By THE NATION
Payment volume in the affluent segment grew at a rate of 30 per cent year-on-year for the first half of financial year 2017, higher than the overall cardholder growth of 11 per cent.
Overall credit card spending has stabilised despite an uncertain global economic outlook, which affected the export-reliant Thai economy. Data from the Bank of Thailand indicated that payment volume from credit card spending over the same period totalled Bt160 billion, an increase of 5.9 per cent from October a year earlier.
”Visa affluent cardholders are a discerning group, often looking for one-of-a-kind, world-class experiences. In an increasingly hyper-connected world, this means providing the jet-setting group with the kind of offers that would match what their counterparts in metropolises like London or Tokyo would enjoy,” said Suripong Tantiyanon, Visa Country Manager Thailand.
The number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) in Thailand grew by 5.5 per cent to 96,000 in 2015, with total wealth reaching US$484 billion or about Bt16 trillion.
As income grows, to cater to the exacting expectation of this group as well as the emerging affluent, Visa constantly refreshes its premium offers, curating indulgences designed to enhance an exclusive lifestyle with no boundaries.
Travel remains a key driver of spending growth among Visa Infinite cardholders, used primarily by affluent customers. Though accounting for only one per cent of total Visa cards in Thailand, Visa Infinite constituted 8 per cent of total payment volume and registered a robust growth of 41 per cent in cross-border spending alone.
“Competition is fierce for the affluent segment, with five banks issuing Visa Infinite and seven issuing Visa Signature cards, each vying to exceed the others in rewards and privileges. Such relentless pursuit will surely drive quality upward and we believe quality will always find a customer,” said Suripong.