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60 Percent of Hong Kong Consumers Choose Cards Over Cash as Preferred Payment Method For Everyday Spending

Three out of every five people in Hong Kong say their preferred payment method for daily spending is plastic rather than paper, according to a recent study by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

Respondents from Nielsen’s Global Survey of Saving and Investment Strategies, which polled more than 500 Internet* respondents in Hong Kong, say their most preferred form of payment is credit card (50%), debit card (6%) or prepaid card (4%) instead of cash (37%). Globally, this preference was strongest in North America (71%) and Asia-Pacific (58%), followed by those in Latin America (47%), Europe (45%) and the Middle East/Africa (35%).

“Today’s consumers are not only drawn to card forms of payment because of convenience, but they are also drawn to benefits such as earning mileage points, gaining buyer protection and accessing merchant promotions,” said Oliver Rust, senior vice president, Global Financial Services, Nielsen. “The time is right for card issuers to use a segmented approach to developing products and promotions that are more closely aligned with their spending behaviors.”

Nielsen information also shows that 25 percent of respondents in Hong Kong use one payment card on a regular basis, while 41 percent use two and 34 percent use three or more.

The Move to Mobile/Online

When it comes to cyber-safety concerns, nearly half of respondents in Hong Kong (49%) say they feel comfortable shopping online and using their payment card on either a smartphone or tablet device as long as their personal information is protected – five percentage points less than the global average of 54 percent. Nearly one-fifth of Hong Kong respondents (18%) are more hesitant, saying they may use their credit or debit cards for online payment, and 32 percent would not use their cards on either a smartphone or tablet, exceeding the global average of 26 percent.

“Further enticement to online shopping has been made with the advancement of electronic wallet solutions that facilitate the use of cards in a virtual environment by creating secure payment channel alternatives,” said Rust. “By providing value-added services and better promotions in lieu of more competitive pricing, issuers have an opportunity to drive cardholder satisfaction and loyalty.”

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Saving and Investment Strategies was conducted between August 14 and September 6, 2013, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers, and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

*While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.