SINGAPORE, March 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Overseas Bank (UOB) has revamped its iconic Lady's Card rewards programme in line with the changing priorities of women as revealed in an analysis of their credit card spend over the last five years.
UOB's data found that as women cross from one age set to the next, their spending habits change in line with their earning power and life choices. For the younger set who are starting out in their careers, there is a focus on expressing themselves through fashion as they switch from student life to work. This set of women also allocates more of their credit card spend towards after-office activities including dining out, entertainment and transport than other generations. The more established she becomes in her career, the more she spends on travel and fashion. Those above 36 years old not surprisingly spend the most on their families but still treat themselves through fashion, travel and beauty and wellness treatments. These changes in credit card spending habits reflect the different stages and circumstances in their lives.
Keeping current with the changing lifestyle choices of women
UOB's analysis also found that what women want is changing over generations. Whereas five years ago, 33 per cent of total card spending by women aged 18 to 25 was on fashion, this has fallen to 23 per cent for those aged 18 to 25 in 2018. Similarly, fashion was more of a priority for women aged 26 to 35 five years ago than it is now, dropping eight per cent to 24 per cent of their credit card spend in 2018. For both age groups, travel has now overtaken fashion as the number one spend category in the last five years.
Spending priorities for women 36 years old and above have largely stayed the same over the period, however more is being spent on the family such as for children's and infant wear and groceries. These purchases have risen by five per cent since 2013 to account for 12 per cent of their overall spend now.
Over the last five years, two trends in women's credit card spending have become apparent -- an increase in travel spend with the increasing demands of everyday life and a substantial increase in transport spend alongside more ride-hailing options and credit card acceptance in taxis.
Ms Jacquelyn Tan, Head of Personal Financial Services Singapore, UOB, said one thing that has remained constant is that women's spending priorities have and will continue to change.
"Since launching Singapore's first dedicated card for women in 1989, we can see that what works for one set of women today may not for the same set tomorrow. Over many years, we have ensured the Lady's Card has remained contemporary with the changing priorities of women to the point that one in five women in Singapore now holds a UOB Lady's Card. Currently, the Bank serves one in two women in Singapore, and through the transactional data and insights we have gained, we are continually upgrading our card to ensure it always meets the lifestyle and life choices of women," Ms Tan said.
Giving women more of what they want
In analysing the spending patterns and behavior of women, the Bank reviewed its card data and found the top seven spending categories among its female cardmember base were fashion, travel, dining, beauty and wellness, family, entertainment and transport. Spend within these seven categories grew 26 per cent from 2016 to 2018 and accounts for more than half of all spend made on the UOB Lady's Card for that time period.
UOB also overlaid this data with Mastercard research that found that meaningful card rewards are the number one thing women want from their card and that they are constantly looking for ways to earn better benefits with every dollar spent
With giving women more of what they want in mind, UOB has revamped its Lady's Card rewards programme to give cardmembers the freedom and flexibility to choose how they earn their rewards based on their lifestyle needs and priorities. UOB is the only bank in Singapore to offer cardmembers the choice in how they earn higher rewards from selected categories.
Every quarter, UOB Lady's cardmembers will be able to select up to two preferred spend categories from which they earn 10 times the reward points. This is equivalent to 20 miles for every $5 spend.
UOB expects the appeal of the programme will be the catalyst for Lady's Card membership to grow from one in five women to one in three women in Singapore within the next five years.
"Every woman is different and in recognition of this individuality, we have created a programme that is unique to each cardmember. For instance, a mother may be planning to take her children overseas during the next school holidays and can choose travel for that quarter to maximise her rewards. During the Lunar New Year, she may change it to the family category as she prepares for traditional celebrations such as her Reunion family dinner. We believe the flexibility around rewards will make the UOB Lady's Card one of the most formidable cards in the market," Ms Tan said.
The Bank offers four UOB Lady's Cards -- from the entry level Lady's Card debit through to its exclusive UOB Lady's Solitaire Metal Card -- to ensure there is a card for every stage of a woman's life. In ensuring the contemporary feel of the card, UOB has also collaborated with homegrown fashion designer Priscilla Shunmugam to refresh the design of the Lady's Card. Ms Shunmugam's design of the iconic rose motif takes on a Peranakan influence and was inspired by three key considerations that define the characteristics of Southeast Asian women today - identity, being borderless and femininity.
Ladies who would like to own the latest card can visit https://www.uob.com.sg/personal/cards/credit/lady.
 Spending patterns based on UOB's proprietary analysis of UOB credit card transactions by women from 2013 to 2018
About United Overseas Bank
United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. UOB is rated among the world's top banks: Aa1 by Moody's and AA- by both Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. In Asia, UOB operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as branches and representative offices across the region.
Over more than eight decades, generations of UOB employees have carried through the entrepreneurial spirit, the focus on long-term value creation and an unwavering commitment to do what is right for our customers and our colleagues.
We believe in being a responsible financial services provider and we are committed to making a difference in the lives of our stakeholders and in the communities in which we operate. Just as we are dedicated to helping our customers manage their finances wisely and to grow their businesses, UOB is steadfast in our support of social development, particularly in the areas of art, children and education.