73% of British adults own a credit card, putting Britain at the
top of a Kantar Media TGI global league table, ahead of the USA
(72%) in second place and Germany (62%) in third. Globally there
are huge variations, with 42% of adults in China having a credit
card, while in Russia the figure is just 12% and in India it's only
The high credit card ownership figures in Britain may reflect
Kantar Media TGI research that Brits have a high likelihood to
agree that they spend money without thinking.
When we ask whether people use their credit card once a week, we
see that ownership and use do not always correlate. Whilst credit
card ownership in China is still somewhat behind some of the
European markets, use of credit cards is certainly comparable. 16%
of adults in China use a credit card once a week or more, compared
to only 7% in Germany (reflecting their overall careful approach
towards spending and saving), 12% in Spain and 19% in Britain. This
demonstrates to what extent Chinese consumer behaviour with regard
to spending and buying on credit is very similar to many developed
markets. The one market it is nothing like in this regard is the
US, where 39% of adults use a credit card at least once a week,
which demonstrates just how ingrained purchasing on credit is in
the US consumer psyche compared to other markets.
The factor important to the highest proportion of adults in the
Britain, the US and other key European markets - apart from France
- when choosing a credit card is the same: no annual fee. However,
the factor important to the next highest proportion of consumers
varies. In both Germany and Spain, the credit card brand being
widely accepted is at number two on the list and indeed in France
this is the most important consideration. Not so in Britain or the
US, where the second greatest consideration is the interest rate.
Because credit card ownership and frequency of usage is so
commonplace in these two countries, it is understandable that
fundamentally cost-related factors rank so high.
Source : Kantar Media