 years old, depends on her parents to pay for everything. She feels there isn’t a pressing need to save for the future, as she has her parents’ financial backing. She spends without thinking and splurges on branded clothes and bags. In her peer group, there is pressure to maintain a certain image through material things, so as to not stand out as someone who is not ‘cool.’</p> <p><b>Keeping cash in closets</b></p> <p>The ethnographic research allowed us to observe where excess cash is kept. A common safekeeping area is in their cupboards, where it is often not noticeable to others. There are many reasons for such behavior, other than the prevention of getting their money stolen in situations of house theft; it also reduces the temptation of spending their money if they constantly see it. Saving in coin jars is still prevalent for some markets such as Vietnam, Philippines, and Egypt. It is also common for housewives in India to accumulate a little from their daily household budget to use as an emergency fund for unexpected spending.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“I save my money in my cupboard, where I can’t see it. So I don’t have the temptation to spend.” ~(India, Retiree, 63 years old, Underserved)</p> <p>In India, savings were also done by buying some gold items whenever they could afford it. This was also seen as preparing for their children’s wedding as buying gold jewelry is perceived as customary on such occasions.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“Once every two years, I would buy gold with my savings. It is good because when my children get married, we have to give gold, so it’s a sort of an investment.”<br> ~(India, Migrant, 39 years old, Excluded)</p> <p><b>Saving with a group of people</b></p> <p>Specific to markets like Egypt and Indonesia, saving is often with a group of people. For example, Indonesians save through ‘Arisan’ (a form of rotating savings, through social gathering), and savings for Egypt through Gam’eya (social money pooling).</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“I save my money with a guy in the village that I know. He is a prominent figure who everyone recognizes and I feel that my money is safe with him...”<br> ~(Indonesia, Migrant, 31 years old, Excluded)</p> <p>There is perhaps an opportunity to use such respected “neighborhood opinion leaders” to educate the target groups on the benefits of financial inclusion.</p> <p><b>Borrowing is the last resort</b></p> <p>Findings from the ethnographic research indicate that across the markets, borrowing is seen as a last resort. In Egypt, it is seen as negative and demeaning. In many cultures the preference would be to borrow from relatives or close associations than financial institutions. This appears to be tied in with the need for control over one’s financial situation and is linked with lack of familiarity/perceived transparency with both bank cards and credit cards in general.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“I can control my daily expenses because I know how much money I spend every day rather than through a bank card. A bank card balance won’t be easily visible, to feel and control my purchasing as well.” ~(Vietnam, Opt Out, 47 years old, Excluded)<b></b></p> <p><b>Keeping track of expenses</b></p> <p>Tracking expenses is a daily task for the underserved and excluded. A habit of meticulous planning has been put in place to ensure that their hard earned money is well spent. With these groups of people, they find joy knowing their expenses are kept within their budget, with a little more to spare. The most common way of tracking expenses is usually through mental accounting where people have a very clear idea of where their money goes without much formal accounting. This is critical in order to ensure that there is enough money to tide them over until the next inflow of income. There are also people like Jennylyn, 27 years old, in the Philippines that prefer to keep a record of the expenses. She regularly keeps receipts and lists of expenditure in a notebook dedicated for this purpose. Though it is cumbersome to keep a paper trail, she finds this critical to keep account of her own spending. Another way to ensure that she spends within her means is to create a list of items to buy before going to the store. This helps her stay focused on the task on hand and avoids the temptation of picking up unnecessary items. By doing this, she feels rewarded at the end of the day.</p> Banking<p><b>Easing safety concerns</b></p> <p>A point of entry into financial inclusion is by addressing safety concerns with cash. Across markets, there are concerns in carrying cash. These concerns are of three types</p> <ul> <li>Perceived safety in keeping cash at home</li> <li>Fear of losing cash/being robbed</li> <li>Fear of overspending if carrying cash</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;">“I like the idea of a card because I don't have to carry cash in my pocket. When I travel, I won’t be afraid of the armed robber. Since there is nothing on me, they will not expect me to have anything.”<br> ~(Nigeria, 63 years old, Underserved)</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“I feel that our house is safe so I don't feel the need to deposit my money in the bank.”<br> ~ (Vietnam, Opt out, 47 years old, Excluded)</p> <p>Security is perceived as the main benefit a bank can offer. Almost half the target group cited banks as a safer place to keep money than as cash at home.</p> <p>Another benefit of banks is the interest that they offer on the money kept in bank.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-3.jpg"><img width="602" height="320" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-3.jpg"></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-4.jpg"><img width="599" height="314" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-4.jpg"></a></p> <p>Current household incomes are generally low (around USD 200 per month). This results in lower disposable income and thus leading to the perception that they do not have enough money for using a full bank account i.e. an account that enables them to take out loans, overdrafts, credit/debit cards or cheque accounts.</p> <p>Not having sufficient money is cited as one of the main reasons for not having a full bank account (as high as 41% in Nigeria and 34% in India).</p> <p>Many simply say that they do not need a bank account.</p> <p>For Ayinde in Nigeria, 50 years old, the inconveniences that come with owning a bank account outweigh any perceived benefit. Standing in line to be served takes up most of her day, something that she cannot afford as a small business owner. Most telling also is that many of the excluded and underserved in Nigeria are not literate. Processes such as registration and ordinary bank transactions are perceived to be complex and intimidating.</p> <p>There is also the issue of perceived transparency of banks when it comes to bank fees. Susi Indah of Indonesia, a 37 year old, used to have a bank account where she kept her savings. Three years ago, she had IDR 35 million in the bank. She withdrew most of it when she was building her home and left IDR 1-2 million in the account. Not being aware of bank fees, she claims that ‘her money started disappearing’ without explanation. This incident made her distrustful of banks in general and pushed her to end her relationship with the institution.</p> <p>Across all markets, there is reluctance to adopt the usage of ATM cards. From a financial standpoint, this is considered a risk–– there is high possibility of forgetting the pin code and in turn “money is stuck.” There is a perception especially among older people that there is a possibility of never regaining access to the money anymore. Other reasons of potential loss of money to the ATM are technology failure; offline ATMs that “eat your card.”</p> <p>The ethnography also revealed the lack of knowledge on how to use an ATM, especially when it comes to withdrawing money. In India Harishchandra, 63 years old, owns an ATM card but almost never uses it. He felt that the process of withdrawing money from the ATM machine is complicated and one mistake on his part would cause him to lose his money. Hence, as a precaution, he avoids using the ATM card at all.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“There is so much tension especially when I am going to the ATM machine. If I can’t remember my pin number, my money will get eaten up...”<br> ~ (India, 63 years old, Underserved)</p> <p><b>Trust with Banks and Other Financial Institutions</b></p> <p>Trust levels are generally high for local banks. This ranges from as high as 80% and above in Egypt and Nigeria, above 70% in Indonesia and Philippines and above 60% in India and Vietnam.</p> <p>Trust levels for multinational banks and global payment card brands, perhaps due to low familiarity, are generally lower than that of the local banks.</p> <p>Bank officers are also seen as credible sources of information on financial products and services.</p> <p>Communicating safety and interest on money could potentially encourage the financially excluded to start using banks and would also encourage the financially underserved to use banks more often than cash. This could also, perhaps, make the banks more relevant to their current life and could result in fewer people saying ‘they do not need a bank account.’</p> <p>Global financial institutions could tie-up with trusted local banks could leverage on the perceived credibility of the bank officers towards financial inclusion of this target group.</p> Prepaid Cards <p><b>Awareness, Perceived Advantages and Disadvantages</b></p> <p>In the ethnographic research, the first association to the term ‘prepaid card’ was a prepaid card for mobile phones. The association with mobile phones and the term ‘prepaid cards’ is very strong.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“Prepaid card? This is where the amount you put in is balance amount you can only spend. Yes I have heard about this and I know it is only used for the mobile phone.”<br> ~ (India, Opt out, 29 years old, Excluded)</p> <p>In the quantitative survey, prepaid cards were explained as bank cards where you top up the balance on your card to then buy goods and services.</p> <p>Most claimed to be aware of prepaid cards, ranging from a high of over 80% in India, Indonesia and Vietnam to 59% in Philippines.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-5.jpg"><img width="599" height="347" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-5.jpg"></a></p> <p>Encouragingly, most mentioned control over spending and not having to carry cash around as the key advantages of a prepaid card.</p> <p>Managing day to day expenses, as seen in the ethnographic research, is very important to the financially underserved/excluded groups. In the survey, as high as 40% of the target group across markets mentioned ‘control on my spending’ as a key benefit to owning a prepaid card.</p> <p>As mentioned earlier in this document, there are strong safety concerns with carrying cash among the target group. Across markets, as many as 30% and more mentioned ‘not having to carry cash around’ as an advantage of owning a prepaid card.</p> <p>These two perceived advantages</p> <ul> <li>Ability to control spending, and</li> <li>Not having to carry cash</li> </ul> <p>could be used as entry points towards financial inclusion for the financially underserved/excluded.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-6.jpg"><img width="599" height="346" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-6.jpg"></a></p> <p>The main concern across markets with prepaid cards is that they might lose the card. In the ethnographic research, it was clear that many were unsure of the process of replacing a lost card and generally assumed that it would be a difficult process. A related concern is that somebody may pick up their lost card and use it.</p> <p>Education about the ability to block a card that has either been lost or stolen, in order to protect their money, as well as the ability to receive/obtain a replacement card, should be promoted in order to increase the uptake of prepaid cards amongst this group.</p> <p>The ethnographic research revealed instances in India of the target group keeping their ATM card in the inner pocket of their wallet and, in some instances, into a pocket inside their shirt.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“I am scared about losing my card, so I don’t use it.”<br> ~(India, Retiree, 63 years old, Underserved)</p> <p><b><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-7.jpg"><img width="602" height="348" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-7.jpg"></a></b></p> <p><b>Transparency of fees and limits</b></p> <p>Another concern in most markets is the perception that they would have to pay money to own a prepaid card. This is around 10% in most markets and is relatively higher in Indonesia (22%). Vietnam, especially, also has concerns that there would be regular fees charged for using a prepaid card (13%).</p> <p>These perceptions probably stem from lack of familiarity with prepaid cards and transparency of fees involved could help address these concerns.</p> <p><b><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-8.jpg"><img width="599" height="361" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-8.jpg"></a></b></p> <p><b>General Interest in Prepaid cards</b></p> <p>A prepaid card concept<sup>[<a href="#_ftn1">1</a>]</sup> was introduced in the quantitative research across these three measures of in-market success – ‘Relevance,’ ‘Unique and Different’ and ‘Likely to Apply.’</p> <p>The results are positive.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-9.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="596" height="370" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-9.jpg"></a></p> <p>Many found prepaid cards to be relevant; this was as high as 60% in Nigeria and India. The relevance level was generally in the 30%-40% range for other markets.</p> <p>Prepaid cards were also seen as unique and different across markets.</p> <p>When asked how likely were they to apply for a prepaid card, markets generally fall into three distinct groups.</p> <ul> <li>Highly receptive markets: Three markets were highly receptive to prepaid cards after the concept was explained. They are India, Egypt and Nigeria. More than 50% of the financially excluded/underserved in these markets state that they are likely to apply for a prepaid card.</li> <li>Moderately receptive market: Philippines is a moderately receptive market with around 30% stating that they would apply for a prepaid card.</li> <li>Less receptive markets: Vietnam (23%) and Indonesia (17%), compared to other markets, showed less enthusiasm to apply for a prepaid cards.</li> </ul> <p>It is worth mentioning again that the target group is largely educated (as mentioned earlier in the document). Communicating the prepaid card in detail is likely to encourage uptake of these cards and shift the financially excluded/underserved into the financially included group.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“After being explained what a pre-paid card is, I like it now because I don’t have to carry any money. I don’t have to be afraid of getting robbed when I take the bus. I can relax a bit now.” ~(Nigeria, Opt out, 55 years old, Excluded)</p> <p><a name="_ftnref1"></a><i>[1] Prepaid card concept was explained in detail as below:</i></p> <p><i>A prepaid card is a card that allows you to:</i></p> <ul> <li><i>Buy goods and services electronically at the point of sale –– wherever it is accepted at home or abroad</i></li> <li><i>Purchase goods and services securely, online over the internet</i></li> <li><i>Pay money to other people, family or friends</i></li> <li><i>Withdraw cash from ATMs</i></li> </ul> <p><i>Using this card is safer, faster and more convenient than cash. You can keep track of your spending with the added peace of mind that you can only spend up to the limit of the money that’s been loaded on to the card–– there’s no risk of going overdrawn or being charged any over limit fees. The card is also easy to obtain from a wide range of locations like post offices and supermarkets even if you don’t have full identification documents and, there is no credit check involved. The card can either be topped up by you with cash or, in some cases, by your employer or local social welfare benefits office.</i></p> Access to Technology<p><b>Mobile phones are dominant</b></p> <p>While the majority of people in these groups have access to some form of technology, for the largest proportion, this is to a standard mobile phone only, and access to more advanced technology is much more limited. Mobile phones are easily accessible across the markets (70% and higher)–– and is far ahead of all other forms of technology.</p> <p>The next most accessible technical device is a smartphone, particularly in Indonesia and Vietnam. Vietnam, especially, tends to have higher access to various technological devices than other markets. As seen earlier, among all the markets in this study, monthly household income in Vietnam is the highest–– almost twice of India, Egypt and Nigeria.</p> <p>Across markets, usage of mobile phone banking is low.</p> <p>Ethnographic findings indicated younger target groups are more inclined to owning a smartphone. Thus, it is not surprising that there is high familiarity of social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) among the younger target groups. Especially for Trinh, in Vietnam, who is very keen on online shopping through her phone after watching how her friend does it. However, some concerns holding her back would be the security of online transactions as fraud is prevalent. Older target groups on the other hand own a cell phone mainly for its basic communication functions–– Call and Texting. For them, there is no pressing need to be on social media, as long as they are in contact with their friends and families which they are able to do through more traditional channels.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-10.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="600" height="491" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/2014/FinancialInclusion/WebCharts-10.jpg"></a></p> <p>Though Abiodun in Nigeria owns a smartphone and is open to explore more advanced functions such as online shopping, the current power infrastructure does not allow him to do so. Without a constant source to electricity, there is a challenge to plan around charging electronics to fuel technology.</p> <p>It is also observed in the ethnography that these target groups are still very much inclined to using mobile top up cards where they are not prone to over usage.</p> <p>Managing day to day expenses was seen as very important across markets in the ethnographic research. Currently this is being done either by keeping paper bills or some form of mental accounting.</p> <p>A hypothesis here is that a simple ‘app’ that served to educate, as well as facilitate easy budgeting, could be one of the ways to help the target group. As smartphones increase their market share, the potential for these groups to make use of technology in relation to their finances grows. A simple budget app on a mobile phone would be helpful for everyday budgeting and work as a simple extension of the mental accounting that already takes place.</p> How are women different?<p>Among the financially excluded/underserved group, findings among women generally are similar to that of men. In some markets, on some measures mentioned below, we do see some differences by gender.<b></b></p> <p><b>Regular source of income an issue</b></p> <p>In some markets, a much lower proportion of women than men claim to have received income by salary. In India, only 8% of women received a salary payment in the past three months as compared to 38% of men. Similar differences observed in Indonesia (19% women vs. 63% for men), Philippines (7% women vs. 32% men), Nigeria (6% women vs. 32% men).</p> <p>In these markets, not having a regular source of income in the form of a salary could make it more challenging towards financial inclusion of women.<b></b></p> <p><b>Banking perceptions</b></p> <p>Perceived benefits of a full bank account did not show any major differences by gender. Similar to men, women too feel that keeping money in bank accounts is safer. Communicating safety of money in banks vs. cash is likely to resonate as strongly with women as with men.<b></b></p> <p><b>Prepaid cards</b></p> <p>Awareness of prepaid cards is as high among women as among men. Similar to men, women too feel that prepaid cards allow for better control over money and are as concerned about losing the card. After the prepaid card was explained, women are equally likely as men to show interest in applying for a prepaid card. The only exception observed was in Vietnam where only 11% women said they would apply for a prepaid card as against 43% of men.<b></b></p> <p><b>Technology</b></p> <p>Access to a standard mobile phone among women is as high as men. Smartphone access, in some markets, showed some differences by gender. In Nigeria, only 13% women said they have access to a smartphone as against 49% of men. Likewise, in Vietnam, 52% of women have smartphone access as against a high of 84% of men. In these markets, targeting women through financial services that require smartphones would be challenging.</p> Call to action<p>This paper highlighted the impact of being financially excluded/underserved, including what this means for inclusion in wider society, how electronic payments could benefit these groups of people and the way in which they could be positioned in order to have the most far-reaching impact with regard to increasing financial, and thus social, inclusion across the emerging markets. As a way forward, these are some of the implications from this research towards financial inclusion of those currently financially excluded/underserved:</p> <p>A large proportion of the people interviewed are employed and also most have completed secondary school and above. Given their current employment and education levels, the lack of financial inclusion among these target groups seems significant. These education levels indicate a stronger potential than may have been expected to reach out and educate these target groups about the benefits of financial inclusion.</p> <p>Neighborhood social network including friends and family play a dominant role in the lives of the target group. There is perhaps an opportunity to use such respected “neighborhood opinion leaders” to educate the target groups on the benefits of financial inclusion.</p> <p>Though cash as a payment method is widely prevalent, there are strong concerns related to safety in carrying cash. Banks on the other hand are seen as safe as well as providing interest on money. Communicating bank safety and interest on money could potentially encourage the financially excluded to start using banks and would also encourage the financially underserved to use banks more often than cash. This could also, perhaps, make the banks more relevant to their current life and could result in fewer people saying ‘they do not need a bank account.’</p> <p>Local banks are seen as trustworthy and bank officers are seen as credible sources of information on financial products/services. Global financial institutions along with trusted local banks could jointly promote relevant financial products/services to the target group.</p> <p>The paper highlights that prepaid cards could be used as an entry point for financial inclusion. The two main perceived advantages of prepaid cards are:</p> <ul> <li>Ability to control spending, and</li> <li>Not having to carry cash</li> </ul> <p>These advantages are likely to strike a chord with the target group as managing and tracking expenses and safety concerns in carrying cash are uppermost in their minds.</p> <p>Also, a hypothesis here is that a simple ‘app’ that served to educate, as well as facilitate easy budgeting, could be one of the ways to help the target group. As smartphone uptake increases, the potential for these groups to make use of technology in relation to their finances grows. A simple budget app that could be used on a mobile phone would be helpful for everyday budgeting and work as a simple extension of the mental accounting that already takes place.</p> <p>There are some concerns around prepaid cards which would need to be addressed. These concerns are primarily about losing the card and someone else using their lost/stolen card. Education about the ability to block a card that has either been lost or stolen, in order to protect their money, as well as the ability to receive/ obtain a replacement card, should be promoted in order to increase the uptake of prepaid cards amongst this group.</p> <p>Communicating the benefits of the prepaid card in detail is likely to encourage uptake of these cards and shift the financially excluded/underserved into the financially included group.</p> <p>When we look to the future, it is important to bring the financially excluded and underserved on this transformational payments journey and, as part of this, prepaid cards and other types of basic payment accounts have a real role to play in the drive for greater financial inclusion.</p> <p>All people, irrespective of their own personal circumstances, should have an opportunity to participate in the global economy. However, millions of people around the emerging markets lack access to the most basic financial tools, and this limits their personal options. They don't have secure places to save money, reliable ways to transfer it, or safe ways to transport it.</p> <p>Financial exclusion can perpetuate poverty. It slows the economy down. Bringing basic financial services to the financially excluded/underserved is, clearly, an obvious commercial opportunity, but more importantly, it’s a meaningful opportunity for society as well.</p> The report looks at the financially excluded and underserved in six culturally diverse markets across APMEA – India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Egypt, and Nigeria. It was commissioned by MasterCard to better understand what financial exclusion or underservice means to the millions of people within this group, and what has triggered their choices. This is in order to better provide services that engage this marginalized audience and help them to reap the benefits of financial inclusion.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2014/the-road-to-inclusion2014-05-18T16:00:00.000Z2014-05-18T16:00:00.000Z“Road to Inclusion” Report Challenges Previously-Held Notions of the Unbanked and Underbanked Profile of the Financially Excluded and Underserved<ul> <li>Across APMEA, they are most likely to fall within the economically active age group (average age ranges from 28 in Nigeria to 41 in the Philippines). Most have achieved secondary education or above and hold a job. For the majority of this group, financial transactions mostly involve the receipt of monthly salary, followed by payment from family and friends, and monthly pensions. The average monthly household income is low across the board, ranging from US$200 to US$500.</li> </ul> Four common themes appear from the research:<ul> <li><b>Money management is cash dominated</b> – In the area of money management, cash is predominant given their current lack of access/ familiarity with electronic payment methods. Most tend to save through social saving schemes or by storing cash in the cupboard or coin jars at home. Though cash as a payment method remains prevalent, there are strong concerns on safety in carrying cash around and many acknowledge the benefits a bank can offer in terms of security and the interest earned.</li> <li><b>Financial institutions like banks are currently not playing a large role in their lives</b> – When asked about the main reason for not having a full bank account, many cite not having enough money while others simply say they do not want or need a bank account. Some perceive banking services to have intimidating requirements and complex processes.</li> <li><b>Access to technology is limited and usage of mobile banking is low</b> – Whilst the majority of people in both groups have access to some form of technology, this is largely restricted to a standard mobile phone only (more than 69% across all markets). However, as smartphone uptake increases, the potential of using technology in relation to their finances grows.</li> <li><b>Prepaid cards could be an entry point into financial inclusion</b> – Although most have heard of prepaid cards (over 80% in India, Indonesia and Vietnam), usage is extremely low within those surveyed, at less than 5% across all markets. Interestingly, once educated about the concept, many of those surveyed found prepaid cards to be relevant for their financial needs. This was generally in the 30% to 40% range, but was as high as 60% in Nigeria and India.</li> </ul> <p>“The high use of mobile phones in these emerging markets also creates an opportunity to drive financial inclusion. We believe that a prepaid card linked to the mobile phone account can provide a simple entry point into the financial system and bridge the gap between the formal financial services sector and the millions of underserved or unbanked individuals, especially when combined with services such as bill payment and P2P capabilities. The key is providing relevant services with high convenience and low cost that empower them to change their lives for the better,” he added.</p> <p>This is echoed by those surveyed who are already using prepaid cards. As high as 40% mentioned ‘control on my spending’ as a benefit of owning a prepaid card, and as many as 30% allude to ‘not having to carry cash around’ as an advantage that prepaid cards offer.</p> About the Survey<p>This study, conducted by Ipsos MORI from Quarter 4’ 2013 to Quarter 1’ 2014, was a mixed method quantitative survey and ethnographic approach. Research was conducted in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Egypt, and Nigeria with the financially excluded (those that do not have access to the formal banking facilities) and the underserved (those that do not have access to any form of electronic payment). 604 people were surveyed and thirty-six households took part in a day long ethnographic interview, across six markets. Quotas were also set for those who are underserved but have access to prepaid card. For the quantitative element, because no representative database is available for ‘Excluded and Underserved’, nationally representative sampling is not possible for the two groups being researched. The definition of the target sample has been consistent across countries and the profile of respondents is based on a ‘1st available’ for recruitment basis.</p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>The MasterCard Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.ConsumerConfidence.tagend.html">MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence</a>, as well as the <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Women.tagend.html">MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement</a>, <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Shopping.tagend.html">MasterCard Survey on Online Shopping</a>, MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy, and the <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank">MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities</a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.EthicalSpending.tagend.html">Ethical Spending</a> and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Travel.tagend.html">Travel</a>, <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Dining.tagend.html">Dining &amp; Entertainment</a>, <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Education.tagend.html">Education</a>, <a href="/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.MoneyManagement.tagend.html">Money Management</a>, Luxury and General Shopping).</p> <p>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 <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank">Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard<p><u><b><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">MasterCard</a></b></u>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">www.mastercard.com</a></u></b>,<b>&nbsp;</b>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&nbsp;<b><u><a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@MasterCardNews</a></u>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Pioneers Blog</a></u></b>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank">subscribe</a></u></b>&nbsp;for the latest news on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>Engagement Bureau</b></a>.</p> Media contacts<p><b>Georgette Tan<br> </b>MasterCard,<br> +65 6390 5971,<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a></p> <p><b>Samantha Yong<br> </b>Weber Shandwick,<br> +65 6825 8053,<br> <a href="mailto:samyong@webershandwick.com">samyong@webershandwick.com</a><i> </i></p> The report looks at the financially excluded and underserved in six culturally diverse markets across APMEA – India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Egypt, and Nigeria. It was commissioned by MasterCard to better understand what financial exclusion or underservice means to the millions of people within this group, and what has triggered their choices. This is in order to better provide services that engage this marginalized audience and help them to reap the benefits of financial inclusion.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2014/road-to-inclusion-report-challenges-previously-held-notions2014-05-19T16:00:00.000Z2014-05-19T16:00:00.000ZConsumers across Asia/Pacific Continue to Remain Cautiously Optimistic: MasterCard Survey <p><b><i>Singapore, 01 December 2010</i></b> – Consumers continue to be optimistic in their sentiments, though cautiously so, according to the results of the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence. Although experiencing a marginal dip from the last survey, the latest Index score for consumer confidence is the second highest across the region in the last two years.</p> <p>Now in its 18<sup>th</sup> year, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. Released twice a year, the Index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market for the next six months based on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.&nbsp; The latest survey was conducted from 13 September to 11 November 2010 and involved 10,502 consumers from 24 markets<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1"></a><sup>[1]</sup>. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.&nbsp; <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p>Across Asia/Pacific, which comprises 14 markets, overall consumer confidence remained modestly optimistic with an Index score of 68, marginally lower than six months ago (69.1) but higher than a year ago (66.3), when the region was beginning to recover from the effects of the global financial crisis. Among the five survey indicators, respondents seemed most optimistic about Regular Income (71.6), less so than six months ago (73.5) but more than a year ago (65.5). They were least optimistic about Quality of Life (64.7), although this is the highest score the indicator has received in over two years, indicating a gradual return to pre-crisis levels (66.7 for the survey of late 2007).</p> <p>Consumers’ perceptions about the Economy (70.6) have become marginally less positive compared to six months ago (72.6) and a year ago (71.4), but these scores above 70 are still the highest the region has seen in over five years. Similarly, the current score for the Employment indicator (67.5) is the second highest score the region has seen in the last five years. With regard to the Stock Market performance (65.8), consumers’ outlook is less positive than six months ago (68.3) and a year ago (67.5).</p> <p>“The scores indicate that while consumers may perceive the worst of the crisis as behind them, they are still wary in their outlook for the months ahead,” said Yvette Oh, group executive, Market Development, Asia/Pacific, Middle East &amp; Africa, MasterCard Worldwide. “This perception could be in large part due to the uncertainties caused by inflation, the various tightening measures that governments across the region are implementing, and the general slowdown in growth that the region is seeing post-crisis. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see that consumer perceptions about the Economy, Employment and Quality of Life are among the most positive in recent years.”</p> <p>Respondents from Vietnam are the most optimistic (90.3) in the region, followed by those from Singapore (86.1) and the Philippines (80.1). Respondents from Japan (20.2) continue to look at the months ahead with pessimism, even more so than six months ago (27.8) and a year ago (24.4). Consumer sentiment in New Zealand, although marginally optimistic (53.3), has taken a turn for the worse after two consecutive waves of higher optimism (65.9 six months ago and 69.7 a year ago).</p> <p>Growth engines of the region China (79.4) and India (73.0) continue to remain positive in their outlook, although scores for China are lower than six months ago (83.0) and a year ago (85.3). This decrease is influenced by lower scores across all five indicators, with the Employment indicator seeing the highest drop in scores (71.2 vs. 79.8 six months ago). Scores in India, on the other hand, have risen (68.2 six months ago and 68.8 a year ago), bolstered by an increase in optimism across all five indicators measured.</p> <p>Consumer sentiment in Thailand is at its most positive (57.3) in the last four years, while in the Philippines (80.1), this is the most positive consumers have been since 1997. Filipino respondents’ outlook on their Quality of Life (80.5) and the Economy (83.6) are the highest ever scores recorded since the Philippines was included in the survey in 1995.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence in the Middle East and Africa showed increases in scores compared to six months ago. Across the Middle East, overall consumer confidence has gone up marginally (71.6 vs. 69.2 six months ago). Respondents were most optimistic about Regular Income (83.0) and least optimistic about the Stock Market (63.2). At a market level, Saudi Arabia (95.1) and Qatar (83.6) top list in overall Consumer Confidence, with Saudi Arabia seeing the highest score in three years.</p> <p>The overall consumer confidence score across the four Africa markets surveyed increased to 79 from 73.7 six months ago, bolstered primarily by substantial increase in optimism in Nigeria (94.3 vs. 83.2 six months ago) and Kenya (87.3 vs. 73.5). Morocco (65.3), however, saw a significant drop in it consumer confidence score from six months ago (78.2), while the score for South Africa dipped to 54.7, the lowest in the market ever since it was incorporated into the survey in 2003.<br> </p> <ul> <li><b><i>More information on the Index can be found at the website <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com">www.masterintelligence.com</a></i></b></li> </ul> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1"></a><b><i><sup>[1]</sup></i></b><i>Asia/Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand,&nbsp; and Vietnam<br> Middle East:&nbsp; Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates<br> Africa: Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa</i></p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="1" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description">MARKETS</th> <th class="table-description">1H 2011</th> <th class="table-description">2H 2010</th> <th class="table-description">1H 2010</th> <th class="table-description">2H 2009</th> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>63.0</td> <td>74.1</td> <td>69.5</td> <td>24.1</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>79.4</td> <td>83.0</td> <td>85.3</td> <td>60.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>74.7</td> <td>76.6</td> <td>60.0</td> <td>24.7</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>73.0</td> <td>68.2</td> <td>68.8</td> <td>68.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>56.1</td> <td>61.4</td> <td>67.0</td> <td>49.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>20.2</td> <td>27.8</td> <td>24.4</td> <td>21.5</td> </tr><tr><td>South Korea</td> <td>55.7</td> <td>54.1</td> <td>59.8</td> <td>28.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>66.2</td> <td>67.9</td> <td>66.3</td> <td>27.8</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>53.3</td> <td>65.9</td> <td>69.7</td> <td>21.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>80.1</td> <td>59.3</td> <td>49.7</td> <td>40.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>86.1</td> <td>86.6</td> <td>79.4</td> <td>31.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>62.5</td> <td>65.7</td> <td>56.5</td> <td>39.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>57.3</td> <td>50.6</td> <td>55.3</td> <td>23.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Vietnam</td> <td>90.3</td> <td>93.7</td> <td>90.0</td> <td>60.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Total Asia/Pacific</b></td> <td>68.0</td> <td>69.1</td> <td>66.3</td> <td>38.7</td> </tr><tr><td>Egypt</td> <td>47.7</td> <td>45.5</td> <td>59.5</td> <td>32.3</td> </tr><tr><td>Kuwait</td> <td>80.4</td> <td>96.9</td> <td>70.9</td> <td>49.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Lebanon</td> <td>54.3</td> <td>44.6</td> <td>55.4</td> <td>64.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Qatar</td> <td>83.6</td> <td>65.8</td> <td>89.2</td> <td>71.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Saudi Arabia</td> <td>95.1</td> <td>85.0</td> <td>83.2</td> <td>67.1</td> </tr><tr><td>U.A.E.</td> <td>73.6</td> <td>82.4</td> <td>86.1</td> <td>29.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Total Middle East</b></td> <td>71.6</td> <td>69.2</td> <td>74.5</td> <td>49.9</td> </tr><tr><td>Kenya</td> <td>87.3</td> <td>73.5</td> <td>47.9</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>Morocco</td> <td>65.3</td> <td>78.2</td> <td>66.1</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>Nigeria</td> <td>94.3</td> <td>83.2</td> <td>89.4</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>South Africa</td> <td>54.7</td> <td>58.6</td> <td>59.8</td> <td>67.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Total Africa</b></td> <td>79.0</td> <td>73.7</td> <td>66.4</td> <td>-</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p><i>&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has an 18-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region.&nbsp; In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.</p> <p>The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty-four markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The last MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 13 September to 11 November 2010. A total of 10,502 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 24 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.&nbsp; In each market except China and India, 400 or more people were surveyed.&nbsp; A minimum sample size of 800 was collected from China and India.</p> <p>The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.&nbsp; Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.&nbsp; The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level, except China and India where because of the larger sample, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.</p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite of research products in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the flagship MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, and the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, both of which are released six monthly, and the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement and the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Online Shopping, which are released annually. In addition to the Index properties, MasterCard’s suite of research properties includes the MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released six monthly, and the MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Ethical Spending Behavior, released annually.</p> <p>Besides these, MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports; the series represents in part its ongoing research and analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 70 Insights reports have been produced since 2004. MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by its Asia/Pacific economist, Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p>The MasterCard Indexes and Insights reports are available at <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/">www.masterintelligence.com</a></p> About MasterCard Worldwide <p>As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere.&nbsp; MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide.&nbsp; In 2009, $2.5 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world.&nbsp; Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 22 billion transactions each year,&nbsp; has the capacity to handle 140 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 140 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability.&nbsp; MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as <i>MasterCard PayPass</i>™ and <i>MasterCard inControl</i>™.&nbsp; MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.&nbsp; </p> Contact<p>Georgette Tan,<br> MasterCard Worldwide,<br> +65 6390 5971, <a target="_blank" href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com"><br> georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a></p> <p>Cindy Choo,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> +65 6825 8035, <br> <a target="_blank" href="mailto:cchoo@webershandwick.com">cchoo@webershandwick.com</a>&nbsp; </p> MASTERCARD WORLDWIDE INDEX OF CONSUMER CONFIDENCE 1H 2011 MARKET FINDINGS <p><b><u>ASIA/PACIFIC MARKETS</u></b></p> <p><b>AUSTRALIA (63.0)</b><br> Australians have become less optimistic about the next six months compared to six months ago (74.1) as well as a year ago (69.5).</p> <p>Consumer sentiments for all indicators – Quality of Life (45.8 vs. 55.8 six months ago), Stock Market (65.4 vs. 82.1), Regular Income (66.4 vs. 77.3), Economy (66.7 vs. 76.9) and Employment (70.7 vs. 78.2) have declined significantly from six months ago.</p> <p><b>CHINA (79.4)</b><br> Consumer in China are slightly less optimistic than they were six months ago (83.0) but significantly more optimistic than the Asia/Pacific region average of 68.0.</p> <p>Consumer sentiments are less positive than they were six months ago towards Quality of Life (88.4 vs. 89.2 six months ago), Stock Market (65.5 vs. 67.9), Regular Income (85.1 vs. 88.0), Economy (86.8 vs. 90.3) and Employment (71.2 vs. 79.8).&nbsp; Although consumers are less optimistic, the Index scores are considerably higher than those recorded in the first half of 2009 during the global economic slowdown.</p> <p><b>HONG KONG (74.7)</b><br> Consumers in Hong Kong have become slightly less optimistic in their outlook for the next six months (74.7 vs. 76.6 six months ago). However, they continue to remain more optimistic than a year ago (60.0).</p> <p>Consumers are more optimistic than they were six months ago about the Regular Income (83.2 vs. 75.0 six months ago), the highest score recorded since 4H 2008. Conversely, the index scores for other indicators have dwindled when compared to six month ago –&nbsp; Quality of Life (57.7 vs. 61.7), Stock Market (74.1 vs. 79.2), Economy (77.9 vs. 83.8) and Employment (80.4 vs. 83.3).</p> <p><b>INDIA (73.0)</b><br> Consumer confidence in India has increased, with consumers becoming more positive in their outlook than six months ago (68.2) and a year ago (68.8). The latest survey result records the country’s highest Index score since the global economic downturn in the last quarter of 2008.</p> <p>Consumers are more optimistic than they were six months ago about the Quality of Life (71.3 vs. 67.3 six months ago), Stock Market (75.1 vs. 70.2), Regular Income (75.4 vs. 74.0), Economy (72.2 vs. 64.5) and Employment (70.8 vs. 65.0).</p> <p><b>INDONESIA (56.1)</b><br> Indonesian consumers have become less optimistic about the next six months compared to six months ago (61.4) and a year ago (67.0).</p> <p>The drop in the Index score is attributed by the less positivity displayed by the consumers in their outlook towards Quality of Life (51.9 vs. 59.7 six months ago), Stock Market (62.7 vs. 68.4), Economy (46.0 vs. 56.6) and Employment (41.3 vs. 49.0). Consumer confidence for Regular Income on the other hand, has increased from 73.5 six months ago to 78.8 for the next six months.&nbsp; Nevertheless, the scores are noticeably higher than those tabulated in 4H 2008 for Employment (41.3 vs. 24.5 4H 2008), Economy (46.0 vs. 22.6), Stock Market (62.7 vs. 37.4) and Quality of Life (51.9 vs. 27.5), except for the slight decrease in Regular Income (78.8 vs. 79.7).</p> <p><b>JAPAN (20.2)</b><br> Consumer confidence in Japan has taken a dip as compared to six months ago (27.8). The country’s index score remains significantly lower than the Asia/Pacific region average Index score (68.0), and is the lowest score recorded in the past one year.</p> <p>Consumer sentiments towards the Stock Market (29.2 vs. 44.1 six months ago), Regular Income (16.3 vs. 17.4), Economy (20.6 vs. 37.0) and Employment (21.8 vs. 29.7) have declined from six months ago. Consumers are slightly more optimistic about the Quality of Life (13.0 vs. 11.0).</p> <p><b>KOREA (55.7)</b><br> Korean consumers have become slightly more optimistic in their outlook compared to six months ago (54.1) but are less positive than a year ago (59.8).</p> <p>Consumer are more optimistic than they were six months ago about the Quality of Life (48.6 vs. 44.9 six months ago), Regular Income (61.3 vs. 59.7), Employment (52.1 vs. 44.3). Consumer sentiment about the Stock Market (62.7 vs. 63.5 six months ago) and Economy (53.8 vs. 58.2) have become less positive than six months ago.</p> <p><b>MALAYSIA (66.2)</b><br> Consumer confidence in Malaysia for the next six months has slightly edged down compared to six months ago (66.2 vs. 67.9 six months ago). Despite the minute decrease, the country’s outlook for the next six months is significantly higher than the Index score recorded for the first half of 2009 (27.8).</p> <p>Consumer are less optimistic than they were six months ago about the Stock Market (66.2 vs 68.6 six months ago), Regular Income (62.9 vs.71.7) and Economy (66.2 vs. 69.6). With regard to the current score for Employment, consumers in Malaysia are marginally positive in their outlook than they were six months ago (65.9 vs. 64.8). Similarly, Malaysians are becoming more optimistic about the Quality of Life for the next six months (70.0) than six months ago (64.7).</p> <p><b>NEW ZEALAND (53.3)</b><br> Consumer confidence in New Zealand continues to drop from one year ago (69.7) and six months ago (65.9). Nonetheless, consumers in New Zealand are found to be more positive than they were in the first half of 2009.</p> <p>Consumers are substantially less optimistic in all five economic indicators than they were six months ago about the Quality of Life (38.8 vs. 48.0 six months ago), Stock Market (53.8 vs. 65.9), Regular Income (66.9 vs. 71.3), Economy (53.1 vs. 70.2) and Employment (53.8 vs. 74.1).</p> <p><b>PHILIPPINES (80.1)</b><br> Consumer confidence in the Philippines has jumped to 80.1 from 59.3 six months ago, the highest score recorded since the global economic crisis in 1997 (42.0, 4H 1997).</p> <p>The surge in the latest Consumer Confidence Index score is also reflected in the optimism reflected in Filipinos’ outlook on their Quality of Life (80.5 vs. 50.2 six months ago), Stock Market (75.0 vs. 50.0), Economy (83.6 vs. 58.0) and Employment (80.0 vs. 53.7). On the contrary, consumer sentiment toward Regular Income for the next six months slide marginally compared to six months ago (81.5 vs. 84.6).</p> <p><b>SINGAPORE (86.1)</b><br> Consumer sentiment in Singapore has become marginally less positive about the next six months than six months ago (86.1 vs. 86.6 six months ago), although respondents still remain strongly optimistic.</p> <p>Perceptions of Singaporeans have become slightly more positive about their Quality of life (77.7 vs. 75.8 six months ago) and Regular Income (86.2 vs. 84.3). Regarding the other three economic indicators, consumers are marginally less optimistic about the next six months than they were six months ago – Stock Market (82.5 vs. 83.2 six months ago), Economy (92.5 vs. 95.5) and Employment (91.5 vs. 94.0).</p> <p><b>TAIWAN (62.5)</b><br> Taiwanese are less optimistic about the next six months compared to six months ago (65.7), but are more optimistic than one year ago (56.5).</p> <p>While consumers perceptions are more optimistic towards the Quality of Life (57.6 vs. 49.2 six months ago) for the next six months, their confidence for Economy (65.3 vs. 73.5), Stock Market (65.4 vs. 69.6), Regular Income (61.9 vs. 64.3) and Employment (62.4 vs. 72.1) become more pessimistic than six months ago.</p> <p><b>THAILAND (57.3)</b><br> Consumer sentiment in Thailand has become more positive than six months ago (50.6), and a year ago (55.3), achieving its most positive score (57.3) in the last four years.</p> <p>Consumers responded with more positivity for the next six months towards their outlook for Quality of Life (48.4 vs. 36.7 six months ago), Stock Market (58.3 vs. 51.8), Economy (64.4 vs. 52.3) and Employment (56.7 vs. 49.5) compared to the last six months. Thai consumers are less optimistic about Regular Income for the next six months than they were six months ago (58.6 vs. 62.7).</p> <p><b>VIETNAM (90.3)</b><br> Although consumers are slightly less optimistic in their outlook for the next six months (90.3) than six months ago (93.7), they remain as the most positive consumers in the region.</p> <p>Consumer confidence in Thailand for Quality of Life (93.8 vs. 95.7 six months ago), Stock Market (81.7 vs. 83.6), Economy (88.4 vs. 96.2) and Employment (91.1 vs. 97.0) have decreased compared to six months ago. Regarding Regular income, Vietnamese consumers are slightly more optimistic the six months ahead than they were six months ago (96.3 vs. 96.0).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b><u>MIDDLE EAST MARKETS</u></b></p> <p><b>EGYPT (47.7)</b><br> Consumers in Egypt are marginally more optimistic about the next six months ahead compared to six months ago (45.5), however less optimistic than they were one year ago (59.5). Their latest consumer confidence Index score is the lowest amongst the six countries in Middle East.</p> <p>Consumers are becoming more positive than they were six months ago about the Regular Income (83.7 vs. 65.3). Despite this, consumers are less optimistic in their outlook towards Quality of Life (38.7 vs. 39.0 six months ago), Stock Market (37.2 vs. 39.8), Economy (39.7 vs. 41.9) and Employment (38.9 vs. 41.5) six months ahead.</p> <p><b>KUWAIT (80.4)</b><br> Kuwaitis are less optimistic in their outlook for the next six months, compared to six months ago (96.9), but they remain more optimistic than they were a year ago (70.9).</p> <p>Consumer sentiments towards the Quality of Life (86.4 vs. 97.3 six months ago), Stock Market (67.8 vs. 94.8), Regular Income (81.9 vs. 98.9), Economy (82.7 vs. 97.5) and Employment (83.2 vs. 96.2) for the next six months have decreased significantly compared to six months ago.</p> <p><b>LEBANON (54.3)</b><br> Consumers sentiment in Lebanon has swung back to positive sentiment (54.3) from 44.6 six months ago, at a level similar to where it was a year ago (55.4).</p> <p>Consumer sentiments for the next six months towards Quality of Life (45.8 vs. 43.6 six months ago), Stock Market (60.6 vs. 45.4), Regular Income (79.2 vs. 49.8) and Employment (53.6 vs. 41.8) have become more positive compared to six months ago, except Economy which has dropped from six months ago (32.1 vs. 42.6).</p> <p><b>QATAR (83.6)</b><br> Consumer confidence in Qatar has increased notably compared to six months ago (65.8), though not as optimistic as they were one year ago (89.2). Despite this, the significant spike in confidence could indicate a rebound in the economy.</p> <p>Consumer confidence for all five indicators for the next six months, Quality of Life (89.6 vs. 57.5 six months ago), Stock Market (60.9 vs. 49.6), Regular Income (86.4 vs. 47.1) and Employment (92.1 vs. 85.5), have all increased significantly compared to six months ago. Consumer sentiment towards the Economy has edged down from six months ago (89.1 vs. 89.3).</p> <p><b>SAUDI ARABIA (95.1)</b><br> Saudi Arabians are becoming more positive in their outlook for the next six months than they were six months ago (85.0), and a year ago (83.2). Further, the overall consumer confidence Index is the highest score the country scores in the last three years as well as the highest score among all the 24 markets surveyed.</p> <p>Consumer perception across all five economic indicators for the next six months has increased significantly compared to six months ago – Quality of Life&nbsp; (97.6 vs. 86.0 six months ago), Stock Market (83.4 vs. 66.7), Regular Income (96.8 vs. 93.3), Economy (98.5 vs. 86.9) and&nbsp; Employment (99.2&nbsp; vs. 92.2).</p> <p><b>UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (73.6)</b><br> Consumers in the United Arab Emirates are less confident about the next six months than they were six months ago (82.4) and a year ago (86.1). Despite the decrease in the Index score, consumers remain more optimistic than they were in the first half of 2009 (29.6).</p> <p>Consumer sentiment is becoming less positive about the next six months towards Quality of Life (77.0 vs. 87.5 six months ago), Regular Income (69.8 vs. 86.8), Economy (76.0 vs. 83.0) and Employment (71.9 vs. 82.4).&nbsp; Regarding the Stock Market, consumers in United Arab Emirates are more confident about the next six months compared to six months ago (73.0 vs. 72.6).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b><u>AFRICAN MARKETS</u></b></p> <p><b>KENYA (87.3)</b><br> Kenyans are more confident about the next six months compared to six months ago (73.5), and a year ago (47.9) recording the highest score of the country since it is included in the survey.</p> <p>Consumer perception for the next six months about the Quality of Life (85.7 vs. 67.0 six months ago), Stock Market (89.5 vs. 73.9), Economy (89.3 vs. 72.6) and Employment (83.7 vs. 65.6) are significantly more positive than six months ago. The Index score for Regular Income for the next six months remains the same as six months ago at 88.5.</p> <p><b>MOROCCO (65.3)</b><br> Moroccans are notably less optimistic about the next six months compared to six months ago (78.2).</p> <p>Consumers in Morocco hold a less positive outlook for the next six months about Quality of Life (64.4 vs. 72.9 six months ago), Stock Market (55.0 vs. 71.9), Regular Income (81.3 vs. 90.9), Economy (64.8 vs. 78.3) and Employment (61.3 vs. 77.2) than six months ago.</p> <p><b>NIGERIA (94.3)</b><br> Consumer confidence in Nigeria posts a steady increase from 83.2 six months ago, and 89.4 a year ago.</p> <p>Consumer sentiment about the five economic indicators six months ahead have become more positive than six months ago – Quality of Life (99.2 vs. 85.0), Stock Market (80.8 vs. 74.4), Regular Income (98.4 vs. 95.6), Economy (97.3 vs. 79.4) and Employment (95.7 vs. 81.7).</p> <p><b>SOUTH AFRICA (54.7)</b><br> South Africans are more pessimistic in their outlook for the next six months compared to six months ago (58.6) and one year ago (59.8).</p> <p>Four out five economic indicators have reflected a less positive perception of the consumers for the next six months than six months ago – Quality of Life (54.7 vs. 55.8 six months ago), Stock Market (49.4 vs. 55.2), Economy (51.8 vs. 60.4) and Employment (48.6 vs. 53.2). Consumer sentiment about the Regular Income six months ahead is slightly more positive than six months ago (69.2 vs. 68.3).</p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2010/consumers-across-asia-pacific-continue-to-remain-cautiously-opti2010-11-30T16:00:00.000Z2010-11-30T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Ranks First For Mobile Payment Readiness: MasterCard Study Joey Phua, Wendy Toh Young and affluent will drive early adoption Study identifies need for more industry partnership<p><b><i>Singapore – May 10 2012</i></b> – MasterCard Worldwide today unveiled the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), an analysis of 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: person to person, mobile web commerce and mobile contactless payments at the point of sale. The MPRI found that while no two markets are the same, consumer readiness is the critical success factor to drive mobile payments adoption around the globe.</p> <p>The MPRI identified Singapore, Canada, the United States, Kenya and South Korea as the most prepared markets. The Index indicates that while it’s early stages for mobile payments adoption, all markets globally – either highly scaled and integrated ones like the United Kingdom or compact and technology-driven ones like Singapore – are making progress towards reaching an inflection point where mobile devices account for an appreciable share of the payments mix.</p> <p>Singapore’s overall score of 45.6 (index average is 33.2) and first place in the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index can be attributed to its strengths in several areas: an efficient regulatory system, and advanced mobile phone infrastructure and financial services industry. However, consumers have not yet caught up with the infrastructure. Their willingness to adopt mobile payments and current frequency of use lags behind some less developed global economies.</p> <p>The Index also found that in some markets such as Australia, young affluent consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 years old are the most willing to engage in mobile payments as they recognize the value of using mobile payments instead of cash or payment cards. In Singapore, this demographic group is more inclined toward m-commerce where they use mobile phones to browse the Internet and make purchases but are less inclined to use their phones for remittance payments or at points-of-sale.</p> <p>In addition, findings of the MPRI reveal that partnerships among the key players in the mobile payments ecosystem are essential to accelerate the commercialization of mobile payments. Cooperation and collaboration among financial institutions, telcos, governments, technology providers and others can foster an environment that enables a market to reach critical mass.</p> <p>Ms Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide said, “In Singapore, the foundation is in place for mobile payments to take off. To drive consumer adoption,&nbsp; the benefits of mobile payments, such as speed, security and convenience, will need to be clearly demonstrated to consumers.”</p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Nine of the 10 markets with the highest consumer scores are in APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa).</li> <li>Of the three mobile payment types, more consumers had engaged in m-commerce in 71 percent of the countries surveyed.</li> <li>In developing economies, consumers are typically drawn to mobile payments for access to the larger economy, both national and global, as well as to a regulated and secure economic infrastructure. Consumers in the developed world are drawn to the convenience of mobile phone payments.</li> </ul> <p>To download an executive summary of the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index, view an Interactive Global Map of the data or study the findings of the 34 countries that make up the Index, please visit <b><a href="http://mobilereadiness.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">http://mobilereadiness.mastercard.com</a>.&nbsp;</b></p> <p></p> Index Methodology<p>Research findings from the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index were compiled by MasterCard Global Insights between October 2011 and February 2012. The Index examined 34 global markets. Each market was ranked on a scale of 1 to 100 with scores derived from an algorithm comprised of over 50 quantitative and qualitative inputs including economic, demographic, telecommunications and payments industry data as well as proprietary consumer research. These inputs were then weighted and combined into six components including Environment, Financial Services, Regulations, Infrastructure, Consumer Readiness and Clusters and Partnerships. The six components were combined, yielding a single readiness score for each country.</p> <p></p> about mastercard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>, </b>join the discussion on the <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contact<p>Joey Phua<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <a href="mailto:JPhua@webershandwick.com"><b>JPhua@webershandwick.com</b></a><br> +65 6825 8010<br> <br> Wendy Toh<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <a href="mailto:wtoh@webershandwick.com"><b>wtoh@webershandwick.com</b></a><br> +65 6825 8038</p> MasterCard Worldwide today unveiled the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), an analysis of 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: person to person, mobile web commerce and mobile contactless payments at the point of sale.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/singapore-ranks-first-for-mobile-payment-readiness2012-05-09T16:00:00.000Z2012-05-09T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Tops Dream Travel Destination for Myanmar Consumers: MasterCard Survey Georgette Tan, Alina MoraisAbout MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Georgette Tan,<br> MasterCard Worldwide,<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a>,<br> +65 6390 5971</p> <p>Alina Morais,<br> Weber Shandwick Worldwide,<br> <a href="mailto:amorais@webershandwick.com">amorais@webershandwick.com</a>,<br> +65 6825 8203</p> Singapore has topped a list of dream destination cities for Myanmar consumers, according to MasterCard Worldwide’s latest survey of Consumer Purchasing Priorities - Travel. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/singapore-tops-dream-travel-destination-for-myanmar-consumers--m2013-03-10T16:00:00.000Z2013-03-10T16:00:00.000ZRejuvenating Japan: Back to the Future Yuwa Hedrick-WongRejuvenating Japan: Back to the Future by Yuwa Hedrick-Wong<p>Introduction:</p> <p>In the midst of the ongoing global economic turmoil involving the world's richest economies, the most dynamic emerging markets, and a revolving cast of countries in crisis, Japan has featured&nbsp; in neither the causes of the crisis, nor its solutions. This is indicative of the degree to which Japan has been sidelined in the global economy, two decades after the burst of the bubble economy.</p> <p>In spite of an initial wave of enthusiasm and high hopes when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) gained power three years ago, unseating the long ruling Liberal Democratic Party of&nbsp; Japan (LDP), the outlook for economic and political reform today has certainly dimmed. Once again, huge&nbsp; spending increases are being directed at farmers and households, with the share of tax revenue to total spending in this fiscal year expected to slip below 50%.&nbsp; This is something that&nbsp; has never been seen before in Japan's entire post-war history. The fact is that all political parties,to varying degrees&nbsp; are&nbsp; dependent on&nbsp; an&nbsp; aging constituency. This effectively neuters their urge to call for radical change, even when they are tempted to do so.</p> <p>Throughout Japanese history, seismic disasters have seemed to mark the dramatic end of an era. For example, shortly after Commodore Matthew Perry's conclusion of a trade&nbsp; treaty in 1854&nbsp; to open up Japan to foreign trade,&nbsp; (signed by the Japanese literally under&nbsp; the&nbsp; guns&nbsp; of American warships) came the Ansei Great Earthquakes of 1854&nbsp; and&nbsp; 1855.&nbsp; The&nbsp; advent&nbsp; of&nbsp; Japan's&nbsp; lost decades coincided with the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. Today, speculations are rife of what momentous changes the March 2011 triple disasters may bring.</p> <p>This Insights report argues that in spite of its turbulent political leadership and change-resistant government, there is a viable and sustainable path to social and economic rejuvenation in Japan. This process of rejuvenation, however, will not come from radical reforms as advocated&nbsp; by many, the March 2011&nbsp; earthquake&nbsp; and tsunami anotwithstanding. Instead, the way forward to a more sustained, stable, and broad-based&nbsp; economic rejuvenation in Japan is ironically in its past. Recasting Japan's traditional strength in the context of a high tech future is one of the keys to unlocking the potential of the domestic consumer market, boosting business activities and sustaining employment at the grassroots level. In the aftermath of the March 2011 triple disasters, the behavior of ordinary Japanese people highlighted some of Japan's most abiding strengths that provide the most promising grounds for charting a course for future rejuvenation. In their behavior we could see a pattern&nbsp; of self-reliance, resolve, and creativity at the grassroots level that suggest a way forward.</p> <p>The patience, courtesy, and the fortitude of the Japanese who lost homes and loved ones in the earthquakes&nbsp; and tsunami is truly impressive. Their ability to maintain social order even as the whole world seemed&nbsp; to crumble about&nbsp; them is nothing short&nbsp; of inspirational; and&nbsp; the&nbsp; rest of Japan also seems to have gained a newfound sense of unity and solidarity. In the aftermath&nbsp; of disasters in many other countries military forces are mobilized because&nbsp; of the&nbsp; need&nbsp; to prevent looting and other opportunistic crimes. On the contrary, in Japan, soldiers were mobilized for rescue and relief operations, not to patrol the streets and impose curfews.</p> <p>The stories, appeared&nbsp; one by one, but gradually coalesced into a general pattern showing how the people coped with the devastating aftermath of the disasters. In many affected towns in the days immediately after the earthquake, people queued patiently to buy limited supplies of essentials, knowing that the supplies could not possibly meet everyone's needs. Yet no one tried to jump the queue or hoard the supplies. Many store owners sold goods to customers who had lost everything, accepting their IOUs on scraps of paper as payment.&nbsp; Operators in stores where the power supply had been cut off moved their perishable goods that required refrigeration to other stores where the power supply was uninterrupted for safekeeping, even though&nbsp; some of these stores are technically competitors. This pattern of spontaneous mutual assistance and generosity speaks volumes about&nbsp; the resilience and social trust at the community level.</p> <p>This powerful sense of mutual assistance and social trust has also led to many instances of creative solutions and business innovations in addressing the needs of the community, a kind of self-reliant 'can do'&nbsp; spirit that&nbsp; is completely at odds with the stereotypes of conformity, inertia, and herd behavior. In many small rural communities in affected prefectures,&nbsp; suppliers that delivered food and other necessities to the elderly in their homes (often with only a single elderly woman living alone), abandoned their regular delivery schedules, to find ways to stay in contact with these&nbsp; elderly households on a daily basis, sending them supplies of fresh food and other essentials as soon&nbsp; as they&nbsp; were&nbsp; available. Rural households in remote areas or in places isolated by destruction of transport&nbsp; links; self-organized into relay networks that sent food orders to the nearest supermarket on a daily basis for delivery. Delivery workers improvised to reach more remote households by motorbikes or even bicycles when&nbsp; road&nbsp; access was blocked. Many delivery workers&nbsp; doubled up&nbsp; to&nbsp; operate&nbsp; as healthcare providers when they visit elderly households, quickly learning enough for them to collect basic information on their customers' health situation which they in turn reported to the nearest hospitals&nbsp; or clinics.&nbsp; No one&nbsp; from the&nbsp; government ordered these improvisations. These are spontaneous acts by businesses and workers in seeking solutions to their customers? problems in order to care for them. These are spontaneous innovations at the grassroots.</p> <p>We believe that the rejuvenation of the Japanese economy could be made successful by tapping into this deep source of resilience and traditional strength embedded&nbsp; in local communities. Such an approach differs and contrasts sharply with the standard&nbsp; diagnoses of Japan's stagnation. It is an alternative narrative that suggests a very different future for Japan. However, to understand&nbsp; why such an alternative approach is&nbsp; necessary, we&nbsp; need&nbsp; to&nbsp; make&nbsp; clear why the remedies offered by the standard diagnoses won't work.</p> Problems with the Standard Diagnoses<p>Since the&nbsp; burst&nbsp; of Japan's bubble&nbsp; economy,&nbsp; a growth industry has sprung up that addresses the causes of and remedies for Japan's economic stagnation. While there are competing interpretations of the causes of Japan's stagnation, there is surprisingly little disagreement&nbsp; on what&nbsp; has to be done to turn Japan around. It is clear that Japan has&nbsp; a&nbsp; leadership&nbsp; challenge&nbsp; today.&nbsp; In order&nbsp; to change, Japan needs new and bold leadership, infusing it with younger leaders with bright ideas who are ready to challenge the status quo. Japan's domestic economy has been made feeble as a result of too much protection from competition, thus competitive pressure has to be ratched up sufficiently to get the gale of creative destruction blowing. The Japanese corporate sector is coddled by the government--an unhealthy link that has to be severed. Japan's aging population means that Japanese families will have to have more children. The shrinking workforce on the other hand will have to be supplemented with more immigrants. The rigid education system that emphasizes rote learning has to be reformed to empower students who can think independently and creatively. Japan's public sector debts are also too high, and may soon reach the threshold where further government borrowing would become problematic--the government must curb spending and start paying down its debts. If Japan can implement even parts of this assortment of remedies, it would be making headway in terms of economic growth,</p> <p>These remedies are not wrong. In fact, from a purely diagnostic point of view, they are all spot on. They are marred by just one small detail, no one has been able to come up with the idea of how to implement them.&nbsp; Take for example the problem of leadership shortfall. In the next few years, the first wave of baby boomers, born in a burst of procreative enthusiasm between&nbsp; 1947 and 1952, will hit sixty-five. Leaders of the two key political parties, the ruling DPJ and opposition LDP, are elected and supported&nbsp; by this boomer generation, who arrived at the peak of their careers just as Japan's economic bubble burst in the early 1990s. This boomer generation is therefore a traumatized one, worn down by two decades of rising insecurity and anxiety. Their political leaders merely reflect their inward-looking orientation and risk-averse approach&nbsp; to life. There may well be younger aspiring leaders waiting in the wing who think differently and are prepared&nbsp; to introduce radical reforms, but with Japan's aging population, they are probably not going to get the necessary electoral support to take over Japan's political leadership.&nbsp;</p> <p>A more open&nbsp; immigration policy could certainly mitigate Japan's labor shortage. But obstacles to implementing such a policy are likely to be insurmountable. The first is language barrier. Very few of the prospective immigrants are fluent in Japanese, a language not widely taught&nbsp; outside of Japan. Lacking fluency in Japanese, immigrants are unlikely to perform well in Japanese society, regardless how&nbsp; skilled and&nbsp; well educated&nbsp; they may be. Then the Japanese society itself is not well positioned to deal with strangers, especially when&nbsp; they are&nbsp; there&nbsp; to&nbsp; work and&nbsp; live among them; a situation not to be confused with foreigners visiting Japan for short duration, who are invariably treated with gracious courtesy and hospitality. Elderly Japanese, particularly in rural areas and small town Japan, find it even harder to assimilate with foreigners. So an open immigration policy is simply a non-starter for Japan.</p> <p>Recognizing Japan's continued dependency on exports to drive economic growth, which shackles Japan to overseas demand,&nbsp; many policy analysts and&nbsp; economists have long advocated wholesale deregulation&nbsp; and liberalization of the domestic economy. They think promoting competition to streamline Japan's notoriously cumbersome and rigid supply chains would also be beneficial. Making the domestic economy more competitive would raise productivity, which would in turn support higher incomes for workers in the domestic sector. This accounts for more than 80% of total employment. Again, a sound remedy for a serious problem that is a primary contributor to Japan's stagnation. But implementing such a policy means pitting domestic businesses against one another in head-to-head competition, and driving out those that are less inefficient. This means asking Japanese domestic businesses, (most of them are small and medium-size enterprises and often family-owned) to possibly ditch their longtime suppliers with whom they may have dealt with for generations, or to undercut businesses owned by people in their own communities, and perhaps even by their neighbors. Thus, such a policy would amount to upending Japan's social order, unraveling long established social and communal bonds in Japanese lives which are the very fabric that holds them together.&nbsp; For most Japanese, the social costs of such a policy are simply too high, regardless of its obvious economic benefits.</p> <p>The bottom line is that while the standard diagnoses of Japan's economic ills are not wrong, they are just impractical given Japan's social, cultural, and&nbsp; demographic realities. Last but&nbsp; not least, it has often been pointed out Japan is not good at dealing with gradual, long-term challenges, especially when the origin of the problems are home grown. The analogy of boiling a frog in a pot of water with the temperature being raised slowly, with the result that the frog stays in the pot barely aware of the rising temperature only to die later, has frequently been used to describe the apparent inertia that has gripped Japan. As severe a shock the March 2011 triple disasters has been,&nbsp; many observers do not&nbsp; think it was big enough&nbsp; to&nbsp; move Japan from its inertia. Thus, there is the fear that in Japan the collective choice is not to make a choice, but to opt for the devil that it thinks it knows--gradual decline instead of radical changes that come with great uncertainty and no guarantee&nbsp; of success.</p> <p></p> Misleading Diagnoses<p>Compounding the difficulty of implementing the various remedies based&nbsp; on&nbsp; the&nbsp; standard&nbsp; diagnoses are misleading diagnoses. Take for example the fact that Japan's past is repeatedly referred to as the&nbsp; 'lost decades.'&nbsp; This implies that &nbsp;Japan wasted the decades after the burst of the bubble economy when it lost its way, the way in which it boomed&nbsp; in the 1980s. This characterization obscures a reality that is however, much more complex and nuanced.</p> <p>The fact of the matter is that in the late 1980s Japan had become seriously inflated, in reputation and self-perception as much as in asset values. Japanese popular books and the media often asserted Japan would displace the United States as the world's leading economy by the turn of the century, and it became fashionable for Japanese bureaucrats&nbsp; and&nbsp; business leaders to crow that Japan had nothing left to learn from the West. Reinforcing such views are serious works by leading scholars, such as Ezra Vogel's well known and best selling Japan as Number One, Lessons for America.</p> <p>In retrospect, it was a classic case of hubris before nemesis and by the time the bubble economy burst in the early 1990s, the moment&nbsp; of hubris proved to be relatively short-lived. The system that enabled Japan to achieve what some outside observers&nbsp; saw as&nbsp; superior&nbsp; performance actually worked for only a brief period in the 1980s, which also sowed the seeds of its demise. With hindsight, the kind of bureaucratic capitalism practiced in Japan at that time, often referred to as 'Japan Inc.,' and much admired by its cheerleaders as superior to the classical Anglo-Saxon market capitalism, is very much part and parcel of the bubble economy itself. It is not an exaggeration to say that&nbsp; without Japan Inc., there&nbsp; would have been no bubble economy, hence no stagnation. By the late 1980s, this system had led to egregious misallocation of capital on a gigantic scale, rendering its collapse all but inevitable.</p> <p>However, the &quot;lost decades&quot; characterization has&nbsp; the&nbsp; unfortunate&nbsp; connotation&nbsp; that&nbsp;&nbsp; Japan needs to find its way back to the boom years of the 1980s. The solution to stagnation is therefore to recreate and reapply the formula that seemed to&nbsp; have worked&nbsp; so well before.&nbsp; In the&nbsp; 1980s, there was ample financing by the banks to the corporate sector, so in the 1990s politicians working with the banks sought to provide even more liquidity to businesses. But there was a critical difference&nbsp; between&nbsp;&nbsp; the&nbsp; corporate&nbsp; sector&nbsp; in&nbsp; the1980s and the 1990s; in the 1980s the Japanese corporate&nbsp; sector was expanding and investing, whereas in the 1990s the Japanese corporate sector was heavily in debt, and was either shrinking, relocating overseas in order to survive global competition in their exports, or both. So while cheap loans in the&nbsp; 1980s&nbsp; led to job creation and&nbsp; increases in household income, cheap loans on a much bigger scale in the&nbsp; 1990s&nbsp; merely led to bankrupt&nbsp; companies being kept on life support. This had disastrous consequences for the banking sector and the fiscal position of the government.</p> <p>Apart from the misguided attempt&nbsp; to &quot;re-create&quot; the Japan of the 1980s, there is yet another aspect of the misdiagnosis that is no less damaging. This has to do with how certain glib and superficial generalizations of Japan that have over time become self-evident truths. Journalists and pundits are forever quoting the Japanese aphorism: &quot;the nail that sticks up will be hammered down,&quot; with the implication that Japan is irrevocably shackled by herd behavior. The Japanese media is quick to hurl charges against intransigent bureaucrats and change-resistant institutions. Its business culture is believed to be hidebound and governed&nbsp; by groupthink. A society itself, that prizes harmony and homogeneity above all else, is believed to lack the DNA for change. Repeated characterization of the Japanese society and its institutions in such ways quickly leads to the conclusion that Japan is neither willing nor capable of change&nbsp; regardless of what&nbsp; happens.&nbsp; These are grossly superficial stereotypes. They are no more accurate&nbsp; for Japan than&nbsp; for other&nbsp; countries. In fact, similar stereotypes are found in all societies; take for instance popular sayings in English like &quot;don't stick your neck out,&quot; and &quot;don't rock the boat.&quot;&nbsp; Nevertheless, they are repeated&nbsp; so often in Japan that the perceptions of a conservative, change-resistant Japanese culture and its change-resistant society are by now deeply entrenched. This in turn leads to a sense of futility and hopelessness. In order to move forward to rejuvenate its economy and society, Japan needs to find the middle path&nbsp; between&nbsp; the two extremes of impracticality of radical reforms and fatalistic inertia.</p> <p></p> Back to the Future: The New Rise of Old Japan<p>We believe Japan can change,&nbsp; and the time for change is now. The stability of Japan's public finance,&nbsp; in spite of the inexorably rising government debts, has been due to the deep resource provided by household savings. Japan's total public sector debt&nbsp; now approaches&nbsp; 200%&nbsp; of GDP; but household savings are still higher, hence the lack of panic. However that&nbsp; bedrock of private savings is becoming more shaky, being gradually undermined&nbsp; by endless government&nbsp; borrowing.Depending on assumptions on tax revenues and fiscal outlays, it is projected that in as short a time as five years, but&nbsp; no more than&nbsp; ten&nbsp; years, the amount of Japanese government debt could exceed the total net assets of Japanese households. At that point, government debt will no longer be backed up by taxpayers' assets, and confidence in the Japan Government Bond market would decline dramatically.</p> <p>Japan's aging population will add to the stress on government's fiscal position. Japan's elderly,who have the longest lifespans in the world, will draw down their savings to fund their retirement, as a consequence the household savings rate will decrease in the coming years. This will make it more difficult for the domestic private sector to finance the budget&nbsp; deficit of the government&nbsp; in the coming decade. Japan's aging population will in turn create new demands&nbsp; for more fiscal expenditures in areas of pension and healthcare, compounding the government's fiscal difficulties.</p> <p>The most urgent reason that Japan must change now, however, is the young. Persistently slow economic growth has produced millions of young Japanese who feel left out, unwanted, and alienated. Although overall unemployment rate remains low in Japan, youth unemployment has been rising. In recent years, it is estimated that 10%&nbsp; of the 15-to 24-year-olds and 6%&nbsp; of the 25-to 34-year olds are unemployed, much higher than the national average. Furthermore, these unemployment rates&nbsp; do not&nbsp; take&nbsp; account&nbsp; of the many young women dropping out of the workforce or the huge number of young workers who are employed as part-time workers, with lower and less stable incomes. In 2009,&nbsp; for instance, part-time workers&nbsp; accounted&nbsp; for 34%&nbsp; of&nbsp; the labor force, up from 20% in 1990. So the burden of economic stagnation has been disproportionately heavy for the young people of Japan, a situation that bodes ill for the long term if allowed to continue.</p> <p>So the water temperature in the pot may well be rising faster than&nbsp; before,&nbsp; and the&nbsp; frog may begin to feel the heat, and be stirred to try to do something to get out of the pot. The question is what to do and how to do it. As argued earlier, instead of coming up with solutions that are at odds with Japan's traditional values, the way forward is for Japan to tap into some of the abiding strengths embedded in its traditions and local community, and to make them serve the cause of Japan's rejuvenation.</p> <p>Ordinary Japanese are entirely capable to act decisively and creatively in responding to challenges to their communities, precisely because of their deep sense of communal solidarity and trust. As described earlier, within their communal context, the rank and file of Japanese people has the wherewithal for self-directed spontaneous actions. This 'can&nbsp; do'&nbsp; spirit is entirely consistent with their traditional strengths embedded in communal solidarity, trust, and mutual assistance. It is therefore a powerful platform upon which efforts to rejuvenate the Japanese economy and its society must be based.</p> <p>From a business perspective, small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are in the best position to leverage this source of strength by refocusing energies and&nbsp; deepening relationships with local communities. It has long been observed that Japanese consumers value quality and simplicity of services, more&nbsp; than&nbsp; consumers&nbsp; elsewhere. SMEs, in getting close and personal with local communities, can provide exactly such services based on deeper understanding of their customers.&nbsp; With a strong community focus, SMEs themselves can in turn tap into another&nbsp; one of Japan's traditional strengths&nbsp; to create and innovate in serving local communities--their ability to excel in process. The Japanese are masters of continuous improvement, and no one executes like them. They embody focus, discipline, relentless effort, and uncompromising quality control. To the extent that SMEs can embed themselves in local communities, a synergistic relationship can evolve: local communities are being better served, and their demand in turn stimulates SMEs to improve and adapt to the needs of local communities through relentless process innovations.</p> <p>Japan has a long cultural history of devotion to mastery in whatever they do. This single-minded focus on excellence transpires through in all sorts of products and endeavors; ranging from crafts to theater to food to factories. Even an ordinary bowl of noodles displays their attention to detail. There is a strong sense of pride in both doing something well and doing something uniquely different to distinguish their local community. Consumers in turn value such excellence in products and services. Businesses, SMEs especially, when strongly connected to their customers in local communities, can exploit this appreciation of, and devotion to, mastery to excel. When this happens,&nbsp; there is then business rejuvenation at the grassroots level.</p> <p>This is not a pipe dream. It has already happened in the luxury goods sector. Many industry analysts have noticed that&nbsp; Japanese consumers have become more frugal and are spending less on foreign designer brands and premium products, after two decades of stagnation. The reality is far more nuanced.&nbsp; Many former luxury goods consumers--the ones who transformed Japan in the early 1990s into the world's second-largest luxury goods&nbsp; market,&nbsp; behind only the&nbsp; United States--have already&nbsp; migrated&nbsp; to a new consumption space. They have rediscovered the skills and traditions of Japan's best craftsmen&nbsp; and a new&nbsp; generation of homegrown&nbsp; designers and producers. They are launching handmade&nbsp; brands that&nbsp; employ ancient manufacturing techniques and traditional materials. This has in turn led to the revitalization of many small and highly specialized craft workshops.</p> <p>This is a phenomenon of return to authenticity. This almost obsessive search for the lesser-known, and often hard-to-get,&nbsp; yet exquisitely crafted local product&nbsp; has become&nbsp; a new&nbsp; trend&nbsp; in Japanese spending patterns. One direct consequence is that it is revitalizing the fashion scene in Japan, with home grown designers, often utilizing local materials and rediscovering traditional methods, taking center stage. These products and services are typically no less costly than foreign designer brands. It has the potential of bolstering a whole new generation of entrepreneurs, designers, craftsmen, and even chefs, all operating as SMEs, to turbocharge Japan's creative industries. This is business innovation based on deep traditions.</p> <p>Counter-intuitively, this process of business rejuvenation by leveraging traditional values and strengths can be even stronger if SMEs embrace the&nbsp; internet.&nbsp; Recent&nbsp; research&nbsp; has&nbsp; shown&nbsp; that e-commerce&nbsp; has immense growth&nbsp; potential in Japan.3&nbsp; The 'Internet-GDP,' defined as the industry's direct contribution to GDP through consumption, investment, government purchases, and trade via online activities, and 'Indirect internet consumption,' defined as purchases researched online prior to buying them physically, is currently estimated&nbsp; at 7.7%&nbsp; of GDP, or 41.6 trillion&nbsp; yen (US$547 billion). It has been expanding at around 8% a year in the past five years, outperforming all other industries which averaged only 5% growth per year.</p> <p>As impressive as these&nbsp; figures are,&nbsp; Japan's highly developed internet infrastructure is grossly underutilized by SMEs. Virtually every single household has an internet account,&nbsp; and survey data have consistently shown that elderly Japanese, both urban and rural, are no less avid internet users than the young. But businesses are still very slow to exploit the new opportunities offered, especially the SMEs. For instance, at present, it is estimated that only one in four SMEs hosts its own website. Websites can help give a face to small businesses, especially those in rural areas and in small communities, and open new sales channels cost-effectively. An online presence can deepen SME's connections with their customers, allowing local customers, especially the elderly, to get in touch instantly and as frequently as they wish, thereby further strengthening their sense of solidarity with the local community. For some of the SMEs with the right products and capacity, building an online presence could also lead to new export opportunities.</p> <p>Available data provides a glimpse of a tantalizing potential. For example, in prefectures where 40%&nbsp; of SMEs have&nbsp; developed their own web sites, their annual sales are estimated to be 20-30% higher than SMEs in prefectures where less than 20% have their own web sites. SMEs with web sites tend to have more employees and pay them more. Thus&nbsp; the e-commerce potential&nbsp; in Japan provides a contemporary context for recasting traditional strength&nbsp; with new technology in business rejuvenation. Combining the old with the new in this fashion could prove to be a practical and sustainable way forward--back to the future.</p> <p>This back to the future strategy, fusing the traditional with the latest communications technology, is not confined to SMEs in rural and small town Japan. It can be applied just as effectively in large cities, including Tokyo. In urban Japan, most neighborhoods are effectively a local community. With appropriate modifications, SMEs offering local community-focused products and services can thrive. A powerful illustration of this trend is perhaps the 7-Eleven stores, which in Japan have evolved into something completely different from their&nbsp; foreign&nbsp; counterparts.&nbsp; In&nbsp; urban&nbsp; Japan, 7-Eleven stores function as the local neighborhood's kitchen, post office, courier, ATM, in addition to being a convenience store. They are more like a neighborhood concierge.</p> <p>Tokyo, by virtue of its size, complexity and cosmopolitan orientation, provides unique opportunities that aren't available elsewhere in Japan. It is arguably easier to have selective immigration in Tokyo, targeting highly-skilled foreign professionals for well-paid positions, which are accepted with minimal social friction. Some recent trends may well be a harbinger of things to come, leading to a different kind of future for Tokyo, if not for all of urban Japan. Today, increasing numbers of foreigners dominate the&nbsp; top&nbsp; ranks of sumo wrestling, which is&nbsp; the&nbsp; most&nbsp; traditional of all Japanese sports, considered at one time to be a sacred combat with divine origin. The increasing numbers of swaggering Mongolian and European sumo grand champions have had no difficulty in being accepted in Tokyo. Less exotic is the growing presence of foreign staff in the service sector (mostly Chinese, Korean and Southeast Asian)--a novelty&nbsp; some two decades ago--is now so commonplace in Japan's large cities that people barely notice it. In urban Japan, then, there is the possibility for a moderate&nbsp; influx of foreign talent to inject new vigor to its pool of human resource, generating new&nbsp; energy, fresh ideas, and&nbsp; more risk-taking appetite.</p> <p>The best model for Tokyo is London. Once the imperial capital of an insular island nation, it is now one of the most dynamic and creative capitals of the world. The rapid internationalization of London was not the result of the government and the British people suddenly deciding to open up their culture and society to foreigners. London merely offers more opportunities and freedom for talented people from other&nbsp; countries to follow their own interests and passions, and build their dreams there.&nbsp; It is much easier for enterprising and gifted young people to start a business, sell art, open a studio, or launch creative enterprises in London than it is in other, more bureaucratic, more tightly-regulated cities in Europe. To be realistic, Tokyo is unlikely to become the London of Asia. However, even a very partial opening of Tokyo to an influx of foreign talent with new skills and ideas could make a huge difference.</p> <p>The rejuvenation of Japan, based on a back to the future strategy, could therefore ride on a two-tiered transformation: Tokyo and rest of Japan. In both cases, traditional values and practices are to be honored&nbsp; and leveraged, not&nbsp; discarded. It is worth noting that in the Meiji Restoration, the so called 'westernizers' of Japanese society were in fact no less nationalistic and traditional than the 'traditionalists' who opposed changes modeled on the West. The 'westernizers' believed that Japan's traditions can adapt&nbsp; to changing conditions without losing their core value, whereas the 'traditionalists' refused any modifications. History proved that the 'westernizers' were right. Once&nbsp; again, in a&nbsp; new&nbsp; transformation, a &nbsp;new Japan can thrive in today's economic and business environment by tapping into its traditional values and strong communal bonds. At the end of the day, all successful economies are built on thrift, hard work, and individual initiative. Japan's traditions and values can be made to support and nurture these essential elements for success.</p> <p>1. Japan has very little exposure to foreign debts.&nbsp; It is estimated that only some 7% of total public sector debts in Japan are held by foreigners,&nbsp; which is the fundamental difference between Japan and the Euro Zone crisis countries.</p> <p>2. The potential&nbsp; impact of such business rejuvenation is huge:&nbsp; some 99.7% of businesses are SMBs, employing around&nbsp; 70%&nbsp; of company employees.</p> <p>3. Value of the Japanese&nbsp; Internet Economy. 2011. Joint report by Google Japan and the Nomura Research Institute.</p> <p></p> About the Author<p>Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Ph.D.</p> <p>Yuwa Hedrick-Wong is currently HSBC Visiting Professor of International Business at the University of British Columbia, Canada.</p> <p>Yuwa is an economist and business strategist with 25 years of experience gained in over thirty countries. He is a Canadian who grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and spent the last 20 years working in Europe, Sub-Sahara Africa, the Indian Sub-continent, and Asia/ Pacific. He has served as strategy advisor to over thirty leading multinational companies in the Asia/Pacific region.</p> <p>In 2010, Yuwa was appointed as Global Economic Advisor to MasterCard Worldwide. Prior to this role, he was Economic Advisor to MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, a position he held since 2001. His other appointments are: Advisor at Southern Capital Group, a private equity fund (since 2007); member of the Investment Council of ICICI, India's largest private bank (since 2008); and Adjunct Professor at the School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai, China (since 2006).</p> <p>Yuwa is a frequent speaker at international conferences and a regular commentator&nbsp; in the broadcast and print media on economic, policy and business issues. He is a published author&nbsp; on consumer markets, economic development, trade, and international relations. He was voted 'Communicator of the Year' in Asia in 2006 by the Asia/Pacific Association of Public Relations Professionals. He wrote a regular column in Forbes Asia called 'Asian Angles' in 2005 and 2006.and guest lecturer at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago from 2004-06. As a student&nbsp; of philosophy, political science, and economics, Yuwa studied at Trent University and pursued post-graduate training at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in Canada, where he received his Ph.D. He also received training, at the post-doctoral level, in health economics, energy and environmental economics, and scenario forecast and planning.</p> <p>He lives with his wife and two cats on Salt Spring Island, off the west coast of Canada, and is an eager apprentice in the fine art of gardening.</p> <p></p> In the midst of the ongoing global economic turmoil involving the world's richest economies, the most dynamic emerging markets, and a revolving cast of countries in crisis, Japan has featured in neither the causes of the crisis, nor its solutions. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2012/rejuvenating-japan-back-to-the-future2011-12-31T16:00:00.000Z2011-12-31T16:00:00.000ZTwo in Three Consumers in Thailand Looking to Shop Online: MasterCard Survey Elizabeth Wongwasin, Eakkapop Phanturat Consumers in Thailand are Most Likely to Shop Via Mobile Internet <p><b><i>Bangkok, 1 February 2011:</i></b> The latest survey on online shopping habits by MasterCard Worldwide revealed that 67% of Thai respondents access the internet for online shopping, slightly higher than the average across the 15 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> surveyed (61%). The findings also revealed that women and consumers aged between 25 - 34 years old are more likely to shop online than their counterparts. Thai consumers topped the survey for mobile shopping with 34% of respondents purchasing items through their mobile phones during the past three months and 30% of the respondents looking to do so in the next six months.</p> <p>This year MasterCard has released its first Index on Online Shopping. The index serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online. The survey was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010 and covered 8,500 respondents across 15 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the UAE. <i>The survey and the accompanying Insights Report do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>“Online shopping, especially making purchases via mobile phones have become significantly more popular in Thailand. This shift in consumer behavior indicates that shoppers in Thailand have become more IT savvy and diversified, not only in what they buy, but how and where they make their purchases. It is also encouraging to see Thai consumers having more positive attitudes towards online shopping – with 92% of the respondents feeling that payment facilities are more secured,&quot; said Eileen Wee, vice president and senior country manager, Thailand, MasterCard Worldwide. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>The top five items purchased online are airline tickets (33%), ladies clothing and accessories (32%), CDs/DVDs/VCDs (29%), hotel accommodation (27%) and cosmetics (25%). The top five mobile shopping items are health and fitness products (24%), ready to eat / home delivery meals (22%), movie/concert tickets (20%), phone application/software (19%) and cosmetics (17%)</p> <p>It has been another big year for Thailand’s e-commerce industry, with increased availability of high speed internet connections. The increase in online shopping was driven by key factors including, site offers secure payment facility (92%), convenient payment methods (89%), price/value of the items (86%), good exchange or return policy (85%), speed of transaction (85%) and website being user-friendly (84%).</p> <p>Among APMEA markets, Korea scored the highest accessing rate for online shopping (85%) followed by China (84%), Japan (75%, India (67%) and Thailand (67%). For mobile shopping during the past three months, consumers in Thailand are most likely to shop via mobile Internet (34%) followed by Indonesia (29%), India (28%), China (23%) and South Korea (19%).</p> <p>Amongst the total respondents, 500 consumers surveyed were Thais between the ages of 18 and 64 years with personal bank accounts and who accessed the internet at least once a week.</p> <p>Other highlights for Thailand:</p> <ul> <li>67% of the Thai respondents tend to browse online but would only purchase online occasionally, 22% tend to browse and then purchase online, 8% tend to browse online but would only make the purchase through offline channels and 3% tend to browse and purchase through offline channels only.</li> <li>Top factors that trigger impulse online shopping included low price/substantial discount on pries compared to offline channels (67%), advertisements and promotions (56%), unique products only available online (52%), items available online faster than in any of the stores in their cities (38%) and just felt like buying in general when browsing online (29%)</li> <li>Top five items that trigger impulse shopping are CDs/DVDs/VCDs (40%), Airline tickets (39%), personal care and beauty (36%), hotel accommodation (35%) and cosmetics (33%)</li> <li>Top five most visited category websites include music download e.g. iTunes (51%), cinemas (50%), retailers for clothing and accessories (45%), books/CDs/DVDs (44%) and restaurants/home delivery of meals (38%) &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>The markets surveyed include Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UAE.</i></p> <p><b>NOTE TO EDITORS: </b><i>More information and previously released MasterCard survey results can be found at <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Accessing the Internet for Online Shopping<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Market</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2010 </b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2009</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2008</b></th> </tr><tr><td>South Korea</td> <td>85%</td> <td>87%</td> <td>80%</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>84%</td> <td>80%</td> <td>82%</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>75%</td> <td>74%</td> <td>84%</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>67%</td> <td>72%</td> <td>54%</td> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>67%</td> <td>63%</td> <td>43%</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>66%</td> <td>66%</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>64%</td> <td>56%</td> <td>54%</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>59%</td> <td>63%</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>58%</td> <td>63%</td> <td>66%</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>55%</td> <td>33%</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>South Africa</td> <td>51%</td> <td>42%</td> <td>50%</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>49%</td> <td>47%</td> <td>45%</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>44%</td> <td>-</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>U.A.E.</td> <td>42%</td> <td>29%</td> <td>34%</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>27%</td> <td>30%</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>Total</td> <td>61%</td> <td>60%</td> <td>59%</td> </tr></tbody></table> State of Mobile Shopping<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Market</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Last 3 months</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Next 6 months</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>34%</td> <td>30%</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>29%</td> <td>16%</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>28%</td> <td>32%</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>23%</td> <td>33%</td> </tr><tr><td>South Korea</td> <td>19%</td> <td>25%</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>16%</td> <td>19%</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>15%</td> <td>16%</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>15%</td> <td>22%</td> </tr><tr><td>U.A.E.</td> <td>12%</td> <td>25%</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>12%</td> <td>20%</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>11%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr><tr><td>South Africa</td> <td>11%</td> <td>13%</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>7%</td> <td>20%</td> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>6%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>5%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr></tbody></table> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> MasterCard’s Online Shopping Survey is an annual survey which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online.The survey was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010 and reached 8,500 consumers from 15 markets across APMEA.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/two-in-three-consumers-in-thailand-looking-to-shop-online2011-01-31T16:00:00.000Z2011-01-31T16:00:00.000ZBangkok Ranks 1st among Asia/Pacific Cities in MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index Krittiya Nontanakorn, Nirachcha RuenroengMasterCard Index Reveals 12.2 Million Visitors with Cross-Border Spending of US$19.3 Billion in Bangkok <p><i>TWEET: http://bit.ly/KaNZi0 #MasterCardAP #DestinationCities</i></p> <p><b><i>Singapore, 18 June 2012: </i></b>According to the <a href="http://masterintelligence-stage-web.xm-apac.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2012/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index.html"><b>MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index</b></a> released today, Asia/Pacific cities continued their ascendance as global destinations in 2012, with nearly half of the world’s top 20 cities by visitor arrivals and expenditure heralding from the region. Bangkok will welcome more than 12.2 million visitors in 2012, with visitor cross-border spending of US$19.3 billion which represents a growth rate of 16.6%.</p> <p>This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2012. <i>This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.</i></p> <p>The Index projects sustained growth among emerging market cities with the top ten Asia/Pacific destinations expecting a 9.5% growth in visitor arrivals for 2012 and a 15.3% surge in cross-border spending. In the Index’s top ten global cities, Bangkok ranks 3<sup>rd</sup> place, with a 6.5% growth in visitor arrivals for 2012 and a 16.6% growth in cross border spending, followed by Singapore<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> (4<sup>th</sup>), Hong Kong (6<sup>th</sup>) and Kuala Lumpur (10<sup>th</sup>). Bangkok is the number one destination city in Asia/Pacific, both in terms of number of visitor arrivals and cross-border spending, reflecting its strong and abiding appeal to tourists from the rest of the world. To view the Index as an interactive map, please click <b><a href="http://cities.masterintelligence.com/">here</a>.</b></p> <p>Cities in Asia/Pacific once again led the charge globally with eight of the top 20 cities by international arrivals, with Bangkok ranked third globally with projected visitors to top 12.2 million visitors this year. Singapore was in fourth rank with 11.8 million visitors, with Hong Kong sixth with 11.1 million visitors, and Kuala Lumpur ranked 10<sup>th</sup> with 8.1 million visitors expected.&nbsp;</p> <p>The region also ranked highly on visitor spending with Bangkok ranked third globally with US$19.3 billion expected to be spent by inbound passengers in 2012, a 16.6% jump from last year. Singapore leapt two places to fifth overall with US$12.7 billion, up 12.7% on last year. Seoul moved into the top ten with US$10.6 billion in cross-border spend, an increase of 16.2%, while Tokyo, still recovering from the triple disasters of 2011 moved up four places to 14<sup>th</sup>, is officially the world’s third-fastest growing market (24.2%) in terms of cross-border spending.</p> <p>In terms of growth in visitor numbers six out of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the Index were from Asia/Pacific with Tokyo second globally behind Rio de Janeiro (28.6%) with a 21.5% growth in visitor arrivals. Taipei and <a href="http://www.pricelessbeijing.com/" target="_blank"><b>Beijing</b></a> also featured in both the top ten growth cities by visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.</p> <p>“Asia’s destination cities continue their rise, expecting a significant upward trend in visitor arrivals and cross-border spend—most of them on the back of large double digit growth,” observed <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.co.uk/priceless-cities/london/" target="_blank"><b>London</b></a> once again topped the world’s cities by visitor numbers with 16.9 million inbound passengers expected in 2012, ahead of Paris in second place with 16 million inbound passengers expected. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>London also ranked first on cross-border expenditure, ahead of New York in second place, with estimated expenditures in these cities for 2012 amounting to US$21.1 billion and US$19.4 billion respectively.</p> <p>While cities in Europe and the US still ranked highly in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, Dr. Hedrick-Wong said that the number of emerging market cities featuring in the Index showed Asia’s growing role in the global economy.</p> <p>“The leading Asian cities are some of the most sought after destinations for visitors from all over the world, and the Index indicates that they will continue to thrive into 2012,” he said.</p> <p>“Another interesting trend that we observe is a rise in cashless payments with many international travelers opting to do electronic transactions rather than using cash. The trend is a response to an increasing demand for safe, simple and smart payments, and highlights the rising importance of cashless commerce for both business and leisure travel,” Dr. Hedrick-Wong concluded.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>City rankings from the 2011 MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are altered retrospectively as updates in data become available.</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Asia/Pacific Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitor Spend (2012)<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="409"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Market</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Visitor Spend</b> <b>(US$ Billion)<u></u></b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>% Growth</b> <b>2011 &amp; 2012</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>2012 Visitors</b> <b>(Millions)*</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Bangkok</td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>$11.1</td> <td>$16.6</td> <td>$19.3</td> <td>16.6%</td> <td>12.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>$9.0</td> <td>$11.3</td> <td>$12.7</td> <td>12.7%</td> <td>11.8</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Sydney</td> <td>Australia</td> <td>$9.2</td> <td>$10.1</td> <td>$11.0</td> <td>9.7%</td> <td>2.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Seoul</td> <td>South Korea</td> <td>$7.7</td> <td>$9.1</td> <td>$10.6</td> <td>16.2%</td> <td>8.0</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Taipei</td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>$6.1</td> <td>$8.7</td> <td>$10.5</td> <td>20.5%</td> <td>5.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Tokyo</td> <td>Japan</td> <td>$10.2</td> <td>$8.0</td> <td>$9.9</td> <td>24.2%</td> <td>4.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>(SAR) China</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.6</td> <td>$9.5</td> <td>9.5%</td> <td>11.1</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Shanghai</td> <td>China</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.3</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>7.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Beijing</td> <td>China</td> <td>$4.2</td> <td>$5.5</td> <td>$6.5</td> <td>19.2%</td> <td>6.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Kuala Lumpur</td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>$4.7</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$6.4</td> <td>13.7%</td> <td>8.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p><i>*Excludes passengers returning to arrival country and includes visitors on non-stop flights only</i><i></i></p> <p></p> The World’s Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitors (2012)<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Visitor Numbers</b> <b>(Millions)</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Rank</b></th> </tr><tr><td>London</td> <td>16.9</td> <td>1</td> </tr><tr><td>Paris</td> <td>16.0</td> <td>2</td> </tr><tr><td>Bangkok</td> <td>12.2</td> <td>3</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>11.8</td> <td>4</td> </tr><tr><td>Istanbul</td> <td>11.6</td> <td>5</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>11.1</td> <td>6</td> </tr><tr><td>Madrid</td> <td>9.7</td> <td>7</td> </tr><tr><td>Dubai</td> <td>8.8</td> <td>8</td> </tr><tr><td>Frankfurt</td> <td>8.1</td> <td>9</td> </tr><tr><td>Kuala Lumpur</td> <td>8.1</td> <td>10</td> </tr></tbody></table> The World’s Top 20 Fastest Growing Destination Cities by Visitor Numbers<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="405"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012 Growth Rate</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Rank</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Rio de Janeiro</td> <td>28.6%</td> <td>1</td> </tr><tr><td>Tokyo</td> <td>21.5%</td> <td>2</td> </tr><tr><td>Quito</td> <td>18.8%</td> <td>3</td> </tr><tr><td>Abu Dhabi</td> <td>17.9%</td> <td>4</td> </tr><tr><td>Tunis</td> <td>17.7%</td> <td>5</td> </tr><tr><td>Dubai</td> <td>15.3%</td> <td>6</td> </tr><tr><td>Taipei</td> <td>15.1%</td> <td>7</td> </tr><tr><td>Istanbul</td> <td>14.7%</td> <td>8</td> </tr><tr><td>Beijing</td> <td>14.7%</td> <td>8</td> </tr><tr><td>Bogota</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>10</td> </tr><tr><td>Lima</td> <td>11.7%</td> <td>11</td> </tr><tr><td>Riyadh</td> <td>10.4%</td> <td>12</td> </tr><tr><td>Nairobi</td> <td>10.0%</td> <td>13</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>9.9%</td> <td>14</td> </tr><tr><td>Seoul</td> <td>9.8%</td> <td>15</td> </tr><tr><td>Cairo</td> <td>8.3%</td> <td>16</td> </tr><tr><td>Shanghai</td> <td>8.2%</td> <td>17</td> </tr><tr><td>Toronto</td> <td>7.6%</td> <td>18</td> </tr><tr><td>Washington</td> <td>7.2%</td> <td>19</td> </tr><tr><td>Caracas</td> <td>7.0%</td> <td>20</td> </tr></tbody></table> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities.&nbsp; Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.</p> <p>On any given flight there are visitors from the departure country, returning residents of the destination city after visiting the departure country, and a third group: non-residents connecting through the departure country to the destination city on their way to a second destination city. This group can be a low proportion of the passengers for typically non-hub cities, but very high for destination cities that are “hubs” such as Singapore, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.</p> <p>On a country level, the UN Database of “Trade in Service” in the “Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included).&nbsp; An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas.&nbsp;</p> <p>A margin of error is also unavoidable in such estimates, as not all outbound trips are of equal length, and the cost of living varies a great between arrival cities such that even if each trip of equal length, expenditure per passenger between different arrival cities would still be very different.&nbsp;This margin of error is reduced significantly by imposing a minimum of expenditures in the algorithm, after a number of iterative testing (US$500 per trip for bordering arrival country and US$700 per trip for non-bordering arrival country).&nbsp;</p> <p>Please note: the city rankings from the 2011 MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are altered retrospectively as updates in data become available.</p> <p></p> About Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Ph.D., Global Economic Advisor, MasterCard Worldwide<p>Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong is a business strategist and economist with 25 years of experience gained in over thirty countries. He was appointed Global Economic Advisor to MasterCard Worldwide in 2009.&nbsp; Prior to this role, he was Economic Advisor to MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, a position he held since 2001. As economic advisor, he chairs a MasterCard Knowledge Panel of leading economists, policy analysts, academics and business strategists for regular exchange and knowledge sharing.&nbsp; In 2007 he was appointed Advisor at Southern Capital Group, a private equity fund; and in 2008 he was appointed to the Investment Council of ICICI, India’s largest private bank.</p> <p>Yuwa is also currently the HSBC Visiting Professor of International Business at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, and is a frequent speaker at numerous international high-profile conferences.</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Media contacts:<p>124 Communications Consulting Co., Ltd Tel 0 2718 1886<br> Krittiya Nontanakorn,<br> <a href="mailto:krittiya@124comm.com"><b>krittiya@124comm.com</b></a>,<br> ext 226</p> <p>Nirachcha Ruenroeng,<br> <a href="mailto:nirachcha@124comm.com"><b>nirachcha@124comm.com</b></a>,<br> ext 150&nbsp;<br> Mobile number : 081 347 8597&nbsp;</p> <p></p> This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/bangkok-ranks-1st-among-asiapacific-cities-in-mastercard-global-destination-cities-index2012-06-17T16:00:00.000Z2012-06-17T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Survey Reveals Thai Men Spearhead The Trend of Online Shopping from Foreign Websites Krittiya Nontanakorn, Nirachcha RuenroengShopping from Foreign vs. Local Websites<table width="425" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>% Foreign Websites<br> (versus Local Websites)</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Total</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Male</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Female</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>2012</b></td> <td><b>2011</b></td> <td><b>2012</b></td> <td><b>2011</b></td> <td><b>2012</b></td> <td><b>2011</b></td> </tr><tr><td>Share of Online Purchase Occasions</td> <td>31.5%</td> <td>20.0%</td> <td>35.0%</td> <td>24.0%</td> <td>27.9%</td> <td>17.0%</td> </tr><tr><td>Share of Online Spends</td> <td>29.9%</td> <td>20.0%</td> <td>32.3%</td> <td>23.0%</td> <td>27.5%</td> <td>18.0%</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>However, what surprises us the most is the fact that the popular trend of cross-border shopping from foreign sites is being spearheaded by male shoppers in Thailand. Men are more likely than women to shop from foreign websites, with 35.0% of online shopping occasions going overseas. This average of 35.0% has significantly grown from 24.0% in the previous survey (+11.0%), as well as the share of online spends of 32.3% from 23.0% (+9.3%) for male shoppers’ behavior. As for female, we also witnessed the rise of online purchase occasions of 27.9% in 2012 (compared to 17.0% in 2011, resulting in +10.9%) and the online spends of 27.5% (compared to 18.0%, resulting in +9.5%).</p> <p>The most common purchases from overseas websites for people in Thailand were apps (19.9%), hotel accommodations (18.1%), and toys and gifts (15.7%).</p> <p>“Technology facilitates people’s lifestyles in various ways: we can now shop anytime and anywhere we want through various online channels. Additionally, we are no longer limited to just local shops as we can now purchase goods and services from foreign websites in a user-friendly approach that is accompanied by a safe and secure way to make an online payment. Besides that, I am glad to see that both male and female shoppers are enjoying the overall experience of online shopping, as well as cross-border shopping from overseas sites. Innovation definitely makes this world smaller and brings people closer in a good way,” said Gregg Hirano, vice president and country manager for Thailand, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p>This survey serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, which was conducted across 25 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa between November 2012 and January 2013. Five hundred respondents per country across 14 countries in Asia Pacific between the ages of 18 and 64 years old were surveyed through both online and offline channels. Among the total respondents, 503 were Thais who are banked population, access the internet at least once a week, and are representatives in terms of age and gender of the online population in the market. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.</i></p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Qatar, U.A.E., South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Kenya.</i></p> Highlights of Thai respondents include the following<ul> <li>74.0% of Thai respondents have made at least one online purchase in the last 3 months.</li> <li>eBay (12.3%) is the most often indicated site for purchases in the last 3 months, followed closely by We Love Shopping (11.7%) and Tarad (8.3%)</li> <li>90.6% of recent online shoppers claim to have experienced browsing a website leading to making an online purchase most of the time or almost every time.</li> <li>69.8% indicated that lower prices are most likely to trigger impulsive online shopping. 56.9% said that unique products available online only is another factor that have triggered impulsive purchases.</li> <li>92.9% of the online audience in Thailand report being able to access the internet from their mobile phones. 51.0% of those with internet access via mobile phone had made an online purchase with their phone in the last 3 months.</li> <li>Key items purchased by those using their mobile phones for online shopping are phone/mobile gadget apps (37.9%), tickets for cinema/movie theatres (23.4%), and music download (23.4%).</li> <li>Among those with mobile phone internet access, 55.0% have done price comparison between online and offline channels.</li> <li>Facebook (74.2%) remains the most visited site in Thailand, followed by YouTube (40.4%) and local Google Search (38.6%).</li> </ul> Media contacts<p><b>124 Communications Consulting Co., Ltd Tel 0 2718 1886</b></p> <p>Krittiya Nontanakorn,<br> <a href="mailto:krittiya@124comm.com">krittiya@124comm.com</a>,<br> ext 226</p> <p>Nirachcha Ruenroeng,<br> <a href="mailto:nirachcha@124comm.com">nirachcha@124comm.com</a>,<br> ext 150 | Mobile number: 081 347 8597</p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>, </b>join the discussion on the <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> MasterCard’s Online Shopping Survey is an annual survey which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/mastercard-survey-reveals-thai-men-spearhead-the-trend-of-online2013-03-03T16:00:00.000Z2013-03-03T16:00:00.000ZPositive Consumer Confidence Maintained in Malaysia: New MasterCard Index Kashini Krishnamurthy, Nabila AdnanPositive Consumer Confidence Maintained in Malaysia: New MasterCard Index<p><b><i>Kuala Lumpur, 1 August 2011 </i></b>– Consumers across Asia/Pacific are concerned at the slow pace of the global economic recovery with a dip in optimism recorded over the last six months, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index<sup>TM</sup> of Consumer Confidence.</p> <p>As the global economy continues its slow recovery, 11 out of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> polled for the Index recorded positive consumer sentiment with stable optimism recorded in emerging and established markets including China (78.3), Singapore (77.9), Vietnam (77.1), India (75.2), Hong Kong (69.9), Taiwan (67.6), Malaysia (64.9) and Australia (63.1).</p> <p>In Malaysia, the index score was a positive 64.9, a slight drop from 66.2 six months ago. Consumer sentiments towards Regular Income (70.4 vs. 62.9) have improved from six months ago, but consumers are less optimistic about Employment (64.6 vs. 65.9), the Economy (64.9 vs 66.2), Quality of Life (65.9 vs. 70.0) and the Stock Market (58.4 vs. 66.2).</p> <p>However, 10 out of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets experienced an overall decline in consumer confidence when compared to the previous six months, with three markets - Thailand (46.1), New Zealand (42.2) and Japan (15.9) - showing widespread pessimism across the five key indicators. Overall Asia/ Pacific recorded a drop in consumer confidence from 68.0 to 61.5.</p> <p>Now in its 19<sup>th</sup> year, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. The Index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market for the next six months based on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.</p> <p>The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i><i><a name="1"></a>[1] Asia/Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> Asia/Pacific rocked by Japan, NZ earthquakes<p>Overall confidence in the Economy in the Asia/Pacific region fell from 70.6 to 59.1, with Employment down from 67.5 to 59.9. Confidence also fell among consumers on the key indicator of Quality of Life (from 64.7 to 57.0) and the Stock Market (from 65.8 to 58.1), but increased slightly on Regular Income (from 71.6 to 73.1).</p> <p>Japan and New Zealand, both still recovering from devastating earthquakes this year, experienced declines in consumer confidence across most key indicators, with New Zealand’s overall confidence falling from a positive 53.3 in the previous six months to a pessimistic 42.2, with a strong decline in confidence in the Economy (from 53.1 to 35.1). Japan’s overall consumer confidence was at its lowest since 2002, with confidence in the Economy falling from 20.6 six months ago to 12.3 and confidence in Employment down from 21.8 to 13.3.</p> <p>Steep falls in consumer confidence were found in the Philippines, where optimism fell from 80.1 to 53.6 over the last six months, and across all key indicators, most dramatically in Employment (80.0 to 45.3), Qualify of Life (80.5 to 46.7) and the Economy (83.6 to 54.0).</p> <p>“While consumer attitudes remain overwhelmingly positive across this Index there is clearly a perception that the recovery from the financial crisis is not going as smoothly as people would like,” said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p>“Consumers are fantastic barometers of economic performance. As parts of the world have endured six very difficult months dealing with natural disasters, political instability and with ongoing financial uncertainty across the Eurozone, it is no surprise to see consumer sentiment declining across some of these markets.” &nbsp;</p> <table width="571" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>MARKETS</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>1H2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H 2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>1H 2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H 2009</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>63.1</td> <td>63.0</td> <td>74.1</td> <td>69.5</td> <td>24.1</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>78.3</td> <td>79.4</td> <td>83.0</td> <td>85.3</td> <td>60.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>69.9</td> <td>74.7</td> <td>76.6</td> <td>60.0</td> <td>24.7</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>75.2</td> <td>73.0</td> <td>68.2</td> <td>68.8</td> <td>68.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>58.0</td> <td>56.1</td> <td>61.4</td> <td>67.0</td> <td>49.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>15.9</td> <td>20.2</td> <td>27.8</td> <td>24.4</td> <td>21.5</td> </tr><tr><td>South Korea</td> <td>51.8</td> <td>55.7</td> <td>54.1</td> <td>59.8</td> <td>28.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>64.9</td> <td>66.2</td> <td>67.9</td> <td>66.3</td> <td>27.8</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>42.2</td> <td>53.3</td> <td>65.9</td> <td>69.7</td> <td>21.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>53.6</td> <td>80.1</td> <td>59.3</td> <td>49.7</td> <td>40.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>77.9</td> <td>86.1</td> <td>86.6</td> <td>79.4</td> <td>31.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>67.6</td> <td>62.5</td> <td>65.7</td> <td>56.5</td> <td>39.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>46.1</td> <td>57.3</td> <td>50.6</td> <td>55.3</td> <td>23.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Vietnam</td> <td>77.1</td> <td>90.3</td> <td>93.7</td> <td>90.0&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> </td> <td>60.9</td> </tr><tr><td>Total Asia/Pacific</td> <td>61.5</td> <td>68.0</td> <td>69.1</td> <td>66.3</td> <td>38.7</td> </tr></tbody></table> About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has an 19-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region.&nbsp; In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.</p> <p>The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty five markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The last MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011. A total of 17,620 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 25 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.&nbsp; In each market except China and India, 400 or more people were surveyed.&nbsp; A minimum sample size of 800 was collected from China and India.</p> <p>The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.&nbsp; Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.&nbsp; The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level, except China and India where because of the larger sample, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/positive-consumer-confidence-maintained-in-malaysia2011-07-31T16:00:00.000Z2011-07-31T16:00:00.000ZDining and Entertainment Tops Koreans’ Purchasing Priorities: MasterCard Survey IW Cho, MH Kim Dining and Entertainment Tops Koreans’ Purchasing Priorities: MasterCard Survey<p><b><i>S</i></b><b><i>eoul</i></b><b><i>, </i></b><b><i>7</i></b><b><i> </i></b><b><i>March </i></b><b><i>2011</i></b>: Consumers in Korea said Dining and Entertainment (78%) would be their top purchasing priority for the next six months, according to the MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities. Besides Dining and Entertainment, Korean consumers responded that Fashion and Accessories (56%), Consumer Electronics (48%), Continuing Education for Self-Improvement (42%), Children’s Education (38%), Fitness and Wellness (37%), and Personal Air Travel (31%) are their top spending priorities in the next six months.</p> <p>Among Korean respondents, 18% of consumers plan to increase their discretionary spending, 59% of them plan to maintain their level of discretionary spending, and the remaining 23% of consumers plan to decrease their discretionary spending.</p> <p></p> <p>The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 13 September to 11 November 2010 and involved 10,502 consumers from 24 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i><i></i></p> <p></p> <p>Similarly, consumers across the Asia/Pacific region expect Dining and Entertainment to be their top spending priority for the next six months. 69% of consumers in Asia/Pacific said they would spend on Dining and Entertainment in the next six months, just a percentage point shy of the highest indicated level since the survey began, representing a growth of four points from six months ago.</p> <p>In all but one of the Asia/Pacific markets included in the survey, Dining and Entertainment was the top spending priority. The top three markets in the region were Vietnam (89%), Korea (78%) and Hong Kong (75%).</p> <p>The percentage of consumers in Asia/Pacific going to spend on Fashion and Accessories has increased by 6 percentage points to 50% from six months ago. The category is second only to Dining and Entertainment in Australia (50%), New Zealand (53%), Singapore (58%), China (64%) and Vietnam (78%). Another category that grew was Consumer Electronics. Some 43% of consumers surveyed across Asia/Pacific plan to spend on consumer electronics in the next six months, up 6 points from the second half of 2010.</p> <p>The growth trend in Asia/Pacific for spending priorities in the Dining and Entertainment, Fashion and Accessories and Consumer Electronics categories is supported by the fact that most consumers are planning to maintain the same level of discretionary spending for the first half of 2011 as six months ago. Some 52% of consumers in Asia/Pacific are planning to maintain the same level of discretionary spending, while 19% intend to increase their spending and 29% are planning to decrease their spending. Taken together, these numbers represent the most favorable sentiment in terms of discretionary spending intentions since the survey started collecting this data.</p> <p>In Asia/Pacific, China (31%), Hong Kong (29%) and India (26%) have the highest percentage of consumers planning to increase their discretionary spending in the next six months while countries with the highest percentage of consumers planning to maintain their level of discretionary spending are Vietnam (62%), Australia (59%) and Korea (59%).</p> <p>Derived from data in the survey, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience measures how resilient the categories in the survey are to unexpected cutbacks in planned expenditure. A scale of 0 to 100 is used for the Index, with 100 being the most resilient. The more resilient a category is, the less likely there will be a reduction in spending for that category in the event of an unexpected shock to expenditure.</p> <p>According to the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, the most resilient category for discretionary spending is private tuition and extracurricular activities for one’s children. The category was the most resilient in half of the markets surveyed, with the highest Index scores for the Asia/Pacific in India (95.7), Vietnam (92.7) and Indonesia (88.9).</p> <p>Personal Air Travel is the most resilient category in Australia (72.8) and Singapore (64.4). Consumer electronics tops the Index in Japan (68.5), Fitness and Wellness in New Zealand (76.7) while Fashion and Accessories is the most resilient category in Morocco (85.4).</p> <p>Yunsok Chang, group executive, Global Products and Solutions, Asia/Pacific, Middle East &amp; Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, said “While it is no surprise that dining and entertainment is at the top of consumers priorities again, it is interesting to see continued positive movement in terms of priorities for the three top categories for the third year running – this is in line with regional economic sentiment and growth over the last six months. Combined with the data on discretionary spending, which are at the highest levels since the survey began, the latest findings show strong consumer sentiment for private consumption over the first half of 2011.”</p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>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.&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties <p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 13 September to 11 November 2010 and involved 10,502 consumers from 24 markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/dining-and-entertainment-tops-koreans-purchasing-piorities2011-03-06T16:00:00.000Z2011-03-06T16:00:00.000ZMovies and Eating Out Top Malaysians’ Reasons to Spend: MasterCard Survey Kashini Krishnamurthy, Nabila AdnanMovies and Eating Out Top Malaysians’ Reasons to Spend: MasterCard Survey <p><b><i>Kuala Lumpur, 1 November 2011: </i></b>Consumers across Asia/Pacific continue to plan to eat out and have a good time despite the global economic uncertainty. According to the results of the latest MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Dining and Entertainment, nearly 80% of respondents among the Asia/Pacific markets surveyed want to spend more than or the same amount of time on dining out and leisure activities in the coming months as they are currently doing.<b><i></i></b></p> <p>Quick serve/fast-food restaurants (71%), mid-range family restaurants and cafés (68%), and food courts (66%) came up as the most popular dining outlets visited by respondents across Asia/Pacific in the past six months. In terms of the frequency of visit, though, the most favored were food courts, seeing an average of six visits a month by those respondents across Asia/Pacific who had visited a food court in the last six months. Topping the list were the Singaporean (16 times a month), Malaysian and Hong Kong (9 times each) and China (8 times) respondents. Next on the list was the quick-serve/fast-food restaurants category, led by Hong Kong (10 times a month) and China (9 times).</p> <p>In terms of the amount spent on eating out each month, the most lavish spenders in Asia/Pacific would be the Japanese (USD213 a month), Singaporeans (USD212) and Hong Kong consumers (USD195).&nbsp;&nbsp; On the other hand of the spectrum were the respondents from India and Indonesia – less than USD40 a month – a reflection of their relatively low average monthly income compared to the other markets surveyed.</p> <p>Malaysians most frequently visited food courts and quick serve/fast-food restaurants—73% of respondents said to have visited a food court at least 9 times in the past six months, while 65% had dined at quick serve/fast food restaurants at least 4 times. The remaining respondents opted for fine dining within hotels (17%), fine dining standalone restaurants (17%) as well as pubs/bars (12%). Nine percent of the respondents said they plan to eat out more in the coming months than in the past six months. The survey results also revealed that Malaysian respondents spent an average of US$120 on eating out every month.</p> <p>It appears that catching a movie is the most preferred activity for most respondents after a good meal: cinemas were the top entertainment outlet visited in the last six months for 12 of the 14 markets surveyed, led by Australia and Singapore (75%) and South Korea (74%). Amusement and theme parks came in second, especially preferred by the Indonesia (65%) and Hong Kong (59%) respondents. Karaoke lounges and KTV seem to be popular with the China (50%), Hong Kong (43%) and Taiwan (44%) respondents.</p> <p>For Malaysian respondents, going to the cinema is by far the most popular choice for entertainment, with 45% of the respondents visiting the cinema twice per month on an average. Other options respondents looked to go for entertainment were amusement/theme park (15%) and karaoke lounge/KTV (16%), with an average of two and three visits per month respectively. Looking ahead, Malaysian respondents (38%) picked cinemas as the key entertainment outlet of choice.</p> <p>The pattern remains more or less unchanged when respondents were asked about their intention to visit these entertainment outlets in the near future, with cinemas and amusements parks taking the lead as popular venues. Interestingly, however, more respondents across all markets surveyed intend to visit gyms and health clubs in the next few months, led by Thailand, where 44% intend to visit in the months ahead compared to 26% who went in the last six months, and the Philippines (from 20% to 32%). Also, in 9 of the 14 markets surveyed, consumers want to cut down on their visits to pubs and nightclubs, especially in South Korea (from 46% to 32%) and Japan (from 46% to 40%).</p> <p>In comparison to dining and entertainment activities, what people spend their leisure time on is more varied across the region. Food (cooking or wine) ranks number one for respondents from Australia (61%), Japan (67%), New Zealand (69%), Singapore (68%), South Korea (52%), Taiwan (64%) and Vietnam (50%). Browsing the Internet is preferred by respondents from China (43%), Malaysia (45%), Hong Kong (70%), the Philippines (73%) and Thailand (72%). Indians (68%) love to shop and Indonesians prefer to sweat it out with a sport (35%), while Malaysians (47%) like to curl up with a book and read.</p> <p>Most markets have nearly 50% of respondents claiming to set aside less than 10% of their personal monthly income for leisure activities. Respondents from Vietnam (51%), Hong Kong (48%) and China (43%) however set aside 11-30% of their monthly income for leisure activities.</p> <p>Nagesh Devata, vice president, Market Development, Asia/Pacific, Middle East &amp; Africa, MasterCard Worldwide said, “It is interesting to see the resilience of dining out across all the markets surveyed; cooking, and wining and dining even come up as a top-ranked leisure activity for most consumers. What the latest MasterCard survey shows is that despite the current unsettled economic climate, people continue to set aside valuable time and money for their favorite activities, be it dining out, going to the gym or watching a movie.”</p> <p>The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets<sup><sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup></sup>. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p>For the full report, please visit <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><a name="1"></a>[1]Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Chart 1: Outlook for dining out in the six months ahead compared to the last six months (as percentage of respondents) <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/Outlookfordiningoutinthesixmonthsaheadcomparedtothelastsixmonths.JPG" target="_blank"><img width="511" height="383" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/Outlookfordiningoutinthesixmonthsaheadcomparedtothelastsixmonths.JPG"></a></p> <p></p> Chart 2: Intention to step up visits to the gym in the six months ahead (as percentage of respondents)<p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/Intentiontostepupvisitstothegyminthesixmonthsahead.JPG" target="_blank"><img width="457" height="220" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/Intentiontostepupvisitstothegyminthesixmonthsahead.JPG"></a></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa <p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10.374 consumers from 14 markets. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/movies-and-eating-out-top-malaysians-reasons-to-spend2011-10-31T16:00:00.000Z2011-10-31T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Survey Reveals Korean Consumers Are Most Active Online Shoppers IW Cho,MH KimKorea Tops Rankings for 2010 MasterCard Index on Online Shopping<p><b><i>Seoul, 25 January </i></b><b><i>201</i></b><b><i>1 </i></b><b>–<i> </i></b>A recent MasterCard survey on online shopping revealed that Korea has the most active consumers, according to 85%, respondents who are most likely to access the Internet for shopping. China (84%) and Japan (75%) followed with the second and third most active online shoppers, respectively.</p> <p>Consumers in these markets also purchased the most items online within recent months (approximately from June to September 2010) with Chinese consumers averaging 5.6 items, up from 5.1 items in 2009. Number of purchases by consumers in Korea &amp; Japan remained steady from 2009 with 5.9 items and 5.1 items respectively.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Index on Online Shopping<p>This year MasterCard has released its first Index on Online Shopping. The scores are compiled based on the factors or questions listed below, offering a regional Index ranking of markets with consumers who are most likely to shop online. According to the scores from the 2010 MasterCard Index on Online Shopping, Korea tops the Index rankings with a score of 63 in 2010. Japan is ranked second this year with a score of 57, followed by New Zealand (54), Australia (52) and Taiwan (51). Emerging markets have also gained ground with the U.A.E. coming in at 6th with a score of 47 then Malaysia (44), Singapore (40) and China (38). Thailand is closely on par with India with scores of 34 and 32, respectively, ahead of Hong Kong (29). Indonesia rounds the bottom three markets on the Index with a score of 17, Philippines (12) and South Africa (8).</p> <p>The Index serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, and based on the following factors and questions:</p> <ul> <li>For what purposes do you usually use the Internet?&nbsp;</li> <li>How likely is it that you will make an online purchase in the next 6 months?</li> <li>Proportion of those who did not state: ‘prefer to shop in-store, to look at the physical product’ as a reason for not purchasing anything online in the past 3 months.</li> <li>To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements:</li> </ul> <p>(1) It is convenient to shop online</p> <p>(2) I do not feel secure shopping online&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Online Shopping Survey Findings<p>The MasterCard survey also revealed that online shopping is gaining popularity in emerging markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMPEA), according to the results of the MasterCard survey on online shopping. Results of the fourth survey on online shopping conducted by MasterCard revealed a narrowing gap between emerging and mature markets in APMEA with consumers turning to online shopping sites for event tickets, online gaming, downloading music, purchasing books, and for travel (airline websites).</p> <p>The survey was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010 and reached 8,500 consumers from 15 markets[1] across APMEA. The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</p> <p>The MasterCard survey also uncovered a growing trend among APMEA consumers using their mobile phones to access the Internet, represented by 19% of respondents in 2010 versus 8% in 2009. Leading the trend of mobile Internet access in APMEA are 39% of consumers in South Africa, 33% in Singapore, 25% in India, 25% in Indonesia, 20% in Malaysia, 20% in Thailand and 20% in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.).</p> <p>&nbsp;Online shopping is growing in emerging markets like Malaysia (55% in 2010 from 33% in 2009), which is now comparable to Australia (58% in 2010 from 63% in 2009), according to respondents who access the Internet to shop. The report also indicated an increase in the U.A.E. (42% in 2010 from 29% in 2009) among the percentage of respondents accessing the Internet for shopping.</p> <p>“We’re seeing more consumers in Korea go online for lifestyle purchases as well as day-to-day household items. This shift in consumer behavior shows that today’s shoppers are diversifying not only what they buy, but how and where,&quot; said Dongchun Choi, division president, Korea, MasterCard Worldwide, and added, &quot;It’s clear more people are&nbsp;proactively seeking better and more personal ways to shop online.”</p> <p><b><i>NOTE TO EDITORS: </i></b><i>More information and previously released MasterCard survey results can be found at </i><i><u><b><a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/">www.masterintelligence.com</a>.</b></u></i><b><i></i></b></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>MasterCard puts out a series of ongoing consumer surveys and research Indices in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. These include the MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence and MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement.</p> <p>Besides these, MasterCard also regularly releases its Insights reports; the series is part of its ongoing research and analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 70 Insights reports have been produced since 2004. MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by its Asia/Pacific economist, Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p>The MasterCard Indexes and Insights reports are available at <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> MasterCard’s Online Shopping Survey is an annual survey which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online.The survey was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010 and reached 8,500 consumers from 15 markets across APMEA.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/mastercard-survery-reveals-korean-consumers-are-most-active-online-shoppers2011-01-24T16:00:00.000Z2011-01-24T16:00:00.000ZMore Malaysia Consumers Shopping Online: MasterCard Survey Ashleigh Ow, Hazel HooOnline and Mobile Phone Shopping Registers Strong Growth in Malaysia<p><b><i>Kuala Lumpur, 1 May 2012</i></b> – Consumers in Malaysia are shopping online more and have become more confident about online security, according to the latest<b> <a href="http://bit.ly/I4Ucsf" target="_blank">MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping Survey</a>.</b></p> <p></p> <p>The number of people in Malaysia shopping online has grown by 12% compared to the year before (55% in 2010). This increase is partly attributed to the Malaysian consumer’s increased confidence level in online shopping – 36% in 2011 were concerned about security versus 39% in 2010.</p> <p></p> <p>With the cumulative growth in confidence to make purchases online, the MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping Survey also showed an increase in spend across various categories.</p> <p></p> <p>Airline websites saw further growth (86% in 2011 compared to 71% in 2010) in online spend compared to offline. There was also an increase in online purchase for Books/CDs/DVDs (49% in 2011 versus 40% in 2010), Music Downloads (i.e. iTunes) (82% in 2011 compared to 53% in 2010) and Products/Services in Online Gaming (77% in 2011 compared to 60% in 2010). The top 5 purchases online include, in their respective order – Airlines, Music Downloads (i.e. iTunes), Coupon/Deal sites, Products/Services in Online Gaming/Virtual World and Apps.</p> <p></p> <p>Jim Cheah, vice president and senior country manager, Malaysia and Brunei said, “Consumers in Malaysia are increasingly getting more sophisticated and savvy in making online purchases, and coupled with that, the Internet has also become a vital part of the lives of the consumers – together this holds very strong growth potential for the online shopping segment. Along with the growth of this space, we have rolled out value added benefits for online shoppers through tie-ups with top-tier online retailers to further build and sustain MasterCard led online purchases.”</p> <p></p> <p>In terms of online shopping and purchase intent, the results show that the gap is closing for online shopping in Asia/ Pacific markets between the “mature” and “emerging” markets. Thailand leads the pack both in terms of online shopping (80%) and likelihood to make an online purchase in the next six months (93%), alongside China.&nbsp; Korea (84%) and Malaysia (79%) also show high intent to purchase over the next six months, with Vietnam also showing similarly high intent to purchase (87%) despite a low percentage of people using the Internet for online shopping (61%). <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.</i></p> <p></p> Rise of Mobile Shopping<p>Although a majority (71%) of respondents said they would rather use their laptop for shopping, the mobile phone is rising rapidly as the device of choice for Asian shoppers in emerging markets, with respondents in Thailand (59%), China (37%), Vietnam (32%) and India (32%) all leading more established markets.</p> <p></p> <p>Mobile shopping is also slowly gaining traction in Malaysia with 25% of Malaysian respondents carrying out transactions through their mobile phone in the past three months.</p> <p></p> <p>Among the reasons given for using the mobile for shopping, most said it was more convenient (57%) and also cited the growing availability of apps that make it easier to do (46%). Music (24%) and apps (31%) topped the list among those who have made purchases through their mobile phones, followed by coupon deal sites (17%), retailers for clothing and accessories (17%), and cinema (16%).</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p></p> About mastercard worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Ashleigh Ow <br> Weber Shandwick <br> <a href="mailto:aow@webershandwick.com">aow@webershandwick.com</a><br> (03) 6209 5220<br> <br> Hazel Hoo<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <a href="mailto:hhoo@webershandwick.com">hhoo@webershandwick.com</a> <br> 03) 6209 5209<br> </p> <p></p> <p></p> MasterCard’s Online Shopping Survey is an annual survey which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/more-malaysia-consumers-shopping-online2012-04-30T16:00:00.000Z2012-04-30T16:00:00.000ZRegulation and infrastructure in Malaysia conducive to mobile payments: MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index Ashleigh Ow, Hazel HooHigh income males between the ages of 18-34 appear to be early adopters <p><b><i>Kuala Lumpur, 1 May 2012</i></b>&nbsp;– MasterCard Worldwide today unveiled the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), an analysis of 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: person to person, mobile web commerce and mobile contactless payments at the point of sale.</p> <p>An average of 1,000 consumers from each of the 34 countries were surveyed regarding their familiarity with, willingness to use and current usage of each of the three types of mobile payments. The survey measured each market based on 6 components – Environment, Infrastructure, Regulation, Consumer Readiness, Financial Services and Mobile Commerce Clusters.</p> <p>Malaysia attained an overall score of 34.3, excelling in the Regulation and Infrastructure components. The country saw a high score in the Mobile Commerce Clusters, reflecting some key collaboration currently in place. For instance, Nokia classic phones can be used at NFC-enabled merchant locations, including parking and transit. In addition, the survey reported that Malaysia’s regulatory framework is favorable for mobile payments because regulations are not burdensome for business, the legal environment is efficient, and communication and technology laws are well established.</p> <p>In terms of consumer sentiment, while consumer readiness for mobile payments is not as high as other countries surveyed, consumers in Malaysia show some willingness to use their mobile devices for P2P payments and m-commerce. Seven percent of consumers report that they are currently using their mobile devices for m-commerce and six percent are making P2P payments on their mobile devices. The index identified high-income males between the ages of 18 and 34 years to be the group most familiar with and willing to use mobile payments. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;“In Malaysia, the foundation is in place for mobile payments to take off. We are exploring opportunities with several Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to provide cardholders with advanced mobile payment solutions,” said Jim Cheah, vice president and senior country manager, Malaysia and Brunei, MasterCard Worldwide. “MasterCard is constantly looking for ways to encourage consumers to use their mobiles devices for purchases, be it online or at brick-and-mortar stores.”</p> <p>In addition, findings of the MPRI reveal that partnerships among the key players in the mobile payments ecosystem are essential to accelerate the commercialization of mobile payments. Cooperation and collaboration among financial institutions, telcos, governments, technology providers and others can foster an environment that enables a market to reach critical mass.</p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Nine of the 10 markets with the highest consumer scores are in APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa).</li> <li>Of the three mobile payment types, more consumers had engaged in m-commerce in 71 percent of the countries surveyed.</li> <li>In developing economies, consumers are typically drawn to mobile payments for access to the larger economy, both national and global, as well as to a regulated and secure economic infrastructure. Consumers in the developed world are drawn to the convenience of mobile phone payments.</li> </ul> <p>“Technology infrastructure, a responsive regulatory environment and a robust economy are table stakes for the advancement of mobile payments,” said Theodore Iacobuzio, vice president, Global Insights, MasterCard Worldwide. “The necessary conditions are consumer readiness and industry integration. As no one entity can develop and promote mobile payments by itself, key players in the ecosystem must work together to collectively advance the cause of mobile payments.”</p> <p>To download an executive summary of the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index, view an Interactive Global Map of the data or study the findings of the 34 countries that make up the Index, please visit <b><a href="http://mobilereadiness.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">http://mobilereadiness.mastercard.com</a>.&nbsp;</b></p> <p></p> Index Methodology<p>Research findings from the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index were compiled by MasterCard Global Insights between October 2011 and February 2012. The Index examined 34 global markets. Each market was ranked on a scale of 1 to 100 with scores derived from an algorithm comprised of over 50 quantitative and qualitative inputs including economic, demographic, telecommunications and payments industry data as well as proprietary consumer research. These inputs were then weighted and combined into six components including Environment, Financial Services, Regulations, Infrastructure, Consumer Readiness and Clusters and Partnerships. The six components were combined, yielding a single readiness score for each country.&nbsp;</p> about mastercard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>, </b>join the discussion on the <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Ashleigh Ow<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <a href="mailto:aow@webershandwick.com"><b>aow@webershandwick.com</b></a><br> (03) 6209 5220<br> <br> Hazel Hoo<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <a href="mailto:hhoo@webershandwick.com"><b>hhoo@webershandwick.com</b></a><br> (03) 6209 5209<br> </p> MasterCard Worldwide today unveiled the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), an analysis of 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: person to person, mobile web commerce and mobile contactless payments at the point of sale.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/regulation-and-infrastructure-in-malaysia-conducive-to-mobile-payments2012-04-30T16:00:00.000Z2012-04-30T16:00:00.000ZCautious Kiwis Keen to Save More Emma Mellow , Tiana Miocevich Cautious Kiwis Keen to Save More <p><i><b>Auckland, 01 August 2011</b></i><i>- </i>New research of consumer sentiment in New Zealand has revealed that Kiwis have become consciously cautious about retaining adequate savings for a rainy day and are actively monitoring their personal finances.</p> <p>In an annual survey of 626 consumers conducted on behalf of MasterCard, 78 per cent of respondents said they believed that they should keep between 3 months and 6 months of personal savings on hand in case of emergencies or unexpected events, such as job loss.</p> <p>The finding suggests that consumers are taking a closer interest in their financial wellbeing and becoming&nbsp;more prudentially cautious against a backdrop of locally subdued economic conditions and economic volatility in the US and Europe.</p> <p><i>MasterCard’s New Zealand country manager, Albert Naffah says the findings showed many Kiwis highly rated their own level of financial literacy. Of those surveyed, 88 per cent agreed it was never too early to have a financial plan and that regular savings were important.</i></p> <p><i></i><i>“Most people (81%) in our survey reported they understood the information provided in financial statements and regularly compared financial products to select the best one for them.</i></p> <p><i></i><i>“This shows a high number of people are thinking about their financial futures and actively managing their money - taking the time to learn about where their money is going. These results are a positive sign that New Zealanders are taking responsibility for understanding their financial positions.”</i></p> <p><i></i><i>This cautious behavior is also exhibited in the latest edition of the MasterCard Papers series derived from </i>Statistics NZ and the RBNZ payments data that shows <i>that the percentage of New Zealand credit card balances accruing interest are at their lowest levels seen since 2008.</i></p> <p><i></i><i>“KiwiSaver may have also had a positive influence on long-term financial planning with just over quarter (28%) of our sample saying they had calculated how much money they’d need to retire. However, on the flip side this means just under three quarters of respondents could be entering their retirement years without adequate resources to fund their desired retirement lifestyles.”</i></p> <p><i></i><i>Mr Naffah says he was also encouraged at how savvy people perceived they were with not just long-term financial planning, but also day-to-day money management </i>—<i> although he cautioned that there is sometimes a gap between how financially literate people think they are versus reality.</i></p> <p><i></i><i>“Most people in our survey understand the need to budget their day-to-day finances and to actively keep track of their spending on a weekly or monthly basis. However, there is still a gap between those who understand the need to budget, versus those who actually do so. The good news is that the availability of up-to-date information through internet banking makes budgeting and financial management more clearly visible and easier to manage, and this may be a reflection on why more than half our respondents now choose to do almost all of their banking exclusively online.</i></p> <p><i></i><i>“Our survey shows New Zealanders are becoming increasingly active and savvy financial planners. Comparing products, monitoring investments and planning ahead will stand people in good stead for their financial futures.</i></p> <p><i></i><i>“Getting the right financial advice for individual circumstances is also an important factor. I encourage people to seek qualified, independent financial advice or to visit online financial planning resources such as the Sorted.org.nz website to help them manage their finances.”</i></p> <p><i></i></p> <p></p> Key findings:<ul> <li><i>88 per cent of people surveyed said it was never too early to have a financial plan</i></li> <li><i>92 per cent agreed that regular monthly savings are important</i></li> <li><i>81 per cent reported they understood most of the information provided in financial statements</i></li> <li><i>78 per cent said they compare financial products to select the best one for their circumstances</i></li> <li><i>55 per cent said they regularly monitor their investments</i></li> <li><i>28 per cent said they had calculated the amount of retirement funds they will need at retirement age</i></li> <li><i>88 per cent of people surveyed agreed that they had the ability and understanding to budget their day-to-day finances</i></li> <li><i>76 per cent of people surveyed say they keep track of their spending on weekly or monthly basis</i></li> <li><i>77 per cent said they understand the concept of how interest is compounded</i></li> <li><i>60 per cent of people surveyed do 81-100 per cent of their banking online.</i></li> </ul> <p></p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey of consumers from 24 markets across Asia/Pacific Middle East Africa (APMEA). http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/cautious-kiwis-keen-to-save-more2011-07-31T16:00:00.000Z2011-07-31T16:00:00.000ZNew Zealand Fast Becoming a Cashless Society Julian Light, Amy O’RourkeAbout the research<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities provides valuable insights into consumers’ savings and expenditure behaviour and their discretionary spending priorities. In particular, the series covers Consumer Purchasing Priorities including Travel, Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping. The 500 respondents are New Zealand residents between 18-64 years old owning a bank account and who access the internet at least once a week.</p> <p>The results of this survey do not represent the financial performance of MasterCard.</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Media contacts<p>Julian Light<br> Acumen Republic<br> T: 04 494 5146<br> E: <a href="mailto:jlight@acumenrepublic.com">jlight@acumenrepublic.com</a><br> </p> <p>Amy O’Rourke<br> Acumen Republic<br> T: 09 354 0584<br> E: <a href="mailto:aorourke@acumenrepublic.com">aorourke@acumenrepublic.com</a><br> </p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Money Management provides valuable insights into the Asia/Pacific consumers’ savings and expenditure behavior and their understanding of basic money management concepts, financial planning and investments.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/new-zealand-fast-becoming-a-cashless-society2013-03-31T16:00:00.000Z2013-03-31T16:00:00.000ZNew Zealand Consumer Confidence Tied Closely to Export Growth Julian Light, Alexandria SorensenDomestic consumption: potential growth engine in a slow growing economy<p>With external demand weakening in the current, uncertain global economy, domestic demand becomes an important factor in sustaining economic growth. The Index of Resilience also evaluated the resilience of consumer confidence – and the strength of consumer confidence to begin with – as factors that determine the potential of domestic consumption as a growth engine in a slower growing global economy.</p> <p>New Zealand’s consumer confidence profile exhibits relative vulnerability in all but the regular income dimension, as summarised in Table 12 of the report. Stronger confidence levels around New Zealand’s regular income levels is likely due to its our generous social welfare support, which acts as a buffer that cushions the impact from any slowdown in merchandise exports.</p> <p>Elsewhere across Asia/Pacific the report found Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, India and China to be well positioned with the strongest potential to leverage private domestic consumption to support economic growth. While Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are relatively strong in terms of consumer confidence; they are also more vulnerable to a slowdown in merchandise exports.</p> <p>For 15 of the 17 economies surveyed, exports to Asia/Pacific economies account for more than fifty percent of their total merchandise exports, and in New Zealand, this figure is 62.8%.</p> <p>“The good news is that although growth is slow, we’re seeing New Zealanders changing their behaviour around debt and saving more, which tends to help boost consumer confidence” said Naffah. <br> </p> <p>“Growth will also be stimulated and supported domestically by a substantial boost from the Canterbury rebuild, low borrowing costs, and ongoing solid demand and higher prices for our primary –particularly dairy – exports. All of which will drive our economy at a local level and help boost consumer confidence, and in turn resilience in the market if the forecast global slowdown does occur and impacts on our ability to grow our exports,” he concluded.</p> Notes to editors<p class="table-index">Index of Resilience of Consumer Confidence</p> <table width="415" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description">Resilience Rank</th> <th class="table-description">Market</th> <th class="table-description">Correlation Coefficient</th> <th class="table-description">Category</th> </tr><tr><td>1</td> <td>Japan</td> <td>0.24</td> <td>Relatively resilient</td> </tr><tr><td>1</td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>0.24</td> <td>Relatively resilient</td> </tr><tr><td>2</td> <td>Philippines</td> <td>0.29</td> <td>Relatively resilient</td> </tr><tr><td>3</td> <td>Indonesia</td> <td>0.32</td> <td>Neutral</td> </tr><tr><td>3</td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>0.32</td> <td>Neutral</td> </tr><tr><td>4</td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>0.34</td> <td>Neutral</td> </tr><tr><td>4</td> <td>India</td> <td>0.34</td> <td>Neutral</td> </tr><tr><td>5</td> <td>China</td> <td>0.37</td> <td>Neutral</td> </tr><tr><td>6</td> <td>Australia</td> <td>0.41</td> <td>Relatively vulnerable</td> </tr><tr><td>7</td> <td>New Zealand</td> <td>0.45</td> <td>Relatively vulnerable</td> </tr><tr><td>8</td> <td>South Korea</td> <td>0.47</td> <td>Relatively vulnerable</td> </tr><tr><td>8</td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>0.47</td> <td>Relatively vulnerable</td> </tr><tr><td>9</td> <td>Vietnam</td> <td>0.49</td> <td>Relatively vulnerable</td> </tr><tr><td>10</td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>0.50</td> <td>Very vulnerable</td> </tr><tr><td>11</td> <td>Saudi Arabia</td> <td>0.51</td> <td>Very vulnerable</td> </tr><tr><td>12</td> <td>Kuwait</td> <td>0.53</td> <td>Very vulnerable</td> </tr><tr><td>13</td> <td>UAE</td> <td>0.87</td> <td>Very vulnerable</td> </tr></tbody></table> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Media Contacts<p>Julian Light<br> Acumen Republic for MasterCard<br> +64 4 494 5146<br> +64 21 243 8528&nbsp;<br> <a href="mailto:jlight@acumenrepublic.com">jlight@acumenrepublic.com</a></p> <p>Alexandria Sorensen<br> Acumen Republic for MasterCard<br> +64 4 494 5171<br> +64 27 469 1045<br> <a href="mailto:asorensen@acumenrepublic.com">asorensen@acumenrepublic.com</a></p> MasterCard’s Index of Resilience is based on a correlation analysis of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) against merchandise export growth for 17 countries across Asia/Pacific and the Middle East.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/new-zealand-consumer-confidence-tied-closely-to-export-growth2013-01-26T16:00:00.000Z2013-01-26T16:00:00.000ZSmartphone adoption driving mobile shopping habits Amy O’Rourke, Julian Light About the research <p>The MasterCard Online Shopping Survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets between November and December 2012. The report for the Asia/ Pacific[i] region included interviews with 7,011 respondents from 14 markets who were asked questions about their online shopping habits. In New Zealand, the survey was conducted online amongst 500 New Zealanders, aged 18-64 years.</p> <p>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> ABOUT MASTERCARD<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Media contact<p>Julian Light<br> Acumen Republic<br> 04 494 5146 or 021 243 8528<br> <br> Amy O’Rourke<br> Acumen Republic<br> 04 354 0584 or 027 2958 332<br> </p> MasterCard’s Online Shopping Survey is an annual survey which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/smartphone-adoption-driving-mobile-shopping-habits2013-04-09T16:00:00.000Z2013-04-09T16:00:00.000ZKiwi confidence levels down, but income prospects looking bright Amy O’Rourke, Alexandria SorensenMasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence New Zealand<table width="419" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Component </b></th> <th colspan="2" class="table-description"><b>Current Status </b></th> <th colspan="2" class="table-description"><b>Change from last half </b></th> </tr><tr><td>Overall MWICC</td> <td>42.7</td> <td>Neutral -</td> <td>-8.3</td> <td>Some deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td>Employment</td> <td>34.5</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>-13.7</td> <td>Significant deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td>Economy</td> <td>41.3</td> <td>Neutral -</td> <td>-5.0</td> <td>Stable -</td> </tr><tr><td>Regular income</td> <td>70.9</td> <td>Optimistic</td> <td>2.3</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr><tr><td>Stock market</td> <td>41.8</td> <td>Neutral -</td> <td>-9.9</td> <td>Some deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td>Quality of life</td> <td>24.8</td> <td>Very pessimistic</td> <td>-15.4</td> <td>Significant deterioration</td> </tr></tbody></table> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is based on a survey conducted between 7 November 2012 and 23 December 2012 on 11,339 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 countries. This is the 40th survey of Consumer Confidence conducted since 1993.</p> <p>Respondents were asked 5 questions pertaining to their 6 month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in 5 component indexes which were subsequently averaged to form the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) score. The MWICC Index score and the 5 component index scores range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents maximum pessimism, 100 represents maximum optimism and 50 represents neutrality.</p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Media Contacts<p>Amy O’Rourke<br> Acumen Republic for MasterCard<br> +64 9 354 0584<br> +64 27 2958 332&nbsp;<br> <a href="mailto:aorourke@acumenrepublic.com">aorourke@acumenrepublic.com</a>&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>Alexandria Sorensen<br> Acumen Republic for MasterCard<br> +64 4 494 5171<br> +64 27 469 1045<br> <a href="mailto:asorensen@acumenrepublic.com">asorensen@acumenrepublic.com</a></p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/kiwi-confidence-levels-down--but-income-prospects-looking-bright2013-02-13T16:00:00.000Z2013-02-13T16:00:00.000ZConsumer Confidence in India at the Highest Level since 2008: MasterCard Index Manibalan ManoharanChennai and Bangalore Continue to Display High Levels Of Consumer Optimism in India<p><b><i>Mumbai, September 13 2011 </i></b>– Consumer confidence in India has risen to the highest level since H2 2008 according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index<sup>TM</sup> of Consumer Confidence. However, consumers across Asia/Pacific displayed concern at the slow pace of the global economic recovery with a dip in optimism recorded over the last six months.</p> <p>As the global economy continues its slow recovery, 11 out of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> polled for the Index recorded positive consumer sentiment with stable optimism recorded in emerging and established markets including China (78.3), Singapore (77.9), Vietnam (77.1), India (75.2), Hong Kong (69.9), Taiwan (67.6), Malaysia (64.9) and Australia (63.1).</p> <p>However, 10 out of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets experienced an overall decline in consumer confidence when compared to the previous six months, with three markets - Thailand (46.1), New Zealand (42.2) and Japan (15.9) - showing widespread pessimism across the five key indicators. Overall Asia/ Pacific recorded a drop in consumer confidence from 68.0 to 61.5.</p> <p>Consumers in India are slightly more optimistic than they were six months ago (73.0) and a year ago (68.2). Indian consumers are optimistic across most of the key indicators with Quality of Life up from 71.3 six months ago to 77.4, Regular Income up from 75.4 to 82.0, the Economy up from 72.2 to 73.3 and Employment up from 70.8 to 72.7. However, they displayed less optimism about the Stock Market indicator than six months ago (75.1 vs. 70.8).</p> <p>Amongst the Indian cities, Chennai and Bangalore continue to display highest levels of consumer optimism with scores of 87.4 and 82.9 respectively. However, there is a minor dip in the levels of optimism as compared to previous round (90.7 and 85.6 respectively). Consumers in Mumbai have maintained healthy optimism with an improvement in index scores (82.8 vs. 76.6). Consumers in Delhi are less pessimistic about the upcoming six months with a score of 46.1 vs 38.0 six months ago.</p> <p>Now in its 19<sup>th</sup> year, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. The Index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market for the next six months based on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.</p> <p>The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>“Consumers across India are confident on most of the critical parameters of the MasterCard Index. However, they are becoming more cautious about the stock market, which is consistent with global trends,” says T.V. Seshadri, general manager and country president, India, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p>“The optimism seen in key indicators such as the Economy, Employment and Quality of Life shows that consumers are still generally confident in the Indian growth story,” he added.</p> <p><i><a name="1"></a>[1] Asia/Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence –2H 2011 - India<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="638"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Cities</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>MWICC 2H 2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Employment</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Economy</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Regular Income</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Stock Market</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Quality of Life</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Chennai</td> <td>87.4</td> <td>85.1</td> <td>84.0</td> <td>89.7</td> <td>87.7</td> <td>90.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Bangalore</td> <td>82.9</td> <td>90.0</td> <td>88.0</td> <td>92.1</td> <td>57.4</td> <td>86.9</td> </tr><tr><td>Mumbai</td> <td>82.8</td> <td>80.3</td> <td>85.0</td> <td>84.7</td> <td>82.9</td> <td>81.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Delhi</td> <td>46.1</td> <td>35.3</td> <td>38.2</td> <td>58.1</td> <td>56.1</td> <td>43.0</td> </tr></tbody></table> MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence –APMEA <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="577"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>MARKETS</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>1H2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H 2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>1H 2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H 2009</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>63.1</td> <td>63.0</td> <td>74.1</td> <td>69.5</td> <td>24.1</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>78.3</td> <td>79.4</td> <td>83.0</td> <td>85.3</td> <td>60.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>69.9</td> <td>74.7</td> <td>76.6</td> <td>60.0</td> <td>24.7</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>75.2</td> <td>73.0</td> <td>68.2</td> <td>68.8</td> <td>68.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>58.0</td> <td>56.1</td> <td>61.4</td> <td>67.0</td> <td>49.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>15.9</td> <td>20.2</td> <td>27.8</td> <td>24.4</td> <td>21.5</td> </tr><tr><td>South Korea</td> <td>51.8</td> <td>55.7</td> <td>54.1</td> <td>59.8</td> <td>28.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>64.9</td> <td>66.2</td> <td>67.9</td> <td>66.3</td> <td>27.8</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>42.2</td> <td>53.3</td> <td>65.9</td> <td>69.7</td> <td>21.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>53.6</td> <td>80.1</td> <td>59.3</td> <td>49.7</td> <td>40.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>77.9</td> <td>86.1</td> <td>86.6</td> <td>79.4</td> <td>31.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>67.6</td> <td>62.5</td> <td>65.7</td> <td>56.5</td> <td>39.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>46.1</td> <td>57.3</td> <td>50.6</td> <td>55.3</td> <td>23.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Vietnam</td> <td>77.1</td> <td>90.3</td> <td>93.7</td> <td>90.0</td> <td>60.9</td> </tr><tr><td>Total Asia/Pacific</td> <td>61.5</td> <td>68.0</td> <td>69.1</td> <td>66.3</td> <td>38.7</td> </tr></tbody></table> About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has an 19-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region. In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.</p> <p>The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and is now conducted annually. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty five markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The last MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011. A total of 17,620 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 25 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.&nbsp; In each market except China and India, 400 or more people were surveyed.&nbsp; A minimum sample size of 800 was collected from China and India.</p> <p>The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.&nbsp; Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.&nbsp; The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level, except China and India where because of the larger sample, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/consumer-confidence-in-india-at-the-highest-level-since-20082011-09-12T16:00:00.000Z2011-09-12T16:00:00.000ZAsia/Pacific Cities Rank among World’s Most Connected Destinations: MasterCard Index Julianty Moeljono, Thoriq HuseinJakarta Ranked No.10 For The Top 10 Destination Cities in Asia/Pacific With 2.8 Million Visitors<p><i>To tweet this release and related images, copy and paste</i><i> </i><b><i><u><a href="http://bit.ly/KaNZi0" target="_blank">http://bit.ly/KaNZi0</a></u></i> </b><i>to your Twitter handle with the hash tags #MasterCardAP and</i><i> <i>#DestinationCities</i></i></p> <p><b><i>Singapore, 19 June 2012: </i></b>Asia/Pacific cities continued their ascendance as global destinations in 2012, with nearly half of the world’s top 20 cities by visitor arrivals and expenditure heralding from the region, according to the <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/upload/325/262/Insights-GlobalDestinationCitiesIndex-S5.pdf"><b>MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index</b></a> released today.</p> <p>This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2012. <i>This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.</i></p> <p>The Index projects sustained growth among emerging market cities with the top ten Asia/Pacific destinations expecting a 9.5% growth in visitor arrivals for 2012 and a 15.3% surge in cross-border spending. Singapore<a name="_ftnref1"></a>[1] (4<sup>th</sup>), Hong Kong (6<sup>th</sup>) and Kuala Lumpur (10<sup>th</sup>) feature in the Index’s top ten global cities. To view the Index as an interactive map, please click <b><a href="http://cities.masterintelligence.com/" target="_blank">here</a>.</b></p> <p>Cities in Asia/Pacific once again led the charge globally with eight of the top 20 cities by international arrivals, with Bangkok ranked third globally with projected visitors to top 12.2 million visitors this year. Singapore was in fourth rank with 11.8 million visitors, with Hong Kong sixth with 11.1 million visitors, and Kuala Lumpur ranked 10<sup>th</sup> with 8.1 million visitors expected.&nbsp;</p> <p>In terms of the top Asia/Pacific Destination Cities bv International Visitors in 2012, Jakarta is ranked tenth, with 2.8 million visitors. Bangkok leads the rankings followed by Singapore and Hong Kong. &nbsp;</p> <p>The region also ranked highly on visitor spending with Bangkok ranked third globally with US$19.3 billion expected to be spent by inbound passengers in 2012, a 16.6% jump from last year. Singapore leapt two places to fifth overall with US$12.7 billion, up 12.7% on last year. Seoul moved into the top ten with US$10.6 billion in cross-border spend, an increase of 16.2%, while Tokyo, still recovering from the triple disasters of 2011 moved up four places to 14<sup>th</sup>, is officially the world’s third-fastest growing market (24.2%) in terms of cross-border spending.</p> <p>In terms of growth in visitor numbers six out of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the Index were from Asia/Pacific with Tokyo second globally behind Rio de Janeiro (28.6%) with a 21.5% growth in visitor arrivals. Taipei and <a href="http://www.pricelessbeijing.com/" target="_blank"><b>Beijing</b></a> also featured in both the top ten growth cities by visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.</p> <p>“Asia’s destination cities continue their rise, expecting a significant upward trend in visitor arrivals and cross-border spend—most of them on the back of large double digit growth,” observed<b> <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank">Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</a></b>, global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p><b><a href="http://www.mastercard.co.uk/priceless-cities/london/" target="_blank">London</a> </b>once again topped the world’s cities by visitor numbers with 16.9 million inbound passengers expected in 2012, ahead of Paris in second place with 16 million inbound passengers expected. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>London also ranked first on cross-border expenditure, ahead of New York in second place, with estimated expenditures in these cities for 2012 amounting to US$21.1 billion and US$19.4 billion respectively.</p> <p>While cities in Europe and the US still ranked highly in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, Dr. Hedrick-Wong said that the number of emerging market cities featuring in the Index showed Asia’s growing role in the global economy.</p> <p>“The leading Asian cities are some of the most sought after destinations for visitors from all over the world, and the Index indicates that they will continue to thrive into 2012,” he said.</p> <p>“Another interesting trend that we observe is a rise in cashless payments with many international travelers opting to do electronic transactions rather than using cash. The trend is a response to an increasing demand for safe, simple and smart payments, and highlights the rising importance of cashless commerce for both business and leisure travel,” Dr. Hedrick-Wong concluded.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>[1] City rankings from the 2011 MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are altered retrospectively as updates in data become available.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> The World’s Top 20 Fastest Growing Destination Cities by Visitor Numbers<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="409"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012 Growth Rate</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Rank</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Rio de Janeiro</td> <td>28.6%</td> <td>1</td> </tr><tr><td>Tokyo</td> <td>21.5%</td> <td>2</td> </tr><tr><td>Quito</td> <td>18.8%</td> <td>3</td> </tr><tr><td>Abu Dhabi</td> <td>17.9%</td> <td>4</td> </tr><tr><td>Tunis</td> <td>17.7%</td> <td>5</td> </tr><tr><td>Dubai</td> <td>15.3%</td> <td>6</td> </tr><tr><td>Taipei</td> <td>15.1%</td> <td>7</td> </tr><tr><td>Istanbul</td> <td>14.7%</td> <td>8</td> </tr><tr><td>Beijing</td> <td>14.7%</td> <td>8</td> </tr><tr><td>Bogota</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>10</td> </tr><tr><td>Lima</td> <td>11.7%</td> <td>11</td> </tr><tr><td>Riyadh</td> <td>10.4%</td> <td>12</td> </tr><tr><td>Nairobi</td> <td>10.0%</td> <td>13</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>9.9%</td> <td>14</td> </tr><tr><td>Seoul</td> <td>9.8%</td> <td>15</td> </tr><tr><td>Cairo</td> <td>8.3%</td> <td>16</td> </tr><tr><td>Shanghai</td> <td>8.2%</td> <td>17</td> </tr><tr><td>Toronto</td> <td>7.6%</td> <td>18</td> </tr><tr><td>Washington</td> <td>7.2%</td> <td>19</td> </tr><tr><td>Caracas</td> <td>7.0%</td> <td>20</td> </tr></tbody></table> Asia/Pacific Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitor Spend (2012)<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="431"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2" valign="top"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Market</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Visitor Spend</b> <b>(US$ Billion)</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>% Growth</b> <b>2011 &amp; 2012</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>2012 Visitors</b> <b>(Millions)*</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Bangkok</td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>$11.1</td> <td>$16.6</td> <td>$19.3</td> <td>16.6%</td> <td>12.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>$9.0</td> <td>$11.3</td> <td>$12.7</td> <td>12.7%</td> <td>11.8</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Sydney</td> <td>Australia</td> <td>$9.2</td> <td>$10.1</td> <td>$11.0</td> <td>9.7%</td> <td>2.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Seoul</td> <td>South Korea</td> <td>$7.7</td> <td>$9.1</td> <td>$10.6</td> <td>16.2%</td> <td>8.0</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Taipei</td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>$6.1</td> <td>$8.7</td> <td>$10.5</td> <td>20.5%</td> <td>5.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Tokyo</td> <td>Japan</td> <td>$10.2</td> <td>$8.0</td> <td>$9.9</td> <td>24.2%</td> <td>4.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>(SAR) China</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.6</td> <td>$9.5</td> <td>9.5%</td> <td>11.1</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Shanghai</td> <td>China</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.3</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>7.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Beijing</td> <td>China</td> <td>$4.2</td> <td>$5.5</td> <td>$6.5</td> <td>19.2%</td> <td>6.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Kuala Lumpur</td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>$4.7</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$6.4</td> <td>13.7%</td> <td>8.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p><i>*Excludes passengers returning to arrival country and includes visitors on non-stop flights only</i><i></i></p> <p></p> Asia/Pacific Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitors (2012)<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012 Visitors</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Bangkok</td> <td>12.2 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>11.8 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>11.1 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Kuala Lumpur</td> <td>8.1 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Seoul</td> <td>8.0 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Shanghai</td> <td>7.5 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Beijing</td> <td>6.2 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Taipei</td> <td>5.4 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Tokyo</td> <td>4.3 mn</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Jakarta</td> <td>2.8 mn</td> </tr></tbody></table> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities.&nbsp; Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.</p> <p>On any given flight there are visitors from the departure country, returning residents of the destination city after visiting the departure country, and a third group: non-residents connecting through the departure country to the destination city on their way to a second destination city. This group can be a low proportion of the passengers for typically non-hub cities, but very high for destination cities that are “hubs” such as Singapore, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.</p> <p>On a country level, the UN Database of “Trade in Service” in the “Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included).&nbsp; An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas.&nbsp;</p> <p>A margin of error is also unavoidable in such estimates, as not all outbound trips are of equal length, and the cost of living varies a great between arrival cities such that even if each trip of equal length, expenditure per passenger between different arrival cities would still be very different.&nbsp;This margin of error is reduced significantly by imposing a minimum of expenditures in the algorithm, after a number of iterative testing (US$500 per trip for bordering arrival country and US$700 per trip for non-bordering arrival country).&nbsp;</p> <p>Please note: the city rankings from the 2011 MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are altered retrospectively as updates in data become available.</p> <p></p> About Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Ph.D., Global Economic Advisor, MasterCard Worldwide<p>Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong is a business strategist and economist with 25 years of experience gained in over thirty countries. He was appointed Global Economic Advisor to MasterCard Worldwide in 2009.&nbsp; Prior to this role, he was Economic Advisor to MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, a position he held since 2001. As economic advisor, he chairs a MasterCard Knowledge Panel of leading economists, policy analysts, academics and business strategists for regular exchange and knowledge sharing.&nbsp; In 2007 he was appointed Advisor at Southern Capital Group, a private equity fund; and in 2008 he was appointed to the Investment Council of ICICI, India’s largest private bank.</p> <p>Yuwa is also currently the HSBC Visiting Professor of International Business at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, and is a frequent speaker at numerous international high-profile conferences. &nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Julianty Moeljono<br> MasterCard Worldwide,<br> <a href="mailto:julianty_moeljono@mastercard.com">julianty_moeljono@mastercard.com</a> &nbsp;</p> <p>Thoriq Husein<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:thusein@webershandwick.com">thusein@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p></p> This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/asiapacific-cities-rank-among-worlds-most-connected-destinations-mastercard-index2012-06-18T16:00:00.000Z2012-06-18T16:00:00.000ZWomen in India are Closing the Gender Gap on Financial Literacy: MasterCard Survey Neha Singhvi, Vani KhuranaResearch on Day-to-day Financial Planning Led by Mature Markets; Women in Emerging Markets Fare Better than Men on Basic Money Management<p><b><i>India 1 July 2012</i></b> – People in mature markets may prove to be better financial planners overall but it is women in emerging markets who remain dominant when it comes to basic money management, according to <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank">MasterCard</a>&nbsp;</b>research.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010. The survey polled consumers on three aspects of financial literacy including their basic money management skills, investment knowledge and financial planning to determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p></p> <p>In terms of overall financial literacy, Taiwan and New Zealand tied for first place with a score of 73 index points each, with Taiwan jumping up from 5<sup>th</sup> rank in 2010. Following close behind with 71 index points each are Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. Notably, Hong Kong jumped up from 6<sup>th</sup> position when the survey was conducted in 2010. Thailand, first in the region two years ago, fell 10 rankings to 11<sup>th</sup> in 2012 with 65 index points. China and India were ranked the lowest in the basic money management index scoring 55 index points each.</p> <p></p> <p>Women showed slightly better scores than men&nbsp; in Asia/Pacific’s emerging markets with Philippines leading the region with financial literacy scores that were 9% better than men’s, followed by Vietnam (6%) and Malaysia (5%).</p> <p></p> <p><b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/t-v-seshadri/" target="_blank">Mr. T.V. Sesha</a><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/t-v-seshadri/" target="_blank">dri</a>,</b> Division President, South Asia, said: “The index has provided fresh insights into the aptitude and knowledge of managing finances for women in India. It is encouraging to see that women are at par with men when it comes to financial literacy, but there is still a lot of work to be done to improve levels of financial literacy across the board. As an organization <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/2012/07/17/empowering-women-and-improving-lives-in-india-through-financial-inclusion/#comments" target="_blank">committed to the empowerment of women in our communities</a>,</b> MasterCard will continue to work towards raising levels of financial literacy in the region, enabling women to earn a livelihood and better the lives of their family and the community they live in.”</p> <p>As part of its commitment to economic empowerment for individuals, MasterCard recently pledged INR 2,500,000 to the <a href="http://www.sewa.org/" target="_blank"><b>Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)</b></a>, an organization that helps women in India secure employment opportunities, empowering them to self-reliance with supportive services. The financial aid helped fund the set-up of SEWA’s <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/press-releases/mastercard-and-sewa-enable-womens-empowerment-in-india/" target="_blank">seventh Rural Urban Development Initiative (RUDI) Processing Centre</a> </b>at Bodeli, Gujarat. The centre will benefit approximately 2000 farmers and 400 SEWA members. Under this program supported by MasterCard, SEWA members will provide necessary training to empower the centre’s workforce with necessary skill sets as per the needs and demands of the market. As more women are trained to run the centre, they will become entrepreneurs, retailing in the neighboring areas, thereby sustaining the business activities of the centre.</p> <p>MasterCard recently also tied up with Literacy India to help 705 women from 16 centres to upgrade their skills in modern design and advanced finishing techniques. This works to support and encourage women to transform themselves into entrepreneurs and increase their earning power.</p> <p>The overall results of the survey for Asia Pacific also provided some interesting highlights. New Zealanders (77%) fared the best when asked about basic money management skills such as day-to-day budgeting, keeping up with bills, credit commitments and setting money aside for big purchases, followed by Australia in 2<sup>nd</sup> (75%) and Hong Kong (72%) moving up one spot from 4<sup>th</sup> in 2010 to 3<sup>rd</sup> in 2012.</p> <p></p> <p>Hong Kong (68%), Taiwan (67%) and China (65%) topped the investment component of the research. More respondents in these markets understood their bank statements and complex investment concepts such as diversification and inflation.</p> <p></p> <p>Koreans proved to have the region’s most improved scores for financial planning (83%) up 12 places from the 2010 survey. Survey respondents from Taiwan (83%) and Vietnam (82%) also saved more regularly and were better prepared than their regional counterparts when it came to retirement preparations and emergency savings.</p> <p></p> <p>In mature markets, respondents over 30 years of age appeared to score higher in financial literacy compared to their counterparts under the age of 30. This was especially seen in markets like New Zealand (76% vs. 65%), Australia (74% vs. 64%) and Taiwan (74% vs. 70%) where respondents over 30 years old were clearly leading the pack.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><b>[1<a name="1"></a>] </b>Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietna</i>m</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Methodology<p>The Index is based on a survey of consumers from 25 markets across APMEA and comprises questions covering three major components:</p> <ul> <li>Basic Money Management (50% weight): To determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage.</li> <li>Financial Planning (30% weight): To assess level of knowledge about financial products, services, and concepts, and ability to plan for long-term financial needs.</li> <li>Investment (20% weight): To determine basic understanding of the various risks associated with investment, different investment products and skills required.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p>A Financial Literacy Index Score for each market was calculated out of the weighted sum of the 3 components.</p> <p></p> <p>Regional Aggregates are calculated via the average of the individual country components before applying the weights described above.</p> <p>Interviews for the MasterCard Worldwide Financial Literacy Index were conducted via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Neha Singhvi,<br> Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick Pvt. Ltd.,<br> <a href="mailto:nsinghvi@corvoshandwick.co.in" target="_blank">nsinghvi@corvoshandwick.co.in</a>,<br> +91 - 9650033899</p> <p>Vani Khurana,<br> Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick Pvt. Ltd.,<br> <a href="mailto:vanikhurana@corvoshandwick.co.in" target="_blank">vanikhurana@corvoshandwick.co.in</a>,<br> +91- 9810947602</p> <p></p> The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/women-in-india-are-closing-the-gender-gap-on-financial-literacy-mastercard-survey2012-06-30T16:00:00.000Z2012-06-30T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Says Early Days for Mobile Payments Adoption with No Two Markets the Same Singapore, Canada, United States, Kenya and South Korea Most Ready to Adopt Consumers willing to use mobile payments in Indonesia Study identifies need for more industry partnership<p><b><i>Jakarta – 9 May, 2012</i></b>&nbsp;– MasterCard Worldwide today unveiled the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), an analysis of 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: person to person, mobile web commerce and mobile contactless payments at the point of sale. The MPRI found that while no two markets are the same, consumer readiness is the critical success factor to drive mobile payments adoption around the globe.</p> <p>The MPRI identified Singapore, Canada, the United States, Kenya and South Korea as the most prepared markets. The Index indicates that while it’s early stages for mobile payments adoption, all markets globally – either highly scaled and integrated ones like the United Kingdom or compact and technology-driven ones like Singapore – are making progress towards reaching an inflection point where mobile devices account for an appreciable share of the payments mix.</p> <p>The Index also found that in some markets such as Australia, young affluent consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 years old are the most willing to engage in mobile payments as they recognize the value of using mobile payments instead of cash or payment cards. While this demographic was predominantly male in most countries, women showed higher levels of interest in countries such as China, Egypt and the Philippines.</p> <p>For Indonesia, the MPRI highlighted that the<b> </b>twin tasks facing the country are improving its mobile payments infrastructure and preparing the ground for a greater degree of consumer willingness to use mobile<b> </b>payments.<b> </b>The study highlighted that<b> </b>before mobile payments can flourish, the Indonesian market needs to improve critical elements in the payments’ ecosystem and this includes increasing mobile phone penetration and expanding mobile network coverage.&nbsp; In addition, consumer education and marketing efforts are needed to build and communicate the value of mobile payments to Indonesian consumers. There are consumers who are willing to use mobile payments in Indonesia, and by enhancing the mobile payments environment, MasterCard believes the market could be ready to serve them in the future.</p> <p>In addition, findings of the MPRI reveal that partnerships among the key players in the mobile payments ecosystem are essential to accelerate the commercialization of mobile payments. Cooperation and collaboration among financial institutions, telcos, governments, technology providers and others can foster an environment that enables a market to reach critical mass.</p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Nine of the 10 markets with the highest consumer scores are in APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa).</li> <li>Of the three mobile payment types, more consumers had engaged in m-commerce in 71 percent of the countries surveyed.</li> <li>&nbsp;In developing economies, consumers are typically drawn to mobile payments for access to the larger economy, both national and global, as well as to a regulated and secure economic infrastructure. Consumers in the developed world are drawn to the convenience of mobile phone payments.</li> </ul> <p>“Technology infrastructure, a responsive regulatory environment and a robust economy are table stakes for the advancement of mobile payments,” said Theodore Iacobuzio, vice president, Global Insights, MasterCard Worldwide. “The necessary conditions are consumer readiness and industry integration. As no one entity can develop and promote mobile payments by itself, key players in the ecosystem must work together to collectively advance the cause of mobile payments.”</p> <p>To download an executive summary of the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index, view an Interactive Global Map of the data or study the findings of the 34 countries that make up the Index, please visit <b><a href="http://mobilereadiness.mastercard.com/">http://mobilereadiness.mastercard.com</a>.&nbsp;</b></p> <p></p> Index Methodology<p>Research findings from the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index were compiled by MasterCard Global Insights between October 2011 and February 2012. The Index examined 34 global markets. Each market was ranked on a scale of 1 to 100 with scores derived from an algorithm comprised of over 50 quantitative and qualitative inputs including economic, demographic, telecommunications and payments industry data as well as proprietary consumer research. These inputs were then weighted and combined into six components including Environment, Financial Services, Regulations, Infrastructure, Consumer Readiness and Clusters and Partnerships. The six components were combined, yielding a single readiness score for each country.&nbsp;</p> about mastercard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>, </b>join the discussion on the <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> MasterCard Worldwide today unveiled the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), an analysis of 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: person to person, mobile web commerce and mobile contactless payments at the point of sale.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/mastercard-says-early-days-for-mobile-payments-adoption-with-no-two-markets-the-same2012-05-08T16:00:00.000Z2012-05-08T16:00:00.000ZIndonesia Tops Consumer Confidence in Asia/Pacific: MasterCard Index Julianty Moeljono, Thoriq HuseinMethodology<p>Respondents were asked 5 questions pertaining to their 6-month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in 5 component indexes which were averaged to form the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) score. The MWICC Index score and the 5 component index scores range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents maximum pessimism, 100 represents maximum optimism and 50 represents neutrality.</p> About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has a 20-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region.&nbsp; In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low score of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.</p> <p>The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty five markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 7 November to 23 December 2012. A total of 11,339 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 25 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.&nbsp; Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys and face to face interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.&nbsp; The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four to five percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.</p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Julianty Moeljono,<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:julianty_moeljono@mastercard.com">julianty_moeljono@mastercard.com</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> <br> Thoriq Husein<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:thusein@webershandwick.com"> thusein@webershandwick.com</a><i></i></p> <p></p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/indonesia-tops-consumer-confidence-in-asia-pacific--mastercard-i2013-02-24T16:00:00.000Z2013-02-24T16:00:00.000ZIndonesians Tend To Holiday Closer to Home: MasterCard Survey Julianty Moeljono, Thoriq HuseinMasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Julianty Moeljono,<br> MasterCard Worldwide,<br> <a href="mailto:julianty_moeljono@mastercard.com">julianty_moeljono@mastercard.com</a></p> <p></p> <p>Thoriq Husein,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:thusein@webershandwick.com">thusein@webershandwick.com</a><br> +62 818 772 554</p> According to the latest MasterCard survey - Travel, most Indonesians prefer to spend their holiday domestically than to travel abroad. Denpasar topped the list of the most desired domestic destination.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/indonesians-tend-to-holiday-closer-to-home--mastercard-survey2013-04-08T16:00:00.000Z2013-04-08T16:00:00.000ZThe Majority of Indonesians Save Money For The Future: MasterCard Survey Julianty Moeljono, Thoriq HuseinMasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Julianty Moeljono,<br> MasterCard Worldwide,<br> <a href="mailto:julianty_moeljono@mastercard.com">julianty_moeljono@mastercard.com</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Thoriq Husein,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:thusein@webershandwick.com">thusein@webershandwick.com</a>,<br> +62 818 772 554</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Money Management provides valuable insights into the Asia/Pacific consumers’ savings and expenditure behavior and their understanding of basic money management concepts, financial planning and investments.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/the-majority-of-indonesians-save-money-for-the-future--mastercar2013-04-21T16:00:00.000Z2013-04-21T16:00:00.000ZRBI-Led Decisions Help India Make Considerable Progress in Achieving Universal Financial Access, Reveals ‘Cost Of Cash In India’ Report Georgette TanCash And Non-Cash Transaction Profile For India<p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/transaction-india.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="583" height="211" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/transaction-india.jpg"></a></p> <p><i>Source: EuroMonitor Passport 2012</i></p> <ul> <li><b>Fewer than 35% of Indians</b> <b>above the age of 15</b> <b>have used a bank account</b> and less than 10% have ever used any kind of non-cash payment instrument. In fact, the percentage of India’s population that has accounts with formal financial institutions (35%) is significantly lower than that of Kenya (42%), Brazil (55%), and China (63%)</li> <li><b>Mobile banking remains a banking product and not a robust retail payments system</b>, with less than 3% of the value transacted by cards in the year ended March 2014.</li> <li><b>The total value of ATM transactions increased more than five times between 2007 and 2012</b>, from about 3 trillion to about 18 trillion rupees, while the value of card transactions barely doubled in the same period from 1 to 2 trillion rupees. However, when weighted for population, India fares poorly in terms of ATM access when compared to even lesser-developed markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, or Egypt.</li> <li><b>India’s cash intensity also stands out in contrast to other developing countries. </b>The value of notes and coins in circulation as a percentage of GDP in India is 12.04%, compared to 3.93% in Brazil, 5.32% in Mexico, and 3.72% in South Africa.</li> </ul> <p>he report also includes insight into how households pay differently for access to cash - according to their place in society, determined by income, employment, age, and place of residence; and their widely differing views on the risks of cash and strategies for risk management.</p> <p>Although conventional wisdom assumes that cash is free, the report found that the residents of Delhi together spend 6 million hours and Rs. 9.1 crores (US $1.5 million) to obtain cash. Hyderabad, which is smaller, spends 1.7 million hours and Rs 3.2 crores (US $0.5 million) to do the same, which corresponds to fees and transport costs about twice as high as Delhi on a per capita basis. These fees, along with cash balances and wealth overall, rise in line with age in Delhi.</p> <p>The report also notes that as women tend to remain in the home, outside of the labor force, their access to cash is cheaper.&nbsp; Employers, on the other hand, spend the most for access to cash, as they typically handle the largest amounts.&nbsp; They also appreciate the risks of large cash stocks the most, and most regularly breach their preferred cash ceilings[<a href="#_ftn1">1</a>].</p> <p><a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1"></a><i>[1] Cash ceiling refers to the amount of money above which the respondent is unwilling to hold in cash. </i></p> About The Cost of Cash report<p>The report is the product of a research effort that analyzed the most pertinent policy documents, reports, scholarship, expert interviews, and payments data. It is the second in a series of country reports on The Cost of Cash by the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC). The series seeks to ascertain the private costs and risks of cash management facing diverse stakeholders in society: consumers, business, government, and financial systems. It does not forecast the likelihood that cash will fall into disuse, or drop below any threshold in payment market share. It is different from much of the academic work in payment economics, which focuses explicitly on social costs with a view toward informing debates around payment clearing and settlement. Instead, it is analyzed through the private costs to households and businesses that arise from their use of cash, beginning when cash is received and ending when it is spent again. The estimates are based on original IBGC surveys, coauthors’ surveys and interviews, and a broad mix of academic studies and official statistics.</p> About The Institute for Business in the Global Context<p>The Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC) connects the world of business to the world. It is the hub for international business at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, the oldest exclusively graduate school of international affairs in the United States. The Institute takes an interdisciplinary and international approach, preparing global leaders who can cross borders of many kinds and integrate business skills with essential contextual intelligence. The Institute is organized around four core activity areas: education, research, dialogue, and a lab. The Master of International Business degree and executive education offerings, coupled with original research in the areas of inclusive growth, innovation, and global capital flows, facilitate vibrant conferences, symposia, and speaker dialogues. IBGC gratefully acknowledges support from The Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi Foundation, Chicago Bridge &amp; Iron, The Global Fund, Hitachi Corporation, Hitachi Research Institute, K&amp;L Gates, MasterCard Foundation, MasterCard Worldwide, Oliver Wyman, The Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Thomas Schmidheiny, State Street Corporation, and Tata Group.</p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">MasterCard</a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">www.mastercard.com</a>,&nbsp;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&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/MasterCardAP" target="_blank">@MasterCardAP</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@MasterCardNews</a>,&nbsp;join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/blog" target="_blank">Cashless Pioneers Blog</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/subscribe/" target="_blank">subscribe</a>&nbsp;for the latest news on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific" target="_blank">Engagement Bureau</a>.</p> Media Contacts<p><b>Esha Khattar<br> </b>Weber Shandwick, <br> <a href="mailto:ekhattar@webershandwick.com">ekhattar@webershandwick.com</a>, <br> +91 9810840351</p> <p><b>Brijesh Kutty<br> </b>Weber Shandwick, <br> <a href="mailto:bkutty@webershandwick.com">bkutty@webershandwick.com</a>, <br> +91 9920460901</p> The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has taken a number of decisions that greatly reduce the barriers to financial access, especially on the supply side, according to the findings of the inaugural ‘Cost of Cash in India’ report. The report is the second in a series of country reports on the ‘Cost of Cash’ by The Fletcher School’s Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC), with the support of MasterCard. The report notes that these decisions include a welcome set of innovations (universal ID cards, protocols, servers, and related-KYC regulations) which have served to lower the financial institutions’ cost of enrolling new customers. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2015/RBI-Led-Decisions2015-01-18T16:00:00.000Z2015-01-18T16:00:00.000ZYoung generation of Micro Merchants likely adopters of electronic payments: MasterCard study Report Methodology & Sample Size<p>The <b>MasterCard</b> <b>Micro Merchant Market Sizing &amp; Profiling Report</b> is a study of 1653 merchants across nine cities – Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Bareilly, Ranchi, Nasik and Vijaywada, through face to face interactions.</p> <p>The study examines micro merchants in India across verticals like kirana stores, medical stores, F&amp;B stores, mobile phone &amp; accessories, watches and accessories, garments, consumer Electronics, Building fittings, Automobile accessories and spare parts, Private Cab Services and Beauty Parlours/ Men's Salons/ Barber shops.</p> About CAIT<p>The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is an apex body of trading community of India comprising of more than twenty thousand Trade Associations and Federations across the Country as its affiliates. The CAIT came into existence in 1990 with an aim and objective of the development of trade and traders in the country and has brilliantly evolved the understanding and co-ordination amongst traders throughout the world. It has through its vast national network has undertaken various issues affecting the native trade and worked as the worthy bridge between the Trade and other stakeholders including community, State and others. It endeavoured to contribute in mitigating the hardship posed by Sealing, and other measures at national level and found acceptable solutions.</p> About MasterCard<p>MasterCard&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html">www.mastercard.com</a></b>, 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&nbsp;<b><a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/mastercardap">@MasterCardAP</a>&nbsp;</b>and&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/MasterCardNews"><b>@MasterCardNews</b>,</a>&nbsp;join the discussion on the<b>&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/blog/">Beyond the Transaction Blog</a></b>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<b><a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/subscribe">subscribe</a></b>&nbsp;for the latest news on the&nbsp;<b><a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/">Engagement Bureau</a></b>.</p> Media Contacts<p>Rahul Vaidyanathan<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <a href="mailto:rvaidyanathan@webershandwick.com">rvaidyanathan@webershandwick.com</a><br> +91 9811130902</p> <p>Devaki Adhikari<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <a href="mailto:dadhikari@webershandwick.com">dadhikari@webershandwick.com</a><br> +91 9891635431</p> A new MasterCard study of micro merchants in India indicates that young merchants in the age group of 35-45 are most likely to adopt electronic payment systems, thus furthering the country’s vision for a less cash economy. According to the MasterCard Micro Merchant Market Sizing & Profiling Report, young merchants owning large and medium sized businesses, primarily in auto accessories, building fittings, medical, private cabs, and food & beverage sectors form the high potential segment. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2016/young-generation-of-micro-merchants2016-04-12T16:00:00.000Z2016-04-12T16:00:00.000ZSpending Powerhouse Sydney Sixth in Global Index Georgette TanSydney – Key Spending Destination<p>Australian holiday hotspot, Sydney, did not feature in the top twenty for visitor arrivals, but ranked highly on visitor expenditure, ranking sixth in the Index with international visitors expected to spend US$13.8 billion (A$14.05 billion)<sup>[1]</sup>&nbsp;in the city in 2011.</p> <p>MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright said, &quot;Analysts and business owners in Australia have expressed concern over recent months about the impact that the continued strength of the Australian Dollar will have on visitors looking to travel to our shores, but it is heartening to see that, not only are our cities as popular as ever, visitors plan to spend more when they get here.</p> <p>&quot;What is really encouraging for our travel and tourism sector is that Sydney performs particularly well globally in terms of international visitor expenditure, coming in ahead of renowned shopping and entertainment destinations Los Angeles, Madrid and Singapore.”</p> <p></p> Australia – Top ten internationally for visitor expenditure growth<p>The Index also looked at the growth rates of visitor expenditure in destination cities and found Melbourne, which ranks lower than Sydney in terms of overall visitor expenditure, ranked eighth in the world for predicted growth, with visitor spending expected to grow by 19% this year (see table 1).</p> <p>&quot;Melbourne is proving itself as a future hotspot for international travellers with growth in visitor expenditure expected to be almost one fifth higher this year than it was for the same period in 2010. The real winners will be the businesses that seize the opportunity this presents and prepare themselves for the expected growth in spending over the next twelve months.”</p> <p>Andrew Cartwright adds: &quot;These results should ease some concerns by those polled in the recent Tourism and Transport Forum/MasterCard survey which found that the Australian travel industry were concerned by the continued dominance of the Dollar and the detrimental impact it could have on inbound travel to Australia.</p> <p>Placing these Australian results in a global context, the research showed that last year across all 132 cities, cross border spending and outbound departures were up significantly – with growth of 14.6% and 9.2% respectively, well surpassing world GDP figures.</p> <p>In 2011 some destination cities are expecting visitor expenditure growth to increase up to 30% and visitor arrivals up 24%.</p> <p>&quot;Until now there has been little analysis of the impact that travel and cross border expenditure between cities has on the economies of prospering markets and historically more developed nations. The Index offers an analysis of the powerful financial flows between existing commercial powerhouses and the emerging markets, and provides a revealing insight into how these relationships may develop in the future,” said Mr. Cartwright.</p> <p></p> Asia/Pacific Performance <p>Within the Asia/Pacific region Sydney again features predominantly in terms of visitor expenditure, ranking second only to Bangkok (US$14.4 billion). The other Australian city included in the Index, Melbourne, ranks eighth ahead of regional business hubs Kuala Lumpur (US$6 billion) and Shanghai (US$6 billion).</p> <p>In terms of growth rates of visitor expenditures in the Asia/Pacific region, both Australian cities feature in the top ten, with Sydney in tenth position at 12.1% and Melbourne in seventh position at 19% (table 2).</p> <p>&quot;As the global economic centre continues to shift and with visitor arrivals and expenditure on arrival continuing to increase, the Asia/Pacific region is continuing to emerge as an integral area for the future of global commerce,” said Mr. Cartwright.</p> <p></p> Additional Global Highlights<p><b><u>London tops Index with over 20 million inbound travellers</u></b><br> Overall London topped the Index with 20.1 million inbound passengers expected in 2011, due to Heathrow’s role as a key international airport and transfer hub and the low interest rates which are attracting tourists and encouraging businesses to invest in the city. Paris is second with 18.1 million, followed by Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong.</p> <p><b><u>London ranks first on cross-border expenditure</u></b><br> New York is in second place with Paris in third. Estimated expenditures in these cities for 2011 amounted to US$25.6 billion, US$20.3 billion and US$14.6 billion respectively. Bangkok ranks fourth with visitor expenditures estimated at US$14.4 billion, followed by Frankfurt in fifth rank with US$14 billion.</p> <p></p> Table 1: Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitor Expenditure in 2011<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="580"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Destination Cities</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011 Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011 Visitor Expenditure</b></th> </tr><tr><td>London</td> <td>1</td> <td>US$25.6 billion,</td> </tr><tr><td>New York</td> <td>2</td> <td>US$20.3 billion</td> </tr><tr><td>Paris</td> <td>3</td> <td>US$14.6 billion,</td> </tr><tr><td>Bangkok</td> <td>4</td> <td>US$14.4 billion,</td> </tr><tr><td>Frankfurt</td> <td>5</td> <td>US$14 billion</td> </tr><tr><td>Sydney</td> <td>6</td> <td>US$13.8 billion</td> </tr><tr><td>Los Angeles</td> <td>7</td> <td>US$12.5 billion</td> </tr><tr><td>Madrid</td> <td>8</td> <td>US$11.8 billion</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>9</td> <td>US$10.8 billion</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>10</td> <td>US$10.4 billion</td> </tr></tbody></table> Table 2: Growth Rates of Visitor Expenditures in Top 10 Destination Cities in Asia/Pacific in 2011<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="580"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Destination Cities</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011 Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2010 to 2011 Growth Rate</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Kuala Lumpur</td> <td>9</td> <td>31.0%</td> </tr><tr><td>Shanghai</td> <td>10</td> <td>24.3%</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>3</td> <td>23.9%</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>4</td> <td>23.6%</td> </tr><tr><td>Tokyo</td> <td>6</td> <td>20.8%</td> </tr><tr><td>Taipei</td> <td>7</td> <td>20.3%</td> </tr><tr><td>Melbourne</td> <td>8</td> <td>19.0%</td> </tr><tr><td>Seoul</td> <td>5</td> <td>18.6%</td> </tr><tr><td>Bangkok</td> <td>1</td> <td>18.6%</td> </tr><tr><td>Sydney</td> <td>2</td> <td>12.1%</td> </tr></tbody></table> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities. Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.</p> <p>For every city pair, data from the UN World Tourism Organization that document on an annual basis total numbers of outbound air passengers that travel between the two respective countries are used to create a &quot;ratio” of outbound versus inbound air passengers between two countries.</p> <p>A margin of error is unavoidable in this calculation as not every outbound passenger would return as in the case of immigration, and not all return in the same year.</p> <p>On a country level, the UN Database of &quot;Trade in Service” in the &quot;Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included). An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas.</p> <p>A margin of error is also unavoidable in such estimates, as not all outbound trips are of equal length, and the cost of living varies a great deal between arrival cities such that even if each trip of equal length, expenditure per passenger between different arrival cities would still be very different.</p> <p>This margin of error is reduced significantly by imposing a minimum of expenditures in the algorithm, after a number of iterative testing (US$500 per trip for bordering arrival country and US$700 per trip for non-bordering arrival country).</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> This is the inaugural edition of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/spening-powerhouse-sydney-sixth-in-global-index2011-06-01T16:00:00.000Z2011-06-01T16:00:00.000ZConsumer Confidence Significantly Down in 2011 Julia RoganNatural Disasters and Wider Economic Trends Impact Consumer Perceptions <p><b><i>Sydney, 4 July 2011 </i></b>– The <i>MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence </i>which depicts consumer confidence in Australia reveals overall optimism has fallen considerably since March 2010, from 74.1 points to 63.1 points in March 2011.</p> <p>The <i>MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence </i>is conducted annually, with the latest research undertaken in March and April, prior to the release of the Australian Economy performance statistics for the first three months of the year.&nbsp; <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright said: “As the March ABS retail statistics indicate<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>, households are keeping their wallets closed and are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach, in particular keeping a close eye on RBA rate announcements, before making large scale purchases. This behaviour is mirrored through the slight softening of the growth of credit cards purchases, yet continued double digit growth in debit card usage where consumers are using their own funds.<sup>[<a href="#2">2</a>]</sup>”</p> <p>Australians are more pessimistic across two of the key metrics of consumer confidence – with notable drops from 66.7 points to 61.8 points for confidence in the economy, and 70.7 to 65.9 points for confidence in employment in the last six months.</p> <p>The research also demonstrates that opinion over the fate of the economy is divided. Whilst one in five (19%) consumers were ahead of the market in stating that Australia’s economic performance would slow down in the first six months of 2011, half (50%) thought it would remain the same and a third (31%) thought it would improve.</p> <p>Andrew Cartwright added: “Australian consumers are clearly concerned about how changes in economic trends and the subsequent impact the growth and contraction of the market will have on their pockets. It is no surprise that recent disasters including the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi have had an impact on consumer confidence. Australians have simply tailored their spending and saving accordingly.”</p> <p>Generational and gender differences also impact consumer optimism scores. Respondents aged 30 and under have an average Index score of 73.1 compared to a far lower Index score of 51.8 for the older generations. The difference between men and women is also notable – with an average Index score of 67.3 for men compared with 58.3 for women.</p> <p>“Australians moving into their retirement years are understandably concerned with their financial future and the impact interest rate shifts will have on their nest eggs, which means they are more cautious with their money,” said Mr Cartwright.</p> <p>Now in its 19<sup>th</sup> year, the <i>MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence</i> is Australia’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. The latest survey was conducted from March to April 2011 and involved 647 consumers within the Australian market.</p> <p>The Index is based on a survey that measures consumer confidence on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.</p> <p>For the full report go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p><i><a name="1"></a>[1] March key figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, <a href="http://abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/E69B37031D9359FFCA2578A200147AD4?opendocument" target="_blank"><b>http://abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/E69B37031D9359FFCA2578A200147AD4?opendocument</b></a></i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><a name="2"></a>[2] March key figures from the monthly Reserve Bank Bulletin&nbsp;<b><a href="http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/index.html#money_credit" target="_blank">http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/index.html#money_cred</a></b><a href="http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/index.html#money_credit" target="_blank"><b>it</b></a></i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> MasterCard Research <p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/consumer-confidence-significantl-down-in-20112011-07-03T16:00:00.000Z2011-07-03T16:00:00.000ZDining out Still on the Menu for Cautious Consumers Julia RoganMasterCard Survey: Debit a Popular Payment Option for Gen <p><b><i>Sydney, 10 November 2011:</i></b> Despite continuing caution among consumers, Australians are still prepared to reward themselves through discretionary spending on entertainment and leisure activities, according to the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Dining and Entertainment.</p> <p>Even though the latest ABS retail statistics show retail spending is experiencing some small growth<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>, overall Australian purse strings remain tight and the November RBA interest rate cut (of 0.25% to 4.50%) will provide welcome relief to households.</p> <p>This wave of research, which surveyed 647 Australians, highlights that consumers are still prepared to selectively spend on leisure and entertainment, although the proportion varies greatly amongst generation groups – with 12% of Gen Y allocating more than 30% of their monthly income; falling to 3% for Gen X and 1% for baby boomers. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p></p> <p>Overall one in five Australians (22%) are setting aside 11-20 per cent of their monthly income for leisure and personal entertainment, with one in ten allocating as much as 21 to 30 per cent.</p> <p>However, personal entertainment falls low on the list of priorities for over a third of Australians when it comes to their expenditure, with almost one third (29%) spending less than six per cent of their monthly income on leisure activities. On average, 13 per cent of monthly income is dedicated to entertainment spend, which is below the Asia Pacific regional average of 14%.</p> <p>MasterCard Australia Country Manager Andrew Cartwright says: “Whilst the latest ABS statistics suggest small growth, overall Australians are keeping a watchful eye on the ever changing economic situation and are mindful of their outgoings. This means choices on non essential spending, such as leisure and entertainment, will be more carefully made with a sharper focus on value and satisfaction.”</p> <p><i><a name="1"></a>[1] September key retail trade figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics,</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mf/8501.0" target="_blank"><b>http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mf/8501.0</b></a></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Spending on Debit<p>Australians are also continuing to spend on dining out with friends and family and, on average, set aside US$136 on eating out each month. When it comes to footing the bill, all generations are recognising the benefits of paying on debit and accessing only the money available in their bank accounts, with Gen Y (18-29 year olds) most likely to use debit cards across all dining categories, from food courts to fine dining restaurants.</p> <p>MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright said this demonstrates the decline in the reliance on cash among younger consumers.</p> <p>“Gen Y is leading the charge when it comes to embracing a cashless society, through convenient payment technologies like <i>PayPass</i>. MasterCard’s research further highlights this trend alongside the rapid uptake and growth in <i>PayPass</i> transactions,[1] which this year exceeded one million transactions a month in Australia for the first time since its launch here.</p> <p>[1] MasterCard announced in March this year with the launch of Roadmap, that <i>PayPass</i> will be a standard feature on all newly issued MasterCard’s from October 2012</p> <p></p> Live Entertainment<p>When it comes to choosing where to spend their monthly entertainment budget, consumers vary greatly, with more than one third (34%) planning to attend live sporting events and almost half (48%) intending to go to a live performance over a six month period.</p> <p>In addition, Australians still clearly love a night out at the movies, with three quarters (75%) visiting the cinema over a six month period and almost a quarter (24%) going to the movies, two to three times a month.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Other Key Research Findings:<ul> <li>42% of Australians plan to visit a pub or nightclub in the coming months</li> <li>Of those who visit pubs or bars, one third (33%) visit two to three times a month</li> <li>31% of Australians are looking to visit an amusement/theme park in the near future</li> <li>Nearly one third (32%) visit fine dining restaurants once per month</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;For the full report go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/dining-out-still-on-the-menu-for-cautious-consumers2011-11-09T16:00:00.000Z2011-11-09T16:00:00.000ZStrong Aussie Dollar Influences One in Four Travel Plans Julia RoganMasterCard Research: Soaring Dollar Spurs Aussies to Travel Further <p><b><i>Sydney, 3 August 2011:</i></b> The strength of the Australian dollar compared to other currencies is boosting Australians’ ability and desire to travel further, according to the findings from the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities - Travel.</p> <p>The annual research, which was conducted from March to April 2011 and involved 647 Australians, highlights the continued strength of the Australian dollar in influencing consumers’ decision to travel overseas. The findings reveal the continuing extent of the currency influence; with one in four (25%) respondents stating that they would not have made plans to travel overseas this year if the exchange rate was not as favourable. <i>This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.</i></p> <p><i></i>MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright said: “The tourism industry in Australia has had a difficult start to 2011 – with the natural disasters in the first three months of the year and the knock-on implications on holiday numbers in the hardest hit areas.</p> <p>“These occurrences, alongside the strength of the dollar, have meant that many Australian travellers are looking overseas for their holiday destinations – a trend which is impacting heavily on the domestic tourism sector as highlighted in the findings of the Tourism and Transport Forum/MasterCard survey<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>, issued last month.”</p> <p>The strong Australian Dollar could also be impacting Australians’ travel plans over the next 12 months – with almost a third (32%) intent on travelling more frequently for leisure purposes in 2012.</p> <p><i><a name="1"></a>[1] Quarter 2, TTF – MasterCard Tourism Sentiment Survey&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> Destination Hotspots <p>The favourable exchange rate between the Australian and American dollars has made the USA the most popular destination for Australian tourists, with close to one in four (22%) intent on holidaying in the States during the year. </p> <p>With the Australian dollar continuing to increase in value against the Euro and British Pound in particular, holidaymakers have identified several European countries as destination hotspots.</p> <p>The United Kingdom tops the European destination list with close to one in five (18%) Australians planning to travel to the UK this year closely followed by France (12%), with Germany and Italy both on 10%.</p> <p>New Zealand remains a prime location for holidaymakers due to its close proximity to Australia and relatively short flight time – nearly one in five (19%) intend to travel to the country at some point during the year. &nbsp;</p> <p></p> Holiday Spending <p>The research also highlights that the majority of Australians save for their holidays throughout the course of the year (67%), but one in six (16%) plan holidays when they need them and pay with either a credit card or loan.</p> <p>Whilst on holiday Australian’s are also mindful of their finances&nbsp; – with 21% opting to stay with friends and family and 16% staying in budget accommodation – only one in ten (11%) stay in luxury or five-star hotels.</p> <p>When it comes to booking accommodation or transport for holidays, Australians recognise the benefit of booking with credit and debit cards – 58% book accommodation and 53% book airline travel with their credit cards.</p> <p></p> Australia - Popular with International Travellers <p>Whilst the research indicates Australians’ plan to travel abroad this year, it is not all doom and gloom for the domestic tourism industry, which will be boosted by the expected arrival of international tourists who plan to spend $13.8 billion in Sydney and $7.5 billion in Melbourne during 2011[1].</p> <p>Andrew Cartwright adds: “It is clear that many Australians intend to take advantage of the favourable exchange rate and head to Europe or the USA this year. What is encouraging is that despite the exchange rate making a visit to Australia more expensive, international tourists are still intent on travelling here, which will be a real boost for our domestic tourism sector at a time when it is really needed.”</p> <p>For the full report go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel was conducted from March to April 2011 and involved 647 Australianshttp://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/strong-aussie-dollar-influences-one-in-four-travel-plans2011-08-02T16:00:00.000Z2011-08-02T16:00:00.000ZAustralian Women Top Three in Money Matters in Asia Pacific Georgette TanTop Tips on Managing Finances from MasterCard<p><b><i>Sydney, 8 March 2011</i></b>&nbsp;-- 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.</p> <p>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.&nbsp;<i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance</i>.</p> <p>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.</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="3"><b>Ranking</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="4"><b>Scores</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Overall Financial Literacy Index</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Components of Financial Literacy Index</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Basic Money Management</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Financial Planning</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Investment</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b><i>Asia/Pacific </i></b></th> <td><i>65.7</i></td> <td><i>63.9</i></td> <td><i>74.6</i></td> <td><i>56.7</i></td> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>73.9</td> <td>67.9</td> <td>87.0</td> <td>69.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>New Zealand</td> <td>71.3</td> <td>76.7</td> <td>72.9</td> <td>55.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Australia</td> <td>70.2</td> <td>75.8</td> <td>69.0</td> <td>58.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Vietnam</td> <td>70.1</td> <td>65.4</td> <td>82.8</td> <td>62.7</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>69.4</td> <td>70.0</td> <td>80.4</td> <td>51.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>68.7</td> <td>63.4</td> <td>82.4</td> <td>61.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Philippines</td> <td>68.2</td> <td>66.6</td> <td>79.2</td> <td>55.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>68.0</td> <td>71.0</td> <td>67.8</td> <td>60.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Indonesia</td> <td>66.5</td> <td>62.1</td> <td>79.1</td> <td>58.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>66.0</td> <td>64.3</td> <td>75.0</td> <td>56.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>11</b></td> <td>India</td> <td>61.4</td> <td>58.8</td> <td>67.6</td> <td>58.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>12</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>60.1</td> <td>54.4</td> <td>73.3</td> <td>54.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>13</b></td> <td>Japan</td> <td>59.9</td> <td>61.7</td> <td>71.2</td> <td>38.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>14</b></td> <td>Korea</td> <td>55.9</td> <td>51.1</td> <td>65.7</td> <td>53.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>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.</p> <ul> <li>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</li> <li>It’s important to manage your money and funds available responsibly to build a better financial future:</li> <li>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</li> <li>Charges on credit cards should be paid back in a timely fashion, to avoid interest charges on the remaining balance</li> <li>Always check your card statements carefully and on a regular basis</li> <li>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</li> <li>Make sure you update your personal details when you move address – ensuring your financial information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands</li> <li>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</li> <li>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:</li> <li>Always purchase from reputable retailers</li> <li>Avoid giving out too much information</li> <li>Where possible use MasterCard SecureCode when making a purchase, it provides enhanced protection when buying online</li> <li>In the event something unfortunate does happen, MasterCard cardholders are protected by MasterCard’s Zero Liability policy for any unauthorized transactions on their accounts</li> </ul> <p>*&nbsp;<i>More information on conditions and exclusions to MasterCard’s Zero Liability policy can be found at:<a target="_blank" href="http://www.mastercard.com/au/personal/en/zeroliability/index.html"><b>http://www.mastercard.com/au/personal/en/zeroliability/index.html</b></a><br> Further hints and tips on money management can be found on the Budget Basics section of the MasterCard website&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.mastercard.com/au/personal/en/education/budgetbasics/index.html"><b>http://www.mastercard.com/au/personal/en/education/budgetbasics/index.html</b></a></i></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted across 24 Asia/Pacific countries. This survey will continue to be conducted on an annual basis.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/australian-women-top-three-in-money-matters-in-asia-pacific2011-03-07T16:00:00.000Z2011-03-07T16:00:00.000ZLos Angeles’ Sunset Strip Lures Melbourne Travellers Julia RoganOutbound Travellers Expected to Spend US$585 million in the City of Angels<p><b><i>Melbourne, 5 September 2011: </i></b>With the Australian dollar reaching record highs against its US equivalent, Melburnians are seizing the opportunity to use local currency strength to their advantage by jetting overseas.</p> <p>In a result likely to raise eyebrows, Los Angeles has topped the list as the city of choice for Melburnians to head to and spend money against stiff competition from other international destinations.</p> <p>According to new research from the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities,<i> </i>more than 1.6 million Australian travellers departing from Melbourne will spend in excess of US$2.6 billion across 10 cities in 2011.</p> <p>MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright said: “The Australian dollar is continuing to climb against the US dollar, reaching its highest level since it was floated in the 1970s.</p> <p>“This, combined with increasing competition and capacity amongst the airline industry on Australian – American routes, has ensured that Los Angeles is top choice for people flying from Melbourne looking to get the most value for their money.”</p> <p>“Despite the popularity of long haul European destinations, Melbourne holidaymakers are also taking short breaks to cities which are closer to home – with Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in the top ten destinations – all of which are popular trips which can be reached with a short flight.”</p> <p>The research reveals that the top spending destinations for Australians are now a mixture of cities in Asia Pacific and the USA.</p> <p>While London remains the most popular destination on a global basis in terms of visitation and visitor spending, the city is now ranks outside of the top ten places to fly to for Australians.</p> <p>More than 104,000 people flying from Melbourne are predicted to visit Los Angeles this year and spend in excess of US$585 million dollars, according to the <i>MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities</i>.</p> <p>Los Angeles was closely followed by Auckland, New Zealand with 241,000 visitors from Melbourne expected to spend $425 million.</p> <p>Kuala Lumpur is third on the list with 297,000 visitors expected to spend US$334 million on travel, accommodation, dining and entertainment in the area during the course of the year.</p> <p>The figures come as MasterCard launched the <a href="http://cities.masterintelligence.com/"><b>cities.masterintelligence.com</b></a> website – which outlines visitor number and cross border expenditure in to and out of 132 cities across five regions.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Destination Hotspots – Outbound Travel ex-Melbourne ranked by Spend<p>Cities in the top ten list are:</p> <ul> <li>Los Angeles,&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 104,000 visitors,&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$585 million</li> <li>Auckland, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 241,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$425 million. </li> <li>Kuala Lumpur, &nbsp; 297,000 visitors,&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$334 million</li> <li>Bangkok, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 176,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$274 million</li> <li>Singapore, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 258,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$230 million</li> <li>Hong Kong, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 184,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$216 million</li> <li>Denpasar, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 115,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$193 million</li> <li>Christchurch, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 92,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$160 million</li> <li>Wellington, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 58,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$103 million</li> <li>Doha, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 75,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$84 million&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p></p> Asia Pacific Cities – Significant Contribution to Melbourne Tourism <p>The research also reveals the holidaymakers and the cities where they originate who are visiting Melbourne in large numbers this year, as well as the amount of money that they are expected to invest in the Australian tourism sector.</p> <p>Five cities in the Asia Pacific region featured in the top ten for both inbound visitor numbers and visitor expenditure in Melbourne, with Hong Kong topping the list for the highest level of visitor expenditure – 168,000 visitors are expected to spend in excess of US$1.7 billion in the city in 2011.</p> <p>This is closely followed by Singapore with 416,000 visitors expected to spend US$1.39 billion and Bangkok with 83,000 visitors expected to spend US$837 million.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Inbound Visitors to Melbourne and Expenditure Figures <ul> <li>Hong Kong, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 168,000 visitors,&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$1.7 billion </li> <li>Singapore,&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 416,000 visitors &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$1.39 billion </li> <li>Bangkok,&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 83,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$837 million</li> <li>Kuala Lumpur, &nbsp; 105,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$704 million</li> <li>Auckland, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 294,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$555 million</li> <li>Dubai, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 105,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$459 million</li> <li>Shanghai, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 40,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$330 million</li> <li>Los Angeles, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 69,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$268 million</li> <li>Abu Dhabi, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 50,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$219 million</li> <li>Christchurch, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 57,000 visitors, &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; US$108 million</li> </ul> <p>Andrew Cartwright adds: “Whilst Australians are taking advantage of the competitive air fares and strong dollar, it is great to see that visitors from destination hotpots are reciprocating and visiting Melbourne in such large numbers. These visitors will provide a much needed cash injection for the domestic tourism industry following the natural disasters earlier in the year.”&nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide <p>MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a global payments and technology company.&nbsp; It operates 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<b> </b>activities—such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Learn more at mastercard.com or follow us on Twitter @mastercardnews</p> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities.&nbsp; Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.</p> <p>For every city pair, data from the UN World Tourism Organization that document on an annual basis total numbers of outbound air passengers that travel between the two respective countries are used to create a “ratio” of outbound versus inbound air passengers between two countries.</p> <p>A margin of error is unavoidable in this calculation as not every outbound passenger would return as in the case of immigration, and not all return in the same year.</p> <p>On a country level, the UN Database of “Trade in Service” in the “Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included).&nbsp; An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas. </p> <p>A margin of error is also unavoidable in such estimates, as not all outbound trips are of equal length, and the cost of living varies a great deal between arrival cities such that even if each trip of equal length, expenditure per passenger between different arrival cities would still be very different. </p> <p>This margin of error is reduced significantly by imposing a minimum of expenditures in the algorithm, after a number of iterative testing (US$500 per trip for bordering arrival country and US$700 per trip for non-bordering arrival country). &nbsp;</p> <p></p> abuout mastercard worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> This is the inaugural edition of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/los-angeles-sunset-strip-lures-melbourne-travellers2011-09-04T16:00:00.000Z2011-09-04T16:00:00.000ZAsian Visitors Splash Out in Sydney Says Global Study Chris Lawrence at The Origin Agency Asian Visitors Splash Out in Sydney Says Global Study<p><i><b>Sydney, 1 August 2012</b>: </i>Sydney continues to be a hot spot for big spending by international visitors, with predictions that tourists will spend $11.0 billion dollars in the emerald city in 2012, up 9.7% on 2011.</p> <p>The <i>MasterCard</i> Index <i>of Global Destination Cities</i>, which measures cross-border travel and spending across 132 of the world's most important cities, has revealed Sydney sits eighth in the world for international visitor spend. London tops the list with a predicted $21.1 billion dollar spend in 2012, followed by Paris, Bangkok and Singapore.</p> <p>The driving force behind Sydney's success has been visitors arriving from Asia-Pacific hubs including Singapore, from where visitors are expected to fork out $1.651 billion dollars, followed by Dubai with a total spend of $976 million dollars, and visitors travelling from Hong Kong who are expected to dole out $911 million in 2012.</p> <p>Tourism &amp; Transport Forum (TTF) Chief Executive John Lee said: &quot;Tourism operators should be buoyed by increased spending in Sydney, with the city now regarded as one of the most celebrated tourist hot spots worldwide. The growth experienced in the Asia/Pac region has strong flow-on effects for our operators.</p> <p>&quot;Sydney punches above its weight in terms of tourism spending compared to visitor numbers- once we get people here the benefits are high on a per-capita basis. It's vital we harness this opportunity and make Sydney a priority destination for Asian travellers,&quot; Lee continued.</p> <p>The Index results reveal while some regions of the world are suffering the effects of an economic slow-down, cross-border air travel and visitor spending continue to grow. Asia/Pacific destinations recorded the strongest growth in visitor arrivals and cross-border spending globally, with the region recording increases of 9.5% and 15% respectively.</p> <p>MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright said, &quot;Sydney continues to be a major feature on the bucket list for international visitors, both for business and pleasure. Australia's geographic isolation means visitors stay longer and spend more, a winning combination for travel and tourism operators. The index confirms what we all know - Sydney is a true world city.&quot;</p> <p></p> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities. Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.</p> Asia/Pacific Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitor Spend (2012)<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="410"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Market</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Visitor Spend(US$ Billion)</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>% Growth 2011 &amp; 2012</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012 Visitors(Millions)*</b></th> </tr><tr><td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td><b>2010</b></td> <td><b>2011</b></td> <td><b>2012</b></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Bangkok</td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>$11.1</td> <td>$16.6</td> <td>$19.3</td> <td>16.6%</td> <td>12.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>$9.0</td> <td>$11.3</td> <td>$12.7</td> <td>12.7%</td> <td>11.8</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Sydney</td> <td>Australia</td> <td>$9.2</td> <td>$10.1</td> <td>$11.0</td> <td>9.7%</td> <td>2.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Seoul</td> <td>South Korea</td> <td>$7.7</td> <td>$9.1</td> <td>$10.6</td> <td>16.2%</td> <td>8.0</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Taipei</td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>$6.1</td> <td>$8.7</td> <td>$10.5</td> <td>20.5%</td> <td>5.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Tokyo</td> <td>Japan</td> <td>$10.2</td> <td>$8.0</td> <td>$9.9</td> <td>24.2%</td> <td>4.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>(SAR) China</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.6</td> <td>$9.5</td> <td>9.5%</td> <td>11.1</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Shanghai</td> <td>China</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.3</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>7.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Beijing</td> <td>China</td> <td>$4.2</td> <td>$5.5</td> <td>$6.5</td> <td>19.2%</td> <td>6.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Kuala Lumpur</td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>$4.7</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$6.4</td> <td>13.7%</td> <td>8.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/asian-visitors-splash-out-in-sydney-says-global-study2012-07-31T16:00:00.000Z2012-07-31T16:00:00.000ZBaby Boomers Prefer Aussie Online Retailers Tim ScarfeMasterCard Survey: Young Purchasers Buy Overseas while Older Generations Shop Closer to Home<p><b><i>Sydney, 1 March 2012: </i></b>Older generations are continuing to strongly buy Australian, with those aged 50 to 64 years old making online purchases from retailers located onshore 71 per cent of the time, according to the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> Worldwide Survey on Online Shopping Behaviour.</p> <p>The new research finds that age now has a greater influence on internet shopping habits than ever before, showing a widening gap between the generations when it comes to buying online.</p> <p>When asked why they prefer to shop online through local retailers, 40 per cent of shoppers said it is faster while 33 per cent cited convenience as the chief motivating factor. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) also believed buying locally was cheaper than shopping through overseas outlets.</p> <p>MasterCard’s research found that 42 per cent of all online purchases made by 18-24 year old shoppers were through international retail sites.</p> <p>However Australian’s aged 45-49 were the most prolific online shoppers, with 83 per cent accessing the internet for online shopping in the past three months. Baby boomers also proved to be the greatest online purchasers, with shoppers aged 50 to 64 years old buying almost five products online in the last three months alone.</p> <p>MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright, said that the difference in behaviour between age groups is growing, and what is becoming clear is a strong underlying desire – especially among older shoppers – to support the local industry and buy Australian.</p> <p>“While the rise of ecommerce can sometimes create disruptions and challenges for the local retail sector, it also presents lucrative opportunities for local outlets to harness a growing desire to buy Australian whilst online.” &nbsp;</p> <p>“The Australian online retail market is developing quickly and changing constantly. We are seeing a renewed push by major department stores and iconic local brands to reinvigorate their online offerings and cater to the heightened demands of savvy online shoppers.”</p> <p>“More and more, shoppers are rewarding local stores who invest in and update their online presence. Presenting an innovative and fun experience is becoming a vital tactic for those wishing to gain a loyal customer base,” he added.</p> <p>A dramatic rise in online purchases by baby boomers and Gen X shoppers has not only put local retailers in the spotlight, but amplified the need for easy, fast and safe transactions regardless of the sales channel.</p> <p>Mr. Cartwright said that the growth of online transactions from these demographic groups will lead to even greater diversity in online retailers.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Notes to editor<p>Further insights revealed in the MasterCard Survey on Online Shopping Behaviour include:</p> <ul> <li>&nbsp;76 per cent of baby boomer respondents have made an online purchase within the past three months - this compares to 78 per cent of those in the 18-24 age group</li> <li>75 per cent of all money spent online by those aged 50 and over was processed by local merchants. Only 59 per cent of money spent by 18-24 year olds was processed locally</li> <li>Baby boomers are more concerned with security and customer service, with 95 per cent noting importance of a secure payment facility and 92 per cent stating good customer service was a deciding factor</li> <li>&nbsp;90 per cent of those who have made a purchase online within the past three months claim to be satisfied with the shopping experience</li> <li>&nbsp;53 per cent of respondents rate themselves as ‘very likely’ to make a purchase online within the next six months</li> </ul> <p></p> About Mastercard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>The Heart of Commerce Blog</b></a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.<b></b></p> Contact<p>Tim Scarfe<br> Professional Public Relations<br> (02) 9818 0929<br> <a href="mailto:Timothy.scarfe@ppr.com.au">Timothy.scarfe@ppr.com.au</a><br> </p> The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/baby-boomers-prefer-aussie-online-retailers2012-02-29T16:00:00.000Z2012-02-29T16:00:00.000ZConsumer Confidence Faces Further Decline Georgette Tan, Robert O’BrienUncertainty over Employment and Personal Income Outlook<p><b><i>Sydney, March 01, 2012 </i></b>– The <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> Worldwide Index<sup> TM</sup> of Consumer Confidence,<i> </i>which tracks forward looking sentiment of Australians over the next six months, has fallen sharply from 57 Index points in the first half of 2011 to 43.3 Index points.</p> <p>Conducted twice a year, the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index<sup>TM</sup> of Consumer Confidence undertaken between December 2011 and February 2012, shows that retailers still face significant obstacles before consumer sentiment returns to positive territory.&nbsp; <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>“Despite seeing a lift in overall retail growth in the months leading up to Christmas, it is no surprise that the latest <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/FB435B0F7C83FA1DCA2579B2000DBD69?opendocument" target="_blank"><b>figures</b></a> indicate a decline in the outlook for confidence given that consumers kept retail expenditure on a short leash during the festive month of December<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>,” said MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright.</p> <p>“Consumers are still keeping a very close eye on their exposure to debt. This is evidenced by the annual growth rate on <a href="http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/xls/c01hist.xls" target="_blank"><b>credit card balances</b></a><sup>[<a href="#2">2</a>]</sup> which accrue interest falling to 1.64 per cent in December 2011, down from 2.28 per cent in November 2011.”</p> <p>That is a very different place from 6.9 per cent in December 2010 for the same measure. Conversely the annual <a href="http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/xls/c05hist.xls" target="_blank"><b>growth rate in total debit purchases</b></a> (excluding cash out) was 13.4 per cent<sup>[<a href="#3">3</a>]</sup>.</p> <p>The MasterCard Index also shows that confidence in the general employment situation among Australians has significantly deteriorated, dropping notably from an optimistic 60.7 Index points to a pessimistic 39.2 Index points.</p> <p>These fears about general employment prospects were underscored by a corresponding drop in confidence about personal regular income which also significantly deteriorated from an optimistic 68.1 Index points to a neutral 57.1 Index points.</p> <p>“Even though Australia continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Western world, the highly publicised nature of recent job losses – especially in the banking and manufacturing sectors – look to be taking their toll on confidence in this area,” Cartwright added.</p> <p>The Index also shows that the different generations have varying consumer confidence levels, with respondents aged 30 and under having an average Index score of 54.9 compared to a far lower Index score of 31.8 for those above 30 years old.</p> <p>Now in its 20th year, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is one of Australia’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence surveys. The latest survey was conducted from December 2011 to February 2012 and involved 12,915 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 countries.</p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1]<i> December key figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/FB435B0F7C83FA1DCA2579B2000DBD69?opendocument" target="_blank"><b>http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/FB435B0F7C83FA1DCA2579B2000DBD69?opendocument</b></a></i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a name="2"></a>[2] <i><b><a href="http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/xls/c01hist.xls" target="_blank">http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/xls/c01hist.x</a><a href="http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/xls/c01hist.xls" target="_blank">ls</a></b>Statistics from the monthly Reserve Bank Bulletin</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a name="3"></a>[3]<i><b>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/xls/c05hist.xls" target="_blank">http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/xls/c05hist</a><a href="http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/xls/c05hist.xls" target="_blank">.xls</a></b> Statistics from the monthly Reserve Bank Bulletin</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Notes to the editor<p>The Index is based on a survey that measures consumer confidence on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.</p> <p>For the full report go to: <b><a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/" target="_blank">www.masterintelligence.com</a></b></p> <p></p> mastercard research<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite of research products in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the flagship MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, MasterCard Worldwide Indexes of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Financial Literacy, and the recently launched inaugural Index of Global Destination Cities, all of which are released annually. In addition to the Index properties, MasterCard’s suite of research properties includes the MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Ethical Spending Behaviour and MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities series covering Travel, Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping, which are released annually.&nbsp;</p> <p>Besides these, MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports which include research and 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 &amp; Sons. The MasterCard Indexes and Insights reports are available at <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> about mastercard worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Georgette Tan<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com"><b>georgette_tan@mastercard.com</b></a><br> +65 6390 5971<br> <br> Robert O’Brien<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <a href="mailto:robrien@webershandwick.com"> <b>robrien@webershandwick.com</b></a><br> +65 6825 8064<br> </p> The MasterCard Worldwide IndexTM of Consumer Confidence (“Index”) is based on a survey conducted between November 2012 and December 2012 on 11,339 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/consumer-confidence-faces-further-decline2012-02-29T16:00:00.000Z2012-02-29T16:00:00.000ZGender Gap Emerges Over Consumer Confidence Chris LawrenceAustralian Women Not so Optimistic About 2013 Outlook<p><b><i>Australia, February 7<sup>th </sup>2012</i></b>: The latest <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b> </a>consumer confidence index has revealed a significant difference in sentiment between women and men.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index<sup>TM</sup> Index of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) found Australian women scored a pessimistic 34.4 out of a possible score of 100 in consumer confidence. The finding takes into account views on employment, the economy, regular income, the stock market and quality of life for the coming six months.</p> <p>This stands in contrast to sentiment among Australian men, who scored a comparatively buoyant (though far from optimistic) 46.5. Overall Australia scored 40.3, a figure that remained stable with the previous index score of 39.2 six months ago and positioned the country as the fourth least optimistic of the 14 markets surveyed in the region.&nbsp;</p> <p>MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright says the solemn consumer mood is reinforced by payment industry figures.</p> <p>“<a href="http://www.mastercard.com.au/mc_papers.html"><b>Payment data</b></a> reflects consumer sentiment. RBA data over the past few years has shown that when it comes to spending, Australians are taking a conservative approach preferring to pay down debt than extend it.</p> <p>“In the last year, the total credit card balances accruing interest in Australia fell by over $1 billion – about 3%. That’s a sure sign that consumers are feeling cautious.</p> <p>“At the same time Debit card spending has continued to grow at double digit rates driven by Australians’ continued shift toward using their own money for purchases.”</p> <p>The report found the primary concerns for Australian women included quality of life, which registered a low score of 29.3, and employment with a similarly low 23. The findings follow the most recent unemployment data from the <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/6202.0Media%20Release1Dec%202012" target="_blank"><b>Australian Bureau of Statistics</b></a> in December, which revealed the unemployment rate has risen slightly to 5.4 per cent (from 5.3 percent in November).<sup>1</sup></p> <p>The index found the most optimistic country in Asia/Pacific is Indonesia (87.5), while the most pessimistic country in the region was Japan (23.7). Consumer confidence across the entire Asia/Pacific region scored 59.7.</p> <p>For the latest MasterCard news <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>click here</b></a></p> <p></p> Contact:<p>For media enquiries, please contact Chris Lawrence at The Origin Agency<br> <a href="mailto:Chris.lawrence@originagency.com.au">Chris.lawrence@originagency.com.au</a><br> 02 8281 3295 / 0415 302 701<br> </p> Methodology:<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is based on a survey conducted between 7 November 2012 and 23 December 2012 on 11,339 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 countries. This is the 40<sup>th</sup> survey of Consumer Confidence conducted since 1993.</p> <p>Respondents were asked 5 questions pertaining to their 6 month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in 5 component indexes which were subsequently averaged to form the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) score. The MWICC Index score and the 5 component index scores range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents maximum pessimism, 100 represents maximum optimism and 50 represents neutrality.</p> <p><b>MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence Australia:</b></p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="504"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Component</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Current Status</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Change from last half</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Employment</td> <td>30.1</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>1.1</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr><tr><td>Economy</td> <td>36</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>5.4</td> <td>Some improvement</td> </tr><tr><td>Regular income</td> <td>55.8</td> <td>Neutral +</td> <td>-4.2</td> <td>Stable -</td> </tr><tr><td>Stock market</td> <td>43.5</td> <td>Neutral -</td> <td>-1.3</td> <td>Stable -</td> </tr><tr><td>Quality of life</td> <td>36.1</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>4.5</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p><b>Notes to the editor:</b></p> <p><sup>1</sup>Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.4 per cent in December, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/6202.0Media%20Release1Dec%202012" target="_blank"><b>http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/6202.0Media%20Release1Dec%202012</b></a></p> <p></p> About MasterCard:<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/gender-gap-emerges-over-consumer-confidence2012-02-06T16:00:00.000Z2012-02-06T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Launches Inaugural Index of Financial Literacy in Asia/Pacific Eva Lee, Esther Lin Taiwanese Women Rank Sixth on Financial Literacy Index, topping Hong Kong and China<p><b><i>Taiwan, </i></b><b><i>7 March 2011</i></b>: Just how much do women across Asia/Pacific know about managing finances? MasterCard Worldwide’s inaugural Index of Financial Literacy released today highlights that women across Asia/Pacific are financially savvy to some extent, in particular among the over-30, married, working group, but that the level of financial literacy in women can be raised further, especially among the younger generation.</p> <p>Taiwanese women ranked sixth in the MasterCard Worldwide’s Index of Financial Literacy among 14 markets surveyed in Asia/Pacific. Women in Taiwan had an index score of 68.7which is higher than that of Hong Kong’s 68.0 and China’s 60.1. At the same time, Taiwan also outshined counterparts in developed markets like Korea (55.9) and Japan (59.9) which makes up the lower spectrum of the Index.</p> <p>The MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey of consumers from 24 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> 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, different investment products and if they have the necessary skills.</p> <p>The Index score is calculated from the weighted sum of the three components, 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.</p> <p>Of the three components that make up the survey, women across Asia/Pacific as a whole scored the best in Financial Planning 74.6), followed by Basic Money Management (63.9) and Investment (56.7).</p> <p>Taiwanese women were ahead of their peers in Hong Kong and China given that the survey results reflected that the respondents held a higher level of knowledge relating to financial services, products and investments in a recovering global economy. Taiwan ranked third in both Financial Planning (82.4) and Investments (61.3) across Asia/Pacific, trailing&nbsp; Thailand and Vietnam. Women in Hong Kong had however scored better in Basic Money Management as compared to women in Taiwan and China.</p> <p>“The survey results have provided insights to the level of financial literacy in Taiwanese women and also pointed to the fact that financial knowledge in women is not to be overlooked especially when the economy is improving. At MasterCard we believe in the empowerment of women and part of our efforts on that front is encouraging women to manage their finances in a smart way,” said Julie Yang, Head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>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.</i></p> <p></p> Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World<p>Separately, Singapore National Committee for UN Women (UN Women Singapore) and MasterCard have joint hands to launch <i>Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World</i> as the world commemorates 100 years of International Women’s Day.<b> </b>This year-long digital and social media driven initiative aims to connect and inspire young people across the world to share their life-changing ideas and fulfill their visions of a better world for disadvantaged women and children.</p> <p>The initiative supports the heightened need to devote resources to the empowerment of women. Despite great strides in their socio-economic standing over the past 100 years, statistics show that women account for 70% of the world’s poor. They work two-thirds of the world’s working hours but earn only 10% of the income and own 1% of the world’s property. Giving these disadvantaged women more opportunities to stand on their own feet has enormous socio-economic ramifications, as empowering women fuels economies, spurring productivity and growth.</p> <p>Project Inspire presents 18-35 year olds with a 5-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea to the world and win a US$25,000 grant. The grant will be used to bring to life the winning idea and empower disadvantaged women or children in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa through education, skills training, financial inclusion or social entrepreneurship. In addition, special recognition will be given to the best Financial Literacy/Livelihood proposal, which will be awarded a US$10,000 start-up grant.</p> <p>People with a passion to make a difference will be encouraged to visit</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.5minutestochangetheworld.org/"><b>www.5minutestochangetheworld.org</b></a> to submit a 5-minute video or written pitch articulating their idea and how they will use the grant to implement it. A shortlist of 10 finalists will have to convince a global voting audience of the merits of their proposal, and present live in Singapore to an expert judging panel at the end of August 2011, when the winner will be announced.</p> <p>Finalists will also get the opportunity to attend a workshop on sustainable social entrepreneurship and hone their presentation skills through a training session with professional consultants.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy (Women)<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="3"><b>Ranking</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="4"><b>Scores</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Overall Financial Literacy Index</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Components of Financial Literacy Index</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Basic Money Management</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Financial Planning</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Investment</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b><i>Asia/Pacific </i></b></th> <td><i>65.7</i></td> <td><i>63.9</i></td> <td><i>74.6</i></td> <td><i>56.7</i></td> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>73.9</td> <td>67.9</td> <td>87.0</td> <td>69.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>New Zealand</td> <td>71.3</td> <td>76.7</td> <td>72.9</td> <td>55.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Australia</td> <td>70.2</td> <td>75.8</td> <td>69.0</td> <td>58.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Vietnam</td> <td>70.1</td> <td>65.4</td> <td>82.8</td> <td>62.7</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>69.4</td> <td>70.0</td> <td>80.4</td> <td>51.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>68.7</td> <td>63.4</td> <td>82.4</td> <td>61.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Philippines</td> <td>68.2</td> <td>66.6</td> <td>79.2</td> <td>55.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>68.0</td> <td>71.0</td> <td>67.8</td> <td>60.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Indonesia</td> <td>66.5</td> <td>62.1</td> <td>79.1</td> <td>58.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>66.0</td> <td>64.3</td> <td>75.0</td> <td>56.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>11</b></td> <td>India</td> <td>61.4</td> <td>58.8</td> <td>67.6</td> <td>58.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>12</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>60.1</td> <td>54.4</td> <td>73.3</td> <td>54.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>13</b></td> <td>Japan</td> <td>59.9</td> <td>61.7</td> <td>71.2</td> <td>38.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>14</b></td> <td>Korea</td> <td>55.9</td> <td>51.1</td> <td>65.7</td> <td>53.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties <p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey of consumers from 24 markets across Asia/Pacific Middle East Africa (APMEA).http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/mastercard-launches-inaugural-index-of-financial-literacy-in-asia-pacific12011-03-06T16:00:00.000Z2011-03-06T16:00:00.000ZDining and Entertainment is Top Priority Amongst Taiwanese: MasterCard Survey Mark LaiDining and Entertainment is Top Priority Amongst Taiwanese: MasterCard Survey<p><b><i>Taipei, 01 Oct 2011 </i></b>– Consumers from Taiwan continue to prioritize Dining &amp; Entertainment as an important part of their lives, with an optimistic outlook towards the coming months. The results of the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Priorities - Dining and Entertainment, reflect that 89% of respondents from Taiwan plan to eat out more than or the same amount moving forward compared to what as they are currently doing.</p> <p>The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p>Taiwanese consumers rank within the top 4 markets in Asia/Pacific for average spending on dining per month, at US$165 (almost NT $4785). This is behind respondents from Japan (US $213), Singapore (US $212) and Hong Kong (US $195).</p> <p>Spend on dining out as a percentage of monthly household income is 5.1% for Taiwanese respondents, slightly above the Asia/Pacific average of 4.9%. The top three markets spending the largest proportion of monthly household income on dining out were Vietnam (9.2%), China (9.1%) and Thailand (6.8%).</p> <p>Food courts came up as the most favored dining outlet amongst Taiwanese, receiving an average of six visits a month. Given the popularity of food courts, cash is the most preferred way of payment, however a strong 72% of Taiwanese respondents used a credit card when they visit fine dining restaurants.</p> <p>Looking towards the coming months, Taiwanese consumers are relatively stable in their intention to dine out, with 70% expecting to eat out the same as in the past 6 months, and only 17% anticipating that they will be eating out more. India (27%), Hong Kong (26%) and Singapore (23%) ranked as the top three countries in Asia/Pacific anticipating to eat out more.</p> <p>The MasterCard survey also revealed that shopping (50%) is the leisure activity of choice for people in Asia/Pacific. Dining out ranked second (46%), with surfing the internet chosen as the third most preferred activity (42%). In Taiwan however, the most popular leisure activity was dining out (64%), followed by surfing the internet (57%) and shopping (54%).</p> <p>The survey also revealed that the ratio of spending on leisure activities to monthly income in Taiwan is 13%, in line with the Asia/Pacific average.&nbsp; The top three markets spending on leisure as a proportion of their monthly household income are Hong Kong (18%), China (18%) and Thailand (17%). Looking ahead, 70% of Taiwanese respondents anticipate they will spend the same amount of time on leisure. South Korea (33%), Hong Kong (26%), and Singapore (26%) were more optimistic regarding expectations for leisure activities, their ratios all being over or near 30%.</p> <p>“The latest survey from MasterCard shows that Taiwanese respondents view dining and entertainment as an integral part of their daily lives, setting aside time and money to enjoy the finer things in life. However, with the state of the current global economic climate the way it is, it’s no surprise that consumers appear to be taking a conservative stance towards spending on entertainment when planning for the future, “said Julie Yang, head of Taiwan MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p>Other key findings from the survey include:</p> <ul> <li>Going to the cinemas is a popular activity amongst Taiwanese with two-thirds of respondents planning to watch a movie at a cinema in the near future. This is followed by visiting a theme park (43%) and going to video arcades (42%).</li> <li>Taiwanese appear to be conscious about their fitness, with gyms being the most frequented recreational places (6 times/month) followed by sports bars (4 times/month) and nightclubs (3 times/month).</li> </ul> <p>For the full report go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead.The research is based on a survey conducted between 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 respondents from 14 markets. The survey findings are part of MasterCard’s suite of research into Consumer Purchasing Priorities in the Asia/Pacific region.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/dining-and-entertainment-is-top-priority-amongst-taiwanese2011-09-30T16:00:00.000Z2011-09-30T16:00:00.000ZTaiwanese Parents Top Greater China Region for Income Spent on Children’s Education: MasterCard Survey Jonathan SeidmanInvestment in Children’s Education across Greater China<table width="405" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Avg. Monthly Expenditure on Children's Education</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Avg. Monthly Savings on Children's Education</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="4"><b>2012</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>15%</td> <td>17%</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>13%</td> <td>15%</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>13%</td> <td>15%</td> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="4"><b>2011</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>17%</td> <td>19%</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>14%</td> <td>15%</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>13%</td> <td>14%</td> </tr></tbody></table> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a></b> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Jonathan Seidman, <br> (886)2722-5799 Ext.124,<br> <a href="mailto:JSeidman1@webershandwick.com">JSeidman1@webershandwick.com</a></p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Education provides valuable insights into the Asia/Pacific consumers’ savings and expenditure behavior and their discretionary spending priorities on education.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/taiwanese-parents-top-greater-china-region-for-income-spent-on-c2012-08-29T16:00:00.000Z2012-08-29T16:00:00.000ZTaiwanese Spending Less on Leisure Activities: MasterCard Survey Jonathan SeidmanMasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a></b> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Jonathan Seidman,<br> (886)2722-5799 Ext.124,<br> <a href="mailto:JSeidman1@webershandwick.com">JSeidman1@webershandwick.com</a></p> The research is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific countries. The survey findings are part of MasterCard’s suite of research into Consumer Purchasing Priorities in the Asia/Pacific region.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/taiwanese-spending-less-on-leisure-activities--mastercard-survey2012-09-27T16:00:00.000Z2012-09-27T16:00:00.000ZTaipei Expecting Growth in International Arrivals and Expenditure: MasterCard Index Iris Lin, Mark Lai Research on 132 Destination Cities Reveals Year-on-Year Growth in International Visitor Arrivals and Expenditure Led by Asian Cities, with Taipei Ranking Highly on Both <p><b><i>Taipei, 1 Jun 2011: </i></b>The world’s most dynamic cities, including Taipei, are leading the global financial recovery through their connectivity and as destination cities for international visitors, according to the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities released today.</p> <p>The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities is a new approach to understanding the global economy from the perspective of connectivity between global cities, especially in terms of international travel and cross-border expenditures.</p> <p>The Index ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2011. The Index shows total outbound air passenger departures and expenditures across 132 global cities grew by 9.2% and 14.6% year-on-year respectively, surpassing world GDP growth.</p> <p>Cities in Asia/Pacific account for eight of the top twenty<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>cities globally in terms of visitor arrivals by air with Bangkok ranked third, projected to have 11.5 million visitors this year, followed by Singapore with 11.4 million and Hong Kong with 10.9 million visitors.</p> <p>Overall, Taipei ranked 19<sup>th</sup> in the world in terms of international visitors with 5.4 million people expected this year, and 17<sup>th</sup> globally by cross border expenditure with inbound passengers spending $8.5 billion on their travels.</p> <p>However, the city features prominently as a high growth destination, ranking 7<sup>th</sup> in the world in terms of both its growth rates for international visitor arrivals (16.9%) and visitor expenditures (20.3%), showing its huge potential as a commercial hub and a global city.</p> <p><i><a name="1"></a>[1] All estimates for Tokyo in this report will be subject to change as the impacts of earthquake and tsunami evolve going forward. &nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Greater China Region Boasts Visitor Growth<p>Beijing and Shanghai are ranked second and third in the Asia/ Pacific region, with visitor growth rates estimated at 20.2% and 18.6% respectively, reflecting their rising attraction as China’s most important destination cities. Overall, four out of the top five high growth Asia/Pacific destination cities by international arrivals herald from the Greater China region with Hong Kong ranked fourth with a growth rate of 17.4%.&nbsp;<i></i></p> Asian Cities’ to Experience Rise in Spending <p>Asian cities also ranked highly on visitor spending with Bangkok ranked fourth globally with US$14.4 billion<b> </b>expected to be spent by inbound passengers in 2011; Sydney ranked sixth with US$13.8 billion, Singapore ranked ninth US$10.8 billion and Hong Kong tenth with US$10.4 billion. The region dominated in terms of expenditure growth rates with Shanghai (24.3%), Singapore (23.9%), Hong Kong (23.6%) and Tokyo (20.8%) leading the charge.</p> <p>Julie Yang, Head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide, said: “The solid growth in international arrivals and cross border spending in both business travel and tourism shows the huge potential of Taipei as a commercial hub and a global city. With its Top 20 ranking globally and double-digit growth forecasts, it is clearly a rising star among the world’s leading cities.”&nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> This is the inaugural edition of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/taipei-expecting-growth-in-international-arrivals-and-expenditure2011-06-07T16:00:00.000Z2011-06-07T16:00:00.000ZMore Taiwanese Shop Online for Travel-Related Items: MasterCard Survey Jonathan SeidmanMore Taiwanese are Shopping Online via Mobile Phones<p><b><i>Taiwan</i></b><b><i>, </i></b><b><i>18</i></b><b><i> April 2012</i></b> – More Taiwanese are doing their travel-related shopping online, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping Survey. The results show an increase in both online spending on hotels (up from 62% to 72%) and airline tickets (up from 59% to 66%), pointing to a growing trend in online versus offline travel shopping.</p> <p>The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. The report for Taiwan is based on 500 respondents who access the internet at least weekly. The data was weighted to the online population in each of those markets. Similar surveys were also carried out in China and Hong Kong. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.</i></p> <p></p> <p>The data showed that online shopping continues to be a strong trend in Taiwan, with 64% of respondents indicating that they use the internet for it. That puts the island ahead of Hong Kong (58%), but behind China (80%). Amongst those who shopped online, 82% said that they had made an online purchase in the last three months. This trend shows strong signs of continuing, with 79% of respondents saying they planned to shop online in the next six months.</p> <p></p> <p>In terms of proportion of money spent online vs. offline, mobile applications (85%), coupon deal sites (84%) and books/CDs/DVDs (81%) make up the top three categories of purchases made using the Internet. While airline tickets have the highest value of online spending, apps lead in terms of average absolute spending. The data also showed a strong increase in the percentage of respondents buying from supermarket/superstores online (up from 53% to 62%).</p> <p>“The survey results reveal that more consumers in Taiwan are purchasing travel-related items online, which reflects that travel remains attractive in spite of the weak and uncertain recovery of the global economy,&quot; said Julie Yang, head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide. &quot;This also points to a growing adoption of shopping online for travel-related purchases for Taiwanese travelers. In order to better serve this group of cardholders, MasterCard will continue to foster a dynamic, secure, and convenient online payment environment that makes internet shopping enjoyable and hassle-free,” she added.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Mobile Shopping<p>The MasterCard survey also pointed to a growing trend in the number of Taiwanese shopping via their mobile devices. Of the 66% of people in Taiwan who can access the internet via their mobile phones, 24% had made a mobile purchase in the past 3 months, up from 16% in 2010.</p> <p>The top three categories of items bought via mobile phone were coupon / deal sites, restaurants / home meal delivery, and retailers for clothing and accessories.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Women in Taiwan Do More Online Shopping than Men<p>Notably, the survey uncovered that Taiwanese women (70%) go online to shop more than men (59%). Women were generally found to have a more positive attitude towards online shopping as compared to men, most thinking of it as being convenient and as a pastime activity. This shows that there is significant potential for growth in the online shopping market for men.</p> <p></p> Other Key Findings<p>The survey also showed that word of mouth and other online feedback mechanisms play a big role in increasing consumer confidence in the products they are buying online, with 73% of respondents saying that they read and consider online reviews before purchasing. Among those who have made a purchase in the last three months, 72% said that website user reviews would encourage them to shop online more.</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p><br type="_moz"> </p> <p></p> About Mastercard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Jonathan Seidman,<br> (886)2722-5799 Ext.124<br> <a href="mailto:JSeidman1@webershandwick.com">JSeidman1@webershandwick.com</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> </p> The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/more-taiwanese-shop-online-for-travel-related-items2012-04-17T16:00:00.000Z2012-04-17T16:00:00.000ZTaiwanese Consumers Remain Fiscally Conservative: MasterCard Survey Stephanie Yang, Claire Ke80% of Taiwanese Plan to Save the Same Amount or More in the Next Six Months<p><b><i>Taiwan</i></b><b><i>, </i></b><b><i>21</i></b><b><i> </i></b><b><i>November</i></b><b><i> 2012</i></b> – According to the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Money Management, 79% of Taiwanese consumers plan on saving the same amount or more in the next six months for precautionary purposes, which is similar to the proportion of consumers in Mainland China (78%) and Hong Kong (71%).</p> <p>The latest survey shows that money management strategies are conservative throughout Greater China. For instance, consumers in Mainland China plan to save an average of 26% of their income in the next six months, followed closely by Taiwan (23%) and Hong Kong (21%).</p> <p>The survey on Taiwanese respondents showed that the number one reason for saving was for retirement (51%). The second reason for saving was for investment (50%), followed by buying or renovating a house (43%).</p> <p>Interestingly, while the majority of consumers in Hong Kong (60%) and Taiwan (51%) are setting aside a portion of their income for retirement, most respondents in Mainland China are saving for investments (59%).</p> Top 7 Reasons for Saving in Greater China<table width="402" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b><br type="_moz"> </b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Item</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Taiwan</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Hong Kong</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Mainland China</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Retirement</td> <td>51</td> <td>60</td> <td>26</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Investments</td> <td>50</td> <td>58</td> <td>59</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Buying/Renovating a House</td> <td>43</td> <td>39</td> <td>48</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>International Travel</td> <td>41</td> <td>55</td> <td>53</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Consumer Electronics</td> <td>31</td> <td>28</td> <td>51</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Car/Motorcycle</td> <td>19</td> <td>12</td> <td>22</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Major Appliances</td> <td>16</td> <td>20</td> <td>27</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>Across Greater China, 92% of Taiwanese respondents expressed confidence in their ability to personally manage their daily finances, compared to respondents in Mainland China (95%) and Hong Kong (88%). Moreover, Taiwanese are generally highly involved in investment decision making, with 77% regularly monitoring their investments and a similar proportion comparing product information prior to purchasing a financial product (81%). Respondents aged 30-64 years old tend to be more investment-savvy.</p> <p>The survey also found that that the penetration rate of mobile applications used to manage money in Taiwan is low, with only 15% currently using them, while Mainland China (35%) has the highest proportion, with Hong Kong (22%) trailing close behind.</p> <p>“The latest MasterCard survey indicates that Taiwanese consumers understand the importance of financial planning, budgeting, saving, comparing and monitoring developments in the financial environment. Taiwanese consumers also continue to show that they understand the importance of planning and saving for their retirement years and set money aside for that purpose,” said Julie Yang, head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide. “To help consumers proactively monitor their expenditure and keep track of their purchases, MasterCard continues to provide a wide range of simple, smart and safe payment solutions for Taiwanese consumers.”</p> Additional findings from the MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Money Management include:<ul> <li>Most Taiwanese respondents are willing to plan their finances, as nine out of 10 respondents believe that individuals should regularly save a portion of their monthly income. More than nine out of 10 respondents also believe that it is never too early to have a financial plan, and that they should take out insurance to be prepared for the unexpected.&nbsp;</li> <li>Taiwanese consumers spent an average of 44% of their income on household expenses. In contrast, consumers in Mainland China and Hong Kong spent 39% and 37%, respectively.</li> <li>On average, Taiwanese respondents believe that they can retire with sufficient financial means at 59 years old; while Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese respondents indicate they can retire at 62 years old and 54 years old, respectively.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>The latest survey, which was conducted from the end of April to early June, 2012, involved 11,376 consumers from 25 markets with 845 respondents in China, 421 in Taiwan and 409 in Hong Kong. Data was collected via online surveys, face-to-face, and Computer Assisted Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Era Ogilvy Public Relations<br> Stephanie Yang <br> (886)2577-2100 Ext.602, <br> <a href="mailto:Stephaniehw.yang@eraogilvy.com">Stephaniehw.yang@eraogilvy.com</a></p> <p>Claire Ke <br> (886)2577-2100 Ext.609, <br> <a href="mailto:Clairelh.ke@eraogilvy.com">Clairelh.ke@eraogilvy.com</a></p> According to the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Money Management, eight out of ten Mainland Chinese consumers plan on saving the same amount or more in the next six months for precautionary purposes, which is similar to the proportion of consumers in Taiwan (79%) and Hong Kong (71%).http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/taiwanese-consumers-remain-fiscally-conservative--mastercard-sur2012-11-20T16:00:00.000Z2012-11-20T16:00:00.000ZTaiwan Tops Asia/Pacific Region in Financial Literacy: MasterCard Survey Jonathan SeidmanConsumers in Taiwan Amongst Some of the Savviest in the Asia/Pacific Region When It Comes to Investing and Financial Planning<p><b><i>Taipei, 23 July 2012</i></b> –Taiwan emerged tops in MasterCard’s latest research on financial literacy in the Asia/Pacific region, reflecting respondents’ keen knowledge of financial products, services, and concepts, and ability to plan for their long-term financial needs.</p> <p>In terms of overall financial literacy, the Greater China markets fared very differently, despite all showing improved scores from the last survey conducted in 2010. Taiwan (and New Zealand) led the region with Taiwan jumping from 5<sup>th</sup> place in 2010 to the top spot with a score of 73 index points out of 100, while Hong Kong came in third with 71 index points, up from 6<sup>th</sup> place. China, despite its overall improvement in financial literacy, still ranked low when compared with other Asia/Pacific markets, coming in at 12<sup>th</sup> place, and scoring 3 points below the region’s average of 67 points.</p> <p></p> <p>Taiwan performed exceptionally well in a wide range of categories, coming in first place in&nbsp; the financial planning component of the research, in their understanding of unsecured loans, the need for emergency savings and insurance, early financial planning, as well as their understanding of the concept of inflation. Interestingly, the survey showed that men and women in Taiwan had an equally high level of financial literacy (73%).</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010. The survey polled consumers on three aspects of financial literacy including their basic money management skills, investment knowledge and financial planning to determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p></p> <p>Julie Yang, Head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide said, &quot;The results of the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy show that Taiwanese are proving increasingly savvy among their counterparts in the APAC region in terms of understanding how money works as well as how to plan their finances effectively. We believe that possessing a solid understanding of finances is essential to securing one's financial future.&quot;</p> <p></p> <p>Other findings of the survey include:</p> <ul> <li>When it comes to Basic Money Management, where respondents were asked about their ability to budget, track expenditure, keep up with bills, save for big purchases and understand unsecured loans, all three Greater China markets improved overall.&nbsp; They also scored above the regional average on their budgeting ability, but differed in their tendency towards saving for big purchases, with Hong Kong scoring the highest (71%), followed by Taiwan, (59%) and China (38%).</li> <li>On the financial planning front, it is clear the Greater China markets are astute financial planners, with Taiwan again topping the region, and both China and Hong Kong showing improved scores. Respondents in Taiwan placed great importance on saving regularly, early financial planning, insurance and emergency savings, scoring higher than the regional average in all areas.&nbsp; While respondents in China met the regional average overall in this category, of least importance to them was the need for financial planning for the non-wealthy (65%) and retirement funds (47%). In these areas, the Chinese scored below the regional average.&nbsp; Hong Kong scored noticeably lower on early financial planning (45% vs. the regional average of 81%) but also much higher on retirement planning (62% vs. regional average of 50%).</li> <li>In terms of investing, scores for both Hong Kong (68%) and China (65%) improved overall with Hong Kong also maintaining its hold on the top spot, while Taiwan’s scores (67%) held steady, and ahead of the regional average (59%).&nbsp;&nbsp; All three markets scored above average for monitoring investments, working out the suitability of financial products, and the concept of inflation while Taiwan respondents, despite improving their score on reading financial statements (64%), still lagged behind the regional average (68%) on that front. Of the three markets, only Taiwan respondents scored above the regional average for their understanding of the concept of diversification.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><b>[1<a name="1"></a>]</b> Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Financial Literacy across the Asia/Pacific region<p>New Zealanders (77%) fared the best when asked about basic money management skills such as day-to-day budgeting, keeping up with bills, credit commitments and setting money aside for big purchases, followed by Australia in 2<sup>nd</sup> (75%) and Hong Kong (72%) moving up one spot from 4<sup>th</sup> in 2010 to 3<sup>rd</sup> in 2012.</p> <p></p> <p>Koreans proved to have the region’s most improved scores for financial planning (83%) up 12 places from the 2010 survey. Survey respondents from Taiwan (83%) and Vietnam (82%) also saved more regularly and were better prepared than their regional counterparts when it came to retirement preparations and emergency savings.</p> <p></p> <p>In mature markets, respondents over 30 years of age appeared to score higher in financial literacy compared to their counterparts under the age of 30. This was especially seen in markets like New Zealand (76% vs. 65%), Australia (74% vs. 64%) and Taiwan (74% vs. 70%) where respondents over 30 years old were clearly leading the pack.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="439"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="3"><b>Ranking</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="8"><b>Scores (%)</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="2"><b>Overall Financial Literacy Index</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="6"><b>Components of Financial Literacy Index</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Basic Money Management</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Financial Planning</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Investment</b></th> </tr><tr><td colspan="2" rowspan="2"><b><i>Asia/Pacific</i></b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2010H2</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2010H2</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2010H2</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2010H2</b></td> </tr><tr><td>67</td> <td>67</td> <td>65</td> <td>65</td> <td>76</td> <td>76</td> <td>59</td> <td>61</td> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>New Zealand</td> <td>73</td> <td>74</td> <td>77</td> <td>78</td> <td>73</td> <td>74</td> <td>62</td> <td>64</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>73</td> <td>71</td> <td>70</td> <td>66</td> <td>83</td> <td>83</td> <td>67</td> <td>67</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Australia</td> <td>71</td> <td>72</td> <td>75</td> <td>76</td> <td>69</td> <td>70</td> <td>64</td> <td>65</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>71</td> <td>69</td> <td>72</td> <td>71</td> <td>72</td> <td>70</td> <td>68</td> <td>65</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>71</td> <td>73</td> <td>69</td> <td>71</td> <td>80</td> <td>82</td> <td>61</td> <td>61</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>68</td> <td>67</td> <td>64</td> <td>65</td> <td>79</td> <td>77</td> <td>60</td> <td>59</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Indonesia</td> <td>67</td> <td>64</td> <td>65</td> <td>59</td> <td>81</td> <td>79</td> <td>51</td> <td>57</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Korea</td> <td>66</td> <td>56</td> <td>61</td> <td>50</td> <td>83</td> <td>66</td> <td>54</td> <td>56</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Vietnam</td> <td>66</td> <td>69</td> <td>60</td> <td>62</td> <td>82</td> <td>82</td> <td>60</td> <td>66</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Philippines</td> <td>65</td> <td>69</td> <td>63</td> <td>66</td> <td>73</td> <td>80</td> <td>58</td> <td>60</td> </tr><tr><td><b>11</b></td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>65</td> <td>74</td> <td>60</td> <td>68</td> <td>77</td> <td>87</td> <td>58</td> <td>72</td> </tr><tr><td><b>12</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>64</td> <td>60</td> <td>55</td> <td>53</td> <td>76</td> <td>73</td> <td>65</td> <td>59</td> </tr><tr><td><b>13</b></td> <td>India</td> <td>60</td> <td>63</td> <td>55</td> <td>59</td> <td>72</td> <td>69</td> <td>55</td> <td>63</td> </tr><tr><td><b>14</b></td> <td>Japan</td> <td>60</td> <td>60</td> <td>61</td> <td>61</td> <td>69</td> <td>70</td> <td>43</td> <td>42</td> </tr></tbody></table> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><b><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">MasterCard</a>&nbsp;</b>(NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a></b> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <p>For more information on the latest MasterCard activities and promotions, log on to the official MasterCard Weibo site at:&nbsp; <a href="http://weibo.com/mastercardchina" target="_blank"><b>http://weibo.com/mastercardchina</b></a></p> <p></p> Contacts:<p>Jonathan Seidman,<br> (886)2722-5799 Ext.124,<br> <a href="mailto:JSeidman1@webershandwick.com" target="_blank">JSeidman1@webershandwick.com</a></p> The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/taiwan-tops-asiapacificregion-in-financial-literacy-mastercard-survey2012-07-22T16:00:00.000Z2012-07-22T16:00:00.000ZTaipei Continues Ascent as One of APAC's Leading Tourist Cities: MasterCard Report Jonathan SeidmanThe Taiwan Capitol Also Led Greater China in Cross-Border Spending<p><b><i>Taiwan</i></b><b><i>, </i></b><b><i>14</i></b><b><i> </i></b><b><i>June</i></b><b><i> 2012</i></b> – Taipei continued its ascent among the Asia/Pacific cities listed as top global destinations in 2012, showing significant growth in the areas of both tourist numbers and cross-border spending, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released on June 11<sup>th</sup>, 2012. With nearly half of the world’s top 20 cities by visitor arrivals and expenditure heralding from the APAC region, the Taiwan capitol's performance in this year's survey represents a noteworthy achievement.</p> <p>This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2012. <i>This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.</i></p> <p>The Index results revealed that Asia/Pacific exhibited the strongest growth in visitor numbers and international spending among all the regions of the world. The top ten Asia/Pacific destinations recorded a 9.5% growth in visitor arrivals for 2012 and a 15.3% surge in cross-border spending. To view the Index as an interactive map, please click <a href="http://cities.masterintelligence.com/"><b>here</b></a>.</p> <p>In 2012, Taipei displayed the second highest growth rates in APAC for both visitor numbers (15.1%) along with cross-border spending (20.5%). Visitor numbers to Taipei in 2012 were anticipated to hit 5.4 million, ranking the city at number 8, ahead of Tokyo and Jakarta.&nbsp;</p> <p>The rise in visits also accompanied a sharp increase in international visitor spending, in which Taipei ranked fifth in APAC with an anticipated $10.5 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 2011, highlighting the city's considerable potential as a standout tourism hub in the region.</p> <p>The MasterCard report attributed the increases to the impact of rising tourist visits from mainland China. Taiwan in 2011 opened tourism to individual Mainland visitors from certain Chinese cities; Mainland visitors previously could only tour the island in strictly controlled travel groups.</p> <p>Taipei's Tourism Bureau has also worked to promote a wide range of local attractions to drive more tourism to the northern Taiwan city, such as lively dragon boat races in Dajia Riverside Park along with Taipei's numerous hot spring hotspots.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Taipei Ranks no.1 in Greater China in International Visitor Spend<p>Taipei also dominated the Greater China region in terms of international visitor spending, coming in ahead of Hong Kong ($9.5 billion), Shanghai ($8.3 billion), and Beijing ($6.5 billion), respectively. That's despite those cities' significant advantages in terms of their high number of world-famous landmarks and attractions, such as the Forbidden City in China and the World Expo in Shanghai.</p> <p>“The results of the latest MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index reveal that more travelers are selecting Taipei as their latest tourist destination,&quot; said Julie Yang, head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide. &quot;This points to the city's strong appeal and competitiveness among other cities in Asia/Pacific, the most rapidly growing region in the world for tourism. With exceptional growth in both of these areas, Taipei is poised to receive global recognition as one of the world's leading cities.”&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Asia/Pacific Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitor Spend (2012)<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="409"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Market</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Visitor Spend</b> <b>(US$ Billion)<u></u></b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>% Growth</b> <b>2011 &amp; 2012</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>2012 Visitors</b> <b>(Millions)*</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Bangkok</td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>$11.1</td> <td>$16.6</td> <td>$19.3</td> <td>16.6%</td> <td>12.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>$9.0</td> <td>$11.3</td> <td>$12.7</td> <td>12.7%</td> <td>11.8</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Sydney</td> <td>Australia</td> <td>$9.2</td> <td>$10.1</td> <td>$11.0</td> <td>9.7%</td> <td>2.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Seoul</td> <td>South Korea</td> <td>$7.7</td> <td>$9.1</td> <td>$10.6</td> <td>16.2%</td> <td>8.0</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Taipei</td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>$6.1</td> <td>$8.7</td> <td>$10.5</td> <td>20.5%</td> <td>5.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Tokyo</td> <td>Japan</td> <td>$10.2</td> <td>$8.0</td> <td>$9.9</td> <td>24.2%</td> <td>4.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>(SAR) China</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.6</td> <td>$9.5</td> <td>9.5%</td> <td>11.1</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Shanghai</td> <td>China</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.3</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>7.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Beijing</td> <td>China</td> <td>$4.2</td> <td>$5.5</td> <td>$6.5</td> <td>19.2%</td> <td>6.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Kuala Lumpur</td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>$4.7</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$6.4</td> <td>13.7%</td> <td>8.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>*Excludes passengers returning to arrival country and includes visitors on non-stop flights only</p> <p></p> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities.&nbsp; Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.</p> <p>On any given flight there are visitors from the departure country, returning residents of the destination city after visiting the departure country, and a third group: non-residents connecting through the departure country to the destination city on their way to a second destination city. This group can be a low proportion of the passengers for typically non-hub cities, but very high for destination cities that are “hubs” such as Singapore, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.</p> <p>On a country level, the UN Database of “Trade in Service” in the “Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included).&nbsp; An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas.&nbsp;</p> <p>A margin of error is also unavoidable in such estimates, as not all outbound trips are of equal length, and the cost of living varies a great between arrival cities such that even if each trip of equal length, expenditure per passenger between different arrival cities would still be very different.&nbsp;</p> <p>This margin of error is reduced significantly by imposing a minimum of expenditures in the algorithm, after a number of iterative testing (US$500 per trip for bordering arrival country and US$700 per trip for non-bordering arrival country).&nbsp;</p> <p>Please note, the city rankings from the 2011 MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are altered retrospectively as updates in data become available.</p> <p></p> About Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Ph.D., Global Economic Advisor, MasterCard Worldwide<p>Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong is a business strategist and economist with 25 years of experience gained in over thirty countries. He was appointed Global Economic Advisor to MasterCard Worldwide in 2009.&nbsp; Prior to this role, he was Economic Advisor to MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, a position he held since 2001. As economic advisor, he chairs a MasterCard Knowledge Panel of leading economists, policy analysts, academics and business strategists for regular exchange and knowledge sharing.&nbsp; In 2007 he was appointed Advisor at Southern Capital Group, a private equity fund; and in 2008 he was appointed to the Investment Council of ICICI, India’s largest private bank. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Yuwa is also currently the HSBC Visiting Professor of International Business at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, and is a frequent speaker at numerous international high-profile conferences. &nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Jonathan Seidman,<br> (886)2722-5799 Ext.124,<br> <a href="mailto:JSeidman1@webershandwick.com"><b>JSeidman1@webershandwick.com</b></a></p> This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/taipei-continues-ascent-as-one-of-apacs-leading-tourist-cities-mastercard-report2012-06-13T16:00:00.000Z2012-06-13T16:00:00.000ZOne in Two Taiwanese Respondents Continue to Travel Abroad Despite Economic Uncertainty: MasterCard Survey Jonathan SeidmanNearly Half of Taiwanese Travelers Finance their Vacation with Money Saved Throughout the Year Majority Favor Using Credit Cards for Travel Expenses<p><b><i>Taipei</i></b><b><i>, </i></b><b><i>13</i></b><b><i> </i></b><b><i>Sep</i></b><b><i> 2012</i></b> – Over half of respondents (53%) in Taiwan made at least one international leisure trip in the past year, pointing to the importance of overseas travel amongst the Taiwanese. That's according to the results of the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel.</p> <p>For international leisure travel, Taiwan was ranked sixth out of 14 markets in the Asia/Pacific region, with Hong Kong topping the list at 85%. Singapore came in second at 72%, followed by Malaysia and China (tied at 67%).</p> <p>In terms of business travel, only 26% of respondents in Taiwan traveled internationally for business in the past 12 months, a 1% decline from the previous year. Though Hong Kong (51%) also saw a 1% decline in international business travel, it still tops the Asia/Pacific region for business travel. China (49%) ranks second, with a 3% increase from 2011, followed by Thailand (46%), Malaysia (41%) and Singapore (32%).</p> <p>In addition, the survey found that nearly half (49%) of Taiwanese travelers financed their trips with money saved throughout the year rather than using their bonuses, credit cards, through loans, or by using profits from investments, ahead of China (41%) in the Greater China region but behind Hong Kong (61%).</p> <p>&quot;According to the latest MasterCard Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel survey, over half of Taiwanese travel abroad for leisure purposes, demonstrating that overseas travel remains an essential recreational activity for the Taiwanese,&quot; said Julie Yang, head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p>&quot;Observing these trends, MasterCard works to provide cardholders with a wide range of travel-related benefits and services, such as the <a href="http://www.pricelessbeijing.com/" target="_blank"><b>Priceless Beijing program</b></a> which seeks to enable cardholders to have <i>Priceless</i> experiences and privileged access to the very best the city has to offer, and the recent <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/hkc/personal/zh/promotions/HKIA/landing.html" target="_blank"><b>‘High Flyers Summer Treats’</b></a> promotion at the Hong Kong International Airport. At MasterCard, we are always looking for ways to reward cardholders with one-of-a-kind travel experiences.”</p> Other Findings<ul> <li>Credit card is the preferred payment method when traveling as opposed to cash. For expenses exceeding USD $100, 65% of Taiwanese used a credit card, compared to 61% the previous year. In terms of accommodation, mid-range hotels are the most popular amongst the Taiwanese.</li> <li>Cell phones are the top must-have gadget across all age groups, with 73% of Taiwanese bringing along their cell phones on their travels abroad.</li> <li>Car (69%) remains the preferred mode of transport for domestic trips, although those in the 18-24 years age group rely more on trains.</li> <li>The top international destinations for Taiwanese travelers are Japan (50%), China (37%) and Hong Kong (31%), while Kaohsiung (42%) and Taichung (37%) remain the top two most popular domestic destinations.</li> </ul> <p>The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, is aimed at determining consumer spending priorities, including education, travel, dining and entertainment, financial management and expenditure of luxury goods across 14 markets in Asia Pacific. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p>The latest MasterCard research is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 and involved 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific[1] markets with 421 respondents in Taiwan, 409 in Hong Kong and 845 in China.</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a></b> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Jonathan Seidman,<br> (886)2722-5799 Ext.124,<br> <a href="mailto:JSeidman1@webershandwick.com" target="_blank">JSeidman1@webershandwick.com</a></p> According to findings from the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel, respondents from Mainland China expressed their desire to travel as much or more regularly in the coming year, both for leisure (85%) and business (80%). http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/one-in-two-taiwanese-respondents-continue-to-travel-abroad-despite-economic-uncertainty-mastercard-survey2012-09-12T16:00:00.000Z2012-09-12T16:00:00.000ZSix in Ten Taiwanese consumers made contributions to charity last year Jonathan SeidmanConsumers in Taiwan Increasingly Willing to Pay More for Socially Responsible Products: MasterCard Survey<p><b><i>Taipei, 21</i></b><b><i> </i></b><b><i>March</i></b><b><i> 2012</i></b> – Conscience shopping in Taiwan remains strong, with the island showing an increasing number of consumers willing to pay more for products that are environmentally-friendly, observe fair trade principles, or where a percentage of the item is donated to a good cause, according to the latest MasterCard survey on ethical spending.<br> </p> <p>The survey was conducted via online interviews between 5 December 2011 and 6 January 2012 and involved 12,500 consumers from 25 markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, with 500 consumers interviewed in Taiwan.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Over half of Taiwan consumers willing to pay more for eco-friendly goods<p>According to the survey, 56 % of respondents in Taiwan were willing to pay more to purchase environmentally-friendly products, up from 52% in 2010. The survey also revealed increases in the number of consumers willing to pay more for products that abide by fair trade principles (+6%) as well as where a percentage of the item is donated to a good cause (+3%).&nbsp;</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="401"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Willingness to pay more for socially responsible products (Taiwan)</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Type of Product</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2010</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Environmentally-friendly</td> <td>56</td> <td>52</td> </tr><tr><td>Abide by fair trade principles</td> <td>49</td> <td>43</td> </tr><tr><td>Donate percentage of profits to charity</td> <td>47</td> <td>44</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>Interestingly, men and women were shown to be equally likely to go out of their way to pay for environmentally friendly, fair trade products or products for which a percentage of the sale is donated to a good cause. The oldest segment, meanwhile, was the most likely to purchase such products.</p> <p></p> Six in Ten Taiwan consumers gave to charity in 2011<p>In addition, the survey found that six in ten Taiwanese consumers contributed to charity in 2011, an increase from 2010. Affinity towards social organizations also increased, with the greatest affinity being shown towards local natural disaster relief,followed by children's health / education fund.&nbsp;</p> China performed best among Greater China markets in Asia/Pacific<p>China performed the best of the Greater China markets surveyed, ranking second among the Asia/Pacific markets for willingness to pay more for products that observe fair trade principles (70%). Although Taiwan did not rank especially high among the other Asia/Pacific countries, it showed consistent growth in ethical shopping.</p> <p>“It’s heartening to see from the results of the MasterCard that more and more Taiwanese consumers care about the ethical implications of the products they buy,&quot; said Julie Yang, head of Taiwan, MasterCard Worldwide. &quot;Moreover, the survey shows they are increasingly willing to donate a portion of their earned income to good causes, such as children's education. This trend has contributed to the success of local MasterCard initiatives such as the<i> P</i><i>urchase with Purpose</i> platform, which help charity-minded cardholders give back to communities when they use their MasterCard cards. &quot;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Jonathan Seidman,<br> (886)2722-5799 Ext.124,<br> <a href="mailto:JSeidman1@webershandwick.com">JSeidman1@webershandwick.com</a></p> The survey was conducted via online interviews between 5 December 2011 and 6 January 2012 and involved 12,500 consumers from 25 markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africahttp://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/six-in-ten-taiwanese-consumers-made-contributions-to-charity-last-year2012-03-20T16:00:00.000Z2012-03-20T16:00:00.000ZChina's Economic Rebalancing and Global Implications China's Economic Rebalancing and Global Implications<p>Rarely is a comment made on the global economy without referencing the global imbalance,and China's part in perpetuating it.At its simplest, the global imbalance is seen&nbsp; as a case of China producing/exporting&nbsp; too much and not consuming enough; and the US consuming too much and not saving enough.The typical narrative in this context is that China has become an export machine&nbsp; in order&nbsp; to&nbsp; support&nbsp; its breakneck&nbsp; pace&nbsp; of growth; with its competitiveness based on cheap labor, increasingly efficient infrastructure, and an under-valued currency. The label of 'currency manipulator' is thrown in occasionally as the debate heats up. In fact, an export machine is not an inaccurate description. Twenty years ago, China accounted for a mere 2% of total world exports, and it rose to 11%&nbsp; in 2010. In that&nbsp; narrative, China's growth in exports puts the current accounts of the US and other big importers of Chinese goods in chronic deficits (and worse,&nbsp; destroying local jobs in these countries), while weak domestc consumption in China means growth&nbsp; has to continue to depend&nbsp; on more exports.</p> <p>Regardless of how China is portrayed in the global imbalance debate, the fact of the matter is that in thepast decade China has been reshaping the pattern&nbsp; of global trade, not just as an 'export machine, but as a trading partner in terms of imports/exports of goods and services, investment and capital flows. Today, China is a key trading partner, sometimes the single most important&nbsp; one, for many of the world's most important economies. Table 1 shows China's rising importance as a trading partner (imports plus exports) between&nbsp; 2000 and 2009 in the global economy. The list in the table includes the richest economies in the world, the largest emerging markets, and the most important commodity producers,&nbsp; spanning across five continents.&nbsp; So what happens&nbsp; to China now matters a great deal more to practically everyone in the global economy.</p> <p>This Global Insights report explains China's role in the global imbalance in terms of its domestic imbalance. While not&nbsp; denying&nbsp; the&nbsp; importance&nbsp; of&nbsp; currency exchange rates, I&nbsp; believe that neither China's success in exports nor its rise as a trading partner can be explained in terms of its under-valued currency. The 'currency- centric view' &nbsp;would mean that the global imbalance cannot be resolved without the Chinese currency appreciating to a much higher market driven level.1 Given the apparently snail's pace of the appreciation of the Chinese currency in recent years,&nbsp; it would appear that the global imbalance is here to stay.</p> <p>Table 1. China's Rank as a Trading Partner<br> &nbsp;<a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/table1chinasrankasatradingpartner.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/table1chinasrankasatradingpartner.jpg"></a></p> <p>Source: Estimated with IMF Direction of Trade Data</p> <p>In contrast,I hold the view that China's role in the global imbalance is due primarily to its internal economic imbalance,mostly as a result of a series of developments in the&nbsp; past&nbsp; decade. From this perspective,China's under-valued currency has at best played a tangential role. The media hype on China as an export machine&nbsp; and&nbsp; being&nbsp; the&nbsp; factory of&nbsp; the&nbsp; world&nbsp; has&nbsp; the unintended&nbsp; consequence&nbsp; of focusing attention&nbsp; on the export side of the current account. Chinese exports are on track to continue to grow in the coming decade, and I have estimated that it could reach 18% of the world total by 2020, thereby matching the previous record set by the US in the 1950s during the height of America's global economic dominance. What will make all the difference is how fast China's imports will grow in relation to its exports. And this in turn is strongly affected by how China will rebalance itself domestically.</p> <p>For example, China's current account surplus dropped&nbsp; from its peak of 11.3% of GDP in 2007 to 4.6% in 2010,while the Chinese yuan's trade-weighted exchange rate rose by an average of only 2.2% a year over the same period.What has brought about the reduction in China's surplus is a much faster growth of imports over exports. In 2010, for instance, China's imports grew by 39%,outpacing&nbsp; growth of exports of 31%.</p> <p>This trend has apparently accelerated in the first two months of this year, with imports growing by 36% versus growth of exports of 21%,&nbsp; year-on-year. When China's internal rebalance gains traction, imports will rise much faster in relation to exports, and consequently the global (external) imbalance will adjust as well. So the key is how China will deal with its internal imbalance. I believe China is now at the cusp of a profound structural shift in its economy, and in the coming years, coinciding with the 12th Five Year Plan, domestic private consumption will likely rise much faster than before. This will fundamentally change&nbsp; China's imports/exports dynamics, as well as domestic conditions such as where the majority of the Chinese people will live, and how they will work. But let's begin by taking a closer look of China's domestic economic imbalance.</p> China's Domestic Economic Imbalance<p>It is ironic that in a country run by a communist party,the share of national output&nbsp; accruing to the workers has shrunk over a period of super fast growth. But that is exactly what has been happening in China. As shown in Chart 1 (right side of the chart), the share of wages as a percentage of GDP in China fell from over 50% in 2001 to 42% in 2009.Over the same time period, however, corporate profit as a percentage of GDP rose from 23% to 29%. As a result, private consumption as a percentage of GDP in China has also declined, and was estimated at 36% in 2010.</p> <p>Chart1. China's Domestic Imabalance</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart1chinasdomesticimabalance.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart1chinasdomesticimabalance.jpg"></a></p> <p></p> <p>Source: CEIC;Estimates with Data from China&nbsp; Statistics Yearbook, Various Years</p> <p>This compares unfavorably with 55% in Thailand and 56% in India (left side of the chart).Weak wage and consumption growth are at the heart of China's domestic imbalance. How is it that in a country run by a communist party with socialism as its guiding ideology (albeit with 'Chinese characteristics') the corporate sector is apparently outpacing the success of the working class?</p> <p>Several key developments in the last decade converged to create China's internal imbalance.The first is the state-owned&nbsp; enterprise (SOE) reform that created a new breed of corporate players that were in a position to maximize monopoly profit, while benefiting from declining real labor costs (labor productivity rising faster than wages). The second is China's rapid pace of urban- ization which has been luring migrant workers to urban areas, swelling the&nbsp; supply of the&nbsp; urban&nbsp; labor force. These two key developments then interacted with some of the unintended consequences of the One Child Policy to keep household savings high, thereby suppressing private consumption.</p> <p>In 2009, three Chinese companies, all SOEs, were listed in the top ten of the Fortune Global 500.They were: Sinopec in seventh place,State Grid in eighth, and China National Petroleum in tenth. In fact, there were 44 Chinese companies, the vast majority of them SOEs,in the Fortune Global 500 that year6.A decade earlier,the&nbsp; notion&nbsp; of any companies from mainland China being ranked in the top 500 of the world could not be imagined. The fact is that&nbsp; by the end of the 1990s, the state-owned&nbsp; industrial sector in China was basically bankrupt.The non-performing loans of the banking sector in China were over 3.5 trillion yuan in 1999,about 18% of all loans outstanding.Virtually all of the bad loans were lent to SOEs.In the beginning of the 1990s, SOEs were the beneficiaries of a lending binge by the banks that was made in the wake of the famous ?southern&nbsp; tour? of Deng Xiaoping. By the end of that decade all that SOEs had to show were mountains of bad loans.<br> By then, Zhu Rongji, the prime minister, was preparing China for WTO membership. To do so, he launched a wide-ranging economic reform program, part of which was SOE reform. Different options were mooted. Just prior to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the Korean chaebols were intensely studied, and at one time it was thought a suitable model for China's SOEs to emulate. Post-1997, with many chaebols going bust, that option was quickly dismissed. A more hard-nosed&nbsp; alternative argued for wholesale privatization of the SOEs, but it was&nbsp; quickly recognized&nbsp; that&nbsp;&nbsp; genuine&nbsp; privatization would mean letting the market decide the fate of the SOEs, and giving up state control of the massive industrial sector, hence government's leverage over a significant&nbsp; portion&nbsp; of employment&nbsp; and&nbsp; investment&nbsp; in the economy. Instead, Zhu opted to shut down a portion of the SOEs that&nbsp; were clearly beyond salvage, and consoli-dated the rest to make them viable.And an important step in the process was to order the banks to forgive all the SOE bad loans. This meant,&nbsp; of course, leaving the banks on the spot. To save the banks, Asset Manage- ment Companies (AMCs) were created to take over the bad loans, allowing the banks to be recapitalized. The AMCs were then tasked with recovering as much of the loans as they could from the defaulters, the SOEs.</p> <p>The cleaned up and consolidated SOEs then started to perform extraordinarily well after China's entrance to WTO.Foreign direct investment continued to rise (it ac- tually started accelerating prior to China's WTO membership), exports boomed, and the economy expanded; consequently SOEs rose like ships being lifted in a rising tide. Many SOEs also operated&nbsp; in either strictly protected or in quasi monopolistic sectors such as telecom, transportation,&nbsp; energy, and assorted heavy industries, thereby enjoying monopoly rent; which was then made even more lucrative by the commodity upswing cycle that started mid-decade.Meantime, they were not required to pay dividends to their shareholders, the government. For SOEs involved in resource extraction, they did not pay royalties to the owner of the resource either, which once again, was the government. The SOEs continued&nbsp; to&nbsp; enjoy preferential&nbsp; access to&nbsp; bank&nbsp; lending whenever they needed new funds, and at exceptionally low interest rates. The net result was, not surprisingly, extraordinary SOE profits.</p> <p>One of the factors driving up corporate profits overall, not just for SOEs,has been the labor market dynamics in that decade.Urbanization accelerated, averaging some 20 million people in urban areas a year. Rapid growth was evident across the entire spectrum of urban areas, from megacities like Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, and second tier cities like Wuhan, Xian, Nanjing, all the way down to small third-tier cities (more on urbanization later). To put things in perspective, in 1981 it is estimated that only 18% of China's population lived in urban areas. By 2010, it was close to 50%8. Urban expansion of such a scale drew in an army of migrant workers from the farms. Migrant workers are not the same as rural-urban migrants, at least not in the beginning (though many ended up becoming residents of the cities in which they have been working, only after they managed&nbsp; to&nbsp; acquire the&nbsp; residency permit,&nbsp; the hukou). Many migrant workers work only part of the year in cities, and spend the rest of the time, back on the&nbsp; farm to help with planting and&nbsp; harvest. Like all farmers, planting and harvesting are the busy times, and it is the in-between period that they are underemployed, hence their migratory pattern to seek paid work in cities. Many migrant workers are recruited into the construction sector, powering the massive infrastructure rollout&nbsp; across&nbsp; the&nbsp; country.&nbsp; Many others,&nbsp; especially young&nbsp; women,&nbsp; work in light manufacturing&nbsp; in the southern and the eastern coastal region, producing exports that give China the reputation of being the factory of the world.</p> <p>It is this army of migrant workers, variously estimated to be between 100 to 120 million, tht has had the net effect of keeping&nbsp; wages low in relation to growth&nbsp; of productivity and&nbsp; corporate&nbsp; profit. Due to their part-time status, their wages proximate the equilibrium price of labor, determined solely by demand and supply at any given time and, until very recently, not protected by any minimum wage regulation and which did not obligate the employers to cover their healthcare, pension, and other related social benefits. In any sectors where migrant workers can be employed on a regular basis, which include construction and light manufacturing, migrant workers have made a huge contribution, while receiving the absolute minimum in return. High corporate profits and low wages mean, however, low private consumption&nbsp; by households. Consumption is kept even lower due to the relatively high household savings rate. Chinese urban households tend to save around 20% of their disposable income9, compared with the 10 to 12% average seen in many other Asian markets. This higher household savings is due to several unique factors in China. The first is the One Child policy, which motivates parents to save as much as they can to make sure that&nbsp; they can afford the best healthcare money can buy should their single child get sick and the best private education that money can buy to ensure the child's future success. For the young singles being able to afford a private condominium is now a prerequisite for being able to marry, hence the presure to save for a down payment. All these contribute to China's higher household savings and subdued consumption.</p> <p>It is common to hear in media commentaries that Chinese households save too much and do not spend enough. It follows that the remedy for rebalancing the global economy is to encourage&nbsp; the Chinese to spend more. The reality is that given what they earn, and what they have to put aside for the proverbial rainy days, Chinese consumers are actually very enthusiastic spenders. They more or less spend as much as they can, and cannot be accused of causing the global imbalance because of their supposedly extraordinary frugality. They certainly play a role in the internal imbalance of the Chinese economy, but it is more the role of victims of the internal imbalance than its cause. To rebalance the Chinese economy, wages will have to grow much faster in relation to productivity and corporate profit, and households will have to feel that they need to save less even as their income is rising faster than before. These may well happen in the coming years.</p> The Dragon's Dance: The 12th Five Year Plan<p>It would be naive to suggest that the leadership in Beijing is not aware of China's domestic imbalance and the challenges associated with it. The question is what are they going to do about it? The answer, at least in part, can be gleaned from the broad outline of the 12th Five Year Plan, which was approved by the People's Congress on March 14, and is due to take effect this year. While many of the specifics are yet to be spelled out,11 the Plan does aim to create a new economic model that could rebalance the Chinese economy. It recognizes that in spite of having survived the 2008/09 global financial<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> crisis, the economy today suffers from problems of unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable developments. The key solution,which is seen as the prime driver of change, is to continue and accelerate the pace of urbanization. Getting people to move into towns and cities at a pace even faster than that of the past decade would, at one stroke, deal with the challenges of rural underemployment,&nbsp; over-investment in the industrial sector, weak household consumption, income disparity, and chronic current account surpluses. It is no surprise that Vice Premier Li Keqiang, has consistently focused on how to get urbanization right as his theme&nbsp; whenever he spoke to the press and in public forums in the past year.</p> <p>Getting urbanization right in China could indeed address many of the country's major problems of economic development overall, and the internal imbalance in specific. A proper discussion of urbanization in China will, however, require a great deal more space than a section of a single report of this kind. Instead, the focus here is on how urbanization could address the internal economic imbalance that has been built up in the past decade as described earlier. First and foremost is the difference in propensity to consume, especially in discretionary spending, between rural and urban households. Adjusted for income, an urban household tends to spend more on consumption than a rural household12 .Clearly in urban areas the consumer lifestyle is able to spread faster and wider, with the proverbial 'word of mouth' and 'peer persuasion' being more powerful in propagating&nbsp; new consumer market trends. On the supply side, the high concentration of consumers in urban centers facilitates the development&nbsp; of shopping malls and markets, offering consumers choices that are simply not available in rural markets. Shopping, socializing, dining out, and entertainment&nbsp;&nbsp; tend&nbsp; to&nbsp; blend&nbsp; seamlessly into&nbsp; an&nbsp; urban lifestyle, driving up consumer spending. Incomes are also higher in urban areas. Even for migrant workers, what they earn in cities is still higher than what they would have earned had they stayed on the farm. Their pay looks low only when compared with regular urban incomes. And there is no mystery as to why urban wages are higher. Better urban infrastructure means workers have better&nbsp; tools to work with, and hence, more productive1.3&nbsp; Urban economies also benefit from more powerful economies of scale and economies of scope, which offer more opportunities for specialization, thereby boosting urban productivity. As a result, urban wages tend&nbsp; to increase a lot faster than&nbsp; rural ones; and that is exactly what has been happening&nbsp; in China in the last decade. With higher urban wages, the stronger&nbsp; propensity&nbsp; to&nbsp; consume&nbsp; observed&nbsp; in urban households is then amplified by their larger household wallet.</p> <p>The urban&nbsp; economy&nbsp; is also more&nbsp; conducive for faster growth in the service sector in China, which has been&nbsp; a laggard compared&nbsp; with the&nbsp; industrial sector. With rising incomes, urban households' marginal spending shifts quickly from goods to services, creating more potential for the service sector to expand and create more jobs. It has been estimated that with the same increase in demand,&nbsp; the domestic service sector tends to create up to 45% more jobs than the export sector. 14 Again, there is no mystery as to why this is so. The multiplier effect is simply higher in the urban service sector compared with exports. An increase in service demand quickly ripples across the urban service economy to generate new demand for other services, which has a positive ?knock-on' effect on yet other services and so on. Think of the opening of an upscale restaurant in Shanghai. Architects and designers are likely involved in creating the ambience commensurate&nbsp; with the prices on the menu. Advertising agencies are needed to promote it to targeted&nbsp; customers. For branding purposes, the restaurant&nbsp; may decide to sponsor a show in a gallery with a gala reception,&nbsp; engaging&nbsp; event management and public relations specialists.&nbsp; All these generate&nbsp; new activities in a wide range of professional services, apart from jobs created in the actual operations of the restau- rant itself. In contrast, an increase in demand in exports is more likely to generate a one-off increase in production activities, especially if the production is in assembling manufacturing&nbsp; with&nbsp; a&nbsp; high&nbsp; level of&nbsp; imported components.Urbanization and the service sector are therefore mutually reinforcing, with the net effects of raising household incomes and boosting consumption.</p> <p>As suggested earlier, an important factor in raising household consumption lies in reducing their savings. Chinese households'precautionary savings are high because of poor public provisions of health care and&nbsp; education services as well as patchy coverage of retirement pensions. It happens that it is more cost-effective to upgrade&nbsp; health and education&nbsp; services in urban&nbsp; rather than in rural areas, due to urban population density and associated economies of scale. Therefore for every extra yuan spent&nbsp; on health and education&nbsp; by the government, it has a greater impact in urban areas when it comes to reducing households' precautionary savings and raising their consumption. And increasing investment in public health and education is what the government&nbsp; intends&nbsp; to&nbsp; do&nbsp; in the&nbsp; context&nbsp; of&nbsp; accelerating urbanization in the 12th Five Year Plan.</p> <p>Finally, faster urbanization also has the added benefit of reducing income disparity. Assuming the average income levels of urban&nbsp; and&nbsp; rural China remain unchanged&nbsp; for the foreseeable future, the fact that the urban population will expand while the rural population will shrink at a faster rate in the next five years would improve income distribution overall. Shifting workers from rural to urban areas simply means more workers are earning higher urban wages. Chart 2 illustrates the projection of China's urbanization to 2020.It is expected&nbsp; that&nbsp; by the&nbsp; end&nbsp; of this decade, some 70% of China's population will be living in urban areas, up from 48% in 2005. This implies an addition of 320 million to China's urban population.Some 100 million of this increase will come from 'organic growth,' consisting of population growth from today's urban population, and conversion of rural areas (and the population) into urban areas in the coming years. Another 220 million will come from rural-urban migration. In addition to the positive multifaceted impacts of urbanization, a number of regulatory changes in the governance of the SOEs will also help China's internal rebalancing. SOEs are now required to pay dividends, and SOEs in resource extraction are also required to pay royalties. These measures will reduce SOE profit while boosting government revenues. The new revenues generated will in turn allow the government to invest more in expanding the coverage of the social safety nets and in improving service delivery. It is expected that government spending on health and education services will go up significantly during the 12th Five Year Plan, with coverage expanding to include migrant workers as well. A national pension plan that is universal and portable is also being planned for implementation. It remains to be seen, however, the extent to which the intended objectives of the Plan will be implemented, and once implemented,&nbsp; the extent to which they are effectively enforced.&nbsp; Even if the&nbsp; measures&nbsp; outlined above are only partially successful, they could still go along way in rebalancing China's domestic economy.</p> <p>Chart 2. China's Urban Future</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart2chinasurbanfuture.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart2chinasurbanfuture.jpg"></a></p> <p>Source: MasterCard Asia/Pacific</p> <p>Chart3. Faster Comsumption Growth Needed in the Future</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart3fastercomsumptiongrowthneededinthefuture.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart3fastercomsumptiongrowthneededinthefuture.jpg"></a></p> <p>Chart 3 summarizes a simple simulation of the kind of progress that can be achieved with a modest level of success in policy implementation. Assuming that real GDP growth rate will average 8% a year between 2010 and 2020, the GDP share of private consumption could rise from the current 36% to 50% if private consumption can grow in real terms by 12% a year. Given the average real growth rate of private consumption in the past decade is around 8%, this means private consumption will have to grow by about one-third faster in the future. Can this be achieved? If household income growth begins to match overall real GDP growth in the coming years, this means an average growth rate of 8% a year. Using a conservative assumption of household consumption growing at the same pace as household income, then income-induced growth of household consumption will be 8% a year as well. If a household's precautionary savings rate is reduced due to better public health and education services and pension coverage, to around 12%&nbsp; from the current 20%, then it would add another 3% growth to household consumption. So the 12% increase per year in private household consumption is possible under the right circumstances.</p> China's Demographic Shift<p>Apart from the potential impacts arising from policy measures related to the 12th Five Year Plan, China's demographic dynamics are giving the rebalancing a powerful push. In the past three decades, the One Child policy has slowed population growth significantly, and, in the process, accelerated population aging. The average age of a population rises when there are more older people, as a result of rising life expectancy, and fewer young people. The result is a powerful demographic shift. China's school enrollment rate is very high, with primary school enrollment approaching 100% so changes in student enrollment numbers in primary and secondary schools, which are good indicators of the overall number of young children and teenagers. According to data from the Ministry of Education, primary school enrollment peaked&nbsp; in 1998,&nbsp; and&nbsp; by 2008&nbsp; it was 25% lower than the peak level. Secondary school enrollment peaked in 2003, and has since been declining, albeit at a&nbsp; much&nbsp; slower rate.&nbsp; The fact&nbsp; that&nbsp; peak&nbsp; secondary school enrollment lags peak primary school enrollment by some five years also makes sense. At their respective peak&nbsp; years,&nbsp; these&nbsp; primary and&nbsp; secondary&nbsp; students would have been born in the second half of the 1980s, when the One Child policy, though&nbsp; introduced earlier,began to be more rigorously enforced, and started to take full effect.</p> <p>Chart 4. China's Demographic Tectonic Shift</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart4chinasdemographictectonicshift.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart4chinasdemographictectonicshift.jpg"></a></p> <p>Source:Estimated with Data from the US Census Bureau and Chinese Academy of Social Science</p> <p>These declining enrollment trends are the&nbsp; telling leading indicators of how&nbsp; the&nbsp; supply of young workers will shrink as a result of China's demographic shift.Expanded opportunities&nbsp; for higher education further aggravate the trend of a shrinking supply of young workers. More young people attending&nbsp; tertiary education means a lower labor force participation rate in their age groups. Chart 4 shows a projection of changes in the numbers of 15 - 24 year olds in China that will be available for the labor force in the next few years, assuming a participation rate of 50%, down from the 65-70%&nbsp; level in previous decades. The projection shows unmistakably a shrinking supply of young workers in the labor force. A 50%&nbsp; participation rate means that half of the 20 -24 year olds will be studying instead of working in the&nbsp; future,&nbsp; up&nbsp; from around&nbsp; 25 - 30%&nbsp; a decade ago, thus squeezing the dwindling supply further. This demographic&nbsp; shift, in combination&nbsp; with the wide ranging impacts of faster urbanization, will push wages to rise faster than&nbsp; before, thus systematically changing the industrial structure of China itself. A good indicator is migrant workers' wages which, as argued earlier, proximate the equilibrium price of labor as dictated by the raw supply and demand conditions. Chart5 shows growth of migrant worker wages in real terms from 2002 to 2008 as estimated by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It basically rose continuously since 2002, and it spiked in 2008 to 18.5%. In 2009, in spite of the near collapse of China's exports due to the global financial crisis, migrant workers' wages nevertheless grew in real terms by 3%, followed by a strong rebound of an estimated 12% growth in 2010. These growth rates clearly reflect a gradual tightening of labor supply, puncturing the myth of the 'inexhaustible supply of Chinese labor.' As new policy measures associated with the 12th Five Year Plan begin to kick in this year, wages in general not just for migrant workers, will begin to rise faster than&nbsp; in the past. This makes the prospects of wage growth keeping pace with real GDP growth, a&nbsp;pre-condition for domestic rebalancing as argued above, much more likely.</p> Keeping Step with the Dragon's Dance: Global Implications<p>China's domestic&nbsp; rebalancing&nbsp; will have far-reaching global implications. The most obvious is that China's current account surplus will shrink over time. Make no mistake, China will continue to be a strong exporter in&nbsp;the&nbsp; foreseeable&nbsp; future, and&nbsp; its current&nbsp; account&nbsp; will likely continue to chalk up annual surpluses.the&nbsp; foreseeable&nbsp; future, and&nbsp; its current&nbsp; account&nbsp; will likely continue to chalk upannual&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;surplus.</p> <p>Chart 5. Higher Wage Growth in the Future</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart5higherwagegrowthinthefuture.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart5higherwagegrowthinthefuture.jpg"></a></p> <p>However, domestic rebalancing could reduce the surplus to around 1%-2% of GDP from its previous peak of over10%, thereby&nbsp; reducing&nbsp; the&nbsp; global imbalance. With faster urbanization, rising consumption, and more jobs being created in the service sector; China's import composition will also change. While infrastructure investment&nbsp; will continue&nbsp; to&nbsp; be a key driver of growth&nbsp; in China, thus necessitating continuing imports of commodities like iron ore and copper, a more service-intensive economy simply means a less resource-intensive one.</p> <p>Chart 6. Monthly Manufacturing Wages Compared<br> </p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart6monthlymanufacturingwagescompared.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/chart6monthlymanufacturingwagescompared.jpg"></a><br> Source: MasterCard Asia/Pacific</p> <p>China will gradually import more to meet household consumption&nbsp; needs, and less industrial components&nbsp; and&nbsp; raw materials to feed&nbsp; the&nbsp; manufacturing sector. As a 'swing' buyer of many key commodities in the world market, China's reduced appetite&nbsp; for resources, however marginal, could have significant impacts on their global demand/supply dynamics.<br> Part of the change in China's industrial structure is that low value-added assembly manufacturing will become less viable as wages rise. It is my estimate that monthly manufacturing&nbsp; wages in China today are already higher than many neighboring countries. Chart 6 compares&nbsp; monthly manufacturing&nbsp; in 2009&nbsp; between China and Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. The wage gap between China and these Southeast Asian countries are set to widen even further in the future.<br> China today has the world's largest manufacturing labor force, which has been estimated to be around 165 million. If 1% of China's manufacturing&nbsp; capacity is to relocate to the four countries of Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, adjusted for productivity, this would entail an increase in manufacturing employment of these four countries by up to 15%. So quite apart from shrinking the current account surpluses and altering global demand/supply dynamics in commodities, China's domestic rebalancing would also be a source of new growth in many countries in Asia and beyond.</p> <p>1. How exactly is a market driven exchange&nbsp; rate determined is itself fiercely debated, however. There are three key methodological approaches: a fundamental equilibrium exchange&nbsp; rate (the so called FEER), a purchasing&nbsp; power parity based exchange&nbsp; rate, and a unit labor cost productivity-based exchange&nbsp; rate (the so called REER). While all three approaches agree that&nbsp; the Chinese currency is undervalued, they differ hugely on the degrees&nbsp; of under-valuation, ranging from 12%&nbsp; to 50%.<br> 2. The Chinese yuan has been appreciating against&nbsp; the US dollar in nominal terms in the past five years at around&nbsp; 5% a year.<br> 3. It is worth pointing out even if the Chinese yuan were to appreciate at an improbable&nbsp; pace of, say, 50%,&nbsp; in the next year or so; there is still no guarantee that&nbsp; the US current account&nbsp; deficits will be eliminated.&nbsp; In the two years following the 1985 Plaza Accords, the exchange&nbsp; rate of Japanese yen doubled&nbsp; against&nbsp; the US dollar, and yet the US current account&nbsp; deficits against&nbsp; Japan persisted.<br> 4. PBoC data.<br> 5. Bank of International&nbsp; Settlement&nbsp; data.<br> 6. Fortune, July 26, 2010.<br> 7. PBoC data.<br> 8. China Statistical Yearbooks, various years.<br> 9. The regularly reported figures of 40 to 50%&nbsp; of GDP saved in China refer to total national&nbsp; savings, the bulk of which is actually savings by the corporate sector.<br> 10. See the MasterCard&nbsp; MasterIndex of Consumer&nbsp; Confidence,&nbsp; Spending and Savings Priorities.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/">www.masterintelligence.com</a><br> 11. A great deal of policy details will be developed&nbsp; by the two dozen or so ministries and local governments.<br> 12. Recent survey evidence of Chinese urban households' higher propensity to consume&nbsp; is observed in MasterCard's Insights Report Government Stimulus and Consumer&nbsp; Response in China --Implications for Future Growth, 3Q, 2009.<br> 13. In economic terms, this means a less skewed labor-capital ratio, and in the context of a developing economy with low capital stock per capita, marginal returns on capital tend to be higher than&nbsp; marginal returns on labor.<br> 14. Derived from estimates&nbsp; by Feenstra, R.C. and Shang-Jin Wei, 2009,&nbsp; China's Growing Role in World Trade, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper.<br> 15. In the coming decade, China's export composition&nbsp; will shift increasingly to capital and knowledge intensive goods as opposed to labor intensive light manufacturing.</p> At its simplest, the global imbalance is seen as a case of China producing/exporting too much and not consuming enough; and the US consuming too much and not saving enough.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2011/chinas-economic-rebalancing-and-global-implications2011-06-30T16:00:00.000Z2011-06-30T16:00:00.000ZDining Out, Cinemas and KTV Are Top Priorities for Chinese Consumers: MasterCard Survey Huanyu Wu, Du Yanyan / Edward Guo Chinese Consumers Set Aside Average of 18% of Their Income for Leisure Activities; Highest in Asia/Pacific Region alongside Respondents from Hong Kong<p><b><i>Beijing, 17 October 2011</i></b> – Dining out is very popular amongst the Chinese, while going to the movies or to a karaoke lounge are their preferred forms of entertainment, according to findings from the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Dining &amp; Entertainment.</p> <p>The survey showed that the average amount spent on dining out each month by Chinese consumers was US$135. This compares to US$213 in Japan, US$212 in Singapore, US$195 in Hong Kong and US$165 in Taiwan. In terms of the ratio of monthly average dining out expenses to monthly income, China (9.1%) was second only to Vietnam (9.2%), with Thailand (6.8%) coming in third. Looking ahead, 20% of respondents said they plan to eat out more in the coming months.</p> <p>The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.</p> <p>In their leisure time, cinemas (57%) and karaoke lounges (50%) are popular forms of entertainment amongst those surveyed, with many making three trips to the cinema a month and at least one to two to KTV lounges. &nbsp;The survey also noted that a similar trend occurs in other Asian countries.&nbsp; Cinema-going is the preferred leisure activity amongst the majority in Singapore (75%), Hong Kong (74%), Korea (74%), Taiwan (65%) and the Philippines (61%).</p> <p>The average proportion of monthly income set aside for hobbies and leisure activities amongst Chinese respondents was 18%, with 55% spending more than 10% of their monthly income on these activities. Hong Kong’s ratio of spending to monthly income was also 18%, the highest in the region, alongside mainland China. The average proportion of monthly income set aside for leisure activities across the Asia-Pacific region was 13%.</p> <p>“The MasterCard survey results are interesting because they show that dining out and entertainment are actually areas where consumption levels relative to income in China are above average,” said Ling Hai, division president of Greater China for MasterCard Worldwide. “With the rapid growth in the number of movie theatres in China, going to the cinema will continue to be a very popular entertainment option. It’s also encouraging – particularly for us at MasterCard – to see that around 45% of fine dining visits are paid for using a credit card. I’m confident that this number will continue to grow.”</p> <p>Below are additional key findings from the MasterCard survey:</p> <p></p> Dining<ul> <li>Food courts and fast-food restaurants are the most popular types of dining outlets for Chinese consumers, followed by mid-range family restaurants. 82% of respondents said they eat at food courts on an average of eight times a month. Meanwhile, 81% said they went to fast-food restaurants nine times a month</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The frequency of visits to fine dining restaurants was not surprisingly lower than the number of visits to mid-priced restaurants. 66% of the respondents said they go to mid-range family restaurants on average five times a month</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The survey also split fine dining into two categories: standalone restaurants and hotels, which were respectively frequented by 23% and 17% of the respondents. In both cases, those surveyed had dined out at these locations twice a month on average</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The survey showed that respondents visited bars for dining just slightly more than they visited fine dining restaurants. Only 28% of respondents said they go to bars – and on average only three times a month</li> </ul> <p></p> Leisure Activities<ul> <li>Coming in behind cinema-going and karaoke, the survey indicated that amusement parks (39%) and arcades (34%) were popular as well. Although the latter attracted fewer respondents, the frequency of visits was actually higher than for cinemas and KTV lounges. Respondents visited theme parks five times a month and amusement arcades were usually visited three times a month</li> </ul> <ul> <li>For entertainment, just over a fifth of respondents went to bars or nightclubs (21%), and normally three times a month, while museums and art galleries (11%) had less appeal and were normally visited once a month</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Again, possibly because of expense or a lack of availability, few of the respondents (3%) participated in sports club activities, such as golf or team sports. However, more respondents (12%) said they go to health and fitness clubs on a regular basis – on average, seven times a month</li> </ul> <p>For the full report in English, go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets across Asia/Pacific.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/dining-out-cinemas-and-ktv-are-top-priories-for-chinese-consumers2011-10-16T16:00:00.000Z2011-10-16T16:00:00.000ZChinese Cities Expecting to See Growth in Visitor Arrivals and Expenditure: New MasterCard Index Georgette TanBeijing, Shanghai Rank among Top Three Cities in Asia/Pacific Region by Visitor Growth<p><b><i>Beijing</i></b><b><i>, </i></b><b><i>9 June,</i></b><b><i> 2011: </i></b>Beijing and Shanghai, already leading global and regional destination cities, will see their number of visitors grow significantly in 2011, according to MasterCard Worldwide’s Index of Global Destination Cities.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities ranks 132 selected cities around the world by their total international visitor arrivals, along with their cross-border spending in those cities. The Index offers a different approach to understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce around the world.</p> <p>Among the global top 20 destination cities by visitor arrivals, London tops the world’s cities with 20.1 million inbound passengers expected in 2011, ahead of Paris in second place with 18.1 million and Bangkok in third with 11.5 million. Shanghai ranks No. 18 with 5.5 million visitors. Growth rates of visitor arrivals for the top 20 destination cities in 2011 show Shanghai to rank No. 4 at 18.6%.&nbsp; Among the top 10 destination cities in the Asia/Pacific region, Bangkok ranks No.1, while Shanghai and Beijing rank No. 6 and No. 9 respectively.</p> <p>According to the Index, in 2010 the overall total outbound air passenger departures and outbound expenditure grew by 9.2% and 14.6% year-on-year, respectively. This reflects a recovery in global tourism following the global economic crisis. Of all the top-ranked destination cities reviewed in the report, only three had a decline in visitor arrivals and two show declining visitor expenditures.</p> <p></p> Chinese cities show prominent visitor growth <p>Thirteen Chinese cities were included in the Index rankings of the 132 cities. Beijing and Shanghai rank second and third regionally in terms of visitor growth, with growth rates estimated at 20.2% and 18.6% respectively, reflecting their rising prominence as China’s most important destination cities.&nbsp; Shanghai also ranks No. 2 in the region for growth in visitor expenditure with 24.3%, second to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with 31.0%</p> <p></p> Hong Kong leads the Greater China region<p>The Index shows Hong Kong is still the most dynamic business and travel center in the Greater China region. Hong Kong ranks No. 5 among the global top 20 destination cities by international visitors, Shanghai ranks No. 18 and Taipei ranks No.19. Among the top 20 destination cities by visitor spending, only Hong Kong and Taipei are on the list, with rankings of No. 10 and No. 17 respectively.&nbsp; In terms of growth rates of visitor expenditures for the top 20 destination cities in 2011, Taipei and Hong Kong both have a growth rate of over 20%.</p> <p>Ling Hai, MasterCard Worldwide’s Division President for Greater China, said: “This kind of growth pattern suggests that destination cities in emerging markets like China will continue to grow in importance and play a much greater role in the global economy. MasterCard understands these travel growth trends and will continue to help build upon the profiles of these cities through programs that will increase the attractiveness of the travel experience into China.”</p> <p></p> Bangkok ahead among Asia/Pacific cities<p>The Index shows there are eight Asia/Pacific cities ranking among the global top 20 destination cities by visitor arrival and seven cities ranking among the global top 20 destination cities by international visitor spending. In terms of both visitor arrivals and international spending, Bangkok ranks No. 1, illustrating that it has become a mature international destination in Asia/Pacific. Singapore is second to Bangkok by visitor arrivals, followed by Hong Kong. By visitor expenditure, Singapore ranks No.3 and Hong Kong No. 4. Other Asia/Pacific cities ranking in the global top 20 destinations include Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur.</p> <p></p> Methodology <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities.&nbsp; Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year. On a country level, the UN Database of “Trade in Service” in the “Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included).&nbsp; An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Graphics<p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/chart1top20destinations.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/chart1top20destinations.jpg"></a><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/table2growthrates.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/table2growthrates.jpg"></a><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/chart2top20destinations.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/chart2top20destinations.jpg"></a><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/chart5top20.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/chart5top20.jpg"></a><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/table7growthrates.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/table7growthrates.jpg"></a><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/chart6top10.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/chart6top10.jpg"></a><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/table8growthrates.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/table8growthrates.jpg"></a></p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> This is the inaugural edition of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/chinese-cities-expecting-to-see-growth-in-visitor-arrivals-and-expenditure2011-06-08T16:00:00.000Z2011-06-08T16:00:00.000ZEducation Remains a Top Priority in Mainland China: MasterCard Survey Huanyu Wu, Tang Fei Attitudes Towards Education Vary Greatly Across Greater China <table width="411" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b><br type="_moz"> </b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Mainland China</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Hong Kong</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Taiwan</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>To further my education</b></td> <td>37%</td> <td>47%</td> <td>19%</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Related to the profession I would like to be in</b></td> <td>43%</td> <td>33%</td> <td>36%</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Hobby related/ self-improvement </b></td> <td>20%</td> <td>19%</td> <td>45%</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>Four out of 10 respondents in Mainland China plan to return to college. Of those, almost half are keen to study abroad, with the majority of respondents citing international outlook (55%) as the reason they prefer studying abroad, while 23% believe they will receive a better education overseas and 10% said they wanted to study overseas for a chance to experience a different culture.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of those pursuing higher education (90%) said they would finance it themselves. A small minority of students plan to use bank loans (18%), while 14% of respondents will receive funding from their parents. Consequently, the survey recorded a notable increase (from 46% last year to 67%) in the number of overseas students choosing credit cards as the preferred payment method for tuition fees.</p> <p>Three out of four Mainland Chinese parents said they save regularly for their children’s education, with those responding in the affirmative reporting that they save an average of 13% of their income. The majority of Mainland Chinese parents (72%) spend between six and 30 percent of their income on their children’s education.</p> <p>While four out of 10 Mainland Chinese parents opt for universities in China, a significant proportion hope that their children can study abroad, favouring either the United States (38%) or Europe (35%).</p> Increasing Number of Mainland Chinese Parents Opt to send their Children to Study Overseas<table width="409" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Location</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H1 2012</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H1 2011</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Within China</td> <td>46%</td> <td>45%</td> </tr><tr><td>America</td> <td>38%</td> <td>5%</td> </tr><tr><td>Europe</td> <td>35%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr><tr><td>Overseas in Asia</td> <td>18%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr><tr><td>Undecided</td> <td>17%</td> <td>42%</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>Over 80% of Mainland Chinese parents enrolled their children in extracurricular activities, with a significant proportion selecting foreign language classes (46%), music (42%) or sports (39%) courses. This is a far cry from a year ago, when just over half of the parents surveyed involved their children in extracurricular classes.</p> <p>“Chinese parents and their children continue to exhibit an insatiable thirst for knowledge, as indicated by more than four out of 10 respondents across Mainland China planning to enroll in educational programs for either personal or professional reasons,” said <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/lhai/" target="_blank"><b>Ling Hai</b></a>, Division President, Greater China, MasterCard Worldwide. “To this end, MasterCard has recently established a strategic collaboration with the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), which will serve to develop more talent, inspire and encourage students to contribute to the further development of the Chinese economy.”</p> <p>The latest survey, which was conducted from the end of April to early June, 2012, involved 11,376 consumers from 25 markets with 845 respondents in China, 421 in Taiwan and 409 in Hong Kong. Data was collected via online surveys, face-to-face, and Computer Assisted Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Huanyu Wu<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:huanyu_wu@mastercard.com">huanyu_wu@mastercard.com</a><br> (86-10) 8519 9304<br> </p> <p>Tang Fei<br> Weber Shandwick Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:ftang@webershandwick.com">ftang@webershandwick.com</a><br> (86-10) 8569-9979 / (86-10) 8569-9926<i></i></p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Education provides valuable insights into the Asia/Pacific consumers’ savings and expenditure behavior and their discretionary spending priorities on education.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/education-remains-a-top-priority-in-mainland-china--mastercard-s2012-08-29T16:00:00.000Z2012-08-29T16:00:00.000ZChinese Consumers Remain Fiscally Conservative: MasterCard Survey Huanyu Wu, Tang Fei92% of Mainland Chinese Plan to Save the Same Amount or More in the Next Six Months<p><b><i>Beijing, </i></b><b><i>16</i></b><b><i> </i></b><b><i>November,</i></b><b><i> 2012</i></b> – According to the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Money Management, eight out of ten Mainland Chinese consumers plan on saving the same amount or more in the next six months for precautionary purposes, which is similar to the proportion of consumers in Taiwan (79%) and Hong Kong (71%). Interestingly, half of Mainland Chinese respondents currently own a MasterCard credit card, representing a three-fold increase compared to last year, while Hong Kong and Taiwan also witnessed a modest increase in the amount of MasterCard cardholders compared to the previous year.</p> <p>The latest survey shows that money management strategies are conservative throughout Greater China. For instance, consumers in Mainland China plan to save an average of 26% of their income in the next six months, followed closely by Taiwan (23%) and Hong Kong (21%). Interestingly, Hong Kong (94%) had the largest proportion of respondents planning to save the same amount or more in the next six months, followed by Mainland China (92%) and Taiwan (80%).</p> <p>While most respondents in Mainland China are saving for investments (59%), the majority of consumers in Hong Kong (60%) and Taiwan (51%) are setting aside a portion of their income for retirement. Interestingly, 53% of the Mainland Chinese respondents in 2012 saved for international travel, compared to 18% last year.</p> Top 7 Reasons for Saving in Greater China<table width="391" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b><br type="_moz"> </b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Item</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Mainland China</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Hong Kong</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Taiwan</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Investments</td> <td>59</td> <td>58</td> <td>50</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>International Travel</td> <td>53</td> <td>55</td> <td>41</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Consumer Electronics</td> <td>51</td> <td>28</td> <td>31</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Renovation</td> <td>48</td> <td>39</td> <td>43</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Major Appliances</td> <td>27</td> <td>20</td> <td>16</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Retirement</td> <td>26</td> <td>60</td> <td>51</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Car/Motorcycle</td> <td>22</td> <td>12</td> <td>19</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>Across Greater China, 95% of Mainland Chinese expressed confidence in their ability to personally manage their daily finances, compared to respondents in Taiwan (92%) and Hong Kong (88%). Mainland China (35%), for instance, has the highest proportion of respondents currently using mobile applications to manage their money, with Hong Kong (22%) and Taiwan (15%) trailing close behind.&nbsp;</p> <p>Moreover, Mainland Chinese are generally highly involved in investment decision making, with 83% regularly monitoring their investments and the same proportion of respondents comparing information prior to purchasing a financial product.</p> <p>“According to the latest survey, respondents across Greater China are taking a prudent financial approach by regularly monitoring their expenditures, savings and investments. We have also found an interesting fact that international travel has become one of the main reasons for Mainland Chinese consumers to save regularly,” said <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/lhai/" target="_blank">Ling Hai</a>,</b> Division President, Greater China, MasterCard Worldwide. “To step into consumers’ shoes, we have taken a proactive approach. We recently collaborated with several major Chinese banks to introduce new card offers to make payments simpler, smarter and safer for our customers traveling or studying overseas. To name a few: <a href="http://www.icbc.com.cn/ICBC/Bank%20Card/Introduction/CreditCard/ICBCMultiCurrencyCreditCard/" target="_blank"><b>ICBC Multi-Currency Credit Card</b>,</a> China Everbright Bank Euro MasterCard and the <a href="https://www.citibank.com.cn/ICARD/minisite/index.html" target="_blank"><b>Citibank’s PremierMiles card</b></a>.”</p> Additional findings from the MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Money Management include:<ul> <li>Most Mainland Chinese respondents are willing to plan their finances, as nine out of 10 respondents believe that individuals should regularly save a portion of their monthly income. More than eight out of 10 respondents also believe that it is never too early to have a financial plan, and that they should take out insurance to be prepared for the unexpected.&nbsp; </li> <li>Mainland Chinese consumers spent an average of 39% of their income on household expenses. In contrast, consumers in Taiwan and Hong Kong spent 44% and 37%, respectively.</li> <li>On average, Mainland Chinese respondents believe that they can retire with sufficient financial means at 54 years old, while Hong Kong and Taiwanese respondents indicate they can retire at 62 years old and 59 years old, respectively.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>The latest survey, which was conducted from the end of April to early June, 2012, involved 11,376 consumers from 25 markets with 845 respondents in China, 421 in Taiwan and 409 in Hong Kong. Data was collected via online surveys, face-to-face, and Computer Assisted Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <p>For more information on the latest MasterCard activities and promotions, log on to the official MasterCard Weibo site at:&nbsp; <a href="http://weibo.com/mastercardchina"><b>http://weibo.com/mastercardchina</b></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"># # #</p> Contacts:<p>Huanyu Wu<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:huanyu_wu@mastercard.com">huanyu_wu@mastercard.com</a><br> (86-10) 8519 9304</p> <p>Coco Xiaoyi Ji<br> Weber Shandwick Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:CJI@webershandwick.com">CJI@webershandwick.com</a><br> (86-10) 8569-9959 / (86-10) 8569-9926<i></i></p> According to the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Money Management, eight out of ten Mainland Chinese consumers plan on saving the same amount or more in the next six months for precautionary purposes, which is similar to the proportion of consumers in Taiwan (79%) and Hong Kong (71%).http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/chinese-consumers-remain-fiscally-conservative--mastercard-surve2012-11-15T16:00:00.000Z2012-11-15T16:00:00.000ZBusiness and Leisure Travel in China Poised for Further Growth: MasterCard Survey Huanyu Wu, Tang Fei Over 80% of Respondents in Mainland China Plan to Travel as Much or More Frequently in the Next 12 Months<p><b><i>Beijing, September 1</i></b><b><i>8</i></b><b><i>, 201</i></b><b><i>2</i></b> – According to findings from the latest <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank">MasterCard</a> </b>survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel, respondents from Mainland China expressed their desire to travel as much or more regularly in the coming year, both for leisure (85%) and business (80%).&nbsp;</p> <p>Across Greater China, Mainland Chinese consumers demonstrate a discernibly higher likelihood of travelling as much as or more frequently than before, compared with Hong Kong (82% for leisure; 66% for business) and Taiwan (61% for leisure; 60% for business) consumers.&nbsp;</p> <p>The latest survey, which was conducted from the end of April to early June, 2012, involved 11,376 consumers from 25 markets<a name="_Ref304300966"></a><sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>. Data was collected via online surveys, face-to-face, and Computer Assisted Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance</i></p> <p><i></i>According to the survey, international travel among Chinese consumers has become&nbsp;&nbsp; prevalent: 67% of respondents traveled overseas in the past 12 months for leisure, and 49% traveled abroad for business purposes. The survey also revealed that most respondents in Mainland China made at least one trip in the last 12 months, with 95% having traveled domestically for leisure and 74% for business domestically.</p> <p>Airlines remained the preferred mode of transport (77%) for those traveling domestically. When traveling by plane, more than 80% of respondents opted to fly with national airlines, while only 25% travelled by international carriers and 16% by budget carriers.&nbsp;</p> <p>Interestingly, 51% of the respondents made domestic trips by car versus 31% last year, perhaps reflecting the growing popularity of Free-Independent-Travelers (FIT) amongst the Chinese.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><b><a name="1"></a><a name="1"></a>[1]</b></i><i> Asia-Pacific: Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam</i></p> <p><i>Middle East: Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates</i></p> <p><i>Africa: Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> Most Mainland Chinese Prefer Using Credit Cards to Pay for Travel Expenses<p>Overall, respondents in Mainland China said they prefer to use credit cards over cash and debit or ATM cards when paying for accommodation (69%), transportation (56%) and other expenses over US$100 (72%). On the other hand, when making purchases below US$100, respondents demonstrated an equal likelihood of using credit card and cash.&nbsp; This is a far cry from a year ago, where most consumers from Mainland China used cash when travelling. 69% of travelers, for example, now pay for accommodation with credit cards, up from 32% last year; while 56% pay for transportation with credit cards compared with just 20% last year.</p> <p>According to the survey, respondents in the 30-44 years age group are likely to use credit cards more frequently than younger consumers in the 18-24 years age group when traveling. For instance, 79% of respondents from the 30-44 years age group paid for accommodation with credit cards, compared with 31% of respondents from the younger age group.</p> <p>“It is no surprise that more Chinese consumers are traveling domestically or heading overseas for vacation, but along with this trend, we are also seeing a paradigm shift in the spending habits of Chinese travelers, who now prefer using credit cards for its added security and convenience,” said <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/lhai/" target="_blank"><b>Ling Hai</b></a>, Division President, Greater China,&nbsp; MasterCard Worldwide.&nbsp; “To address this growing trend, MasterCard has introduced a host of travel products such as dual-currency credit cards and the Travelex Cash Passport designed with the Chinese traveler in mind.”&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Japan Ranks among the Top Three Destinations by Respondents across Greater China <p>Travel between markets in the Greater China region remains strong, with Hong Kong and Taiwanese travelers favoring Mainland China as a choice travel destination. Neighboring Japan was rated among the top three destinations by respondents throughout Greater China.</p> <p>Also topping the list of popular international destinations for Mainland Chinese travelers are Hong Kong, Australia, France and South Korea, while the domestic destinations most favored by the Chinese are Chengdu and Guilin.</p> <p></p> Most Popular Destinations for Mainland Chinese Travelers<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b><br type="_moz"> </b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>International (%)</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Domestic (%)</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b><br type="_moz"> </b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="4">Base (n=739)</th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>60</td> <td>Chengdu</td> <td>31</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Australia</td> <td>45</td> <td>Guilin</td> <td>26</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Japan</td> <td>42</td> <td>Dali</td> <td>25</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>France</td> <td>35</td> <td>Chongqing</td> <td>22</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>South Korea</td> <td>33</td> <td>Hangzhou</td> <td>21</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>31</td> <td>Sanya</td> <td>19</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>USA</td> <td>31</td> <td>Lijiang</td> <td>18</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>29</td> <td>Dalian</td> <td>17</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Germany</td> <td>22</td> <td>Haikou</td> <td>15</td> </tr></tbody></table> Items Purchased at Airports<p>Over 90% of Mainland Chinese consumers traveling by air said they shopped at airport duty-free shops. The top five products purchased at airports are food and drinks (67%), cosmetics and personal care goods (61%), luxury goods (45%), books and magazines (42%) and electronic items (37%).</p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><b><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">MasterCard</a></b> (NYSE: MA), <b><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">www.mastercard.com</a></b>, is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <b><a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@mastercardnews</a></b>, join the conversation on <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a></b> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <p>For more information on the latest MasterCard activities and promotions, log on to the official MasterCard Weibo site at:&nbsp; <a href="http://weibo.com/mastercardchina" target="_blank"><b>http://weibo.com/mastercardchina</b></a></p> <p></p> Contacts:<p>Huanyu Wu<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:huanyu_wu@mastercard.com">huanyu_wu@mastercard.com</a><br> (86-10) 8519 9304<br> <br type="_moz"> Tang Fei<br> Weber Shandwick Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:ftang@webershandwick.com">ftang@webershandwick.com</a><br> (86-10) 8569-9979 / (86-10) 8569-9926<i></i></p> <p></p> According to findings from the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel, respondents from Mainland China expressed their desire to travel as much or more regularly in the coming year, both for leisure (85%) and business (80%). http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/business-and-leisure-travel-in-china-poised-for-further-growth-mastercard-survey2012-09-17T16:00:00.000Z2012-09-17T16:00:00.000ZChina Leads the Way in Mobile Shopping Across Greater China: MasterCard Survey Huanyu Wu, Tang Fei / Edward Guo Popular mobile commerce purchases include clothing, books, CDs, DVDs and online games<p><b><i>Beijing, </i></b><b><i>29 June 2012</i></b> – The latest annual Online Shopping Survey conducted by <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>revealed that 91% of Chinese mobile phone users are able to access the Internet on their mobile devices and a further 37% have made online purchases through their mobile phones in the last three months. In contrast, mobile Internet penetration levels in Hong Kong and Taiwan stand at 86% and 66%, respectively, and only a quarter of residents from either country have purchased an item online in the last three months.</p> <p>This study is part of the annual Online Shopping Survey by MasterCard and was conducted both online and offline in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. The report for China is based on 500 respondents who access the internet at least weekly. The data was weighted to the online population in each of those markets. Similar surveys were also carried out in Taiwan and Hong Kong.</p> <p>Of those with mobile internet access, 37% of the Chinese surveyed have made at least one online purchase over their mobile phones in the last three months, while 15% of respondents plan on making a purchase over their mobile phones in the next six months.&nbsp; This is a sharp increase from the 23% who shopped through their mobile phones last year.</p> <p>While Chinese respondents generally agreed that shopping over a mobile phone was convenient, 83% of them still preferred to shop on a computer. Those who favored shopping over their mobile phones did so because it was convenient (61%); the wide range of phone applications made it easy to shop online (51%); and it helped them pass time (26%).</p> <p>“China’s adoption of smartphones has given rise to a distinct shift in the shopping channels favored by its citizens,” said <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/lhai/" target="_blank">Ling Hai, Division President of Greater China for MasterCard Worldwide</a>.</b></p> <p>“The survey demonstrates that advances in mobile technology are not just offering mobile retailers more marketing platforms to connect with consumers, it is providing the savvy and modern shopper a wider range of shopping options to choose from, and higher flexibility in when, where and how they shop.”</p> <p>Clothing and accessories (33%), books, CDs and DVDs (26%), online games (24%), personal care and beauty products (22%) and online coupons and deals (22%) are the top categories of items purchased by the Chinese through mobile internet.</p> <p>Interestingly, only 18% of Chinese respondents said they bought phone applications or ‘apps’ through their phones, compared with the Asia Pacific region’s average of 31%.&nbsp; The number of respondents in Hong Kong (16%) and Taiwan (19%) purchasing phone apps were also lower than the region’s average.</p> <p>New media is also a popular driver in China, demonstrating that the Chinese are social media savvy and understand how to leverage such platforms in their day-to-day lives. The survey found that half of the respondents with mobile internet access are likely to use a location-based social media application, such as Jiepang, on their phones to point them to deals and retail outlets nearby.</p> <p>For the full report in English, go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> Mobile Internet Penetration Rates in Asia Pacific and Mobile Shopping Behaviour<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="408"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Country</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b><i>Able to access the internet from mobile devices</i></b></th> <th class="table-description"><b><i>Made a purchase through mobile devices in the last three months</i></b></th> <th class="table-description"><b><i>Did not make a purchase but intend on making a purchase in the next six months</i></b></th> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>95%</td> <td>59%</td> <td>15%</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>91%</td> <td>37%</td> <td>23%</td> </tr><tr><td>Vietnam</td> <td>82%</td> <td>32%</td> <td>24%</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>77%</td> <td>32%</td> <td>20%</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>89%</td> <td>29%</td> <td>20%</td> </tr><tr><td>Korea</td> <td>93%</td> <td>27%</td> <td>17%</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>85%</td> <td>25%</td> <td>19%</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>86%</td> <td>25%</td> <td>18%</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>66%</td> <td>24%</td> <td>20%</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>85%</td> <td>23%</td> <td>15%</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>91%</td> <td>20%</td> <td>6%</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>75%</td> <td>11%</td> <td>22%</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>66%</td> <td>8%</td> <td>8%</td> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>71%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>5%</td> </tr></tbody></table> Top Three Categories of Items Purchased by Greater China Consumers, Compared With the Region's Average, Over Their Mobile Phones<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="410"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><br type="_moz"> </th> <th class="table-description"><b>China</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Hong Kong</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Taiwan</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Asia Pacific (Overall)</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>First</b></td> <td>Clothing and accessories (33%)</td> <td>Cinema tickets (24%)</td> <td>Online coupons and deals (27%)</td> <td>Mobile phone applications (31%)</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Second</b></td> <td>Books, CDs and DVDs (26%)</td> <td>Online coupons and deals (22%)</td> <td>Restaurant and meal delivery services (23%)</td> <td>Music (24%)</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Third</b></td> <td>Online games (24%)</td> <td>Toys and gifts (19%)</td> <td>Clothing and accessories (20%)</td> <td>Online coupons and deals (17%)</td> </tr></tbody></table> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p></p> About Mastercard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>The Heart of Commerce Blog</b></a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <p>For more information on the latest MasterCard activities and promotions, log on to the official MasterCard Weibo site at:&nbsp; <b><a href="http://weibo.com/mastercardchina" target="_blank">http://weibo.com/mastercardchina</a></b></p> <p></p> Contacts:<p>Huanyu Wu<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:huanyu_wu@mastercard.com"><b>huanyu_wu@mastercard.com</b></a><br> (86-10) 8519 9304<br> <br> Tang Fei / Edward Guo<br> Weber Shandwick Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:eguo@webershandwick.com"><b>eguo@webershandwick.com</b></a><i></i></p> The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/china-leads-the-way-in-mobile-shopping-across-greater-china2012-06-28T16:00:00.000Z2012-06-28T16:00:00.000ZChinese Consumers Continue to Embrace Ethical Shopping: MasterCard Survey Huanyu Wu, Tang Fei/Edward GuoPoverty/starvation funds the choice of beneficiary for Chinese donors<p><b><i>Beijing, 21 May 2012</i></b> – Chinese consumers are shopping with a conscience, according to the results of the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>,&nbsp;survey on Ethical Spending.&nbsp; According to the research, the Chinese are generally willing to pay more for items that are environmentally friendly, based on fair trade principles, or where a percentage of the item cost was donated to a good cause.&nbsp;</p> <p>The survey also found that across the Asia Pacific region, respondents in Southeast Asia - Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia - were most likely to spend more on ethical purchases; while respondents in New Zealand, Australia and Japan were least likely to do so.</p> <p></p> <p>This study is part of the annual Ethical Shopping Survey by MasterCard and was conducted both online and offline in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. The report for China is based on 500 respondents who access the internet at least weekly.&nbsp; The data was weighted to the online population in each of those markets. Similar surveys were also carried out in Taiwan and Hong Kong.</p> <p>88% of Chinese individuals bought items because they were based on fair trade principles, a slight increase from 86% in 2010.&nbsp; In addition, 72%, compared to 71% in 2010, bought items because they were environmentally friendly; while 60%, compared to 55% in 2010, made these purchases because a percentage of the sale was donated to a good cause.</p> <p>Over 3 in 5 Chinese individuals, who bought items because of ethical reasons, purchased them online.&nbsp;&nbsp; Just over two-thirds of this group of shoppers did so because there are now more shopping choices available online than before, while almost half said they are more likely to receive discounts on online-purchased socially-responsible products that may be more expensive elsewhere. In general, the survey demonstrated that countries which tended to have higher Internet penetration and higher propensity to shop online overall also tended to be the ones that were most likely to do ethical shopping online. China ranked highly in this aspect, together with Korea and Thailand.</p> <p>Overall, Chinese respondents were also more likely to purchase from a merchant if they were known for incorporating environmentally-conscious measures in their operations (75%), being socially-responsible (73%), and being financially responsible (66%).</p> <p>“Increasingly, Chinese shoppers are becoming more knowledgeable and discerning, and have started to think harder about the impact that their purchase decisions have on society,” said <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/lhai/" target="_blank">Ling Hai, Division President of Greater China for MasterCard Worldwide</a>.&nbsp;</b></p> <p>“They are also becoming more aware that by making moral choices about what they bring home in their shopping bags, they are making a difference to the communities they live in. Responsible shopping looks like it is here to stay.”</p> <p>The study also found that those between the ages of 25 to 34 years-old are more likely to make ethical purchases.</p> <p></p> More Chinese support Poverty and Starvation Funds Than Before<p>In general, the degree of affinity that the Chinese have towards most social organizations is fairly similar to last year, with the exception of poverty and starvation alleviation funds, which increased from 21% in 2010 to 29% in 2011. Common charitable organizations the Chinese support include children’s health and education funds (30%), local natural disaster relief funds (30%) and poverty and starvation alleviation funds (29%).</p> <p>Across Greater China, affinity towards social organizations that deal with poverty/starvation appeared to be the strongest for respondents in Hong Kong, while affinity towards social organizations that deal with local natural disaster relief was the strongest for respondents in Taiwan.</p> <p>For the full report in English, go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa<p>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 &amp; Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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 &amp; Sons.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>The Heart of Commerce Blog</b></a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <p>For more information on the latest MasterCard activities and promotions, log on to the official MasterCard Weibo site at:&nbsp; <a href="http://weibo.com/mastercardchina" target="_blank"><b>http://weibo.com/mastercardchina</b></a></p> <p></p> Contacts:<p>Huanyu Wu<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:huanyu_wu@mastercard.com" target="_blank">huanyu_wu@mastercard.com</a><br> (86-10) 8519 9304<br> </p> <p>Tang Fei / Edward Guo<br> Weber Shandwick Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:ftang@webershandwick.com" target="_blank">ftang@webershandwick.com</a> /<a href="mailto:eguo@webershandwick.com" target="_blank">eguo@webershandwick.com</a><br> (86-10) 8569-9979 / (86-10) 8569-9926</p> The survey was conducted via online interviews between 5 December 2011 and 6 January 2012 and involved 12,500 consumers from 25 markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africahttp://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/chinese-consumers-continue-to-embrace-ethical-shopping-mastercard-survey2012-05-20T16:00:00.000Z2012-05-20T16:00:00.000ZGreater China Sees Rise in Financial Literacy Levels: MasterCard Survey Huanyu Wu, Tang Fei / Edward GuoConsumers in Greater China Amongst Some of the Savviest in the Asia/Pacific Region When It Comes to Investing and Financial Planning<p><b><i>Beijing, 24 July 2012</i></b> – Greater China markets – Hong Kong (68%), Taiwan (67%) and China (65%) topped the investment component of <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>’s latest research on financial literacy in the Asia/Pacific region. This means that more respondents in these markets understood their bank statements and complex investment concepts such as inflation as compared with the rest of the region. At the same time, China moved up one spot from last year to take eighth place in the area of financial planning, reflecting respondents’ keen knowledge of financial products, services, and concepts, and ability to plan for their long-term financial needs</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific[1] countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010. The survey polled consumers on three aspects of financial literacy including their basic money management skills, investment knowledge and financial planning to determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p></p> <p>In terms of overall financial literacy, the Greater China markets fared very differently, despite all showing improved scores from the last survey conducted in 2010.&nbsp; Taiwan (and New Zealand) led the region with Taiwan jumping from 5<sup>th</sup> place in 2010 to the top spot with a score of 73 index points out of 100, while Hong Kong came in third with 71 index points, up from 6<sup>th</sup> place.&nbsp; China, despite its overall improvement in financial literacy, still ranked low when compared with other Asia/Pacific markets, coming in at 12<sup>th</sup> place, and scoring 3 points below the region’s average of 67 <i>points.</i></p> <p></p> <p><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/lhai/" target="_blank"><b>Ling Hai</b></a>, Division President, Greater China,<i> MasterCa</i>rd Worldwide, said: “These results paint a hopeful picture of financial understanding across the Greater China markets, with improvements on key components of the survey. Financial literacy is an important part of our daily lives, and necessary in today’s complex financial marketplace.&nbsp; As our urban areas grow in affluence, the knowledge of money management, investments and financial planning becomes increasingly important. At MasterCard, we are deeply committed to helping consumers and our cardholders successfully navigate the financial choices they face.”</p> <p></p> <p>When it comes to Basic Money Management, where respondents were asked about their ability to budget, track expenditure, keep up with bills, save for big purchases and understand unsecured loans, all three Greater China markets improved overall.&nbsp; They also scored above the regional average on their budgeting ability, but differed in their tendency towards saving for big purchases, with Hong Kong scoring the highest (71%), followed by Taiwan, (59%) and China (38%).</p> <p></p> <p>On the financial planning front, it is clear the Greater China markets are astute financial planners, with Taiwan again topping the region, and both China and Hong Kong showing improved scores. Respondents in Taiwan placed great importance on saving regularly, early financial planning, insurance and emergency savings, scoring higher than the regional average in all areas.&nbsp; While respondents in China met the regional average overall in this category, of least importance to them was the need for financial planning for the non-wealthy (65%) and retirement funds (47%). In these areas, the Chinese scored below the regional average.&nbsp; Hong Kong scored noticeably lower on early financial planning (56% vs. the regional average of 81%) but also much higher on retirement planning (62% vs. regional average of 50%).</p> <p>In terms of investing, both Hong Kong (68%) and China (65%) improved overall with Hong Kong also maintaining its hold on the top spot, while Taiwan’s scores (67%) held steady, and ahead of the regional average (59%). All three markets scored above average for monitoring investments, working out the suitability of financial products, and the concept of inflation while Taiwan respondents, despite improving their score on reading financial statements (64%), still lagged behind the regional average (68%) on that front.&nbsp; Of the three markets, only Taiwan respondents scored above the regional average for their understanding of the concept of diversification.</p> <p></p> <p>Overall, the Index demonstrated higher levels of financial literacy amongst the above-average income earners, and those who held managerial positions.</p> <p></p> <p>Unlike most other Asia/Pacific markets, male and female respondents in Greater China display approximately equal financial literacy knowledge.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>[1] Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Financial Literacy across the Asia/Pacific<p>New Zealanders (77%) fared the best when asked about basic money management skills such as day-to-day budgeting, keeping up with bills, credit commitments and setting money aside for big purchases, followed by Australia in 2<sup>nd</sup> (75%) and Hong Kong (72%) moving up one spot from 4<sup>th</sup> in 2010 to 3<sup>rd</sup> in 2012.</p> <p></p> <p>Koreans proved to have the region’s most improved scores for financial planning (83%) up 12 places from the 2010 survey. Survey respondents from Taiwan (83%) and Vietnam (82%) also saved more regularly and were better prepared than their regional counterparts when it came to retirement preparations and emergency savings.</p> <p></p> <p>In mature markets, respondents over 30 years of age appeared to score higher in financial literacy compared to their counterparts under the age of 30. This was especially seen in markets like New Zealand (76% vs. 65%), Australia (74% vs. 64%) and Taiwan (74% vs. 70%) where respondents over 30 years old were clearly leading the pack.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="439"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="3"><b>Ranking</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="8"><b>Scores (%)</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="2"><b>Overall Financial Literacy Index</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="6"><b>Components of Financial Literacy Index</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Basic Money Management</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Financial Planning</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b>Investment</b></th> </tr><tr><td colspan="2" rowspan="2"><b><i>Asia/Pacific</i></b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2010H2</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2010H2</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2010H2</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2010H2</b></td> </tr><tr><td>67</td> <td>67</td> <td>65</td> <td>65</td> <td>76</td> <td>76</td> <td>59</td> <td>61</td> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>New Zealand</td> <td>73</td> <td>74</td> <td>77</td> <td>78</td> <td>73</td> <td>74</td> <td>62</td> <td>64</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>73</td> <td>71</td> <td>70</td> <td>66</td> <td>83</td> <td>83</td> <td>67</td> <td>67</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Australia</td> <td>71</td> <td>72</td> <td>75</td> <td>76</td> <td>69</td> <td>70</td> <td>64</td> <td>65</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>71</td> <td>69</td> <td>72</td> <td>71</td> <td>72</td> <td>70</td> <td>68</td> <td>65</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>71</td> <td>73</td> <td>69</td> <td>71</td> <td>80</td> <td>82</td> <td>61</td> <td>61</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>68</td> <td>67</td> <td>64</td> <td>65</td> <td>79</td> <td>77</td> <td>60</td> <td>59</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Indonesia</td> <td>67</td> <td>64</td> <td>65</td> <td>59</td> <td>81</td> <td>79</td> <td>51</td> <td>57</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Korea</td> <td>66</td> <td>56</td> <td>61</td> <td>50</td> <td>83</td> <td>66</td> <td>54</td> <td>56</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Vietnam</td> <td>66</td> <td>69</td> <td>60</td> <td>62</td> <td>82</td> <td>82</td> <td>60</td> <td>66</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Philippines</td> <td>65</td> <td>69</td> <td>63</td> <td>66</td> <td>73</td> <td>80</td> <td>58</td> <td>60</td> </tr><tr><td><b>11</b></td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>65</td> <td>74</td> <td>60</td> <td>68</td> <td>77</td> <td>87</td> <td>58</td> <td>72</td> </tr><tr><td><b>12</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>64</td> <td>60</td> <td>55</td> <td>53</td> <td>76</td> <td>73</td> <td>65</td> <td>59</td> </tr><tr><td><b>13</b></td> <td>India</td> <td>60</td> <td>63</td> <td>55</td> <td>59</td> <td>72</td> <td>69</td> <td>55</td> <td>63</td> </tr><tr><td><b>14</b></td> <td>Japan</td> <td>60</td> <td>60</td> <td>61</td> <td>61</td> <td>69</td> <td>70</td> <td>43</td> <td>42</td> </tr></tbody></table> Methodology<p>The Index is based on a survey of consumers from 25 markets across APMEA and comprises questions covering three major components:</p> <ul> <li>Basic Money Management (50% weight): To determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage.</li> <li>Financial Planning (30% weight): To assess level of knowledge about financial products, services, and concepts, and ability to plan for long-term financial needs.</li> <li>Investment (20% weight): To determine basic understanding of the various risks associated with investment, different investment products and skills required.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p>A Financial Literacy Index Score for each market was calculated out of the weighted sum of the 3 components.</p> <p></p> <p>Regional Aggregates are calculated via the average of the individual country components before applying the weights described above.</p> <p>Interviews for the MasterCard Worldwide Financial Literacy Index were conducted via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a></b> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <p>For more information on the latest MasterCard activities and promotions, log on to the official MasterCard Weibo site at:&nbsp; <a href="http://weibo.com/mastercardchina" target="_blank"><b>http://weibo.com/mastercardchina</b></a></p> <p></p> The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/greater-china-sees-rise-in-financial-literacy-levels-mastercard-survey2012-07-23T16:00:00.000Z2012-07-23T16:00:00.000ZChina Ties with Thailand for Top Spot in MasterCard’s Asia/Pacific Online Shopping Survey Huanyu Wu, Tang Fei / Edward GuoFrequency of online shopping in China rises; 93% of respondents likely to make an online purchase in next six months<p><b><i>Beijing, 13 April 2012</i></b> – Online shopping continues to be a significant trend in the Chinese market, according to the results of the latest<b> <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank">MasterCard</a> </b>survey on Online Shopping. Over 80% of Chinese respondents indicated they use the internet to shop online.&nbsp; This compares with 58% in Hong Kong and 64% in Taiwan. Thailand, one of the fastest growing markets for online shopping in Asia, tied for top spot with China.</p> <p>This study is part of the annual Online Shopping Survey by MasterCard and was conducted both online and offline in 25<i> </i><i>Asia/Pacific, Middle East &amp;</i><i> </i>Africa markets between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. This report for China is based on 500 respondents who access the internet at least weekly.&nbsp; The data was weighted to the online population in each of those markets.</p> <p>The survey found that while the number of Chinese respondents using the internet for online shopping fell slightly by 4% from last year, those that continue to do so are moving more of their shopping to internet channels.&nbsp; Hong Kong and Taiwan also saw slight decreases in their numbers.</p> <p>95% of Chinese respondents who used the internet to shop online did so at least once in the last three months.&nbsp; On average, about seven purchases were made by each shopper during this period.&nbsp; In contrast, 79% of Hongkongers have shopped online in the past three months, each making at least three purchases; while 82% of Taiwanese have shopped online in the last three months, making about four purchases per person.</p> <p>93% of those surveyed in China said they are likely to make an online purchase in the next three months.&nbsp; This figure holds steady with last year’s.&nbsp; China and Thailand, which recorded identical scores, emerged top in this aspect across the Asia Pacific region.&nbsp; Elsewhere, respondents from Korea (84%) and Malaysia (79%) also showed a high intent to purchase online over the next six months. Meanwhile, respondents from Vietnam also indicated a high intent to purchase online (87%). The survey showed that only 61% of the respondents from Vietnam intend to use the internet for online shopping, suggesting online shopping is still largely transactional in the country.</p> <p></p> Attitudes towards online shopping in china<p>Chinese respondents who shopped online did so because it was convenient (86%) and cheaper than shopping in retail shops (79%).&nbsp; Interestingly, almost three in four respondents felt that e-commerce was ‘essential’.&nbsp; Shoppers indicated they would shop more frequently if consumer confidence in payment security was increased (67%), additional charges on online transactions were waived (61%) and e-commerce websites were more user-friendly (55%).</p> <p>“Online retail trends in China remained strong, while both Hong Kong and Taiwan saw a marked increase in the number of online transactions over the last year, making the e-commerce market in the Greater China region one of the world’s most valuable,” said <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/lhai/" target="_blank">Ling Hai, Division President of Greater China for MasterCard Worldwide</a>.</b></p> <p>“With the rapid adoption of online retail, we are seeing significant growth potential here.&nbsp; Physical retailers that want a slice of the online pie need to not only understand how established e-commerce sites have been shaping their online presence but also look into engaging consumers via multiple online and offline channels.”</p> <p>Mobile applications or ‘apps’, airline tickets, books, CDs and DVDs, and deals from coupon websites were the categories the Chinese spent most on when shopping online.</p> <p></p> Approximate value of online vs. offline shopping in China <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/ChinaTiesWithThailand.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="262" height="209" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/ChinaTiesWithThailand.jpg"></a></p> <p>Chinese online shoppers are also generally savvy, with over 70% of the respondents browsing the actual product of interest in retail stores or reading about the product online before buying it.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Impulse purchases online – motivations <p>At the same time, 36% of online shoppers have made an impulse purchase, most or almost every time they browse a product online. 60% say they are more likely to buy impulsively online than offline (versus 55% in 2010 and 47% in 2009).&nbsp; Common reasons given for impulse shopping include online deals and promotions (66%), product advertisements (43%), and the availability of a product only on the internet (41%).&nbsp; Most impulse purchases are made on clothing and accessories, coupon websites and for books, CDs and DVDs.</p> Chinese shoppers more confident of online shopping security<p>The survey also showed a 20% fall from last year in the number of Chinese respondents concerned with the security of online transactions, indicating that Chinese shoppers are more comfortable using their credit cards to pay for online purchases now, compared with previous years.</p> Chinese prefer local e-commerce stores over foreign ones<p>In general, those surveyed said they preferred to shop at local e-commerce websites over foreign ones for convenience, as most products are available on Chinese websites, and are likely to arrive sooner than international orders. However, respondents between the ages of 18 and 24-years-old are most likely to shop on foreign websites.</p> <p>Respondents who did shop at foreign websites mostly frequented clothing and accessories (15%), personal care and beauty products (14%) and home appliances and electronic products (12%) webstores.</p> <p>Across the Asia Pacific region, the most common online purchases comprised clothing and accessories (36%), coupons and deals (33%), books and DVDs (32%), and cinema tickets (31%).</p> <p>Below are additional findings from the survey:</p> <ul> <li>Those aged 35 to 44-years-old are most likely to shop online, with 96% respondents in this age group indicating that they had shopped online at least once in the last three months.&nbsp; The average number of purchases made over three months by this age group was 7.6.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The e-commerce websites of choice for the Chinese are Taobao (27%), Amazon (12%), Dangdang (11%) and 360Buy (10%).</li> </ul> <ul> <li>29% of the clothing and accessories e-commerce stores visited by the Chinese are luxury or high-end websites.&nbsp; This figure is just slightly higher than the region’s 28%.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>84% of those surveyed said they checked e-commerce websites on a regular basis for the latest deals and promotions.&nbsp; This is significantly higher than the Asia Pacific region’s average of 69%.&nbsp; In comparison, only half of the Hongkongers and approximately three-quarters of the Taiwanese said they did this regularly.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The survey showed that ‘Computer Software’ and ‘Music Downloads’ were the product categories that saw most consumers in China researching for online but the least number of purchases made.&nbsp; This could be reflective of the high software and music piracy levels observed in China.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Overall, the survey showed that online shopping satisfaction levels in China have risen from just under 7 in 10 people in 2011, to just under 8 in 10 people being satisfied with their purchases or experiences.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;For the full report in English, go to: <b><a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/" target="_blank">www.masterintelligence.com</a></b></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p></p> About Mastercard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b> </b>is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@mastercardnews</b></a><b>, </b>join the conversation on <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>The Heart of Commerce Blog</b></a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <p>For more information on the latest MasterCard activities and promotions, log on to the official MasterCard Weibo site at:&nbsp; <b><a href="http://weibo.com/mastercardchina" target="_blank">http://weibo.com/mastercardchina</a></b></p> <p></p> Contacts:<p>Huanyu Wu<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:huanyu_wu@mastercard.com">huanyu_wu@mastercard.com</a><br> (86-10) 8519 9304<br> <br> Tang Fei / Edward Guo<br> Weber Shandwick Worldwide<br> <a href="mailto:eguo@webershandwick.com">eguo@webershandwick.com</a><br> (86-10) 8569-9979 / (86-10) 8569-9926<br> </p> The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/china-ties-with-thailand-for-top-spot-in-mastercard-asia-pacific-online-shopping-survey2012-04-12T16:00:00.000Z2012-04-12T16:00:00.000ZConsumer Confidence Wanes in Hong Kong: MasterCard Survey Catherine Yuen, Gloria Lai Local consumers less optimistic in Economy, Employment, and Regular Income; with a gloomy outlook towards Quality of Life<p><b><i>Hong Kong, July 19 2011 </i></b>– Consumer confidence in Hong Kong has dipped over the last six months, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index<sup>TM</sup> of Consumer Confidence, released today. Though consumers remain cautiously optimistic with an overall Index score of 69.9, the latest Index score for Hong Kong is lower than previous surveys conducted six months (74.7) and a year ago (76.6) respectively.</p> <p>Hong Kong respondents feel less optimistic in their expectations of the Economy (69.4 vs. 77.9 six months ago), Employment (71.5 vs. 80.4) and Regular Income (81.4 vs. 83.2). Their confidence in Quality of Life even fell from a positive 57.7 in the previous six months to a pessimistic 49.9.&nbsp; However, they seem more confident in the Stock Market as it is the only indicator that increased slightly (77.6 vs. 74.1).</p> <p>Amongst the Hong Kong respondents, those under the age of 30 are more optimistic than their older counterparts (71.2 for those below 30 vs. 68.9 for those above 30). These results mark a dramatic reversal compared to six months ago when the consumer sentiment of those aged 30 and above was more positive than those who were younger (75.9 vs. 71.4).</p> <p>Now in its 19<sup>th</sup> year, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. The Index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market for the next six months based on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.</p> <p>The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>“Though Hong Kong records a decline in optimism, consumer attitudes remain positive. There is clearly a perception that the recovery from the financial crisis is not going as smoothly as people would like,” said Jeroen van Son, Head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p>“Local consumers are still wary in their outlook for the months ahead due to the uncertainties caused by issues such as rising commodity and property prices, natural disasters and political instability in other markets and ongoing financial uncertainty across the Eurozone. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see that consumer perceptions across most of the indicators continue to be optimistic.”</p> <p>In Asia/Pacific, consumers are concerned at the slow pace of the global economic recovery with a dip in optimism recorded over the last six months (61.5 vs. 68.0). Ten out of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets, such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore, recorded an overall decline in consumer confidence. Japan and New Zealand, both still recovering from devastating earthquakes this year, were the least confident nations. Taiwan is one of only four markets that saw consumer sentiment moved upwards. &nbsp;</p> <table width="571" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>MARKETS</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>1H2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H 2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>1H 2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2H 2009</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>63.1</td> <td>63.0</td> <td>74.1</td> <td>69.5</td> <td>24.1</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>78.3</td> <td>79.4</td> <td>83.0</td> <td>85.3</td> <td>60.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>69.9</td> <td>74.7</td> <td>76.6</td> <td>60.0</td> <td>24.7</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>75.2</td> <td>73.0</td> <td>68.2</td> <td>68.8</td> <td>68.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>58.0</td> <td>56.1</td> <td>61.4</td> <td>67.0</td> <td>49.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>15.9</td> <td>20.2</td> <td>27.8</td> <td>24.4</td> <td>21.5</td> </tr><tr><td>South Korea</td> <td>51.8</td> <td>55.7</td> <td>54.1</td> <td>59.8</td> <td>28.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>64.9</td> <td>66.2</td> <td>67.9</td> <td>66.3</td> <td>27.8</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>42.2</td> <td>53.3</td> <td>65.9</td> <td>69.7</td> <td>21.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>53.6</td> <td>80.1</td> <td>59.3</td> <td>49.7</td> <td>40.5</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>77.9</td> <td>86.1</td> <td>86.6</td> <td>79.4</td> <td>31.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>67.6</td> <td>62.5</td> <td>65.7</td> <td>56.5</td> <td>39.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>46.1</td> <td>57.3</td> <td>50.6</td> <td>55.3</td> <td>23.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Vietnam</td> <td>77.1</td> <td>90.3</td> <td>93.7</td> <td>90.0&nbsp;<br> </td> <td>60.9</td> </tr><tr><td>Total Asia/Pacific</td> <td>61.5</td> <td>68.0</td> <td>69.1</td> <td>66.3</td> <td>38.7</td> </tr></tbody></table> About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has a 19-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region.&nbsp; In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.</p> <p>The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty five markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The last MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011. A total of 17,620 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 25 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.&nbsp; In each market except China and India, 400 or more people were surveyed.&nbsp; A minimum sample size of 800 was collected from China and India.</p> <p>The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.&nbsp; Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.&nbsp; The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level, except China and India where because of the larger sample, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.</p> <p><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/consumer-confidence-wanes-in-hongkong2011-07-18T16:00:00.000Z2011-07-18T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Launches Inaugural Index of Financial Literacy in Asia/Pacific Catherine Yuen, Gloria Lai Hong Kong Women Rank High in Investment and Basic Money Management Components<p><b><i>Hong Kong, 7 March 2011</i></b>: 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.</p> <p>The MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey of consumers from 24 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>“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 &amp; Macau, MasterCard Worldwide.&nbsp; “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,”</p> <p>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.</p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>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.</i></p> <p></p> Additional Key Highlights<ul> <li>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.</li> <li>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.</li> <li>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.</li> <li>Also noteworthy were Vietnamese women, who took fourth place, with an overall Index score of 70.1.</li> </ul> <p></p> MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy (Women)<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="3"><b>Ranking</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="4"><b>Scores</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Overall Financial Literacy Index</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Components of Financial Literacy Index</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Basic Money Management</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Financial Planning</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Investment</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b><i>Asia/Pacific </i></b></th> <td><i>65.7</i></td> <td><i>63.9</i></td> <td><i>74.6</i></td> <td><i>56.7</i></td> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>73.9</td> <td>67.9</td> <td>87.0</td> <td>69.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>New Zealand</td> <td>71.3</td> <td>76.7</td> <td>72.9</td> <td>55.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Australia</td> <td>70.2</td> <td>75.8</td> <td>69.0</td> <td>58.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Vietnam</td> <td>70.1</td> <td>65.4</td> <td>82.8</td> <td>62.7</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>69.4</td> <td>70.0</td> <td>80.4</td> <td>51.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>68.7</td> <td>63.4</td> <td>82.4</td> <td>61.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Philippines</td> <td>68.2</td> <td>66.6</td> <td>79.2</td> <td>55.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>68.0</td> <td>71.0</td> <td>67.8</td> <td>60.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Indonesia</td> <td>66.5</td> <td>62.1</td> <td>79.1</td> <td>58.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>66.0</td> <td>64.3</td> <td>75.0</td> <td>56.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>11</b></td> <td>India</td> <td>61.4</td> <td>58.8</td> <td>67.6</td> <td>58.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>12</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>60.1</td> <td>54.4</td> <td>73.3</td> <td>54.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>13</b></td> <td>Japan</td> <td>59.9</td> <td>61.7</td> <td>71.2</td> <td>38.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>14</b></td> <td>Korea</td> <td>55.9</td> <td>51.1</td> <td>65.7</td> <td>53.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties <p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey of consumers from 24 markets across Asia/Pacific Middle East Africa (APMEA).http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/mastercard-launches-inaugural-index-of-financial-literacy-in-asia-pacific02011-03-06T16:00:00.000Z2011-03-06T16:00:00.000ZLocal Consumers’ Spend on Dining and Entertainment Continues to Thrive Despite Inflation: MasterCard Survey Catherine Yuen, Gloria Lai Hongkongers Spend at Least HK$1,500 on Eating Out Every Month, and One in Four Plan to Dine More, Play More in the Next Six Months<p><b><i>Hong Kong, 15 September 2011 </i></b>– Hong Kong’s spending on dining and entertainment was one of the highest in Asia/Pacific, according to findings from the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Dining and Entertainment.</p> <p>On average local respondents claimed to set aside 18% of their monthly personal income to be spent on leisure and entertainment activities, the highest – along with China (18%) – across all 14 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> in the region. They also spend approximately HK$1,520 (US$195) per month on eating out, ranked third in the region after Japan (US$213) and Singapore (US$212).</p> <p>One in four (26%) respondents from Hong Kong plan to dine out more and spend more time on leisure and entertainment activities in the coming six months, making it the second most optimistic market in Asia/Pacific after India for dining and South Korea for entertainment.</p> <p>“While it is no surprise that dining and entertainment are at the top of consumer spending priorities, Hong Kong is after all famed for its culinary excellence, it is encouraging to see local consumers are one of the most optimistic in the region despite inflation and economic uncertainty,” said Jeroen van Son, Head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p>In Asia/Pacific, the majority of respondents (17%) expect to eat out&nbsp; more in the coming six months. India (27%), Hong Kong (26%) and Singapore (23%) rank well above the Asia/Pacific average with the strongest intention to eat out more often; while Philippines (45%), Malaysia and Thailand (both 39%) saw the highest proportions of respondents who plan to eat out less in the next six months.</p> <p>Overall outlook for time spent on leisure is optimistic for respondents from South Korea (33%), Hong Kong and Singapore (both 26%) compared to other markets. 20% of respondents in the region plan to spend more time in the next six months on leisure and entertainment activities.</p> <p>Other interesting findings about Hong Kong consumers include:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Mid-range family restaurants (82%), fast food restaurants (81%), and food courts (80%) are the most popular among local diners. Most respondents visited each place approximately nine times every month.</li> <li>Watching movies at the cinema is the most popular leisure activity in Hong Kong, with three quarters (74%) of respondents having been to a movie in the past six months. These respondents had on average gone to a cinema 3 times a month.</li> <li>Interestingly, karaoke lounges are the third most popular entertainment outlet. Nearly one in two (43%) respondents went for karaoke in the past six months.</li> <li>Older and more affluent consumers were more likely to go to live performances and sporting events than their counterparts.</li> </ul> <p>The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><a name="1"></a>[1] Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Top Five Dining & Entertainment Outlets in Hong Kong<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b><u>Dining </u></b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b><u>Entertainment</u></b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Mid-Range Family Restaurant</td> <td><b>1</b></td> <td>Cinema</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Quick Serve/ Fast Food Restaurant</td> <td><b>2</b></td> <td>Amusement/ Theme Park</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Food Court</td> <td><b>3</b></td> <td>Karaoke Lounge</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Fine Dining Restaurant (Standalone)</td> <td><b>4</b></td> <td>Live Performance</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Fine Dining Restaurant (Within hotel)</td> <td><b>5</b></td> <td>Video Arcade</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p><i><br type="_moz"> </i></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa<p>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 &amp; Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).&nbsp;</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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 &amp; Sons.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/local-consumers-spend-on-dining-and-entertainment-continue-to-thrive-despite-inflaton2011-09-14T16:00:00.000Z2011-09-14T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Survey: Nearly One in Two Hong Kong Respondents Access the Internet to Shop Norris Lo, Bonnie Lo Respondents Aged 18-24 the Keenest in Shopping Online<p><b><i>Hong Kong, 13 January 2011:</i></b> The Internet has taken on an indispensable role in the everyday life of many Hong Kong consumers as access becomes ever more pervasive and convenient. The latest survey on online shopping conducted by MasterCard shows that nearly one in two Hong Kong respondents access the Internet to shop.&nbsp; Moreover, about two-thirds of consumers said they expect to shop online in the next six months.</p> <p>The survey was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010 and reached 8,500 consumers from 15 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> across APMEA. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>Nearly half (49%) of all respondents in Hong Kong indicated they used the internet for online shopping. Of those who have made online purchases in the past 3 months, the average number of items purchased was 4.3, compared to 3.9 items six months ago. The younger generation in Hong Kong is more likely to engage in online shopping as 73% of respondents aged 18-24 accessed the internet to purchase products. In Hong Kong, 35% of respondents chose “movie/concert tickets” as their favorite category for purchases. “Hotel accommodations” came in second at 32% and “airline tickets” was third at 31%. Over two-thirds (69%) of respondents in Hong indicated they were satisfied with online shopping, compared to 63% in 2009.</p> <p>The MasterCard survey also uncovered a growing trend among APMEA consumers using their mobile phones to access the Internet, represented by 19% of respondents in 2010 versus 8% in 2009. In Greater China, 15% of respondents in Hong Kong said they have made purchases using the mobile phones, compared to 23% in China and 16% in Taiwan.</p> <p>Jeroen van Son, Head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “The findings of the latest online shopping survey by MasterCard revealed nearly one in two respondents in Hong Kong are shopping online. Further, 72% of respondents said that they consider whether a site offers secure payment facility to be extremely or somewhat important, the highest percentage among a list of ten factors. Catering to the needs’ of the growing numbers of online shoppers, MasterCard offers secured, convenient and varied payment methods for our cardholders. Combining the ease of use with convenience, we will continue to innovate and foster a dynamic e-commerce environment for MasterCard cardholders.”</p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>The markets surveyed include Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UAE.</i></p> <p></p> Index on Online Shopping<p>This year MasterCard has released the first Index on Online Shopping. The Index serves as a benchmark (including scores from 2009 and 2008) that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, and based on the following factors and questions:</p> <ul> <li>For what purposes do you usually use the Internet?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li>How likely is it that you will make an online purchase in the next 6 months?</li> <li>Proportion of those who did not state ‘prefer to shop in-store, to look at the physical product’ as a reason for not purchasing anything online in the past 3 months.</li> <li>To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements:</li> </ul> <p>(1) It is convenient to shop online</p> <p>(2) I do not feel secure shopping online&nbsp;</p> <p>The scores are compiled based on the factors or questions listed above, offering a regional Index ranking of markets with consumers who are most likely to shop online.&nbsp;</p> <table width="536" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><i>&nbsp; <b>Market</b></i><b></b></th> <th class="table-description"><b><i>2010</i></b><b></b></th> <th class="table-description"><b><i>2009</i></b><b></b></th> <th class="table-description"><b><i>2008</i></b><b></b></th> </tr><tr><td>South Korea</td> <td>63</td> <td>65</td> <td>65</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>57</td> <td>62</td> <td>70</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>54</td> <td>55</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>52</td> <td>51</td> <td>51</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>51</td> <td>52</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>UAE</td> <td>47</td> <td>44</td> <td>43</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>44</td> <td>33</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>40</td> <td>40</td> <td>36</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>38</td> <td>30</td> <td>25</td> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>34</td> <td>33</td> <td>25</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>32</td> <td>31</td> <td>21</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>29</td> <td>30</td> <td>25</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>17</td> <td>-</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>12</td> <td>12</td> <td>-</td> </tr><tr><td>South Africa</td> <td>8</td> <td>8</td> <td>8</td> </tr><tr><td>GLOBAL INDEX</td> <td>36</td> <td>33</td> <td>28</td> </tr></tbody></table> Online Shopping Survey Findings <p>The most active consumers are from South Korea (85%), China (84%) and Japan (75%), according to respondents who are most likely to access the Internet for shopping. Shoppers in these markets also purchased the most items online within recent months (approximately from June to September 2010) with Chinese consumers averaging 5.6 items, up from 5.1 items in 2009. Number of purchases by consumers in South Korea &amp; Japan remained steady from 2009 with 5.9 items and 5.1 items respectively.</p> <p><b><i>NOTE TO EDITORS: </i></b><i>More information and previously released MasterCard survey results can be found at </i><i><u><b><a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/">www.masterintelligence.com</a>.</b></u></i></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> MasterCard’s Online Shopping Survey is an annual survey which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online.The survey was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010 and reached 8,500 consumers from 15 markets across APMEA.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/mastercard-survery-nearly-one-in-two-hong-kong-respondents-access-the-internee-to-shop2011-01-12T16:00:00.000Z2011-01-12T16:00:00.000ZHong Kong Parents More Likely to Send Children to Overseas Universities: MasterCard Survey Gloria Lai, Matthew LiuMasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Gloria Lai<br> (852) 2533 9983,<br> <a href="mailto:glai@webershandwick.com">glai@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p>Matthew Liu<br> (852) 2533 9927,<br> <a href="mailto:mliu@webershandwick.com">mliu@webershandwick.com</a></p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Education provides valuable insights into the Asia/Pacific consumers’ savings and expenditure behavior and their discretionary spending priorities on education.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/hong-kong-parents-more-likely-to-send-children-to-overseas-unive2012-08-29T16:00:00.000Z2012-08-29T16:00:00.000ZHong Kong Diners Top Greater China Region on Tipping: MasterCard Survey Gloria Lai, Matthew LiuMasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <i>Contacts:</i><p>Gloria Lai<br> (852) 2533 9983,<br> <a href="mailto:glai@webershandwick.com">glai@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p>Matthew Liu<br> (852) 2533 9927,<br> <a href="mailto:mliu@webershandwick.com">mliu@webershandwick.com</a></p> The research is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific countries. The survey findings are part of MasterCard’s suite of research into Consumer Purchasing Priorities in the Asia/Pacific region.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/hong-kong-diners-top-greater-china-region-on-tipping--mastercard2012-10-03T16:00:00.000Z2012-10-03T16:00:00.000ZHong Kong Tops Asia/Pacific Region for Leisure and Business Travel: MasterCard Survey Gloria Lai, Matthew Liu Hong Kong Tops Asia/Pacific Region for Leisure and Business Travel: MasterCard Survey<p><i>Majority Intend to Travel as Much or More Frequently Over the Next 12 months</i></p> <p><b><i>Hong Kong, 13 September 2012</i></b><i> </i>– While the summer holidays have only just passed, many Hongkongers already have their eyes on their next holiday in the coming year with top of mind destinations being China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, a recent <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard Worldwide</b></a> survey reveals. They are also one of the most eager to travel in the next 12 months and the most frequent leisure and business travelers across 14 markets in Asia/Pacific.</p> <p>The latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel was conducted between April and June 2012 and involved 6,904 consumers in 14 markets in Asia/Pacific<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p>With Hongkongers’ thirst for travel, the city sees a strong outlook in both leisure and business travel compared to other markets in the coming 12 months. The majority (82%) plan to travel for leisure as much as or more frequently than last year, higher than the 2011 survey (74%). The same applies for business travel, with 66% looking to travel as much as or more frequently than last year, compared to 51% in 2011.</p> <p>In Asia/Pacific, Hongkongers ranked second and third respectively in their intention to travel for leisure and business as much as or more frequently than last year, behind China (leisure travel 85%, business travel 80%) which ranked first in both segments, but ahead of Taiwan (leisure travel 61%, business travel 60%) and the regional average (leisure travel 60%, business travel 45%).</p> <p>With their eagerness to travel, it’s no wonder passionate Hong Kong travelers top both the leisure and business travel mileage chart in the past 12 months in Asia/Pacific. Hong Kong leads the region with the highest percentage of leisure (85%) and business (51%) travelers who made international trips, ahead of China (leisure travel 67%, business travel 49%), Taiwan (leisure travel 53%, business travel 26%), and the regional average (leisure travel 42%, business travel 23%).</p> <p><b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/lhai/" target="_blank">Ling Hai, division president, Greater China, MasterCard Worldwide</a>,</b> said, “Hong Kong’s robust travel outlook is bolstered by an improvement in consumer sentiment as indicated in our latest <a href="http://bit.ly/OhuCXw" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence</b></a>, which earlier this year showed that optimism among locals has recovered from its second-lowest level since the financial crisis in 2008 to a neutral outlook with an overall score of 51.8 Index points. Local consumers are most optimistic in their outlook towards regular income (78.8 Index points), which may mean greater financial security and a rise in consumer spending.”</p> <p>&nbsp;“With China being one of Hongkongers’ favorite travel destination, MasterCard’s <a href="http://www.pricelessbeijing.com/" target="_blank"><b>Priceless Beijing</b></a> program launched earlier this year will delight cardholders from Hong Kong with one-of-a-kind experiences and privileged access to the very best that China’s capital city has to offer. ”</p> <ul> <li>Other findings about Hong Kong travelers include:Mobile phones top the list of Hong Kong people’s must-have gadgets when traveling</li> <li>Savvy Hongkongers reveal they get their best travel deals from travel agents, airline websites, online travel guides, and coupon sites or smartphone applications</li> <li>In terms of flight and accommodation, one in five prefer budget airlines while mid-range hotels remain the most popular, preferred by more than half of respondents</li> <li>While en route, four in 10 travelers will occupy themselves with watching movies or listening to music when traveling, and about one in five will usually read or rest</li> </ul> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><b>[1<a name="1"></a>]</b></i><i> Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Gloria Lai<br> (852) 2533 9983<br> <a href="mailto:glai@webershandwick.com" target="_blank">glai@webershandwick.com</a><br> <br> Matthew Liu<br> (852) 2533 9927<br> <a href="mailto:mliu@webershandwick.com" target="_blank">mliu@webershandwick.com</a></p> According to findings from the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel, respondents from Mainland China expressed their desire to travel as much or more regularly in the coming year, both for leisure (85%) and business (80%). http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/hong-kong-tops-asia-pacific-region-for-leisure-and-business-travel-mastercard-survey2012-09-12T16:00:00.000Z2012-09-12T16:00:00.000ZPessimistic Outlook for Hong Kong Consumers: MasterCard Index Gloria Lai , Matthew Liu Local consumers show surge in negative sentiment across five key indicators<p><b><i>Hong Kong, 29 March 2012</i></b><i> </i>– Consumer confidence in Hong Kong has dropped significantly over the last six months to the second-lowest level since the financial crisis in 2008, according to the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard Worldwide</b></a> Index<sup>™</sup> of Consumer Confidence, released today. The latest score for Hong Kong shows a sharp fall of 38.7 Index points, from 68.6 in the first half of 2011 to 29.9 Index points in the second half.</p> <p>Hong Kong has seen its consumer confidence deteriorate after two years of optimism, from a peak of 76.6 in the first half of 2010, to 74.7 in the second half of 2010, to the more cautiously optimistic Index of 68.6 in the first half of 2011. The last pessimistic result recorded from the survey was in the first half of 2009, with the Index measuring consumer confidence in Hong Kong at 24.7.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index<sup>™</sup> of Consumer Confidence (“Index”) is based on a survey conducted between 5 December 2011 and 8 February 2012 on 12,915 respondents aged 18 to 64 years in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. This is the 38<sup>th</sup> survey of consumer confidence conducted since 1993. Now in its 20th year the Index is Asia/Pacific’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>Confidence among Hong Kong’s consumers showed extreme deterioration in their expectations across all five key economic indicators measured.&nbsp; Hong Kong respondents feel most pessimistic about the Economy (19.9 vs. 66.4 six months ago), followed by Employment (down from 70.4 to 25.7 Index points) and Quality of Life (down from 46.3 to 21.1 Index points). A steep fall was also recorded in consumers’ attitudes towards the Stock Market (down from 79.1 to 23.3 Index points). Regular Income was the&nbsp; only indicator that Hongkongers seem relatively neutral towards. It is the sole indicator that scored above 50, though it also recorded a drop from 80.6 to 59.4 Index points.</p> <p>Among the Hong Kong respondents, men (32.4) are more confident than women (27.4), and those under the age of 30 reflect a more positive outlook as their scores average higher than their older counterparts (31.4 for those below 30 vs. 26 for those above 30).</p> <p>Jeroen van Son, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide, said “The persistent Euro-zone crisis has been a serious drag on global economic growth over the past six months, and Hong Kong is no exception. In addition, a variety of economic issues have led to a significant drop in confidence among local consumers in their outlook for the months ahead. This includes uncertainties caused by issues such as the fear of a hard landing in China as growth slows, rising inflation rates in the territory, unstable property prices and a changing political environment in Hong Kong. These factors have all contributed to a general negative outlook that is at odds with the more optimistic attitude seen in previous results.”</p> <p>In Asia/Pacific, consumer confidence among developed markets has dropped as concerns about slow growth spread across the region. Only 5 out of 14 Asia/Pacific<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> markets polled recorded positive sentiment when compared to the first half of 2011. The last Index conducted during the first half of 2011 showed that 11 out of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets polled recorded positive consumer sentiment with stable optimism. Overall, Asia/Pacific saw a drop from 57.4 Index points in the first half of 2011 to 52.1 Index points with declines in all key indicators.</p> <p>China (down 13.7 Index points), Taiwan (down 36.3 Index points), Singapore (down 25.9 Index points) and South Korea (down 19.7 Index points) saw strong declines in consumer sentiment compared to the previous six months. However, significant improvement was recorded in emerging markets such as Indonesia (up 21.8 Index points), Thailand (up 19.5 Index points), India (up 18.4 Index points) and the Philippines (up 24.7 Index points).</p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>Asia/Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="407"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b><br type="_moz"> </b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2" valign="top"><b>H2 2011 Current Status</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2" valign="top"><b>Change from last Half</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>Asia Pacific</b></td> <td>52.1</td> <td>Neutral +</td> <td>-5.3</td> <td>Some Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Australia</b></td> <td>43.3</td> <td>Neutral -</td> <td>-13.7</td> <td>Significant Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>China</b></td> <td>64.8</td> <td>Optimistic</td> <td>-13.7</td> <td>Significant Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Hong Kong</b></td> <td>29.9</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>-38.7</td> <td>Extreme Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>India</b></td> <td>81.2</td> <td>Very Optimistic</td> <td>18.4</td> <td>Significant Improvement</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Indonesia</b></td> <td>76.2</td> <td>Very Optimistic</td> <td>21.8</td> <td>Extreme Improvement</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Japan</b></td> <td>16.2</td> <td>Very Pessimistic</td> <td>-0.5</td> <td>Stable -</td> </tr><tr><td><b>South Korea</b></td> <td>29.9</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>-19.7</td> <td>Significant Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Malaysia</b></td> <td>52.8</td> <td>Neutral +</td> <td>-7.8</td> <td>Some Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>New Zealand</b></td> <td>35.7</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>-2.9</td> <td>Stable -</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Philippines</b></td> <td>77.0</td> <td>Very Optimistic</td> <td>24.7</td> <td>Extreme Improvement</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Singapore</b></td> <td>50.0</td> <td>Neutral +</td> <td>-25.9</td> <td>Extreme Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Taiwan</b></td> <td>30.1</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>-36.3</td> <td>Extreme Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Thailand</b></td> <td>63.9</td> <td>Optimistic</td> <td>19.5</td> <td>Significant Improvement</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Vietnam</b></td> <td>78.8</td> <td>Very Optimistic</td> <td>0.8</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr></tbody></table> Hong Kong’s Index of Consumer Confidence over the Past Five Years <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="410"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b><br type="_moz"> </b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H1<br> 2007</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H2<br> 2007</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H1<br> 2008</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H2<br> 2008</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H1<br> 2009</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H2<br> 2009</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H1<br> 2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H2<br> 2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H1<br> 2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>H2<br> 2011</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>Employment</b></td> <td>89.1</td> <td>93.6</td> <td>88.2</td> <td>41.7</td> <td>15.9</td> <td>67.4</td> <td>83.3</td> <td>80.4</td> <td>70.4</td> <td>25.7</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Economy</b></td> <td>91.1</td> <td>91.2</td> <td>88.9</td> <td>28.4</td> <td>22.8</td> <td>68.3</td> <td>83.8</td> <td>77.9</td> <td>66.4</td> <td>19.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Regular Income</b></td> <td>90.5</td> <td>92.3</td> <td>91.7</td> <td>66.4</td> <td>27.2</td> <td>53.2</td> <td>75.0</td> <td>83.2</td> <td>80.6</td> <td>59.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Stock Market</b></td> <td>70.6</td> <td>69.3</td> <td>71.2</td> <td>24.1</td> <td>37.7</td> <td>63.2</td> <td>79.2</td> <td>74.1</td> <td>79.1</td> <td>23.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Quality of Life</b></td> <td>82.3</td> <td>83.3</td> <td>75.5</td> <td>48.6</td> <td>19.8</td> <td>48.0</td> <td>61.7</td> <td>57.7</td> <td>46.3</td> <td>21.1</td> </tr><tr><td><b>MasterIndex</b></td> <td>84.7</td> <td>85.9</td> <td>83.1</td> <td>41.8</td> <td>24.7</td> <td>60.0</td> <td>76.6</td> <td>74.7</td> <td>68.6</td> <td>29.9</td> </tr></tbody></table> Methodology<p>Respondents were asked five questions pertaining to their six-month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in five component indexes which were averaged to form the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) score. The MWICC Index score and the five component index scores range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents maximum pessimism, 100 represents maximum optimism and 50 represents neutrality.</p> <p></p> About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has a 20-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region.&nbsp; In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low score of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.</p> <p>The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty five markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 5 December 2011 to 8February 2012. A total of 12,915 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 25 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.</p> <p>The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.&nbsp; Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys and face to face interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.&nbsp; The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four to five percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Gloria Lai<br> (852) 2533 9983<br> <a href="mailto:glai@webershandwick.com"><b>glai@webershandwick.com</b></a><br> <br> Matthew Liu<br> (852) 2533 9927<br> <a href="mailto:mliu@webershandwick.com"><b>mliu@webershandwick.com</b></a></p> The MasterCard Worldwide IndexTM of Consumer Confidence (“Index”) is based on a survey conducted between November 2012 and December 2012 on 11,339 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/pessimistic-outlook-for-hongkong-consumers2012-03-28T16:00:00.000Z2012-03-28T16:00:00.000ZHong Kong Tops Asia/Pacific Region on Investment Knowledge: MasterCard Survey Gloria Lai, Matthew Liu Hong Kong Tops Asia/Pacific Region on Investment Knowledge: MasterCard Survey <p><i>Consumers in Hong Kong amongst the savviest in Asia/Pacific when it comes to financial literacy and money management</i></p> <p><b><i>Hong Kong, 2 August 2012</i></b>: Hongkongers are the most financially savvy in terms of investment knowledge and the city ranked third in terms of overall level of financial literacy, according to <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> research.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6,904 respondents aged 18 to 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> countries. This is the third survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010. The survey polled consumers on three aspects of financial literacy including their basic money management skills, investment knowledge and financial planning to determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p>In terms of overall financial literacy, Hong Kong scored 71 index points – alongside Australia and Singapore – following closely behind Taiwan and New Zealand who tied for first place with 73 index points each. Notably, Hong Kong jumped up from sixth position when the survey was first conducted in 2010.</p> <p></p> <p>Hong Kong (68%) continues to top the investment knowledge component of the research, followed by Taiwan (67%) and China (65%). The survey showed that respondents in Hong Kong have a particularly strong understanding of bank statements, and scored above the regional average for monitoring investments (82% vs. regional average of 67%), and working out the suitability of financial products (80% vs. regional average of 78%).</p> <p></p> <p>Hong Kong also moved up from fourth to third rank (72%) when asked about basic money management skills such as day-to-day budgeting, keeping up with bills, credit commitments and setting money aside for big purchases, just behind New Zealand (77%) and Australia (75%). However, on the financial planning front, Hong Kong ranked eleventh, scoring noticeably lower than most of the Asia/Pacific markets (72% vs. regional average of 76%).&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>“The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy has provided us with fresh insights into Hong Kongers aptitude for, and knowledge of, managing their finances,” said Jeroen van Son, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide. “It is clear from the findings that people in Hong Kong possess strong investment skills and knowledge, reinforcing Hong Kong as an international finance hub. Notably, we are also seeing women in Hong Kong demonstrating strong money management skills and this is a very encouraging sign as there is a compelling need for women to be more capable of managing their finances in today’s society.”</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><b>[<a name="1"></a>1]</b></i><i> </i><i>Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Greater China Highlights<ul> <li>In terms of overall financial literacy, Taiwan tied for first place with New Zealand, jumping from fifth rank in 2010.<b></b></li> <li>Taiwan performed well in a wide range of categories, coming in first place in the financial planning component of the research, in their understanding of unsecured loans, the need for emergency savings and insurance, early financial planning, as well as their understanding of the concept of inflation.</li> <li>China, despite its overall improvement in financial literacy, still ranked low when compared with other Asia/Pacific markets, coming in at 12<sup>th</sup> place and scoring three points below the regional average of 67 index points.</li> <li>Overall, the Index demonstrated higher levels of financial literacy amongst the above-average income earners, and those who held managerial positions, among the three Greater China markets.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p></p> MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="427"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="3"><b>Ranking</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="4"><b>Scores (%) </b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Overall Financial Literacy Index</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Components of Financial Literacy Index</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Basic Money Management</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Financial Planning</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Investment</b></th> </tr><tr><td width="111" colspan="2" rowspan="2"><b>Asia/Pacific </b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> <td><b>2012H1</b></td> </tr><tr><td>67</td> <td>65</td> <td>76</td> <td>59</td> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>73</td> <td>70</td> <td>83</td> <td>67</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>New Zealand</td> <td>73</td> <td>77</td> <td>73</td> <td>62</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>71</td> <td>72</td> <td>72</td> <td>68</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Australia</td> <td>71</td> <td>75</td> <td>69</td> <td>64</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>71</td> <td>69</td> <td>80</td> <td>61</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>68</td> <td>64</td> <td>79</td> <td>60</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Indonesia</td> <td>67</td> <td>65</td> <td>81</td> <td>51</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Vietnam</td> <td>66</td> <td>60</td> <td>82</td> <td>60</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>South Korea</td> <td>66</td> <td>61</td> <td>83</td> <td>54</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>The Philippines</td> <td>65</td> <td>63</td> <td>73</td> <td>58</td> </tr><tr><td><b>11</b></td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>65</td> <td>60</td> <td>77</td> <td>58</td> </tr><tr><td><b>12</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>64</td> <td>55</td> <td>76</td> <td>65</td> </tr><tr><td><b>13</b></td> <td>India</td> <td>60</td> <td>55</td> <td>72</td> <td>55</td> </tr><tr><td><b>14</b></td> <td>Japan</td> <td>60</td> <td>61</td> <td>69</td> <td>43</td> </tr></tbody></table> Methodology<p>The Index is based on a survey of consumers from 25 markets across APMEA and comprises questions covering three major components:</p> <ul> <li>Basic Money Management (50% weight): To determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage.</li> <li>Financial Planning (30% weight): To assess level of knowledge about financial products, services, and concepts, and ability to plan for long-term financial needs.</li> <li>Investment (20% weight): To determine basic understanding of the various risks associated with investment, different investment products and skills required.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p>A Financial Literacy Index Score for each market was calculated out of the weighted sum of the 3 components.</p> <p></p> <p>Regional Aggregates are calculated via the average of the individual country components before applying the weights described above.</p> <p>Interviews for the MasterCard Worldwide Financial Literacy Index were conducted via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Gloria Lai<br> (852) 2533 9983,<br> <a href="mailto:glai@webershandwick.com">glai@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p></p> <p>Matthew Liu<br> (852) 2533 9927,<br> <a href="mailto:mliu@webershandwick.com">mliu@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p><i><p></p> </i></p> <p></p> The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/hong-kong-tops-asiapacific-region-on-investment-knowledge-mastercard-survey2012-08-01T16:00:00.000Z2012-08-01T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Survey: Over Half of Hong Kong Respondents Now Shopping Online Gloria Lai, Matthew Liu Music, event tickets and travel dominate online spend Mobile shopping gaining momentum among local consumers<p><b><i>Hong Kong, 12 April 2012:</i></b> The importance of online shopping continues to grow for Hong Kong consumers, with the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>,Worldwide Online Shopping Survey revealing that 58% of people use the Internet to make purchases. With significant potential for growth still remaining, this trend looks set to continue as three-quarters of respondents expect to make a purchase online in the next six months.</p> <p>The average number of purchases made by those who have shopped online in Hong Kong in the past three months has also increased, rising from 4.3 in 2010 to 4.8 in 2011. Women continue to lead the way in online shopping (62% of women vs. 54% of men), while more broadly those aged 18-24 (57%) and 25-34 (62%) are more likely to access the Internet to buy online.</p> <p>In terms of proportion of money spent online vs. offline, music downloads (73%), event tickets (71%) and apps (69%) make up the top three categories of purchases made using the Internet. While music downloads have the highest percentage of online versus offline spend, travel websites and airlines lead in terms of average absolute spend.</p> <p>Respondents in Hong Kong however reported decreased levels of satisfaction with online purchases, falling to 60% from 69% last year. The survey indicates that for many, the need to see the physical product in-store (54%) continues to be a key barrier to purchasing online, though the Internet is a key research tool with 96% browsing online before making a purchase.</p> <p></p> Mobile Shopping<p>The MasterCard survey also uncovered an ongoing increase in the use of mobile phones for buying online. Of the 86% of respondents in Hong Kong who can access the Internet via their mobile phones, 25% have used it to make a purchase over the past three months. This is compared to 37% in China and 24% in Taiwan.</p> <p>A further 18% of Hongkongers plan on making a purchase in the next six months. This has been driven primarily by the added convenience and the proliferation of apps which makes it easier to shop using mobile phones, with cinema tickets (24%), coupon deals (22%) and toys/gifts (19%) making up the top three purchase categories.</p> <p>Jeroen van Son, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “With the Internet continuing to form an integral part of our daily lives, it is natural to see users going online to browse and buy. However, the need for sites to offer a secure payment facility remains the number one concern for consumers, with 74% describing it as extremely or somewhat important. That’s why MasterCard prides itself on offering secure, convenient and varied payment methods for our cardholders. Combining ease of use with convenience, we will continue to innovate and foster a dynamic e-commerce environment for MasterCard cardholders.”</p> <p>The annual survey was conducted online between 5 December 2011 and 6 January 2012, reaching 12,500 consumers in 25 markets across APMEA<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>. The report for Hong Kong is based on 500 respondents who access the internet at least weekly.&nbsp; The data was weighted to the online population in each of those markets. Similar surveys were also carried out in Taiwan and China. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>For the full report in English, go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p><i><b>[1<a name="1"></a>]</b></i><i> </i><i>The markets surveyed include China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Qatar, KSA, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nigeria, Kenya and the UAE.</i></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <i>Contacts</i><p>Gloria Lai<br> (852) 2533 9983<br> <a href="mailto:glai@webershandwick.com">glai@webershandwick.com</a><br> <br> Matthew Liu<br> (852) 2533 9927<br> <a href="mailto:mliu@webershandwick.com">mliu@webershandwick.com</a><br> </p> The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/Over-half-of-hongkong-respondents-now-shopping-online2012-04-11T16:00:00.000Z2012-04-11T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Survey: Two Thirds of Hong Kong Respondents Shop Online; Local Online Shopping Satisfaction On The Rise Gloria Lai, Matthew LiuMobile Shopping<p>The MasterCard survey shows that Hong Kong has strong potential for mobile shopping considering the high penetration of internet-enabled phones and the momentum generated by mobile-online shoppers. Of the 95.3% Hong Kong respondents who have access to the internet on their mobile phones, 4 out of 10 have made a purchase online via phone, which increased from 24.6% in 2011 to 40.9% in 2012.</p> <p>As with the feedback for online shopping, convenience (54.7%) was the major reason for mobile shopping. On the other hand, habit was a key barrier restricting local people from mobile shopping, with 64.7% of non-online-mobile-shoppers saying they preferred online shopping on their PCs and 30.5% preferring shopping on a tablet.</p> <p>As for the most frequently bought items through mobile shopping, cinema tickets top the list, followed by clothing/ other fashion-related items and apps.</p> <p>Kevin Goldmintz, Head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “Online shopping has become a key online activity among local consumers, which suggests that companies such as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for example, should look at the online space for growing their business and expanding their customer base. With our secure, convenient and innovative payment methods, MasterCard is committed to developing a vibrant e-commerce environment for MasterCard cardholders and merchants.”</p> <p>China leads the Asia/Pacific region overall as the market with the most propensity to conduct online shopping, with 92.8% accessing the internet for online shopping and with close to 100% having shopped online at least once in the previous three months. In Taiwan, respondents are less inclined to shop online (56.1%), which represented a drop from 64.2% in 2011.</p> <p>Despite the high mobile internet access rate in China (95.4%), only 54.1% China respondents have shopped online using their mobile phones. The mobile internet penetration in Taiwan is 80.8%, with 28.2% respondents having made a purchase through their mobile phone.</p> <p>The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets between November and December 2012. The report for the Asia/Pacific<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1"></a>[1] region included interviews with 7,011 respondents from 14 markets who were asked questions about their online shopping habits. The report for Hong Kong is based on 500 respondents who access the internet at least once a week.&nbsp; The data was weighted to the online population in each of those markets. Similar surveys were also carried out in Taiwan and China. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.</i><br> </p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1"></a>[1] <i>Thailand, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Malaysia. New Zealand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, India. Philippines.</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard <p><b><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">MasterCard</a></b> (NYSE: MA), <b><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">www.mastercard.com</a></b>,<b> </b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <b><a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@MasterCardNews</a></b><b>, </b>join the discussion on the <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a></b> and <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank">subscribe</a></b> for the latest <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">news</a></b>.</p> Contacts<p>Gloria Lai<br> (852) 2533 9983,<br> <a href="mailto:glai@webershandwick.com">glai@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p>Matthew Liu<br> (852) 2533 9927,<br> <a href="mailto:mliu@webershandwick.com">mliu@webershandwick.com</a></p> MasterCard’s Online Shopping Survey is an annual survey which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/mastercard-survey--two-thirds-of-hong-kong-respondents-shop-onli2013-04-09T16:00:00.000Z2013-04-09T16:00:00.000ZHong Kong’s Consumer Confidence Peaks Since 12 Months Ago: MasterCard Index Gloria Lai, Matthew LiuHong Kong’s Index of Consumer Confidence over the Past Five Years<table width="411" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"></th> <th class="table-description">H1<br> 2008</th> <th class="table-description">H2<br> 2008</th> <th class="table-description">H1<br> 2009</th> <th class="table-description">H2<br> 2009</th> <th class="table-description">H1<br> 2010</th> <th class="table-description">H2<br> 2010</th> <th class="table-description">H1<br> 2011</th> <th class="table-description">H2<br> 2011</th> <th class="table-description">H1<br> 2012</th> <th class="table-description">H2<br> 2012</th> </tr><tr><td><b>Employment</b></td> <td>88.2</td> <td>41.7</td> <td>16.2</td> <td>67.4</td> <td>83.3</td> <td>80.4</td> <td>70.4</td> <td>25.7</td> <td>58.0</td> <td>56.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Economy</b></td> <td>88.9</td> <td>28.4</td> <td>23.2</td> <td>68.3</td> <td>83.8</td> <td>77.9</td> <td>66.4</td> <td>19.9</td> <td>41.3</td> <td>47.0</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Regular Income</b></td> <td>91.7</td> <td>66.4</td> <td>26.5</td> <td>53.2</td> <td>75.0</td> <td>83.2</td> <td>80.6</td> <td>59.4</td> <td>78.8</td> <td>83.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Stock Market</b></td> <td>71.2</td> <td>24.1</td> <td>37.7</td> <td>63.2</td> <td>79.2</td> <td>74.1</td> <td>79.1</td> <td>23.3</td> <td>39.4</td> <td>63.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Quality of Life</b></td> <td>75.5</td> <td>48.6</td> <td>20.0</td> <td>48.0</td> <td>61.7</td> <td>57.7</td> <td>46.3</td> <td>21.1</td> <td>41.8</td> <td>43.1</td> </tr><tr><td><b>MasterIndex</b></td> <td>83.1</td> <td>41.8</td> <td>24.7</td> <td>60.0</td> <td>76.6</td> <td>74.7</td> <td>68.6</td> <td>29.9</td> <td>51.8</td> <td>58.9</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>Kevin Goldmintz, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide, said “We are pleased to see consumer sentiment in Hong Kong now at its highest over the past 12 months, with very optimistic expectations on regular income and positive outlook on the stock market. In spite of the potential influence of global economic issues and the slowdown of China’s economic growth, it is encouraging to see Hong Kong consumers remaining positive on the overall economic situation.”</p> <p>Consumer sentiment in China is very optimistic with an overall score of 81.8 Index points, an increase of 4.3 Index points from six months ago. Chinese consumers have a positive outlook across all five key indicators and continue to be extremely optimistic on Regular Income (94.8 Index points). Among the Chinese cities polled, consumers in Beijing continue to remain the most confident (84.4 Index points), followed by those in Guangzhou (79.7 Index points) and Shanghai (78.3 Index points).</p> <p>Despite some improvement in overall sentiment, Taiwanese consumers remain pessimistic, with an overall score of 33.1 Index points, compared to 25.7 Index points six months ago. Local respondents remain negative on most key indicators, despite significant improvement on Stock Market (from 29.4 to 45.8 Index points) and Economy (from 18.4 to 28.9 Index points).</p> <p>In the Asia/Pacific region, nine out of 14 markets polled recorded positive improvements in sentiment. Overall, Asia/Pacific saw a slight improvement from 57.2 Index points in the first half of 2012 to 59.7 in the second half of 2012.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index<sup>™</sup> of Consumer Confidence (“Index”) is based on a survey conducted between November and December 2012 of 11,339 respondents aged 18–64 in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. This is the 40<sup>th</sup> survey of consumer confidence conducted since 1993. Now in its 20th year, the Index is Asia/Pacific’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.</i></p> MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence<table width="405" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2">H2 2012 Current Status</th> <th class="table-description" colspan="2">Change from last half</th> </tr><tr><td><b>Asia Pacific</b></td> <td>59.7</td> <td>Neutral +</td> <td>2.6</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Australia</b></td> <td>40.3</td> <td>Neutral -</td> <td>1.1</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr><tr><td><b>China</b></td> <td>81.8</td> <td>Very Optimistic</td> <td>4.3</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Hong Kong</b></td> <td>58.9</td> <td>Neutral +</td> <td>7.1</td> <td>Some Improvement</td> </tr><tr><td><b>India</b></td> <td>85.5</td> <td>Very Optimistic</td> <td>3.4</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Indonesia</b></td> <td>87.5</td> <td>Very Optimistic</td> <td>30.1</td> <td>Extreme Improvement</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Japan</b></td> <td>23.7</td> <td>Very Pessimistic</td> <td>0.1</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr><tr><td><b>South Korea</b></td> <td>38.6</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>-12.6</td> <td>Significant Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Malaysia</b></td> <td>71.3</td> <td>Optimistic</td> <td>1.4</td> <td>Stable +</td> </tr><tr><td><b>New Zealand</b></td> <td>42.7</td> <td>Neutral -</td> <td>-8.3</td> <td>Some Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Philippines</b></td> <td>78.8</td> <td>Very Optimistic</td> <td>13.6</td> <td>Significant Improvement</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Singapore</b></td> <td>50.0</td> <td>Neutral +</td> <td>-2.9</td> <td>Stable -</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Taiwan</b></td> <td>33.1</td> <td>Pessimistic</td> <td>7.4</td> <td>Some Improvement</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Thailand</b></td> <td>69.6</td> <td>Optimistic</td> <td>-6.2</td> <td>Some Deterioration</td> </tr><tr><td><b>Vietnam</b></td> <td>74.5</td> <td>Optimistic</td> <td>-2.6</td> <td>Stable -</td> </tr></tbody></table> Methodology<p>Respondents were asked five questions pertaining to their six-month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in five component indexes which were averaged to form the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) score. The MWICC Index score and the five component index scores range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents maximum pessimism, 100 represents maximum optimism and 50 represents neutrality.</p> About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has a 20-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region.&nbsp; In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low score of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.</p> <p>The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty five markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from November 2012 to December 2012. A total of 11,339 respondents qualified respondents were surveyed in the 25 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.&nbsp; Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys and face to face interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.&nbsp; The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four to five percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank">Index of Global Destination Cities</a>.</b> In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank">Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</a>,</b> Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Gloria Lai<br> (852) 2533 9983,<br> <a href="mailto:glai@webershandwick.com">glai@webershandwick.com</a><br> </p> <p>Matthew Liu<br> (852) 2533 9927,<br> <a href="mailto:mliu@webershandwick.com">mliu@webershandwick.com</a></p> Launched in 1993, the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence has proven to be an excellent barometer of general consumer pulse in Asia/Pacific. The twice annual survey analyzes prevailing consumer perceptions of economic conditions for the next six-months.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/hong-kong-s-consumer-confidence-peaks-since-12-months-ago--mastercard-index2013-02-25T16:00:00.000Z2013-02-25T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Inflation Expectations: Expecting the Unexpected Aurobindo Ghosh, Jun YuForeword from Singapore Management University<p>The study of inflation expectations of Singapore house-holds is a multi-disciplinary industry-relevant research that &nbsp;comes out of a partnership &nbsp;between &nbsp;Singapore Management University (SMU), which prides itself to be a University for the world of business and management, and a truly iconic corporate institution –– MasterCard. The research team for this MasterCard-SKBI Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx) project applied rigorous methods &nbsp;using current internet-based marketing survey tools for data-collection and advanced econometric techniques to analyse the data. The updates &nbsp;from the quarterly waves are keenly followed by policymakers, market watchers and the media because of the enormous importance of cost of living to individuals and businesses alike.</p> <p>The inflation expectations &nbsp;measured &nbsp;are perceptions of future average rise in prices over a medium term of one year or a long term of five years. Policy-makers in central banks around the world, while formulating their monetary policies, keep a keen eye on the inflation expectations, among other things. Even then, &nbsp;their projections are mostly based &nbsp;on the &nbsp;expected &nbsp;rise in prices of a fixed basket of goods and services at current &nbsp;or prevailing prices, popularly termed as ‘Consumer Price Index Inflation’ or ‘CP I Inflation.’ This usually proxies for the future rise in overall prices to enable policymakers to decide on their monetary policy to keep prices stable while at the same time encouraging growth and generating employment.</p> <p>One of the biggest challenges for policymakers &nbsp;is to ascertain the inflation expectations of households before and after any policy statement is made. While the experts have access to vast levels of macroeconomic data to formulate informed opinions about inflation expectations, for the common man who has to make&nbsp;purchasing decisions as unprecedented levels of global economic uncertainty unfolds, the reality can be quite different. Our research at SMU-SKBI brings out the nature and influences of such individuals’ inflation expectations from cross sections of Singaporean households.</p> <p>The early results are indeed fascinating in terms of both response and predictability which lay testament to how informed the &nbsp;Singaporean &nbsp;households &nbsp;are and how grounded &nbsp;they are in forming their inflation expectations. It also brings out the effectiveness of our methodology that is founded upon rigorous multi-disciplinary research expertise by SKBI researchers. Lastly, this would not have been possible without the generous support from MasterCard, and the constant efforts of MasterCard and SMU teams in disseminating the research results to the public-at-large through quarterly updates to the media.</p> <p>I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks &nbsp;and &nbsp;offer a toast &nbsp;to &nbsp;President Vicky Bindra and his team from MasterCard for their strong support &nbsp;towards &nbsp;this unique partnership &nbsp;that &nbsp;brings about &nbsp;the true spirit of a community in this cycle of knowledge creation.</p> <p>Professor Arnoud De Meyer<br> President<br> Singapore Management University</p> <p></p> Foreword from MasterCard<p>It has been &nbsp;a year since MasterCard &nbsp;and the Singapore Management University (SMU) jointly launched the Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations. The objective of establishing the Index was to provide valuable insight into the behaviour and sentiments of household decision makers in Singapore. This collaboration affirms MasterCard's commitment to researching, &nbsp;understanding and forecasting &nbsp;consumer behaviour that &nbsp;will in turn contribute to more effective and successful monetary &nbsp;policy management in Singapore, with far-reaching &nbsp;benefits to the business and household sectors in the years to come.</p> <p>This past year, MasterCard &nbsp;has developed a strong and collaborative partnership with the team &nbsp;at SMU as we worked &nbsp;closely to release this important piece of research &nbsp;on a quarterly basis. Owing to the relevance of this analysis to both businesses and individuals alike, we have been approached and referenced by multiple media, research analysts and other industry experts –– a sure sign of the growing influence of this Index.</p> <p>Looking back, 2012 &nbsp;presented a number &nbsp;of economic challenges and milestones, including the Euro-zone crisis, rising inflationary conditions in China and persistent &nbsp;unemployment in western &nbsp;markets. All this and more led to a year characterised by global economic uncertainty.&nbsp;Amidst such changes in the economic environment, the Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations remained an accurate barometer forecasting inflation expectation amongst consumers in Singapore. Notably, the Index provided a snapshot of how Singapore consumers are affected by both the domestic economy as well as changing global economic conditions. The Index showed us that Singaporean consumers were at times troubled by uncertainty in the&nbsp;global economic environment, however, for the most part &nbsp;they remained &nbsp;cautiously optimistic in light of the resilience of Singapore's &nbsp;economy.</p> <p>Over the years, MasterCard &nbsp;has dedicated significant resources to developing a deeper &nbsp;understanding of the business and economic &nbsp;dynamics that &nbsp;shape the &nbsp;region, &nbsp;as well as the &nbsp;fast-evolving Asian consumer market, &nbsp;through surveys and independent research studies. In the process, we have built a robust knowledge and insights platform, adding value through the &nbsp;continuation of cutting &nbsp;edge &nbsp;research but also through the &nbsp;sharing of knowledge in new areas.</p> <p>As we enter 2013, &nbsp;we are excited to continue &nbsp;our fruitful relationship with Singapore Management University.</p> <p>Vicky Bindra<br> President<br> Asia/Pacific, Middle East &amp; Africa<br> MasterCard &nbsp;Worldwide</p> <p></p> Singapore Inflation Expectations: Expecting the Unexpected<p>Aurobindo Ghosh and Jun Yu<br> Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<br> Singapore Management University<br> 27 December 2012</p> Abstract<p>The slowdown in the post Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has meant soaring unemployment in the US and Euro-zone periphery economies compared to historical standards. &nbsp; This in &nbsp;turn &nbsp; has &nbsp;sent &nbsp; warning &nbsp; signals &nbsp;to policymakers around the world. Having learnt hard lessons from prolonged periods of slump after the Great Depression, some central banks in the developed world adopted &nbsp; expansionary &nbsp;monetary &nbsp;policy and &nbsp;implemented several rounds of stimulus spending termed as Quantitative Easing to spur productive activities in a period of declining demand. While it had mixed successes in generating demand and lowering unemployment in the US and Eurozone, small open economies like Singapore &nbsp;became &nbsp;susceptible to inflationary pressures from different fronts.</p> <p>First, with sound monetary and fiscal policy and a strong balance sheet, Singapore has become an investment for discerning investors and employment destination for talented &nbsp;and qualified professionals. Second, being a city-state with only urban population and limited space both &nbsp;real estate &nbsp;sector and private transportation cost have elevated. Finally, imported inflation and “hot money” have flown to Singapore with an ensuing upward pressure on prices. Consequently, policymakers have an unenviable task of balancing the dual mandate &nbsp;to maintain low unemployment and price stability.</p> <p>Since September 2011, we have interviewed 400 randomly selected individuals quarterly across the cross section of the Singapore society to ascertain their expectations of inflation in both medium and long term. This is intended to help policymakers &nbsp;(a) to anchor inflation expectations in line with their adopted monetary policy through exchange rates, (b) to fathom the effectiveness of communications and (c) to influence informed decision making by Singaporean households.&nbsp;We found that using an innovative internet based survey we can identify the inflation expectations of the individuals in the short duration. It turns out the one-year-ahead predicted quarterly Headline Inflation rate of 4.68% &nbsp;is closer to the realised CPI-All Items inflation rate of 4.2% than even the Survey of Professional Fore-casters who predicted 2.8%. &nbsp;Currently, the one-year- ahead Headline Inflation rate of 4.37% &nbsp;(CPI All Items) is slightly lower than &nbsp;the &nbsp;composite &nbsp;weighted &nbsp;SKBI- MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx1) of 4.4% collected in December 2012.</p> <p></p> Inflation and the World<p>Post Global Financial Crisis (GFC) the world economy has been going through a prolonged economic slump reminiscent of the phase of slow or no growth &nbsp;after the Great Depression in the 1930s. Western economies had to wait for the Second World War reconstruction in 1940s to get back on the fast track to recovery. The lessons learned from the past crises in Asia and the West prompted &nbsp;policymakers, particularly in the &nbsp;US Federal Reserve Board, the European Central Bank and the &nbsp;Bank of Japan, &nbsp;to &nbsp;be &nbsp;proactive. &nbsp;They have &nbsp;responded &nbsp;to an impending crisis in the best way they knew through prolonged periods of expansionary monetary &nbsp;policies. However, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke (at the Monetary Economics Workshop of the &nbsp;National Bureau of Economic Research Summer Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 10, &nbsp;2007) &nbsp;had &nbsp;reemphasised &nbsp;that &nbsp;most &nbsp;central banks work under the dual mandate &nbsp;of price stability and employment &nbsp;generation. &nbsp;So while expansionary monetary policy might be good for growth and lowering unemployment, &nbsp;the adverse impact on inflation is often a cause of concern.</p> <p>With an ongoing slowdown in the Western economies or the &nbsp;so called G3 (US, Eurozone and Japan) and consequently, plummeting world demand, inflation is currently not rampant throughout the world but only some pockets, particularly in some sectors in the emerging world including China and India. In fact, inflation was at a very ebb in the US, Europe, China and India as recently as August 2012, recording the lowest levels in the post GFC period. Naturally, the policymakers had to shift their attention to other more serious part &nbsp;of &nbsp;their &nbsp;mandate &nbsp;vis-à-vis &nbsp;employment generation. In the same period, the embattled Euro-zone periphery economies like Spain and Greece were looking down with nearly one out of every four of their employable population &nbsp;out of jobs and a staggering 50% youth unemployment. In the US, the country was facing unprecedented 8% unemployment nearly into their fourth &nbsp;year with a historic average &nbsp;of around 5.8% &nbsp;since 1948. &nbsp;The US unemployment &nbsp;number turned out to be pretty persistent despite near zero interest rate along with strong communication from the US Federal Reserve Boards’ Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) about their stance of holding the rates low in the foreseeable future until around &nbsp;middle of 2015.</p> <p>With traditional monetary policy doing little to assuage the persistent unemployment rate, the US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke decided for the most recent round of stimulus package termed as QE3 or quantitative easing to buy back Mortgage &nbsp;Backed Securities in the order of US$40 billion per month. This would shore up the banks’ balance sheets to enable them to lend more aggressively until unemployment reduces significantly below current &nbsp;rates. &nbsp;In the &nbsp;same note the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi had previously announced &nbsp;the so called OMT (Outright Monetary Transactions) to enable the ECB to buy back unlimited quantities &nbsp;of troubled &nbsp;Eurozone Government bonds in the secondary market. This would reduce the cost of borrowing money for these governments which in turn is aimed at spurring growth to facilitate Eurozone’s struggling economies to get out of the current economic quagmire. In the world’s third largest economy, Bank of Japan facing an imminent slowdown &nbsp;in production &nbsp;and &nbsp;growth &nbsp;also contemplated further stimulus plans through aggressive easing of their monetary policy. Inflation was of little less concern than &nbsp;a possible cycle of deflation that &nbsp;plagued Japan, and the spectre of a lost decade of no growth might continue was definitely in the mind of the policymakers.</p> <p>The effectiveness of such expansionary policies together with other macro-prudential measures is often mixed. On the positive side we have observed that current unemployment rate in the US has unexpectedly climbed down to around 7.7% &nbsp;in November 2012 while countries like Spain now face a lower interest rate in borrowing for the financial market. While on</p> <p>the other hand, US was looking at a possible “fiscal cliff” (or a “fiscal slope”with 11th hour legislation) of US$600 billion from government &nbsp;coffers in spending cuts and expiry of tax reductions which can drive the US economy from a fledging growth to recession. This is compounded by Eurozone economies already tottering near the brink of double or triple-dip recession with no &nbsp;end &nbsp;in sight to &nbsp;persistently high unemployment rates.</p> <p>Such expansionary &nbsp;policies popularly termed &nbsp;as “printing money” meant for encouraging growth and hence reducing unemployment could have an adverse consequence &nbsp;on inflation. The inflation that such availability of the &nbsp;freshly minted &nbsp;so called “hot &nbsp;money” generates could have an unintended consequence across the globe, in particular, in small open economies like Singapore. Loose monetary policy would tend to reduce the value of that currency and make its exports more competitive to the outside world. At the same time such policies will also make the &nbsp;foreign goods more expensive hence spur the demand &nbsp;for domestically produced and sourced goods, giving the right fillip to the local economy. However, countries that are export-oriented &nbsp;and have to import a lot of their consumables have to face imported &nbsp;inflation in a world of “easy money” or excess liquidity. With capital mobility the &nbsp;world over and &nbsp;exceptionally low interest rates, policymakers have an arduous task to control inflation when &nbsp;the &nbsp;priority of &nbsp;unemployment &nbsp;has &nbsp;been &nbsp;addressed.</p> <p></p> Impact of the Region<p>Inflation has been a thorny issue until very recently in several economies in the region including the regional block ASEAN. Inflation rates in Vietnam are hovering around a historical average of about 7%. However, it has gone up slightly from a recent low of 5% but definitely much lower than near 20% inflation just around a year back. The fluctuation has been quite high over the last couple of years of turmoil in the banking sector. Australia has been quite resilient in terms of inflation and has hovered around 2%, of their two year high of 3.6% but definitely higher than near 1% in July this year. Indonesia has a stable 4.6 % latest in October 2012, off from its two year high of about 7%. China was at their historic low at 1.7% in October off from near 6.5% about 2 years back. Further with a&nbsp;Flash PMI in China going over 50 in a recent survey by HSBC, they seem to show a positive outlook. US Inflation has also been a low of about 1.7% before a slight spike after the announcement of latest stimulus. The CPI-All Items Inflation Singapore has dropped to 3.6% in November 2012 from around 4% a month before.</p> Inflation in Singapore<p>Singapore is unique in several different ways. In an increasingly globalised world, Singaporean policymakers also face an uphill task on one hand to ensure full employment and on the other hand to provide price stability. Singapore headline inflation could be attributed to both increase in real estate and private transportation, and &nbsp;structurally due &nbsp;to increase in rentals and wages affecting the cost of doing business. Such costs more often than not get passed through &nbsp;to the consumers. Since the inception of the Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx) &nbsp;launched &nbsp;in January&nbsp;2012, there have been several quarterly updates &nbsp;that were &nbsp;released &nbsp;to the &nbsp;media and &nbsp;public that &nbsp;gave a unique insight to the psyche of the Singaporean household. It also helped the researchers to fine tune the questions to identify the source of uncertainties and expectations among the responding public.</p> <p>The main challenge in a small open economy like Singapore with sound policy and economic base is imported inflation. Furthermore, a tight monetary policy to accommodate &nbsp;for the &nbsp;imported &nbsp;inflation coupled with &nbsp;worsening &nbsp;investment &nbsp;climate &nbsp;elsewhere &nbsp;has made Singapore a coveted investment destination with an appreciating currency. The policymakers have an unenviable job to maintain price stability given that they have already addressed unemployment issues remarkably well through a downturn &nbsp;in the global economy. In the short run, besides imported inflation increasing wages and rental costs and consequent increase cost of doing business will probably maintain an upward pressure on inflation. On a brighter side, this might ease somewhat with an improving consumer confidence and sentiment in the emerging markets, in particular China in &nbsp;2013, &nbsp;and &nbsp;recovering conditions though nascent in developed markets like the US.</p> <p>Investors are becoming savvier by the day with increasing access to information, financial services and advice. They are also wary of the unlimited horizon&nbsp;easy monetary policy in the Western economies including comments and action by Ben Bernanke and Mario Draghi, to do whatever &nbsp;it takes to improve business conditions and growth. &nbsp;In fact, more recently Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, among others, termed it “QE Infinity” because of the unlimited horizon of the Fed’s action (for excerpts of Paul Krugman delivering his SKBI Public &nbsp;Lecture &nbsp; visit &nbsp;http://skbi.smu.edu.sg/events/&nbsp;2012/11/07/skbi-public-lecture-nobel-laureate- paulkrugman). However, there could be two direct unintended consequences of the low interest rate regime into foreseeable future for open Asian economies like Singapore.</p> <p>First, there could be flight to quality investment in Asia including Singapore. We would like to call this attracting “smart money” and not just “hot money” into the region. This will probably cause run up in real estate prices in the short run when housing supply cannot go up. Second, a more subtle but more damaging consequence &nbsp;is the decrease in purchasing power or to be precise, the real interest rate. The genesis of such a problem lies with the possibility of unhinged long term inflation expectations. A low nominal interest rate together &nbsp;with a moderate &nbsp;to high actual inflation rate might cause a decrease in purchasing power, and affect retirees or other &nbsp;investors particularly ones &nbsp;depending only on fixed income securities like long term bonds.</p> <p></p> Cost of Living<p>As a city state, &nbsp;Singapore is at a privileged position both geographically and historically. In fact, a recent forward looking if not a perfectly rigorous academic survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (part of The Economist team) puts Singapore at no. 6 globally on its where-to-be-born in 2013 index. It highlights a comment made by world’s &nbsp;best known investor Warren Buffet’s claiming that he was born in the right country (US) and at the right time (1930s) when asked about why good things happened to him (The lottery of life: Where to be born in 2013, The Economist, Nov 21,</p> <p>2012). Incidentally, Switzerland &nbsp;is ranked first while US&nbsp;and Germany are tied at 16th position in the same index (after being first and third respectively in the inaugural Where-to-be-born survey in The World in 1988) that takes into account not just wealth but life expectancy, civil society, safety and security as well. The liveability coupled with investment and work destination of talented &nbsp;professionals possibly did come at a slight cost… the cost of living increase. It probably is likely to be in the eye of a perfect storm with a floundering global growth, unemployment spikes in the US and the Eurozone, and consequent &nbsp;regulations in the banking and financial sector. This might have led to a significant exodus from the Eurozone and the US. Furthermore, &nbsp;a growing and outward &nbsp;looking educated middle class in India and China and an attractive business and living environment in Singapore.</p> <p></p> Singapore Inflation Expectations<p>MasterCard-SKBI survey of Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations &nbsp;(SInDEx) &nbsp; started &nbsp; in &nbsp;September &nbsp; 2011 where approximately 400 participants were interviewed online with questions on their demographic details, household activities and perceptions on current and &nbsp;future &nbsp;economic and &nbsp;investment environments. The first two quarterly waves of the SInDEx Survey was analysed and presented &nbsp;at the official launch of the Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx) on January 10, 2012. The quarterly surveys reflected the adaptive expectations of various individuals in Singapore vis-à'vis their role as informed decision makers of the household. &nbsp;In particular, the initial surveys highlighted the nature of the characteristics that seem to influence the composite inflation expectations of individuals including economic awareness, long term horizon and exposure to media (cf. Singapore Consumers’ Inflation Expectations and Creation of Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations by A. Ghosh and J. Yu, 2011).</p> <p>We proposed two new index measures of inflation expectations, namely, the one-year-ahead &nbsp;SInDEx1 and the &nbsp;five-year-ahead &nbsp;SInDEx5. &nbsp;SInDEx1 &nbsp;is an &nbsp;equally weighted average of Headline (CPI-All Items) Inflation, Core Inflation (without Food and Energy related expenses) and finally, the Singapore Core (without the Accommodation and private transportation related costs). While the preliminary results were encouraging, the subsequent waves of the survey provided nothing short of a revelation. In particular, the Headline (closely related to the CPI-All Items, Figure 1 blue solid line with diamonds) Inflation and the composite one-year-ahead Sin- gapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx1, Figure&nbsp;1 purple dotted line with crosses) seem to closely track the movements of the prevailing 2012 Inflation forecast (Figure 1 Orange broken line) better &nbsp;than &nbsp;the earlier consensus forecast of the MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters (Figure 1, red line with rectangles). In fact, the first release of one-year-ahead headline inflation expectations of September 2011 of 4.68 is almost oracle- like with an ultimate realisation of 4.7% year on year. However, upon closer scrutiny, the just released third quarter value of CPI-All Items inflation is at 4.2% which is indeed fairly close to the projected inflation expectations of 4.68%. &nbsp;In the same period, the consensus median forecast for 2012 by the MAS Survey Professional Forecasters in September &nbsp;2011 &nbsp;was at &nbsp;2.8% &nbsp;nearly 50% lower than the realised outcome.</p> <p>To the best of our knowledge, the MasterCard-SKBI SInDEx survey &nbsp;is the first of its kind in the region. Hence, unfortunately we do not have a good comparison benchmark. In order to compare, we cite the example of the Consumer Confidence Inflation Rate Expectations&nbsp;12 Month Hence surveys conducted by The Conference Board in the US. The survey reported that the 12-month ahead rate dipped from a high of 6% in end August to 5.6% in end November 2012. These inflation expectations are consistently too high compared to the actual CPI inflation rate of 2.16% in October 2012 or for that matter, the actual CPI inflation of 1.7% recorded in August 2012. The Survey of Professional Forecasters published by the &nbsp;Federal Reserve Bank of &nbsp;Philadelphia calculated a consensus CPI Inflation &nbsp;forecast of 2.2% in the last quarter of 2012 which is substantially less than the 5.6% &nbsp;projected by current The Conference Board survey. It is a conventional wisdom that inflation expectations based on surveys reflect sentiment in the market and possibly overestimate the actual inflation rates unlike the inflation expectations backed out from the yield of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS). (Source: 2012 Fourth Quarterly Survey of Professional Forecasters, Federal Reserve Board of Philadelphia, Aug 10, 2012, &nbsp; http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/real-time-center/survey-of-professional- forecasters/2012/survq412.cfm &nbsp;and &nbsp;The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Inflation Rate Expectations 12 Month Hence, Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg. com/quote/CONCINFL:IND).</p> <p>One-year-ahead SInDEx1 inflation expectations indices suggest that while it is quite responsive to communications by the &nbsp;policymakers, &nbsp;we find that &nbsp;the&nbsp;inflation expectations did not react excessively to short term fluctuations in the external market including food and oil price supply shocks due to turmoil in the Middle East or short term food inflation. It did, however, react with a slight dip in response &nbsp;to a tightening &nbsp;of the monetary policy through a steeper slope of the band of trade &nbsp;weighted &nbsp;exchange &nbsp;rate &nbsp;announced &nbsp;by MAS. This implies that at least in the medium term the infla- tion expectations measured by the composite inflation index &nbsp;(SInDEx1, &nbsp;Figure 1: &nbsp;Purple &nbsp;dotted &nbsp; line &nbsp;with crosses) seem to be fairly well “anchored” around the&nbsp;4.5% mark, the upper end of the projected band communicated &nbsp;by MAS. It did, however, increase slightly with supply shortages &nbsp;of Certificates of Entitlements (COE) affecting private car prices and increase in demand &nbsp;for &nbsp;private &nbsp;accommodation. &nbsp; Consistent &nbsp;with such expectations in the current December 2012 issue of recent developments of the economy, MAS economists expect that for the year 2012 the inflation rate will come out to a little higher than 4.5%. In the latest wave of the survey in December 2012, the one-year- ahead inflation expectations of the headline (or CPI-In- flation) &nbsp;rate &nbsp; is &nbsp;at &nbsp; 4.37% &nbsp; &nbsp;while &nbsp; the &nbsp; composite one-year-ahead &nbsp; inflation &nbsp;expectations &nbsp;index &nbsp;fell to 4.4%, &nbsp; down &nbsp;from &nbsp;the &nbsp;previous &nbsp;quarter’s &nbsp;high &nbsp;of 4.57%.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/SingaporeInflationExpectations.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/SingaporeInflationExpectations.jpg"></a></p> <p>While the one-year-ahead &nbsp;headline inflation expectations seem to be more or less anchored, &nbsp;the &nbsp;five- year-ahead &nbsp;one &nbsp;is still suffering from excessive uncertainty emanating &nbsp;from the bleak global macro- economic outlook where the risks of a global economic slowdown are described as “alarmingly high”(World Economic Outlook, IMF Publications, October 2012).&nbsp;Although the five-year-ahead headline inflation rate elevated from 5.37 to 5.56% &nbsp;(Figure 2, in solid blue and blue diamonds) from the second to the third quarter of 2012, the weighted composite five-year-ahead Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx5, Figure 2, in dotted &nbsp;purple with crosses) only inched up from 5.08% &nbsp;to 5.24% &nbsp;indicating there is some level of stabilisation in the expectations even under severe global economic uncertainty. This is furthered bolstered by a substantial easing of the five-year-ahead headline inflation expectations &nbsp;of 5.21%, &nbsp;and &nbsp;a lowering of the composite five-year-ahead inflation expectations (SIn- DEx5) of 4.97% &nbsp;in the latest wave of the SInDEx Survey in December 2012.</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/SingaporeInflationExpectations2.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/SingaporeInflationExpectations2.jpg"></a></p> <p>However, the level five-year-ahead inflation expectations might still be an object of concern for policy-makers and needs &nbsp;some level of communication including a strong stance at putting controlling inflation in the forefront of the policy framework so as to anchor the long term inflation expectations along with the medium term one. In the absence of a benchmark we focus on the MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters projection for 2013, and observe that the five-year-ahead inflation expectations are indeed dominating the 2013 &nbsp;economic forecasts even though &nbsp;SPF inflation projects have an upward trajectory (Figure 2, red solid line with small boxes). Such future expectations of inflation in a period of record low fixed interest inevitably moves to the negative real rate of return on investment in such assets or in other &nbsp;words a steady erosion of purchasing power.</p> <p>The one-year-ahead Singapore core inflation rate (Figure 1, green solid line with triangles) is, without accommodation and private transportation &nbsp;in the SInDEx survey 4.67% &nbsp;in September 2011. This is significantly higher than 2.4%, the actual figure published by MAS. While there is no obvious reason for such an overestimation, we can conjecture some contributing factors. First, it is possible that respondents &nbsp;might be biased by the price changes of frequently purchased items that they have made in the recent past and ignoring less frequent purchases like the big ticket items (sometimes termed as the “frequency bias”). This would mean that individuals might &nbsp;expect &nbsp;higher &nbsp;inflation rate &nbsp;even though general price levels (excluding accommodation and private transportation) have not increased as much but food items, which form a small portion of their budget, &nbsp;has &nbsp;increased &nbsp;substantially. Second, &nbsp;media might have had a role to play in highlighting price increases in real estate and private transportation, &nbsp;which in turn might have had a knock on effect on inflation perception. Finally, there might have been some expectations of imported inflation that in reality was dampened &nbsp;by an &nbsp;appreciating Singapore dollar. Similar effects might have also transpired in the five-year- ahead Singapore core inflation expectations (Figure 2, green line with triangles) that the survey indicates &nbsp;is at&nbsp;5% annual rate. Having said that, a recalibration might be needed to compare the actual numbers but any systematic bias would potentially be attenuated &nbsp;for a composite index obtained through weighting different indices, for example, the SInDEx1 and SInDEx5.</p> <p></p> Conclusion<p>There are three &nbsp;major challenges or pitfalls facing a central banker. First, one of the biggest challenges facing a policymaker is the possibility of “unhinged” inflation &nbsp;expectations &nbsp; that &nbsp; might &nbsp;be &nbsp;fuelled &nbsp;by &nbsp;mass hysteria or irrational exuberance. &nbsp;Second, the &nbsp;other policy challenge is the possibility of a deflationary cycle that &nbsp;engulfed &nbsp;a G3 country like Japan and meant &nbsp;a long period of recession or no growth as seen in the&nbsp;1990s. Finally, the third one is a period of stagflation seen in the US in late ‘70s early ‘80s where the period is marked by both stagnation &nbsp;and inflation. Many of the western economies are suffering from prolonged period of high unemployment owing mainly to lack of demand &nbsp;or very low new job creation. This has put a downward &nbsp;pressure in inflation and the second scenario has become a real possibility. Hence policymakers have chosen the path of stimulating the economy at the expense of some level of inflation which might be beneficial to the growth of the economy.</p> <p>Having gone &nbsp;through &nbsp;a significant period &nbsp;of restructuring themselves post the Asian Financial Crisis, the export driven Asian Economies outside Japan were less affected by rampant unemployment like the West but had a dip in the demand &nbsp;from the west and imported (or some pockets in domestic markets in India and China) inflation due to record low interest rates. Hence, many of the central banks could not adopt &nbsp;a very expansionary policy but a measured tightening to shore up consumer confidence and control inflation. This approach might also address the issue on stagflation in the absence &nbsp;of high inflation rates. The right balance in stimulus spending to reduce unemployment, monetary &nbsp;policy tightening &nbsp;and &nbsp;macro-prudential processes like changing reserve requirements by central bankers and the economic policy community might help the &nbsp;global economy to &nbsp;get &nbsp;back on track of growth.</p> <p></p> The study of inflation expectations of Singapore households is a multi-disciplinary industry-relevant research that comes out of a partnership between Singapore Management University (SMU), and MasterCard.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2012/singapore-inflation-expectations-expecting-the-unexpected2012-12-26T16:00:00.000Z2012-12-26T16:00:00.000ZClose to 70% of Singaporeans intend to spend the same or more on luxury goods in the coming months: MasterCard survey Wendy Toh, FangTing Zheng Close to 70% of Singaporeans intend to spend the same or more on luxury goods in the coming months: MasterCard survey<p><b><i>Singapore, </i></b><b><i>8 November 2011 </i></b>– Shoppers in Singapore are looking to maintain or increase spend on luxury items<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> in the coming months<sup>[<a href="#2">2</a>]</sup>, according to findings from the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Luxury Shopping.</p> <p>Survey results show that 68% of Singaporeans who currently own a luxury item valued at US$1,000 or more, plan to spend the same or more, on luxury items in the coming months.</p> <p>While this number indicates that Singapore is trending a keen preference for luxury items, the other results reflect that they are also exhibiting prudence in their decision-making process and the choice of luxury item acquired.</p> <p>More than one in four (26%) of Singaporeans polled tend to research extensively about a luxury item and will make the purchase within two to six months of first deciding on the item. Meanwhile, 45% of respondents tend to mull over whether to purchase a luxury item, but buy it within a month or so of first deciding on the item.</p> <p>Conversely, only 17% of respondents say that they tend to buy on impulse, on the spot, while 12% tend to decide on the item on the spot but wait for a sale before buying it.</p> <p>Categories of luxury items worth more than US$1,000 that Singaporeans covet in the coming months are watches (30%), jewellery (24%) and quality/designer clothes &amp; leather goods (22%).</p> <p>In contrast, Singaporeans appear to be less keen on purchasing these particular luxury items at a lower value – a smaller margin of Singaporean respondents are keen on watches (9%) and jewellery (19%) worth US$500 or less.</p> <p>In favouring higher value watches and jewellery over lower-priced items of the same categories, it seems that Singaporeans appreciate goods with higher intrinsic worth and understand that the value of these goods increase with time.</p> <p>“The strength of the luxury market in Singapore reflects the country’s growing affluent population, as well as the growing array of international luxury brands in our local retail landscape,” said Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide. “The survey results show that Singaporeans are savvy luxury shoppers, who try to strike a balance between seeking the highest quality luxury goods and getting the most value out of their purchases.”</p> <p>Other highlights from the survey:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Singaporeans mostly purchase luxury items for themselves to celebrate special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and promotions (54%) or for no special reason at all (48%).</li> <li>Self-reward (29%), brand reputation of luxury product (24%) and feeling special in owning a luxury item (19%) are the three main motivations behind the purchase of luxury items for Singaporeans.</li> <li>Advertising on media outlets (47%) overrides recommendation from friends and relatives (43%), brand catalogues (38%), online shopping sites (33%) and online blogs/forums/reviews (31%) as the source of information that consumers rely on before making a purchase. Celebrity endorsements (16%) are the least effective in impacting Singaporeans’ decisions to purchase luxury items.</li> <li>Credit card (79%) is the top payment method for Singaporeans for the purchases of luxury items.</li> </ul> <p>The latest survey was conducted from March to April 2011 and involved 191 Singaporean consumers who currently own at least one luxury item that is at least US$1,000 and above in value. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p>For the full report go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p><i><a name="1"></a>[1] Value definition of luxury item is US$1,000 or more.</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><a name="2"></a>[2] The survey was conducted from March to April 2011 and asked respondents on their intentions to own luxury goods in the next 12 months.&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from March to April 2011 and involved 191 Singaporeans.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/close-to-70-of-singaporeans-intend-to-spend-the-same-or-more-on-luxury-goods-in-coming-months2011-11-07T16:00:00.000Z2011-11-07T16:00:00.000ZDining and Entertainment Tops Purchasing Priorities List for Third Year Running in Singapore: MasterCard Survey Ashwin Seshadri, Linda Lee Top spend category amongst MasterCard cardholders in Singapore in 2010 was Restaurants/Bars <p><b><i>Singapore, 7 February 2011</i></b>: Consumers in Singapore are living up to their food-lovers reputation as they continue to make Dining and Entertainment their top spending priority for the next six months. According to the MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities released today, 74% of consumers in Singapore said they would spend on Dining and Entertainment in the next six months, the highest indicated level since the survey began, representing a growth of four points from six months ago. This is behind four other markets - Vietnam (89%), Korea (78%), India (75%) and Hong Kong (75%) – in the Asia/Pacific region. Dining and Entertainment has topped Singaporeans’ list of purchasing priorities for three years running.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Consumer Electronics ties with Fashion &amp; Accessories in second place at 58%, with International Personal Air Travel placing third on Singaporeans’ purchasing priorities at 45%.</p> <p>The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 13 September to 11 November 2010 and involved 10,502 consumers from 24 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. In Singapore, 401 consumers were polled in this survey. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and computer aided telephone interviews. <i>The Survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>The survey also shows that over half (58%) of consumers in Singapore plan to maintain the same level of discretionary spending in the next six months, a slight dip from 60% six months ago. Meanwhile, 19% of Singaporeans intend to increase their spending, compared to 16% six months ago and 23% are planning to decrease their spending, down one percentage point from the second half of 2010.</p> <p></p> <p>In Asia/Pacific, Vietnam (62%), Australia (59%) and Korea (59%) have the highest percentage of consumers planning to maintain their level of discretionary spending, while countries with the highest percentage of consumers planning to increase their level of discretionary spending in the next six months are China (31%), Hong Kong (29%) and India (26%).</p> <p>In 2010, the top spend category amongst MasterCard cardholders in Singapore was Restaurants/Bars. This is in line with what Singaporeans indicated would be their top spending priority – Dining and Entertainment – in the MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities in 2010. Other top spend categories in 2010 include Airlines, Healthcare, Clothing Stores and Food Stores.</p> <p>Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “Singaporeans have once again put dining and entertainment at the top of their spending priorities, reflecting the local culture behind Singapore’s reputation as one of Asia’s leading hotspots for food and fun. It is also encouraging to note that there is significant upward movement for the top three spending priorities. These are the key contributing factors pointing to an expected increase in discretionary spending by Singapore consumers in the coming months.''</p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>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.&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 13 September to 11 November 2010 and involved 10,502 consumers from 24 markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/dining-and-entertainment-tops-purchasing-priorities-list-for-third-year-running02011-02-06T16:00:00.000Z2011-02-06T16:00:00.000ZNearly 2 in 3 Singaporeans Shop Online: MasterCard Survey Zheng Fang Ting, Linda LeeOpportunities for Growth in Mobile Shopping in Singapore<p><b><i>Singapore, 10 Jan 2011: </i></b>Online shopping has gained popularity in Singapore, as nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents in a MasterCard survey said they now access the internet for online shopping. This represents a ten percent increase in just two years, with 56% and 54% of the respondents shopping online in 2009 and 2008 respectively.</p> <p>This is the fourth MasterCard survey on online shopping habits and was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010. The survey covered 8,500 respondents across 15 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UAE.&nbsp; The inaugural survey was conducted in December 2007. <i>The survey does not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p><i></i>Singaporean women continue to out-shop their male counterparts with 68% of female respondents surveyed shopping online, compared to only 60% of males. Female online shoppers also tend to be more active as they purchased an average of 5 items online in the last three months, whereas male shoppers purchased an average of 4.2 items each in the same period.</p> <p>Overall satisfaction with online shopping remains high as 83% of respondents in Singapore who made a purchase in the last three months were satisfied with their experience. This is a small drop from previous years’ scores though as satisfaction levels were at 86% in 2009 and 84% in 2008. Three-quarters of those surveyed in this category also stated that they are likely to make another purchase in the next six months.</p> <p>At the other end of the spectrum, consumers in Singapore who did not make any purchases online in the last three months cited a preference to shop in-store (59%) with physical products as the primary reason for not shopping online.</p> <p>The availability of convenient payment methods (92%), secure payment facilities (91%) and price and value (91%) of the items being purchased are the top three most important factors influencing Singaporean respondents’ online shopping experience.</p> <p>For the first time, respondents were also surveyed on their online shopping habits through mobile phones. Only 12% of respondents in Singapore made purchases on their mobile phones in the last three months. Of the rest, 80% also indicated that they were unlikely to do so in the next six months.</p> <p>“The steady increase in the popularity of online shopping is backed by high levels of broadband and mobile connectivity in Singapore as consumers proactively seek more personal and convenient ways to shop,&quot; said Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide. “As the use of smart phones proliferates in Singapore, there will be more opportunities in the mobile space for retailers who can offer customers a fast, convenient and safe way to make purchases through smart phones.” </p> <p>The most common items purchased online remained the same as previous years and they include airline tickets (52%), hotel accommodations (43%), movie or concert tickets (41%), ladies’ clothing and accessories (36%) and books &amp; art (25%).</p> <p>Singaporeans tend to plan their online purchases in advance with nearly 80% of respondents doing research before making a purchase. Research methods included browsing the internet in general as well as specific merchants’ websites.</p> <p>The most common items that trigger impulse shopping online though are ladies’ clothing or accessories and airline tickets. Medical or pharmaceutical and insurance products were the least likely to sway customers to buy impulsively.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Index on Online Shopping<p>This year MasterCard has released the first Index on Online Shopping. The Index serves as a benchmark (including scores from 2009 and 2008) that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, and based on the following factors and questions:</p> <ul> <li>For what purposes do you usually use the Internet?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li>How likely is it that you will make an online purchase in the next 6 months?</li> <li>Proportion of those who did not state ‘prefer to shop in-store, to look at the physical product’ as a reason for not purchasing anything online in the past 3 months.</li> <li>To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements:</li> </ul> <p>(1) It is convenient to shop online</p> <p>(2) I do not feel secure shopping online&nbsp;</p> <p>The scores are compiled based on the factors or questions listed above, offering a regional Index ranking of markets with consumers who are most likely to shop online. According to the scores from the 2010 MasterCard Index on Online Shopping, South Korea tops the Index rankings with a score of 63 in 2010 (compared to 65 in 2009 where South Korea also ranked number one on the Index). Japan is ranked second this year with a score of 57, followed by New Zealand (54), Australia (52) and Taiwan (51). Emerging markets have also gained ground with the U.A.E. coming in at 6<sup>th</sup> with a score of 47 then Malaysia (44), Singapore (40) and China (38). Thailand is closely on par with India with scores of 34 and 32, respectively, ahead of Hong Kong (29). Indonesia rounds the bottom three markets on the Index with a score of 17, Philippines (12) and South Africa (8).</p> <p><b><i>NOTE TO EDITORS: </i></b><i>More information and previously released MasterCard survey results can be found at </i><i><u><b><a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/">www.masterintelligence.com</a>.</b></u></i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>MasterCard puts out a series of ongoing consumer surveys and research Indices in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. These include the MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence and MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement.</p> <p>Besides these, MasterCard also regularly releases its Insights reports; the series is part of its ongoing research and analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 70 Insights reports have been produced since 2004. MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by its Asia/Pacific economist, Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> <p>The MasterCard Indexes and Insights reports are available at <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> MasterCard’s Online Shopping Survey is an annual survey which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online.The survey was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010 and reached 8,500 consumers from 15 markets across APMEA.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/nearly-2-in-3-singaporeans-shop-online-mastercard-survery2011-01-09T16:00:00.000Z2011-01-09T16:00:00.000ZSingaporean Women Rank Highly in Money Management and Financial Planning: Inaugural MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy Ashwin Seshadri, Zheng FangTing Singaporean Women Rank Highly in Money Management and Financial Planning: Inaugural MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy <p><b><i>Singapore, 1 March 2011</i></b>: Women in Singapore hold their own when it comes to being financially savvy, according to the results of the inaugural MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy which were released today.</p> <p>The Index ranked Singaporean women fifth out of 14 countries in the Asia/Pacific region. Thai women topped the Financial Literacy Index with an aggregate score of 73.9 followed closely by New Zealand (71.3), Australia (70.2), Vietnam (70.1) and Singapore (69.4). In contrast, developed markets Korea (55.9) and Japan (59.9) made up the lower spectrum of the Index.</p> <p>The MasterCard Index is based on a survey of consumers from 24 markets<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> 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 gauges their basic understanding of the various investment risks, different investment products and if they have the necessary skills.</p> <p>The Index score is calculated from the weighted sum of the three components, 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.</p> <p>Of the three components that make up the survey, women in Singapore ranked highly in the Basic Money Management (ranked 4<sup>th</sup>) and Financial (ranked 4<sup>th</sup>) portions with composite scores of 70.0 and 80.4 in these sections. Their scores in the Investment section of the survey however indicate room for improvement in investment skills and knowledge, with the score of 51.5 bringing down the overall ranking.</p> <p>When it comes to basic money management, 71% of those surveyed in Singapore say they do not have problems staying on top of their bills and credit commitments while the same number also said that they understand the concept of compound interest. 33% of women surveyed however, admitted that they often have problems with setting money aside for big purchases.</p> <p>When it comes to financial planning, Singaporean women appear to be well in control with 90% of those surveyed stating that they feel it is never too early to have a financial plan. 97% of those surveyed also believed that one should regularly save a portion of their monthly income and 92% of women surveyed believe they should have 3 - 6 months of cash savings to meet their emergency needs, such as illness or job losses.</p> <p>Overall, Singaporean women stacked up well against their counterparts in developed markets, where New Zealand and Australia had the second (71.3) and third (70.2) highest overall Index scores. These markets also led in Basic Money Management with scores of 76.7 and 75.8 respectively. They did not perform as strongly in Financial Planning, coming in under the 14 market average, and Investment (58.3 and 55.2 respectively).</p> <p>The most populous developing markets in the world, India (61.4) and China (60.1) reflected a relatively low Financial Literacy score among women. Chinese and Indian women are particularly weak in Basic Money Management (54.4 and 58.8), near the bottom of the ranking for that component in Asia/Pacific. While, Japan and Korea are the only two markets in Asia/Pacific with a Women’s Financial Literacy Index score that falls below 60.</p> <p>Korean women are bottom of the rankings in two of the Index components: Basic Money Management (51.1) and Financial Planning (65.7), while Japanese women have the lowest investment score (38.4).</p> <p>“It is clear from the findings of MasterCard’s first ever regional study on financial literacy, that women in Singapore have an appreciation for managing their personal finances. Saving, budgeting and investing are all important aspects of financial management, and while a majority of Singapore women are well-educated, there are still opportunities for them to enhance their knowledge of financial investment tools and strategies”, said Julienne Loh, vice president and Country Manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p><b><u>MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy (Women)</u></b></p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2" rowspan="3"><b>Ranking</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="4"><b>Scores</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Overall Financial Literacy Index</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Components of Financial Literacy Index</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Basic Money Management</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Financial Planning</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Investment</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description" colspan="2"><b><i>Asia/Pacific </i></b></th> <td><i>65.7</i></td> <td><i>63.9</i></td> <td><i>74.6</i></td> <td><i>56.7</i></td> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>73.9</td> <td>67.9</td> <td>87.0</td> <td>69.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>New Zealand</td> <td>71.3</td> <td>76.7</td> <td>72.9</td> <td>55.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Australia</td> <td>70.2</td> <td>75.8</td> <td>69.0</td> <td>58.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Vietnam</td> <td>70.1</td> <td>65.4</td> <td>82.8</td> <td>62.7</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>69.4</td> <td>70.0</td> <td>80.4</td> <td>51.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>68.7</td> <td>63.4</td> <td>82.4</td> <td>61.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Philippines</td> <td>68.2</td> <td>66.6</td> <td>79.2</td> <td>55.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>68.0</td> <td>71.0</td> <td>67.8</td> <td>60.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Indonesia</td> <td>66.5</td> <td>62.1</td> <td>79.1</td> <td>58.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>66.0</td> <td>64.3</td> <td>75.0</td> <td>56.6</td> </tr><tr><td><b>11</b></td> <td>India</td> <td>61.4</td> <td>58.8</td> <td>67.6</td> <td>58.9</td> </tr><tr><td><b>12</b></td> <td>China</td> <td>60.1</td> <td>54.4</td> <td>73.3</td> <td>54.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>13</b></td> <td>Japan</td> <td>59.9</td> <td>61.7</td> <td>71.2</td> <td>38.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>14</b></td> <td>Korea</td> <td>55.9</td> <td>51.1</td> <td>65.7</td> <td>53.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>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.</i></p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties <p>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&nbsp;MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping,&nbsp;Index of Financial Literacy, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2013/" target="_blank"><b>Index of Global Destination Cities</b></a>. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending&nbsp;and a series on&nbsp;Consumer Purchasing Priorities&nbsp;(covering&nbsp;Travel,&nbsp;Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education,&nbsp;Money Management,&nbsp;Luxury&nbsp;and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</b></a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 13 September 2010 and 11 November 2010 in 24 Asia/Pacific countries. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/singapore-women-rank-highly-in-money-management-and-financial-planning2011-02-28T16:00:00.000Z2011-02-28T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Sees Strong Growth in International Visitors’ Spending: New MasterCard Index Ashwin Seshadri, Zheng Fang Ting City-State to be Among Top Ten Global Destinations by Visitor Arrival Numbers and Expenditures in 2011 <p><b><i>Singapore, 1 June 2011: </i></b>A high volume of international visitor arrivals, coupled with significant visitor expenditures has placed Singapore among the world’s top ten destination cities on both counts, according to the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities released today.</p> <p>The latest Index from MasterCard is a new approach to understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. It examines 132 global cities across five continents by visitor arrival and cross border spending in the destination city, and gives growth forecasts for 2011.</p> <p>With an estimated 11.4 million visitor arrivals in 2011, the Index places Singapore second only to Bangkok (11.5 million) in the Asia-Pacific region. Overall, London topped the world’s cities by visitor numbers with 20.1 million inbound passengers expected in 2011, ahead of Paris in second with 18.1 million. Only one city in North America is in the top twenty, New York, which is ranked twelfth with 7.6 million inbound passengers expected. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>While cities in Europe and the US still ranked highly in the MasterCard Index on Global Destination Cities, results point towards many emerging market cities that are showing robust growth with increases in both visitor arrival and cross-border expenditure, and growth rates exceeding 20% in several cities.</p> <p>Cities in Asia/Pacific led the charge globally having eight of the top twenty<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup>cities by international arrivals, with Hong Kong (fifth with 10.9 million visitors) and Seoul (eleventh with 7.9 million visitors) among the other cities performing well. Asia also displayed strong visitor growth for 2011<b> </b>with Kuala Lumpur ranked second in the world with a 21.8% growth forecast, only behind Barcelona which led with an impressive 24.3%. Istanbul ranked third with 20.4%, followed by Shanghai (18.6%) and Hong Kong (17.4%). Singapore had a lower growth rate of visitor arrivals over 2010 with an expected increase of 14.5% this year.</p> <p>London also ranked highest globally on cross-border expenditure, ahead of New York in second place, and Paris in third. Estimated expenditures in these cities for 2011 amounted to US$25.6 billion, US$20.3 billion and US$14.6 billion respectively.</p> <p>Singapore performs strongly in this category as well, ranking ninth globally and third in Asia-Pacific with US$10.8 billion, behind Bangkok (US$ 14.4 million and fourth overall) and Sydney (US$ 13.8 billion and sixth overall). Visitor spending helped Hong Kong to tenth overall with US$10.4 billion and Seoul eleventh with US$10.2 billion.</p> <p>Overall, Asian cities dominate in terms of expenditure growth with seven of the top twenty high growth cities in the world heralding from the region. Kuala Lumpur tops this list as well, as<b> t</b>he Malaysian capital ranked number one in the region with an expected growth rate of 30.1%. Singapore (23.9%), Hong Kong (23.6%), Tokyo (20.8%) and Taipei (20.3%) follow behind.</p> <p>“Singapore’s status as one of Asia’s premier destinations for travelers from all over the world is confirmed by the findings of the new MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities,” said Ms Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide. “With a host of options for dining, entertainment and leisure, the city represents a high-value city destination for all types of travelers. Through this index we can now see that other cities in the region, such as Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, are rising in popularity and Singapore must see this as an opportunity to maintain its attractiveness to travelers.”</p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>All estimates for Tokyo in this Index will be subject to change as the impacts of earthquake and tsunami evolve going forward. &nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> Additional Highlights<p><b>European capitals low on visitor growth</b></p> <p>Seven out of the top ten European capital cities – behind Amsterdam (ranked 3<sup>rd</sup>) – record visitor growth in the single digits percentages. By comparison, out of the top ten Asia/Pacific cities by visitor growth, none falls below 10%.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Dubai – a destination on the rise</b></p> <p>While cities from the Middle East did not feature prominently on the list, the capital of the U.A.E. is ranked ninth in the world by visitor arrivals and eighteenth by expenditures, growing by 17.3% and 24.0% respectively.</p> <p><b>Chinese cities show prominent visitor growth</b></p> <p>Beijing and Shanghai are ranked second and third regionally in terms of visitor growth, with growth rates estimated at 20.2% and 18.6% respectively, reflecting their rising attraction as China’s most important destination cities.&nbsp; Shanghai also ranks second in the region for growth in visitor expenditures with 24.3%.</p> <p><b>Philippines boosted by Manila’s continued growth</b></p> <p>Manila is ranked 10<sup>th</sup> in the Asia/Pacific region with 3 million visitors for 2011, but the city is forecasted to grow significantly: it is ranked sixth in the region with visitor growth of 15.3%.</p> <p></p> Top 10 Destination Cities in Asia/Pacific by Visitor Arrivals <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/top10destinations.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="429" height="271" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/top10destinations.jpg"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Top 10 Destination Cities in Asia/Pacific by Visitor Expenditures <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/top10destinations2.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="430" height="264" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/top10destinations2.jpg"></a></p> <p></p> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities.&nbsp; Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.</p> <p>On any given flight there are visitors from the departure country, returning residents of the destination city after visiting the departure country, and a third group: non-residents connecting through the departure country to the destination city on their way to a second destination city. This group can be a low proportion of the passengers for typically non-hub cities, but very high for destination cities that are “hubs” such as Singapore, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.</p> <p>On a country level, the UN Database of “Trade in Service” in the “Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included).&nbsp; An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas.&nbsp;</p> <p>A margin of error is also unavoidable in such estimates, as not all outbound trips are of equal length, and the cost of living varies a great between arrival cities such that even if each trip of equal length, expenditure per passenger between different arrival cities would still be very different.&nbsp;</p> <p>This margin of error is reduced significantly by imposing a minimum of expenditures in the algorithm, after a number of iterative testing (US$500 per trip for bordering arrival country and US$700 per trip for non-bordering arrival country).&nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> This is the inaugural edition of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2011/singapore-sees-strong-growth-in-international-visitors-spending-new-mastercard-index2011-05-31T16:00:00.000Z2011-05-31T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard and SMU Survey Shows Cautious Optimism Leads to Drop in Inflation Expectations Georgette Tan, Robert O’Brien, Kong Hwee Ting, Gladys NgMasterCard and SMU Survey Shows Cautious Optimism Leads to Drop in Inflation Expectations <p><b><i>Singapore, 24 April 2012</i></b> – Singapore households expect inflation to fall in the next one to five years. The third survey on inflation expectations Index released by <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a> and <b><a href="http://www.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank">Singapore Management University</a> </b>(SMU) shows that Singapore’s inflation expectations dropped in the first quarter of 2012. This may be attributed to more informed consumers and improved optimism towards the global economy.</p> <p>The SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx) was <b><a href="http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_753846.html" target="_blank">launched in January</a> 2012</b>. It was developed by Dr Aurobindo Ghosh and Professor Jun Yu from SMU Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI), in collaboration with MasterCard. SInDEx is derived from an online survey designed to help researchers understand the behaviour and sentiments of decision makers in Singapore.</p> <p>This third SInDEx survey follows <a href="http://www.asiaone.com/Business/News/My%2BMoney/Story/A1Story20120110-320977.html" target="_blank"><b>two earlier surveys conducted in September and December last year</b></a>. The third online survey was conducted in March 2012 and it gathered feedback from around 400 individuals from Singapore households. Consumers were asked a variety of demographic and socioeconomic questions. The consumers also shared their views on perceived values of economic variables over the next one to five years.</p> <p>The March 2012 quarterly survey showed for the current year, the SInDEx1, a composite medium term inflation expectations index which measures inflation expectations over the next one year, was at its lowest at 4.2% since its inception. The Headline inflation expectations (which measures overall inflation expectations for the coming one year) was at 4.13 %, a drop from the 4.7% recorded last December. The March figure is also the lowest since the index was first created in September 2011. The medium term Singapore Core inflation expectations (excluding accommodation and private transportation) also reached a new low of 4.2 % in March.</p> <p>As for the next five years, SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx5, the composite weighted five-year inflation expectations) also fell from 5.16% to 4.97%. The five-year Headline inflation expectations (which measures overall inflation expectations five years from now) dropped slightly from 5.3% in December to 5.2%. The five-year Singapore Core inflation expectations (excluding accommodation and private transportation) also dropped from 5.09% to 4.8%.</p> <p>The researchers opined that the slow but steady decline in the annualised inflation expectations five years from now is a reflection of more effective “anchoring” of inflation expectations due to better communication between policy makers, media and the general public, since the SInDEx was launched in January this year.</p> <p>Some of the factors which might explain the difference between the higher Headline inflation and the lower Core inflation expectations, are the current sentiments arising from higher COE prices and property prices. After the newly instituted cooling measures late last year, Headline inflation expectations arising out of property price has probably come down.</p> <p>Dr. Aurobindo Ghosh, co-creater of SInDEx and Programme Director at SMU SKBI said “A well anchored long term inflation expectations measure is not expected to fluctuate frequently with short term movements like the upward price pressure coming from commodities like global oil prices or short term market sentiments.”</p> <p>“Academic research has also indicated that there might be a slight upward bias in the inflation expectations globally due to consumers’ personal experience. As an example, a recent publication from The Conference Board Consumer Research Center showed that even the US inflation expectations for March 2012 was at 6.3%, up from 5.5% in February. This is the highest level reached since May 2011 probably due to higher global oil prices although the US economy is looking more upbeat.</p> <p>“Given the downward trend in the Singapore Inflation Expectations Index, albeit nascent, we are cautiously optimistic that the public’s perception on inflation expectations is a good reflection of a more positive IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO, April 2012),” Dr. Ghosh added.</p> <p><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide</b></a>, said, “Cautious optimism is the catch cry of 2012 as economies continue to slowly recover from the financial crisis. In this connection, a moderation in the reading of inflation expectations for Singapore supports the case for optimism. Everything else being equal, a continuation of this trend could gradually lead to a more competitive exchange rate of the Singapore dollar, hence Singapore exports. This will in turn support a stronger economic performance of Singapore in a global economy that is still facing serious challenges and weighed down by uncertainty.”</p> Methodology<p>Two indices were created, SInDEx1 and SInDEx5, to measure the 1-year inflation expectations and the 5-year inflation expectations. The data for the SKBI-MasterCard Survey was collected online from about 400 consumers. The sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure representativeness of the sample. Employees in some sectors like journalism, marketing were excluded as that might have an effect on their responses to questions on consumption behaviour and expectations.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> About Singapore Management University<p>A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching.&nbsp; Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy.&nbsp; It is known to be a pioneer for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes which remains its unique hallmark.</p> <p>Home to more than 7,200 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in business and other disciplines.</p> <p>With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading foreign researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres.&nbsp; Through executive education, the university provides public and customised training for working professionals in meeting the needs of the economy.&nbsp; Close relationships with leading universities, including The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, allow SMU to draw on their academic and research strengths in various collaborations.&nbsp; The SMU city campus is a state-of-the art facility located in the heart of downtown Singapore, fostering strategic linkages with the business and wider community. <a><b>www.smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> About Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<p>Established in July 2008, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University promotes the study of Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore's economy and the economies of the region. A significant addition to Singapore's efforts to be a financial hub in Asia, SKBI is a leading institute for academic research with strong industry application and practical dimension in the area of Financial Economics.</p> <p>The Institute has four major research centres for quantitative financial analysis and offers training programmes for professionals in the financial industry. Its work is conducted in close collaboration with leading scholars in financial economics and financial econometrics from around the world as well as leading international organisations and experts from industry. www.smu.edu.sg/institutes/skbife</p> Media contacts:<p>Kong Hwee Ting, SMU<br> +65 6808 5238,<br> <a href="mailto:htkong@smu.edu.sg">htkong@smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p>Gladys Ng, SKBI, SMU<br> + 65 6808 5229,<br> <a href="mailto:gladysng@smu.edu.sg">gladysng@smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p>Georgette Tan, MasterCard Worldwide,<br> +65 6390 5971,<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a></p> <p>Rob O’Brien, Weber Shandwick,<br> +65 6825 8064,<br> <a href="mailto:robrien@webershandwick.com">robrien@webershandwick.com</a><i></i></p> The SInDEx, which was jointly developed by Singapore Management University’s Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) and MasterCard, is derived from an online survey of around 400 randomly selected individuals from Singapore households. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/mastercard-and-smu-survey-shows-cautious-optimism-leads-to-drop-2012-04-23T16:00:00.000Z2012-04-23T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard and Singapore Management University Launch New Singapore Inflation Index Georgette Tan, Robert O’Brien, Kong Hwee Ting, Gladys NgMasterCard and Singapore Management University Launch New Singapore Inflation Index <p><b><i>Singapore, 10 January 2012</i></b> – Inflation expectation is an important economic gauge for many Singaporeans and businesses. A new Index highlighting the spectrum of factors that impact the inflation expectations was jointly launched by MasterCard and Singapore Management University (SMU) today.</p> <p>The SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx), which was jointly developed by Dr Aurobindo GHOSH and Professor Jun YU from SMU Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI), and MasterCard, is based on a survey of around 400 randomly selected individuals from households in Singapore. The online survey helps researchers understand the behaviour and sentiments of decision makers in Singapore households.</p> <p>Two surveys were conducted last year through the joint collaboration: one in September and another in the first week of December. In the first survey, consumers were asked a variety of demographic and socioeconomic questions. Consumers then shared their views on perceived values of economic variables over the next one to five years. In the second survey, questions pertaining to investors’ sentiment on current and future equity investments were added.</p> <p>SMU President, Professor Arnoud De Meyer said, “For the past one year, inflation has been in the minds of many Singaporeans. Its movements affect how households, employers and central bankers make decisions. Understanding how inflation expectations are formed and its impact on various economic decisions is thus instrumental in any discourse on economic policy. It is with great pride that I introduce the inflation expectation index jointly developed by SMU SKBI and MasterCard. Since its launch in July 2008, SKBI has been developing and applying research on financial economics with special relevance to Singapore and Asia. The creation of the index is a great example to showcase how SKBI can help the industry and the public.”</p> <p>“Inflation has been a pressing issue for governments, economists, businesses and consumers in the last year and its role as a tool of economic management has been discussed, analysed and debated in the media around the world,” said Vicky Bindra, president of Asia/Pacific, Middle East &amp; Africa (APMEA) for MasterCard Worldwide.</p> <p>“The SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations will be a valuable addition to this debate and its creation is a testament to the emphasis MasterCard places on working with highly credible and innovative organizations for the benefit of industry and society.”</p> <p>For the current year, the SInDEx1 (which measures inflation expectations over one year) remained almost the same in both the September and December 2011 surveys at 4.62%. As for the next five years, SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx5, which measures inflation expectations over five years) decreased slightly from 5.2% in September to 5.16%&nbsp;in December.</p> <p>The study found that in the medium term of one year, households’ awareness of the economic conditions played a crucial role in forming current expectations. One of the strongest and most persistent factors found to have influenced inflation expectations was the exposure to media coverage on global economic issues. Those who followed media reports were found to have a lower inflation expectation.</p> <p>The study also found that inflation expectations were affected by the long term relationship of the individual through citizenship status or length of stay. For the long term (or five-year forecast), the level of confidence in future equity investment plays a crucial part in expectation formed by households. The level of uncertainty plays a significant role in periods of stress.</p> <p>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “The massive debt overhang in many developed economies has made rising inflation a more serious and ever-present threat and the central banks’ task of maintaining price stability more challenging.”</p> <p>“In 2012, for instance, governments in OECD countries will need to borrow an equivalent of 15% of world GDP. Thus, getting monetary policy right under such circumstances is critical in order to support economic growth while keeping inflation under control. A key insight in getting monetary policy right is a more precise estimate of inflation expectation, especially for a small and open economy like Singapore.”</p> Methodology<p>Two indices were created, SInDEx1 and SInDEx5, to measure the 1-year inflation expectations and the 5-year inflation expectations. The data for the SKBI-MasterCard Survey was collected online from about 400 consumers. The sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure representativeness of the sample. Employees in some sectors like journalism, marketing were excluded as that might have an effect on their responses to questions on consumption behaviour and expectations.</p> <p>In the first wave, about 88% of the respondents were citizens and 99.3% have stayed in Singapore for more than two years. There is a slight decrease for both sets of respondents in the second wave. The median per capita personal income of the respondents in both waves is $37,500, while household income is on an average of $75,000 per annum.</p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> About Singapore Management University<p>A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching.&nbsp; Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy.&nbsp; It is known for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes.</p> <p>Home to over 7,000 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in various disciplines.</p> <p>With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading international researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres.&nbsp; The University also conducts executive education programmes for working professionals. Close relationships with leading universities, including The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, allow SMU to draw on their academic and research strengths in various collaborations.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank"><b>www.smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> About Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<p>Established in July 2008, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University promotes the study of Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore's economy and the economies of the region. A significant addition to Singapore's efforts to be a financial hub in Asia, SKBI is a leading institute for academic research with strong industry application and practical dimension in the area of Financial Economics.</p> <p>The Institute has four major research centres for quantitative financial analysis and offers training programmes for professionals in the financial industry. Its work is conducted in close collaboration with leading scholars in financial economics and financial econometrics from around the world as well as leading international organisations and experts from industry. <b>www.smu.edu.sg/institutes/skbife</b></p> Media contacts:<p>Kong Hwee Ting, SMU<br> +65 6808 5238,<br> <a href="mailto:htkong@smu.edu.sg">htkong@smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p>Gladys Ng, SKBI, SMU<br> + 65 6808 5229,<br> <a href="mailto:gladysng@smu.edu.sg">gladysng@smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p>Georgette Tan, MasterCard Worldwide,<br> +65 6390 5971,<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a></p> <p>Rob O’Brien, Weber Shandwick,<br> +65 6825 8064,<br> <a href="mailto:robrien@webershandwick.com">robrien@webershandwick.com</a></p> The SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx), which was jointly developed by Dr Aurobindo GHOSH and Professor Jun YU from SMU Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI), and MasterCard, is based on a survey of around 400 randomly selected individuals from households in Singapore. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/mastercard-and-singapore-management-university-launch-new-singap2012-01-09T16:00:00.000Z2012-01-09T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Ranks Second in Asia/Pacific Region for Financial Literacy: MasterCard Survey Wendy Toh, Joey PhuaResearch on Day-to-day Financial Planning Led by Mature Markets; Women in Emerging Markets Fare Better than Men on Basic Money Management<p><b><i>Singapore, 24 July 2012</i></b> – People in mature markets may prove to be better financial planners overall but it is women in emerging markets who remain dominant when it comes to basic money management, according to<b>&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank">MasterCard</a></b>&nbsp;research.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010. The survey polled consumers on three aspects of financial literacy including their basic money management skills, investment knowledge and financial planning to determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage. <i>The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p></p> <p>In terms of overall financial literacy, Taiwan and New Zealand tied for first place with a score of 73 index points each, with Taiwan jumping up from 5<sup>th</sup> rank in 2010. Following close behind with 71 index points each are Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. Thailand, first in the region two years ago, fell 10 rankings to 11<sup>th</sup> in 2012 with 65 index points. Japan and India ranked at the bottom of the financial literacy rankings with 60 index points each.</p> <p></p> <p>New Zealanders (77%) fared the best when asked about basic money management skills such as day-to-day budgeting, keeping up with bills, credit commitments and setting money aside for big purchases, followed by Australia in 2<sup>nd</sup> (75%) and Hong Kong (72%) moving up one spot from 4<sup>th</sup> in 2010 to 3<sup>rd</sup> in 2012. Singapore moves in at 5<sup>th</sup> place (69%).</p> <p></p> <p>Hong Kong (68%), Taiwan (67%) and China (65%) topped the investment component of the research. Singapore is placed in 6<sup>th</sup> position, up two notches from 8<sup>th</sup> in 2010. More respondents in these markets understood their bank statements and complex investment concepts such as diversification and inflation.</p> <p></p> <p>Women showed slightly better scores than men&nbsp; in Asia/Pacific’s emerging markets with Philippines leading the region with financial literacy scores that were 9% better than men’s, followed by Vietnam (6%) and Malaysia (5%).</p> <p></p> <p>Koreans proved to have the region’s most improved scores for financial planning (83%) up 12 places from the 2010 survey. Survey respondents from Taiwan (83%) and Vietnam (82%) also saved more regularly and were better prepared than their regional counterparts when it came to retirement preparations and emergency savings.</p> <p></p> <p>In mature markets, respondents over 30 years of age appeared to score higher in financial literacy compared to their counterparts under the age of 30. This was especially seen in markets like New Zealand (76% vs. 65%), Australia (74% vs. 64%), Taiwan (74% vs. 70%) and Singapore (73% vs. 66%) where respondents over 30 years old were clearly leading the pack.</p> <p></p> <p><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/gtan/" target="_blank"><b>Georgette Tan</b></a>, group head, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East &amp; Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, said: “Overall the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy paints a promising picture of financial understanding across the region. Households in Asia/Pacific are clearly taking responsibility when it comes to day-to-day financial planning, and it’s interesting to note that a growing proportion of women are taking the lead in financial matters. Notably, women in emerging markets continue to exhibit strong money management skills and this is a very encouraging sign.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><i><b>[1<a name="1"></a>] </b>Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> Methodology<p>The Index is based on a survey of consumers from 25 markets across APMEA and comprises questions covering three major components:</p> <ul> <li>Basic Money Management (50% weight): To determine the level of basic money management skills in terms of budgeting, savings, and responsibility of credit usage.</li> <li>Financial Planning (30% weight): To assess level of knowledge about financial products, services, and concepts, and ability to plan for long-term financial needs.</li> <li>Investment (20% weight): To determine basic understanding of the various risks associated with investment, different investment products and skills required.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p>A Financial Literacy Index Score for each market was calculated out of the weighted sum of the 3 components.</p> <p></p> <p>Regional Aggregates are calculated via the average of the individual country components before applying the weights described above.</p> <p>Interviews for the MasterCard Worldwide Financial Literacy Index were conducted via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Wendy Toh,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:wtoh@webershandwick.com">wtoh@webershandwick.com</a>,<br> +65 6825 8038<b></b></p> <p>Joey Phua,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:jphua@webershandwick.com">jphua@webershandwick.com</a>,<br> +65 6825 8010</p> <p></p> The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy is based on a survey conducted between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 with 6904 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 14 Asia/Pacific countries. This is the 3rd survey of Financial Literacy conducted since 2010.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/singapore-ranks-second-in-asiapacific-region-for-financial-literacy-mastercard-survey2012-07-23T16:00:00.000Z2012-07-23T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Ranks Among World’s Most Popular Destinations: MasterCard Index Joey Phua, Hong Mei Yu, Wendy TohFeatured in Index’s Top Ten Global Destinations; Visitor arrivals and spending up by 9.9% and 12.7% respectively<p><b><i>Singapore, 18 June 2012: </i></b>Asia/Pacific cities continued their ascendance as global destinations in 2012 with nearly half of the world’s top 20 cities by visitor arrivals and expenditure heralding from the region; and Singapore proves to be prominent on the international traveler’s list, according to the <a href="http://masterintelligence-stage-web.xm-apac.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2012/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index.html"><b>MasterCard Global Destination Cities</b></a> Index released today.</p> <p>Singapore ranks among the top ten global destinations by visitor arrivals and cross-border spending. Among the world’s fastest growing destination cities, Singapore (apart from Tokyo that has recovered strongly following the 2011 disasters) is the highest ranking destination city in a developed market.</p> <p>This year’s Global Destinations Cities Index is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world. The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2012. <i>This Index and the</i><i>&nbsp;accompanying reports are not based on MasterCard volumes or transactional data.</i></p> <p>The Index results reveal a sustained growth among emerging market cities with the top ten Asia/Pacific destinations recording a 9.5% growth in visitor arrivals for 2012 and a 15.3% surge in cross-border spending. Singapore<sup>[<a href="#1">1</a>]</sup> (4<sup>th</sup>), Hong Kong (6<sup>th</sup>) and Kuala Lumpur (10<sup>th</sup>) feature in the Index’s top ten global cities. To view the Index as an interactive map, please click<b> <a href="http://cities.masterintelligence.com/">here</a>.</b></p> <p>Cities in Asia/Pacific once again led the charge globally with eight of the top 20 cities by international arrivals, with Bangkok ranked third globally with projected visitors to top 12.2 million visitors this year. Singapore was in fourth rank with 11.8 million visitors, with Hong Kong sixth with 11.1 million visitors, and Kuala Lumpur ranked 10<sup>th&nbsp;</sup>with 8.1 million visitors expected.&nbsp;</p> <p>The region also ranked highly on visitor spending with Bangkok ranked third globally with US$19.3 billion expected to be spent by inbound passengers in 2012, a 16.6% jump from last year. Singapore leapt two places to fifth overall with US$12.7 billion, up 12.7% on last year. Seoul moved into the top ten with US$10.6 billion in cross-border spend, an increase of 16.2%, while Tokyo, still recovering from the triple disasters of 2011 moved up four places to 14<sup>th</sup>, is officially the world’s third-fastest growing market (24.2%) in terms of cross-border spending.</p> <p>In terms of growth in visitor numbers six out of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the Index were from Asia/Pacific. Apart from Tokyo, Singapore with a growth rate of 9.9% is the highest ranking destination city in a developed market.&nbsp;</p> <p>The largest number of travelers to Singapore comes from Jakarta, Hong Kong, London, and Manila (Table 1). Travelers to Singapore from London tend to be the biggest spenders (Table 2).</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Table 1: Top 3 markets for inbound visitors to Singapore by origin cities</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" style="text-align: center;"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description" style="text-align: center;"><b>City</b></th> <th class="table-description" style="text-align: center;"><b>Visitor numbers</b></th> </tr><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><b>1</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;">Jakarta</td> <td style="text-align: center;">1005,000</td> </tr><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><b>2</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;">Hong Kong</td> <td style="text-align: center;">690,000</td> </tr><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><b>3</b></td> <td style="text-align: center;">London / Manila</td> <td style="text-align: center;">616,000<sup>[<a href="#2">2</a>]</sup></td> </tr></tbody></table> <p style="text-align: center;">Table 2: Top 3 markets for cross-border spenders in Singapore by origin cities</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>City</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Expenditure</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>London</td> <td>USD 1383 million</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Jakarta</td> <td>USD 1328 million</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>USD 867 million</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>“Singapore continues her growth as one of Asia’s premier destinations, with the latest MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities showing significant upward trend in visitor arrival and inbound spending,” said Ms Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide. “While travelers continue to be drawn to our city’s attractive retail, dining, entertainment, and leisure offerings, MasterCard will continue seeking ways to enrich cardholders’ experiences in Singapore to maintain our relevance as a sought-after travel destination.”</p> <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.co.uk/priceless-cities/london/" target="_blank"><b>London</b></a> once again topped the world’s cities by visitor numbers with 16.9 million inbound passengers expected in 2012, ahead of Paris in second place with 16 million inbound passengers expected.</p> <p>London also ranked first on cross-border expenditure, ahead of New York in second place, with estimated expenditures in these cities for 2012 amounting to US$21.1 billion and US$19.4 billion respectively.</p> <p>While cities in Europe and the US still ranked highly in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, the number of emerging market cities featuring in the Index showed Asia’s growing role in the global economy.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank">Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</a>,</b> global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “The leading Asian cities are some of the most sought after destinations for visitors from all over the world, and the Index indicates that they will continue to thrive into 2012. Another interesting trend that we observe is a rise in cashless payments with many international travelers opting to do electronic transactions rather than using cash. The trend is a response to an increasing demand for safe, simple and smart payments, and highlights the rising importance of cashless commerce for both business and leisure travel.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a name="1"></a>[1] <i>City rankings from the 2011 MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are altered retrospectively as updates in data become available.</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><a name="2"></a>[2]<i> London and Manila tied in number of inbound visitors to Singapore. There were 616,000 visitors to Singapore from each market.&nbsp;</i></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> The World’s Top 20 Fastest Growing Destination Cities by Visitor Numbers<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012 Growth Rate</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Rank</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Rio de Janeiro</td> <td>28.6%</td> <td>1</td> </tr><tr><td>Tokyo</td> <td>21.5%</td> <td>2</td> </tr><tr><td>Quito</td> <td>18.8%</td> <td>3</td> </tr><tr><td>Abu Dhabi</td> <td>17.9%</td> <td>4</td> </tr><tr><td>Tunis</td> <td>17.7%</td> <td>5</td> </tr><tr><td>Dubai</td> <td>15.3%</td> <td>6</td> </tr><tr><td>Taipei</td> <td>15.1%</td> <td>7</td> </tr><tr><td>Istanbul</td> <td>14.7%</td> <td>8</td> </tr><tr><td>Beijing</td> <td>14.7%</td> <td>8</td> </tr><tr><td>Bogota</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>10</td> </tr><tr><td>Lima</td> <td>11.7%</td> <td>11</td> </tr><tr><td>Riyadh</td> <td>10.4%</td> <td>12</td> </tr><tr><td>Nairobi</td> <td>10.0%</td> <td>13</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>9.9%</td> <td>14</td> </tr><tr><td>Seoul</td> <td>9.8%</td> <td>15</td> </tr><tr><td>Cairo</td> <td>8.3%</td> <td>16</td> </tr><tr><td>Shanghai</td> <td>8.2%</td> <td>17</td> </tr><tr><td>Toronto</td> <td>7.6%</td> <td>18</td> </tr><tr><td>Washington</td> <td>7.2%</td> <td>19</td> </tr><tr><td>Caracas</td> <td>7.0%</td> <td>20</td> </tr></tbody></table> Asia/Pacific Top 10 Destination Cities by International Visitor Spend (2012)<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="402"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Rank</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Destination City</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Market</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="3"><b>Visitor Spend</b> <b>(US$ Billion)<u></u></b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>% Growth</b> <b>2011 &amp; 2012</b></th> <th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>2012 Visitors</b> <b>(Millions)*</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012</b></th> </tr><tr><td><b>1</b></td> <td>Bangkok</td> <td>Thailand</td> <td>$11.1</td> <td>$16.6</td> <td>$19.3</td> <td>16.6%</td> <td>12.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>2</b></td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>Singapore</td> <td>$9.0</td> <td>$11.3</td> <td>$12.7</td> <td>12.7%</td> <td>11.8</td> </tr><tr><td><b>3</b></td> <td>Sydney</td> <td>Australia</td> <td>$9.2</td> <td>$10.1</td> <td>$11.0</td> <td>9.7%</td> <td>2.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>4</b></td> <td>Seoul</td> <td>South Korea</td> <td>$7.7</td> <td>$9.1</td> <td>$10.6</td> <td>16.2%</td> <td>8.0</td> </tr><tr><td><b>5</b></td> <td>Taipei</td> <td>Taiwan</td> <td>$6.1</td> <td>$8.7</td> <td>$10.5</td> <td>20.5%</td> <td>5.4</td> </tr><tr><td><b>6</b></td> <td>Tokyo</td> <td>Japan</td> <td>$10.2</td> <td>$8.0</td> <td>$9.9</td> <td>24.2%</td> <td>4.3</td> </tr><tr><td><b>7</b></td> <td>Hong Kong</td> <td>(SAR) China</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.6</td> <td>$9.5</td> <td>9.5%</td> <td>11.1</td> </tr><tr><td><b>8</b></td> <td>Shanghai</td> <td>China</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$7.3</td> <td>$8.3</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>7.5</td> </tr><tr><td><b>9</b></td> <td>Beijing</td> <td>China</td> <td>$4.2</td> <td>$5.5</td> <td>$6.5</td> <td>19.2%</td> <td>6.2</td> </tr><tr><td><b>10</b></td> <td>Kuala Lumpur</td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>$4.7</td> <td>$5.6</td> <td>$6.4</td> <td>13.7%</td> <td>8.1</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>*Excludes passengers returning to arrival country and includes visitors on non-stop flights only</p> <p></p> Methodology<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities is compiled using international flight and flight capacity information purchased from OAG Global, a provider of international aviation data. Flight schedules are also used for calculating flight frequency between pairs of cities.</p> <p>Airlines also publish on a regular basis their historical load factor, and advance flight schedules, which are then used to estimate the actual outbound passenger departures, and for forecasting outbound passenger departures in the coming year.</p> <p>On any given flight there are visitors from the departure country, returning residents of the destination city after visiting the departure country, and a third group: non-residents connecting through the departure country to the destination city on their way to a second destination city. This group can be a low proportion of the passengers for typically non-hub cities, but very high for destination cities that are “hubs” such as Singapore, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.</p> <p>On a country level, the UN Database of “Trade in Service” in the “Travel Component” provides estimates of how much each year residents spend abroad (air fare paid in home country not included).&nbsp; An algorithm is applied to this total outbound expenditure and estimated total number of outbound passengers to derive an estimate of average per outbound passenger’s expenditure overseas.&nbsp;</p> <p>A margin of error is also unavoidable in such estimates, as not all outbound trips are of equal length, and the cost of living varies a great between arrival cities such that even if each trip of equal length, expenditure per passenger between different arrival cities would still be very different.&nbsp;</p> <p>This margin of error is reduced significantly by imposing a minimum of expenditures in the algorithm, after a number of iterative testing (US$500 per trip for bordering arrival country and US$700 per trip for non-bordering arrival country).&nbsp;</p> <p>Please note, the city rankings from the 2011 MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities are altered retrospectively as updates in data become available.</p> <p></p> About Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Ph.D., Global Economic Advisor, MasterCard Worldwide<p>Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong is a business strategist and economist with 25 years of experience gained in over thirty countries. He was appointed Global Economic Advisor to MasterCard Worldwide in 2009.&nbsp; Prior to this role, he was Economic Advisor to MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, a position he held since 2001. As economic advisor, he chairs a MasterCard Knowledge Panel of leading economists, policy analysts, academics and business strategists for regular exchange and knowledge sharing.&nbsp; In 2007 he was appointed Advisor at Southern Capital Group, a private equity fund; and in 2008 he was appointed to the Investment Council of ICICI, India’s largest private bank. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Yuwa is also currently the HSBC Visiting Professor of International Business at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, and is a frequent speaker at numerous international high-profile conferences.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Contacts:<p>Joey Phua,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:jphua@webershandwick.com" target="_blank"><b>jphua@webershandwick.com</b></a>,<br> +65 6825 8010</p> <p>Hong Mei Yu,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:myhong@webershandwick.com" target="_blank"><b>myhong@webershandwick.com</b></a>,<br> +65 6825 8045</p> <p>Wendy Toh,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:wtoh@webershandwick.com" target="_blank"><b>wtoh@webershandwick.com</b></a>,<br> +65 6825 8038</p> <p><i></i></p> This is the second installment of the MasterCard research, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/singapore-ranks-among-worlds-most-popular-destinations-mastercard-index2012-06-17T16:00:00.000Z2012-06-17T16:00:00.000ZSMU-MasterCard Survey Shows more Anchoring in Inflation Expectations Georgette Tan, Robert O’Brien, Kong Hwee Ting, Gladys NgMethodology<p>Two indices were created, SInDEx1 and SInDEx5, to measure the 1-year inflation expectations and the 5-year inflation expectations. The data for the SKBI-MasterCard Survey was collected online from about 400 consumers. The sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure representativeness of the sample. Employees in some sectors like journalism, marketing were excluded as that might have an effect on their responses to questions on consumption behaviour and expectations.</p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> About Singapore Management University<p>A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching.&nbsp; Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy.&nbsp; It is known to be a pioneer for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes which remains its unique hallmark.</p> <p>Home to more than 7,200 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in business and other disciplines.</p> <p>With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading foreign researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres.&nbsp; Through executive education, the university provides public and customised training for working professionals in meeting the needs of the economy.&nbsp; Close relationships with leading universities, including The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, allow SMU to draw on their academic and research strengths in various collaborations.&nbsp; The SMU city campus is a state-of-the art facility located in the heart of downtown Singapore, fostering strategic linkages with the business and wider community. <a href="http://smu.edu.sg" target="_blank"><b>smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> About Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<p>Established in July 2008, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University promotes the study of Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore's economy and the economies of the region. A significant addition to Singapore's efforts to be a financial hub in Asia, SKBI is a leading institute for academic research with strong industry application and practical dimension in the area of Financial Economics.</p> <p>The Institute has four major research centres for quantitative financial analysis and offers training programmes for professionals in the financial industry. Its work is conducted in close collaboration with leading scholars in financial economics and financial econometrics from around the world as well as leading international organisations and experts from industry. www.smu.edu.sg/institutes/skbife</p> Media contacts:<p>Huang Peiling, SMU<br> +65 6828 0964,<br> <a href="mailto:plhuang@smu.edu.sg"><b>plhuang@smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> <p>Gladys Ng, SKBI, SMU<br> + 65 6808 5229,<br> <a href="mailto:gladysng@smu.edu.sg"><b>gladysng@smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> <p>Georgette Tan, MasterCard Worldwide,<br> +65 6390 5971,<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com"><b>georgette_tan@mastercard.com</b></a></p> <p>Rob O’Brien, Weber Shandwick,<br> +65 6825 8064,<br> <a href="mailto:robrien@webershandwick.com"><b>robrien@webershandwick.com</b></a></p> Appendix 1<table width="408" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="1"> <tbody><tr><td width="204" valign="top"><p>Headline Inflation Expectations</p> </td> <td width="204" valign="top"><p>Overall inflation expectations</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="204" valign="top"><p>Singapore Core inflation expectations</p> </td> <td width="204" valign="top"><p>Inflation expectations excluding accommodation and private transportation related expenses.</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="204" valign="top"><p>SInDEx1</p> </td> <td width="204" valign="top"><p>A composite medium term inflation expectations index which measures inflation expectations one year ahead with lower weights on accommodation, private transportation, food and energy expenses.</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="204" valign="top"><p>SInDEx5</p> </td> <td width="204" valign="top"><p>A composite five-year inflation expectations which measures inflation expectations five years ahead with lower weights on accommodation, private transportation, food and energy related expenses.</p> </td> </tr></tbody></table> The SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx), which was jointly developed by Dr Aurobindo GHOSH and Professor Jun YU from SMU Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI), and MasterCard, is based on a survey of around 400 randomly selected individuals from households in Singapore. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/smu-mastercard-survey-shows-more-anchoring-in-inflation-expectat2012-07-26T16:00:00.000Z2012-07-26T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Inflation Expectations Rise due to Concerns Over Uncertainty in Global Recovery Georgette Tan, Robert O’Brien, Kong Hwee Ting, Gladys NgMasterCard and SMU Research Shows Slowing Global Growth and Low Interest Rates in Foreseeable Future as Two Possible Reasons<p><i>TWEET: <a href="http://bit.ly/PFM8sA" target="_blank"><b>http://bit.ly/PFM8sA</b></a> #MasterCardAP, #Inflation #Singapore</i></p> <p><i><b>Singapore, 22 October 2012</b></i> – Singapore households are expecting inflation to rise due to perceived low interest rates and excess liquidity in the foreseeable future, according to the latest findings of the SKBI-MasterCard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx).</p> <p>The SInDEx, which was jointly developed by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.smu.edu.sg/institutes/skbife"><b>Singapore Management University’s Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI)</b></a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/"><b>MasterCard</b></a>, is derived from an online survey of around 400 randomly selected individuals from Singapore households.</p> <p>The online survey helps researchers understand the behaviour and sentiments of decision makers in Singapore households. This is the fifth wave of the quarterly survey conducted under the collaboration and the indices were officially launched in January 2012. SInDEx was co-developed by Dr Aurobindo Ghosh and Professor Jun Yu from SMU SKBI.</p> <p>In the latest survey conducted in September this year, consumers shared their views on perceived values of economic variables over the next one to five years.</p> <p>Comparing the two waves of surveys conducted in<b> <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/NMjiVc">June</a> </b>and September 2012, consumers expect inflation to inch higher. Their perception of the One-year-Ahead headline inflation (CPI-All Items) has gone up from 4.45% in June to 4.57% in September. At the same time, the forward looking SInDEx1, a composite weighted index of One-year-Ahead inflation expectations, has consequently increased to 4.57% (from 4.4% in June).</p> <p>The long term Five-year-Ahead overall (or CPI-All Items) Inflation expectations went up to 5.56% in September. The Five-year-Ahead Singapore Core Inflation rate (excluding accommodation and private transportation) is at 5.2% in the September wave, which is higher compared to 4.91% in June. This shows that, besides housing and private transportation, respondents also perceived a rise in commodities prices.</p> <p>The composite Five-year-Ahead Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations (SInDEx5) in September 2012 has consequently increased to 5.35%, from 5.08% in the survey conducted in June 2012.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/OneYearAheadInflationExpectations2.jpg"><img width="258" height="208" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/OneYearAheadInflationExpectations2.jpg"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><b>Fig 1.</b></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/FiveYearAheadInflationExpectations2.jpg"><img width="233" height="188" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/FiveYearAheadInflationExpectations2.jpg"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><b>Fig 2.</b></p> <p>Dr. Aurobindo Ghosh, co-creator of SInDEx, and Programme Director of SMU SKBI said, “The slowdown of global economic activities and persistent unemployment in western economies &nbsp;have sent warning signals to policymakers on the urgency to create new jobs, &nbsp;thus resulting in expansionary monetary policies. These events might have created a perception that “smart money” will start flowing to financially and economically sound markets in Asia like Singapore.</p> <p>“With an impending slowdown of growth in India and China compared to their recent historic averages, Singapore is probably as good a bet as any other investment destination. This expected influx of “smart money” might have led to an increase in the medium and long term inflation expectations particularly through the real estate sector. This perception, coupled with domestic price pressures due to rising private transportation costs might have exacerbated the overall inflation expectations, although the price of oil and some other commodities have significantly eased in recent times.” Dr. Ghosh observed.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/"><b>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide</b></a> said, “The global economic outlook today is affected by an unprecedented level of uncertainty, possibly the worst in over half a century. Accordingly, the increase in inflation expectation in Singapore reflects consumers’ concern over both domestic conditions as well as the global economy. The significant rise in the Five-Year Ahead expectation especially suggests that Singapore consumers are troubled by the persistent uncertainty in the global economic environment.”</p> Methodology<p>Two indices were created, SInDEx1 and SInDEx5, to measure the 1-year inflation expectations and the 5-year inflation expectations. The data for the SKBI-MasterCard Survey was collected online from about 400 consumers. The sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure representativeness of the sample. Employees in some sectors like journalism, marketing were excluded as that might have an effect on their responses to questions on consumption behaviour and expectations.</p> About Singapore Management University<p><b>About the Singapore Management University</b></p> <p>A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching.&nbsp; Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy.&nbsp; It is known for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes.</p> <p>Home to more than 7,200 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in various disciplines.</p> <p>With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading foreign researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres. </p> About Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<p>Established in July 2008, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University promotes the study of Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore’s economy and the economies of the region. A significant addition to Singapore’s efforts to be a financial hub in Asia, SKBI is a leading institute for academic research with strong industry application and practical dimension in the area of Financial Economics.</p> <p>The Institute has four major research centres for quantitative financial analysis and offers training programmes for professionals in the financial industry. Its work is conducted in close collaboration with leading scholars in financial economics and financial econometrics from around the world as well as leading international organisations and experts from industry. <a></a><a href="http://www.smu.edu.sg/institutes/skbife" target="_blank"><b>www.smu.edu.sg/institutes/skbife</b></a></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Media contacts:<p>Kong Hwee Ting, SMU,<br> +65 6808 5238,<br> <a href="mailto:htkong@smu.edu.sg"><b>htkong@smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> <p>Gladys Ng, SKBI, SMU,<br> + 65 6808 5229,<br> <a href="mailto:gladysng@smu.edu.sg"><b>gladysng@smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> <p>Georgette Tan, MasterCard Worldwide,<br> +65 6390 5971,<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com"><b>georgette_tan@mastercard.com</b></a></p> <p>Rob O’Brien, Weber Shandwick,<br> +65 6825 8064,<br> <a href="mailto:robrien@webershandwick.com"><b>robrien@webershandwick.com</b></a></p> The SInDEx, which was jointly developed by Singapore Management University’s Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) and MasterCard, is derived from an online survey of around 400 randomly selected individuals from Singapore households. http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/singapore-inflation-expectations-rise-due-to-concerns-over-uncer2012-10-21T16:00:00.000Z2012-10-21T16:00:00.000ZSingapore progresses toward gender parity: MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement Joey Phua, Wendy TohLatest Survey Reveals Peak in Women Advancement Index for Singapore<p><b><i>Singapore, 23 April 2012</i></b><b>:</b> The latest MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement, which measures the socioeconomic level of women in relation to men, showed that Singapore is progressively edging toward a society of gender parity. According to the Index results, women’s advancement in Singapore saw a record index score of 77.4 this year.</p> <p>The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement is part of a sustained effort by MasterCard to measure the socioeconomic standing of women across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Index is comprised of five indicators: Business Ownership, Business &amp; Government Leadership, Workforce Participation, Regular Employment Opportunities and Tertiary Education. Each indicator is based on a gender ratio of women to men in each of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets covered by the research.</p> <p>Scores are indexed to 100 to indicate how close or how far women in each market are to achieving socio-economic parity with men. A score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favor of males while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favor of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes. <i>The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.</i></p> <p>The Index revealed that Singapore’s Women Advancement Index scores have been charting a steady increase since 2009, suggesting an increasing recognition for women’s empowerment in recent years, and signaling that strides are being made by women in society.</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><b>Year</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>Index Scores of Gender Parity<u></u></b></th> </tr><tr><td>2012</td> <td>77.4</td> </tr><tr><td>2011</td> <td>76.9</td> </tr><tr><td>2010</td> <td>76.3</td> </tr><tr><td>2009</td> <td>75.0</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p>“It is no surprise that Singapore is continuing to advance toward a nation where women are as well-represented and have as much opportunity as men in society. It is especially heartening to see that women are taking big strides forward in business ownership and business &amp; government leadership, two areas where there is still a substantial gender gap,” said Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide. “With women increasingly making key decisions in household purchases, coupled with stronger financial power accrued to their personal incomes, they are fast becoming a critical segment for the economy.”</p> <p></p> Breakdown of indicators<p>Through a combined weightage of five indicators, Singapore’s scores of gender parity exhibited a year-on-year increment from 2009 to 2012 across all indicators, even as males continue to dominate the charts. In one particular case of exception, women have been surpassing men in terms of Regular Employment Opportunities, and are continuing to do so increasingly.</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="404"> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description" rowspan="2"><b>Indicators</b></th> <th class="table-description" colspan="4"><b>Indicator Scores of Gender Parity</b></th> </tr><tr><th class="table-description"><b>2012</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2011</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2010</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2009</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Tertiary Education</td> <td>98.1</td> <td>97.7</td> <td>97.1</td> <td>95.9</td> </tr><tr><td>Business Owners</td> <td>46.0</td> <td>44.9</td> <td>43.8</td> <td>42.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Business &amp; Government Leaders</td> <td>65.5</td> <td>63.5</td> <td>61.6</td> <td>60.1</td> </tr><tr><td>Workforce Participation</td> <td>74.0</td> <td>73.8</td> <td>73.6</td> <td>71.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Regular Employment Opportunities</td> <td>113.6</td> <td>113.3</td> <td>113.0</td> <td>110.3</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p><i>Gender parity is achieved at a score of 100.</i></p> <p></p> Breakdown of performance in the region<p>Singapore came up fourth for the socio-economic status of women against men when compared to its peers in the Asia/Pacific region.</p> <p>Frontrunners among the 14 Asia/Pacific markets were Australia and New Zealand with overall scores of 83.3 and 83.1, respectively. Following close behind are the Philippines (Index score: 77.8), Singapore (77.4) and Vietnam (75.0), while India (48.4), Korea (63.5) and Japan (64.8) round off the other end of the spectrum.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/singaporeprogressestowardgenderparity1.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="404" height="202" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/singaporeprogressestowardgenderparity1.jpg"></a></p> <p></p> <p>Comparing Singapore’s standing for each of the five indicators against its peers, Singapore’s numerically high indicator score for tertiary education (98.1) stood at the lower end of the spectrum (though it is virtually at the level of gender parity), with its peers in the Asia/Pacific region scoring as high at 181.6. Similarly, the workforce participation of men versus women, at 74.0, is at the lower 30<sup>th</sup> percentile of innovation driven economies among which 90.2 was the highest score.</p> <p>In contrast, the score indicator for business ownership may seem low at 46.0 but it has landed Singapore at the 88<sup>th</sup> percentile of innovation driven economies among which 56.6 was the highest score.&nbsp; Regular employment opportunities in Singapore (113.6) is similarly at the 85<sup>th</sup> percentile, of innovation driven economies among which 123.4 was the highest score.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/singaporeprogressestowardgenderparity2.jpg" target="_blank"><img width="240" height="373" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/singaporeprogressestowardgenderparity2.jpg"></a></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>For the full report go to: <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/"><b>www.masterintelligence.com</b></a></p> <p></p> MasterCard and Women Empowerment<p>MasterCard’s corporate social responsibility platform (CSR) in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa is strongly focused on the empowerment of women and education.</p> <p>MasterCard has long devoted resources to understanding women and aiding their empowerment across the region. Its research in the region has examined various facets of women’s perceptions and behavior, including their socioeconomic status, their confidence in and outlook for the future, their purchasing priorities and traveling habits. An example of one such study which focuses on understanding women is the MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement.</p> <p>In line with MasterCard’s commitment to empowering women, MasterCard has recently launched Project Inspire, a year-long digital and social media driven initiative centered on the theme of advancing women’s entrepreneurship — the objective being to engage the minds of young social entrepreneurs through a competition to bring out the best ideas to support women’s empowerment. MasterCard believes that such initiatives help raise awareness around the important role of women in societies in the APMEA region, and ultimately improve their socio-economic standing.</p> <p>In the celebration of International Women’s Day, call for pitch ideas opens on 8 March at <b><a href="http://www.5minutestochangetheworld.org/">www.5MinutestoChangetheWorld.org</a> </b>as Project Inspire 2012 launches.</p> <p></p> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa <p>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 &amp; Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).</p> <p>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.</p> <p>MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by</p> <p>Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.&nbsp;<b></b></p> <p></p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> <i>Media contacts</i><p>Should you have any queries or would like to speak to Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide for more insights, please contact:</p> <p>Joey Phua<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <b><a href="mailto:JPhua@webershandwick.com" target="_blank">JPhua@webershandwick.com</a>&nbsp;</b><br> +65 6825 8010</p> <p>Wendy Toh<br> Weber Shandwick<br> <b><a href="mailto:wtoh@webershandwick.com" target="_blank">wtoh@webershandwick.com</a>&nbsp;</b><br> +65 6825 8038</p> <p></p> The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement is part of a sustained effort by MasterCard to measure the socioeconomic standing of women across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2012/singapore-progresses-toward-gender-parity-mastercard-index-of-womens-advancement2012-04-22T16:00:00.000Z2012-04-22T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Inflation Expectations Drop As Slowdown Continues in the BRICS Economies Tan Sook, Georgette Tan, Rob O’BrienMethodology<p>Two indices were created, SInDEx1 and SInDEx5, to measure the 1-year inflation expectations and the 5-year inflation expectations. The data for the SKBI-MasterCard Survey was collected online</p> <p>from about 400 consumers. The sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure representativeness of the sample. Employees in some sectors like journalism, marketing were excluded as that might have an effect on their responses to questions on consumption behaviour and expectations</p> <p></p> About Singapore Management University<p>A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching.&nbsp; Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy.&nbsp; It is known to be a pioneer in Singapore for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes which remains its unique hallmark.</p> <p>Home to about 8,000 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in business and other disciplines.</p> <p>With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading foreign researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres.&nbsp; Through executive education, the university provides public and customised training for working professionals in meeting the needs of the economy.&nbsp; Close relationships with leading universities, including The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, allow SMU to draw on their academic and research strengths in various collaborations.&nbsp; The SMU city campus is a state-of-the art facility located in the heart of downtown Singapore, fostering strategic linkages with the business and wider community. <a href="http://www.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank">www.smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p></p> About Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<p>Established in July 2008, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University promotes the study of Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore's economy and the economies of the region. A significant addition to Singapore's efforts to be a financial hub in Asia, SKBI is a leading institute for academic research with strong industry application and practical dimension in the area of Financial Economics.</p> <p>The Institute has four major research centres for quantitative financial analysis and offers training programmes for professionals in the financial industry. Its work is conducted in close collaboration with leading scholars in financial economics and financial econometrics from around the world as well as leading international organisations and experts from industry. <a href="http://skbi.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank">skbi.smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p></p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html">MasterCard</a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/">www.mastercard.com</a>, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and</p> <p>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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@MasterCardNews</a>, join the discussion on the <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank">subscribe</a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">news</a>.</p> <p></p> Media contacts<p>Tan Sook<br> SMU<br> +65-6828 0451<br> <a target="_blank" href="mailto:sooktan@smu.edu.sg">sooktan@smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p>Georgette Tan<br> MasterCard<br> +65 6390 5971<br> <a target="_blank" href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a></p> <p>Rob O’Brien<br> Weber Shandwick<br> +65 6825 8064<br> <a target="_blank" href="mailto:robrien@webershandwick.com">robrien@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p></p> The study of inflation expectations of Singapore households is a multi-disciplinary industry-relevant research that comes out of a partnership between Singapore Management University (SMU), and MasterCard.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/singapore-inflation-expectations-drop-as-slowdowncontinues-in-the-brics-economies2013-07-21T16:00:00.000Z2013-07-21T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Inflation Expectations Continue to Decline Amid Persistently Fragile Global Economic Environment Kong Hwee Ting, Georgette Tan, Rob O’BrienMethodology<p>Two indices were created, SInDEx1 and SInDEx5, to measure the 1-year inflation expectations and the 5-year inflation expectations. The data for the SKBI-MasterCard Survey was collected online</p> <p>from about 400 consumers. The sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure representativeness of the sample. Employees in some sectors like journalism, marketing were excluded as that might have an effect on their responses to questions on consumption behaviour and expectations</p> <p></p> About Singapore Management University<p>A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching.&nbsp; Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy.&nbsp; It is known to be a pioneer in Singapore for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes which remains its unique hallmark.</p> <p>Home to about 8,000 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in business and other disciplines.</p> <p>With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading foreign researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres.&nbsp; Through executive education, the university provides public and customised training for working professionals in meeting the needs of the economy.&nbsp; Close relationships with leading universities, including The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, allow SMU to draw on their academic and research strengths in various collaborations.&nbsp; The SMU city campus is a state-of-the art facility located in the heart of downtown Singapore, fostering strategic linkages with the business and wider community. <a href="http://www.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank">www.smu.edu.sg</a> </p> <p></p> About Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<p>Established in July 2008, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University promotes the study of Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore's economy and the economies of the region. A significant addition to Singapore's efforts to be a financial hub in Asia, SKBI is a leading institute for academic research with strong industry application and practical dimension in the area of Financial Economics.<br> </p> <p>The Institute has four major research centres for quantitative financial analysis and offers training programmes for professionals in the financial industry. Its work is conducted in close collaboration with leading scholars in financial economics and financial econometrics from around the world as well as leading international organisations and experts from industry. <a href="http://skbi.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank">skbi.smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p></p> About MasterCard <p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">MasterCard</a> (NYSE: MA), <a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">www.mastercard.com</a>, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and</p> <p>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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@MasterCardNews</a>, join the discussion on the <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Conversations Blog</a> and <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank">subscribe</a> for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">news</a>.</p> <p></p> Media contacts<p>Kong Hwee Ting<br> SMU<br> +65 6808 5238<br> <a target="_blank" href="mailto:htkong@smu.edu.sg">htkong@smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p>Gladys Ng<br> SKBI<br> SMU<br> + 65 6808 5229<br> <a target="_blank" href="mailto:gladysng@smu.edu.sg">gladysng@smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p>Georgette Tan<br> MasterCard<br> +65 6390 5971<br> <a target="_blank" href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a></p> <p>Rob O’Brien<br> Weber Shandwick<br> +65 6825 8064<br> <a target="_blank" href="mailto:robrien@webershandwick.com">robrien@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p></p> The study of inflation expectations of Singapore households is a multi-disciplinary industry-relevant research that comes out of a partnership between Singapore Management University (SMU), and MasterCard.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/singapore-inflation-expectations-continue-to-decline-amid-persistently-fragile-global-economic-environment2013-04-21T16:00:00.000Z2013-04-21T16:00:00.000ZMasterCard Survey Reveals Australia as Top Spot for Singaporean Travelers Deborah Yeo, Erwin NahAbout the MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities<p>The MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities provides valuable insights into consumers’ savings and expenditure behaviour and their discretionary spending priorities. In particular, the series covers Consumer Purchasing Priorities including Travel, Dining &amp; Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping. The latest survey wave commissioned by MasterCard was conducted in Singapore from 7 November to 23 December 2012. The 455 respondents are Singapore residents between 18-64 years old owning a bank account. The results of this survey do not represent the financial performance of MasterCard.</p> About MasterCard<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> For media enquiries<p>Deborah Yeo,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:dyeo@webershandwick.com">dyeo@webershandwick.com</a>,<br> +65 6825 8083</p> <p></p> <p>Erwin Nah,<br> Weber Shandwick,<br> <a href="mailto:enah@webershandwick.com">enah@webershandwick.com</a></p> MasterCard Worldwide’s latest survey of Consumer Purchasing Priorities- Travel reveals that most Singaporeans favor Australia as their destination of choice, followed by Hong Kong and Japan.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/mastercard-survey-reveals-australia-as-top-spot-for-singaporean-2013-02-21T16:00:00.000Z2013-02-21T16:00:00.000ZSingapore Inflation Expectations Fall Due To Weak Global Economic Outlook Aurobindo Ghosh, Jun YuMethodology<p>Two indices were created, SInDEx1 and SInDEx5, to measure the 1-year inflation expectations and the 5-year inflation expectations. The data for the SKBI-MasterCard Survey was collected online from about 400 consumers. The sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure representativeness of the sample. Employees in some sectors like journalism, marketing were excluded as that might have an effect on their responses to questions on consumption behaviour and expectations</p> About Singapore Management University<p>A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching.&nbsp; Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy.&nbsp; It is known to be a pioneer in Singapore for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes which remains its unique hallmark.</p> <p>Home to about 8,000 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in business and other disciplines.</p> <p>With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading foreign researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres.&nbsp; Through executive education, the university provides public and customised training for working professionals in meeting the needs of the economy.&nbsp; Close relationships with leading universities, including The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, allow SMU to draw on their academic and research strengths in various collaborations.&nbsp; The SMU city campus is a state-of-the art facility located in the heart of downtown Singapore, fostering strategic linkages with the business and wider community. <a href="http://www.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank"><b>www.smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> About Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<p>Established in July 2008, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University promotes the study of Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore's economy and the economies of the region. A significant addition to Singapore's efforts to be a financial hub in Asia, SKBI is a leading institute for academic research with strong industry application and practical dimension in the area of Financial Economics.<br> </p> <p>The Institute has four major research centres for quantitative financial analysis and offers training programmes for professionals in the financial industry. Its work is conducted in close collaboration with leading scholars in financial economics and financial econometrics from around the world as well as leading international organisations and experts from industry. <a href="http://skbi.smu.edu.sg" target="_blank"><b>skbi.smu.edu.sg</b></a></p> About MasterCard Worldwide<p><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank"><b>MasterCard</b></a>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>www.mastercard.com</b></a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate&nbsp;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 <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank"><b>@MasterCardNews</b></a><b>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank"><b>Cashless Conversations Blog</b></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank"><b>subscribe</b></a>&nbsp;for the latest <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>news</b></a>.</p> Media contacts:<p>Kong Hwee Ting<br> SMU<br> +65 6808 5238<br> <a href="mailto:htkong@smu.edu.sg">htkong@smu.edu.sg</a><br> <br> Gladys Ng<br> SKBI, SMU<br> + 65 6808 5229<br> <a href="mailto:gladysng@smu.edu.sg">gladysng@smu.edu.sg</a><br> <br> Georgette Tan<br> MasterCard Worldwide<br> +65 6390 5971<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a><br> <br> Rob O’Brien<br> Weber Shandwick<br> +65 6825 8064<br> <a href="mailto:robrien@webershandwick.com">robrien@webershandwick.com</a><br> </p> The study of inflation expectations of Singapore households is a multi-disciplinary industry-relevant research that comes out of a partnership between Singapore Management University (SMU), and MasterCard.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2013/singapore-inflation-expectations-fall-due-to-weak-global-economic-outlook2013-01-23T16:00:00.000Z2013-01-23T16:00:00.000ZLimits to Borrowing Taking Effect on Singapore Inflation Expectations Despite Upbeat Global Cues Methodology<p>Two indices were created, SInDEx1 and SInDEx5, to measure the 1-year inflation expectations and the 5-year inflation expectations. The data for the SKBI-MasterCard Survey was collected online</p> <p>from about 400 consumers. The sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure representativeness of the sample. Employees in some sectors like journalism, marketing were excluded as that might have an effect on their responses to questions on consumption behaviour and expectations</p> <p></p> About Singapore Management University<p>A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching.&nbsp; Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy.&nbsp; It is known to be a pioneer in Singapore for its interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes which remains its unique hallmark.</p> <p></p> <p>Home to about 8,000 students, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in business and other disciplines.</p> <p></p> <p>With an emphasis on generating rigorous, high impact cross-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, SMU faculty collaborates with leading foreign researchers as well as partners in the business community and public sector through its research institutes and centres.&nbsp; Through executive education, the university provides public and customised training for working professionals in meeting the needs of the economy.&nbsp; Close relationships with leading universities, including the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, allow SMU to draw on their academic and research strengths in various collaborations.&nbsp; The SMU city campus is a state-of-the art facility located in the heart of downtown Singapore, fostering strategic linkages with the business and wider community. <a href="http://www.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank">www.smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p></p> About Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics<p>Established in July 2008, the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) at the Singapore Management University promotes the study of Financial Economics and Financial Econometrics in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore's economy and the economies of the region. A significant addition to Singapore's efforts to be a financial hub in Asia, SKBI is a leading institute for academic research with strong industry application and practical dimension in the area of Financial Economics.<br> </p> <p>The Institute has four major research centres for quantitative financial analysis and offers training programmes for professionals in the financial industry. Its work is conducted in close collaboration with leading scholars in financial economics and financial econometrics from around the world as well as leading international organisations and experts from industry. <a href="http://skbi.smu.edu.sg/" target="_blank">skbi.smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p></p> About MasterCard<p><b><u><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">MasterCard</a></u></b>&nbsp;(NYSE: MA),&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/" target="_blank">www.mastercard.com</a></u></b>,<b>&nbsp;</b>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&nbsp;<b><u><a href="https://twitter.com/#!/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@MasterCardNews</a></u>,&nbsp;</b>join the discussion on the&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/blog/" target="_blank">Cashless Pioneers Blog</a></u></b>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<b><u><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/subscribe/" target="_blank">subscribe</a></u></b>&nbsp;for the latest news on the&nbsp;<a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/" target="_blank"><b>Engagement Bureau</b></a>.</p> Contacts<p>Teo Chang Ching, <br> SMU,<br> +65 6828 0451<br> <a href="mailto:ccteo@smu.edu.sg">ccteo@smu.edu.sg</a></p> <p>Georgette Tan, <br> MasterCard,<br> +65 6390 5971,<br> <a href="mailto:georgette_tan@mastercard.com">georgette_tan@mastercard.com</a></p> <p>Samantha Yong, <br> Weber Shandwick,<br> +65 6825 8053,<br> <a href="mailto:samyong@webershandwick.com">samyong@webershandwick.com</a></p> <p></p> The study of inflation expectations of Singapore households is a multi-disciplinary industry-relevant research that comes out of a partnership between Singapore Management University (SMU) and MasterCard.http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2014/limits-to-borrowing-taking-effect-on-singapore-inflation-expecta2014-01-19T16:00:00.000Z2014-01-19T16:00:00.000ZYes to M-Commerce for One-Third of Smartphone Users in Singapore: MasterCard Mobile Shopping Survey Georgette TanDetailed findings for Asia Pacific:<ul> <li>Overall, consumers from <b>China</b> (70.1%), <b>India</b> (62.9%) and <b>Taiwan</b> (62.6%) are the most likely to shop using their smartphones.</li> <li>In terms of the biggest growth in mobile shopping, <b>Taiwan</b> and <b>India</b> lead the region with the number of people shopping on smartphones more than doubling over two years – Taiwan went from 28.2% in 2012 to 62.6% in 2014 while India went from 30.3% in 2012 to 62.9% in 2014. <b>Malaysia </b>also recorded significant growth – up from 25.4% in 2012 to 45.6% in 2014.</li> <li>Nearly half of the respondents across Asia Pacific (49.5%) cited <b>convenience as the most compelling reason</b> for shopping on their smartphone. Other motivating factors include the ability to shop on the go (43.9%) and the growing availability of apps that make it easy to shop online (39.5%).</li> <li>The most popular mobile shopping purchases amongst Asia Pacific shoppers include <b>clothing and accessories </b>(27.9%), followed by <b>apps</b> (21.2%) and <b>daily deal coupons</b> (19.2%). More than one-third of Chinese (37.4%) and Korean (36.0%) consumers shop for clothing and accessories on their smartphone. Meanwhile, apps top the list of items Thai (33.8%) and Vietnamese (31.8%) shoppers purchased using smartphones.</li> <li>Asia Pacific consumers are also adopting new mobile technologies, with 27.9% of respondents saying that they use <b>mobile banking apps</b>. Group buying apps (40.3%) and digital wallets (28.5%) are the most popular amongst Chinese consumers.</li> </ul> MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties<p>The MasterCard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.ConsumerConfidence.tagend.html">MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence</a>, as well as the <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Women.tagend.html">MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement</a>, <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Shopping.tagend.html">MasterCard Survey on Online Shopping</a>, <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.MoneyManagement.tagend.html">MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy</a>, and the <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2014/" target="_blank">MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities</a>. In addition to the indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.EthicalSpending.tagend.html">Ethical Spending</a> and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Travel.tagend.html">Travel</a>, <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Dining.tagend.html">Dining &amp; Entertainment</a>, <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.Education.tagend.html">Education</a>, <a href="http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/search.tagstart.MoneyManagement.tagend.html">Money Management</a>, Luxury and General Shopping).</p> <p>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 <a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/people/dyuwa/" target="_blank">Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong</a>, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and published by John Wiley &amp; Sons.&nbsp;<b></b></p> <p></p> About MasterCard<p>MasterCard (NYSE: MA), <b><a href="http://www.mastercard.com/index.html" target="_blank">www.mastercard.com</a></b>, 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 <b><a href="https://twitter.com/mastercardap" target="_blank">@MasterCardAP</a></b> and <b><a href="https://twitter.com/MasterCardNews" target="_blank">@MasterCardNews</a></b>, join the discussion on the <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/blog/" target="_blank">Beyond the Transaction Blog</a></b> and <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/subscribe" target="_blank">subscribe</a></b> for the latest news on the <b><a href="http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/" target="_blank">Engagement Bureau</a></b>.</p> Contacts<p><i>Lynette Lioe,<br> Weber Shandwick, <br> <a href="mailto:llioe@webershandwick.com">llioe@webershandwick.com</a>, <br> +65 6825 8006</i></p> Appendix: Data <p style="text-align: center;"><b>% of respondents who have made a purchase using a smartphone:&nbsp;<br> </b><b>MasterCard Mobile Shopping Survey</b></p> <table> <tbody><tr><th class="table-description"><br type="_moz"> </th> <th class="table-description"><b>2014</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2013</b></th> <th class="table-description"><b>2012</b></th> </tr><tr><td>Asia Pacific</td> <td>45.6</td> <td>38.6</td> <td>35.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Korea</td> <td>53.8</td> <td>47.6</td> <td>40.2</td> </tr><tr><td>China</td> <td>70.1</td> <td>59.4</td> <td>54.1</td> </tr><tr><td>Thailand</td> <td>58.8</td> <td>51.2</td> <td>51.0</td> </tr><tr><td>Hong Kong</td> <td>38.2</td> <td>40.0</td> <td>40.9</td> </tr><tr><td>Taiwan</td> <td>62.6</td> <td>45.2</td> <td>28.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Singapore</td> <td>36.7</td> <td>31.4</td> <td>39.8</td> </tr><tr><td>Vietnam</td> <td>45.2</td> <td>34.9</td> <td>33.7</td> </tr><tr><td>Indonesia</td> <td>54.9</td> <td>46.7</td> <td>54.5</td> </tr><tr><td>India</td> <td>62.9</td> <td>47.1</td> <td>30.3</td> </tr><tr><td>Malaysia</td> <td>45.6</td> <td>31.5</td> <td>25.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Philippines</td> <td>34.0</td> <td>32.8</td> <td>21.4</td> </tr><tr><td>Japan</td> <td>25.8</td> <td>22.9</td> <td>25.8</td> </tr><tr><td>New Zealand</td> <td>20.7</td> <td>15.0</td> <td>18.2</td> </tr><tr><td>Australia</td> <td>19.6</td> <td>24.8</td> <td>18.7</td> </tr></tbody></table> <p><i><b><a name="1"></a>[1]</b></i><i> Thailand, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Malaysia. New Zealand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, India. Philippines.</i></p> MasterCard’s Mobile Shopping Survey found that a third of respondents in Singapore with mobile internet access made a mobile shopping purchase in 2014 (36.7%), an increase compared to 2013 (31.4%).http://www1.mastercard.com/content/intelligence/en/research/press-release/2015/yes-to-m-commerce2015-07-29T16:00:00.000Z2015-07-29T16:00:00.000ZWomen Power and Economic Growth in Asia by Simon Ogus with introduction by Yuwa Hedrick-Wong Introduction by Yuwa Hedrick-Wong<p>This report examines women’s contribution to economic growth in the context of Asia through a detailed analysis of women’s labor force participation in the key economies of East, Southeast and South Asia. While there is a general consensus on the importance of women’s contributions to economic growth, the questions of how such contributions are made, how efficiently they are made, and how much they amount to are not easy to answer as they tend to be context dependent. Working with country-specific data and focusing on women’s labor force participation in this report, Simon Ogus is able to shed new light on this important subject, while generating business relevant insights that are important for a better understanding of today’s growth prospects in Asia.</p> <p>There is a well observed pattern of how the level of women’s labor force participation tends to change in relation to economic development. In stylized fashion, women’s labor force participation is extremely high in an agricultural economy at very low income levels. Paradoxically, it drops as surplus labor is moved from agriculture to manufacturing and industries while the economy climbs steadily to middle income level. Finally, women’s labor force participation rises again when the economy becomes “developed”at higher GDP per capita with much better quality of life, and where agricultural employment accounts for only a small percentage of the total, and services become the biggest source of employment.</p> <p>In a subsistence economy based on agriculture, the vast majority of adults are capable of working. This is necessary in order to stay alive, and care for the very young and the very old in the household. Children typically start work as soon as they are physically capable. Women particularly work very hard as they have the twin duties of raising children and taking care of daily household chores while working alongside men in the fields. In many traditional rural communities, women are responsible for collecting firewood and water, chores that could consume a few hours each day. Even in an urban setting, women’s options for paid work are typically limited in a low income economy. Very often they become home-based workers remunerated on the basis of piece-rate, while taking care of the household chores. From this perspective, women’s labor force participation is extremely high, even though it may not be always recognized as “formal employment” since much of women’s work is unpaid.</p> <p>As income rises and new employment opportunities open up in industries and services that come with development and urbanization, women’s labor force participation drops due to what is sometimes known as the “substitution effect.” With higher household income, women now have a choice: stay home to care for the children and the household, or to go out and seek paid employment in addition to taking on all the child care and household work. To the extent that there is a choice, it is not surprising that most women would not “substitute”child care and household work for paid employment plus child care and household work. In any event, the kind of paid employment available for unskilled and semi-skilled women usually does not pay well, so there is not much of an incentive to entice women to enter the labor force.</p> <p>As the economy develops and per capita GDP rises, women’s employment prospects change, especially when women become better educated, marry later, and have fewer children. Qualified women now can earn higher income in a wide array of opportunities in the urban service sector, pursuing meaningful careers that commensurate with their education levels and aspirations. Household chores become less of a burden with more and better consumer durables and labor saving devices, while affordable social services mean child care can be increasingly “outsourced.” So at some point the benefits of entering the labor market outweigh the benefits of staying home, especially for the better educated women. Thus, women’s labor force participation rises as a result of the “income effect”overwhelming the “substitution effect.”</p> <p>This stylized presentation of the pattern of changing women’s labor force participation is, of course, a simplified model of the reality. The facts on the ground are rarely this neat and tidy. When we examine actual situations closely, it quickly becomes clear that many local conditions impact the model. For instance, women’s education varies greatly between countries at similar levels of income and development due to country-specific socio-cultural factors, traditional beliefs, and government policies. This in turn affects women’s labor force participation since the costs and benefits of keeping women out of formal employment change when women are better educated. For example, under communism, China actually achieved a relatively high level of education for women in spite of the fact that it was a low income and predominately agricultural economy. This arguably gave China a head start in the early 1980s with economic opening and reform.</p> <p>Then there is the issue of the wage gap between men and women. The wage gap can exist at all levels of economic development and income, and is affected by traditional practices as well as institutional and policy factors. The wider the wage gap, the greater is the disincentive for women to participate in the labor force. But the issues surrounding the wage gap and how it can be closed are complex. Very often similar economic development schemes could lead to dramatically different outcomes. For example, a successful introduction of export-oriented labor intensive manufacturing could narrow the wage gap under certain conditions, but widen it under different conditions. It all has to do with whether employers favor female workers over male workers as a consequence of technology, scale, valueadd, the amount of on-the-job training required, and the size and ownership of the firm, etc. There is a lively debate in the research literature on this subject and there are no simple and straight forward answers. Careful country-specific analysis is needed.</p> <p>Complexity notwithstanding, there is an urgency to better understand how women’s labor force participation can be raised. There are a number of Asian markets that are aging surprisingly fast. Japan is best known for its aging and indeed shrinking population. But so are South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand. In all these markets, raising the women’s labor force participation rate offers the obvious solution to an aging workforce.</p> <p>More intriguingly, however, the benefit of raisingwomen’s labor force participation may go beyond thesimple compensation of more women working to offset the aging and/or shrinking labor force. Drawing on evidence from Western Europe, a Goldman Sachs study found that, paradoxically, the socio-economic conditions that are conducive for more women to enter the labor force are also the same ones that encourage women to have more children. These are conditions of affordable and readily available child care services, generous maternity leave and benefits, and little or no wage gap. These conditions encourage women to both work and have children, as opposed to choosing between work or having children. So setting the right policies to raise women’s labor force participation may also address the more basic demographic issue of women’s declining fertility observed in aging societies.</p> <p>One thing is absolutely certain–– women make a great contribution to economic growth and development. What is often unclear is how much of women’s potential contribution is being utilized, and how much is being wasted. A rigorous analysis of the track record of women’s labor force participation in Asian economies and how it is affected by country-specific conditions will assist in developing a better understanding of how to more effectively utilize women’s potential economic contribution in the region.</p> <p></p> Female Labor Force Participation and Economic Growth in Asia<p>Mao Zedong claimed that “Women hold up half the sky.” But are they afforded the same education and employment prospects as men, and are higher levels of female education and labor market participation commensurate with enhanced economic performance? Economic theory would argue strongly for the latter since an increase in the supply of productive workers should <i>ceteris paribus </i>be associated with higher levels of per capita GDP.</p> <p>East Asia’s post World War II rise was indeed accompanied by moves to almost uniform primary and secondary education for both sexes and in more recent decades, massive expansions of tertiary education participation rates. The ASEAN-Tiger economies, and more recently Vietnam, have been treading similar paths and positive trends are now also emerging from other lessdeveloped ASEAN economies. By contrast, South Asia’s record is not good, with Pakistan a significant laggard.&nbsp;</p> <p>Furthermore, higher levels of female education have not always translated into enhanced participation rates in the labor force, implying that some countries are passing up significant potential productivity and growth opportunities. In this report we explore trends in East and South Asia’s female education and labor market data series over the past forty years and offer our assessment of who stands to gain the most from improvements in female participation rates.</p> <p></p> Education, Productivity, and Women’s Contribution to Economic Growth<p>Economic growth is a function of both the supply of input factors –– land, labor and capital–– and the productivity of these factors. It is relatively simple, at least in theory, to produce a growth spurt in a poor economy with a rapidly growing population and a low stock of starting capital. In comparison, maintaining a growth spurt beyond middle income status has been historically harder and requires institutional changes conducive to sustainably boosting factor productivity.</p> <p>In this paper we restrict our focus to the role of education in boosting labor productivity and, specifically, trends in female education enrollment and labor force participation rates. Our principal findings can be summarized as follows.</p> <p>First, the evidence seems compelling that increased rates of enrollment in secondary education are strongly related to higher rates of labor productivity. Second, although higher rates of tertiary education enrollment are again positively related to higher productivity outcomes, returns would appear to diminish beyond a certain threshold. Finally, given the demographic challenges that many East Asian economies will face, or are already facing, there seems to be a disappointingly weak relationship between an increasing supply of highly educated females and generally moribund female labor participation rates.</p> <p>Why should this be so? We could argue that this is likely attributable to economic as much as cultural/chauvinistic explanations, for throughout the world the burden of care for both children and the aged continues to fall primarily on working age women. We would therefore posit that if countries wish to endogenously boost their labor supplies in the face of slowing (or even shrinking) overall working population growth, there is a requirement to promote policies that alleviate the burdens of the principal carers’ cohort.</p> <p>If rapid birth rates alone were the secret to economic prosperity, then Mali, Niger, and Somalia would all be economic powerhouses. Unfortunately, it matters not only how fecund a country is, but how it educates and employs the additional populace. As East Asia has amply demonstrated over the past half century, one of the fastest routes to sustainable income growth is to move surplus labor from the countryside to the factory. However, to achieve this requires stable and predictable macroeconomic and social management, the provision of a modicum of reliable infrastructure, and at least a moderately educated labor force. As Chart 1 shows, there is a clear and positive relationship between rates of secondary education enrollment and output per employee.</p> <p><b>Chart 1. Productivity versus Secondary Education Enrollment Rates, Latest Year</b></p> <p>As Chart 2 suggests, the relationship continues to hold for tertiary enrollment but it appears that beyond a</p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart1.JPG" target="_blank"><img height="490" width="559" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart1.JPG"></a></p> <p>certain level, the returns to a college degree or equivalent may start to diminish. It is beyond the scope of this paper to speculate in any detail as to why this might be the case. One might want to consider that although there has been a massive expansion in tertiary education opportunities in the developed world, this has not always been accompanied by an expansion in the number of high quality educators or educated. Myriad surveys of employers seem to suggest that there is a growing mismatch between the skills and expectations of those graduating from many tertiary institutions, and the employability requirements of their employers.</p> <p><b>Chart 2. Productivity versus Tertiary Enrollment Rates, Latest Year</b></p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart2.JPG" target="_blank"><img height="490" width="558" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart2.JPG"></a></p> <p>Finally, despite the very real gains achieved in boosting female education enrollment rates, average participation rates of women in the labor force remain stuck at around half, and lag significantly in many cases, their male equivalents (Charts 3 and 4). In an aging world, many countries would seem to be underutilizing a major potential source of growth by failing to adequately leverage their rising cohorts of increasingly educated women.</p> <p><b>Chart 3. All Country Sample Female Education Enrollment and Labor Participation Rate</b></p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart3.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart3.JPG"></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart3.1.JPG"><img src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart3.1.JPG"></a></p> <p><b>Chart 4. Labor Participation Rates, Latest Year</b></p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart4.JPG" target="_blank"><img height="298" width="579" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart4.JPG"></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart4.1.JPG"><img height="299" width="580" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart4.1.JPG"></a></p> <p></p> The Case Study of Japan<p>Japan provides us with a salient case study. Not only does it report excellent data going back almost a century, but it has also been inordinately successful in raising female education levels and creating very high levels of societal wealth. Yet at the same time, the economy has struggled to grow since the bubble burst in 1990 and the role of women in the workforce remains, some might argue, truncated.</p> <p>Returning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to reinvigorate Japan under his “Three Arrows” Agenda for Economic Revival and his deployment of Arrows One and Two, aggressive monetary and fiscal stimulus, have at least succeeded in jolting the stock market higher and the Yen lower. Nevertheless, it is his Third Arrow of structural reform that will arguably make or break Japan, and it is this arrow that has hitherto been barely unsheathed. Prior to July’s Upper House elections, Abe had been (from electoral reasons understandably) reluctant to reveal too many difficult reforms.</p> <p>Nevertheless, the administration has claimed that it understands the need to boost female labor force participation. It remains to be seen though whether statements of intent will translate into true policy priorities, or whether mere lip-service is being paid to a longstanding yet hitherto barely addressed weakness.</p> <p>As Chart 5 shows, Japan achieved universal primary education by the 1930s and in the following decades, secondary education enrollment rates also surged in tandem with labor productivity. Moreover, as Chart 6 below shows, women were by no means disadvantaged in their access to education especially in the post-War decades.</p> <p><b>Chart 6. Japan Gross Secondary and Tertiary Education Enrollment Rates</b></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart6.JPG"><img height="335" width="501" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart6.JPG"></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart6.1.JPG"><img height="333" width="502" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart6.1.JPG"></a></p> <p><b>Chart 5. Japan Education Enrollment Rates and Output Per Employee</b></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart5.JPG"><img height="284" width="505" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart5.JPG"></a></p> <p>Yet over the same period, as Chart 7 illustrates, the female labor participation rate rarely exceeded 50% even as the male participation rate steadily fell. So why should low female participation rates persist in Japan despite the very real gains achieved in female education? Although state support for the principal carer cohorts is generally perceived as being underdeveloped, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that ingrained, misogynist employer attitudes might also have played a role. For example, according to a November 2011 study by the Centre for Work-Life Policy: “Career minded and ambitious Japanese women prefer to work at multinational companies which they feel are more sensitive to the needs of women than private sector Japanese companies.... Sixty-eight percent believe that U.S.- or EU-headquartered companies are more woman-friendly than Japanese firms.” One might also fairly assume that non-Japanese employers are also more willing to offer more similar rates of pay to men and women alike based on Japan’s (and Korea’s) stark outlier status on Chart 8 below. The good news is that there is a lot of low hanging fruit to be plucked potentially. Potential and realization may not however always be the same.</p> <p><b>Chart 7. Japan Labor Participation Rates</b></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart7.JPG"><img height="249" width="546" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart7.JPG"></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart7.1.JPG"><img height="247" width="546" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart7.1.JPG"></a></p> <p><b>Chart 8. OECD Countries Gender-Wage Gap*</b></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart8.JPG"><img height="251" width="548" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart8.JPG"></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart8.1.JPG"><img height="253" width="548" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart8.1.JPG"></a></p> <p>Japan (and Korea’s) poor female participation rates and ostensive labor force gender inequalities also need to be put in the context of their very weak rates of overall labor force growth (or in Japan’s case shrinkage) shown on Chart 9. Weak labor force growth rates are principally associated with low levels of fertility. The replacement rate for a population, i.e. the number of births per mother required to maintain a constant population, is generally estimated to be around 2.1 (in countries with low rates of child mortality). Replacement rates in developed North Asia are clustered around 0.9-1.2 though. Japan’s population shrunk at an annualized rate of 0.1% over 2008-12 while Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong struggled to eke out meager average per annum gains of 0.3%, 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. Furthermore, even if North Asian women start producing babies at a massively enhanced rate today, their offspring will not be entering the workforce for a couple of decades.</p> <p>Only Singapore, despite having a local population fertility rate of only 1.2 in 2011, has managed to buck the trend in aggregate thanks to massive immigration. (Singapore has also managed successfully to boost its female labor participation, as the earlier chart on Page 7 illustrates.) This influx of foreign workers has driven population growth up by an average of 3% per annum over the past five years but the authorities are now contending with the social consequences. Hong Kong too, with a much lower overall immigration rate, has also seen rising social tensions over the supposed flood of Mainlanders entering the SAR. And these are probably the two most cosmopolitan places in Asia. We would submit that it is highly unlikely that we will see the other developed North Asian countries deciding to throw open their doors to masses of overseas workers. An additional factor to consider is a country’s capital stock. A rule of thumb is that the higher the capital stock per capita installed, the harder it is to develop increasing returns on the capital stock employed. Chart 10 shows Japan is by far the world leader in this area. This all leads one to the conclusion that if a country has a low indigenous birth rate and minimal labor force expansion, and it already possesses a well-endowed domestic capital stock, then higher economic growth has to be largely a function of increased returns on factors employed (implying the embrace of often politically-difficult-to-implement supply side reforms) or an exogenous or endogenous boost to the labor force. And in turn this latter boost can either come from immigration, or if participation rates are low, by getting increased numbers of, one hopes, highly-educated females to enter the labor force.</p> <p><b>Chart 9. Average Annual Labor Force Growth 2008 – 2012</b></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart9.JPG"><img height="218" width="547" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart9.JPG"></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart9.1.JPG"><img height="215" width="545" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart9.1.JPG"></a></p> <p><b>Chart 10. 2011 Capital Stock Per Capita, US Dollars</b></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart10.JPG"><img height="215" width="544" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart10.JPG"></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart10.1.JPG"><img height="214" width="544" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart10.1.JPG"></a></p> Where Japan goes do others follow?<p>Having set out this admittedly stylized roadmap, let us now consider how Japan compares to its OECD peers, and how the remaining Asian countries in our sample compare to Japan at its earlier stages of development. In 1980, Japanese females were as well-educated as most of their peers in the developed world (Americans aside), and had similar rates of labor force participation (Chart 11). Education levels have risen further since, yet Japanese female labor force participation rates have barely budged in contrast to the significant increases seen elsewhere (Chart 12).<br> </p> <p><b>Chart 11. Current Female Education Enrollment and Labor Force Participation Rates</b></p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart11.JPG" target="_blank"><img height="257" width="478" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart11.JPG"></a></p> <p><b>Chart 12. Female Education Enrollment and Labor Force Participation Rates, 1980</b></p> <p><a href="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart12.JPG" target="_blank"><img height="257" width="479" src="/content/dam/intelligence/content-assets/reports/womens-chart12.JPG"></a></p> <p>Charts 13 and 14 suggest that Japanese women have also stepped back relative to females in the Newly Industrialized Countries of Asia or NICs. In 1980 Japanese ladies were significantly better educated than their neighbors and also participated in greater proportions in the workf