85% of Credit Card Customers in Singapore Do Not Fully Understand Their Card Terms
American Express Ranks Highest in the Inaugural Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study
Singapore: 20 October 2015 — Eighty-five percent of credit card customers in Singapore do not completely understand the terms of their primary credit card, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction StudySM released today.
The inaugural study measures customer satisfaction with their credit card issuer by examining six key factors: interaction; credit card terms; billing and payment; rewards; benefits and services; and problem resolution. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Overall satisfaction in 2015 averages 697; however, satisfaction rises significantly to 768 among the 15 percent of customers who fully understand their credit card terms, compared with 689 among those who do not fully understand.
Among all customers, satisfaction in the credit card terms factor is 645. The top reasons cited by cardholders for not understanding their card terms are foreign currency/ transaction fees (58%) and interest rates (49%). Furthermore, satisfaction among those who do not completely understand their card’s annual fee is 666, which is 31 points below overall industry average.
“In a highly saturated credit card market like Singapore, it is important for card issuers to not only promote the rewards and benefits of their product, but also to ensure that relevant information on interest rates and other fees and charges are clearly outlined,” said Dr. Gordon Shields, director at J.D. Power. “High levels of customer satisfaction directly impact an issuer’s financial performance. Customers with a greater understanding of their credit card terms are also more satisfied overall and, thereby, tend to spend more on their primary card.”
The study finds that the average monthly spend among customers who completely understand their card terms is $1,068, compared with $837 among those who either do not or only partially understand their card’s terms.
Reward programs add a level of complexity for many credit card customers. Among a multitude of reward program offerings, customers often do not understand how to earn and redeem the rewards. Only 32 percent of cardholders say they “completely” understand how to earn rewards, and only 47 percent are fully conversant on how to redeem their accruals.
“Issuers that can de-clutter their offerings and hone in on the key winning propositions, will likely benefit in this market,” said Dr. Shields.
American Express ranks highest in credit card customer satisfaction with an overall satisfaction score of 737. America Express performs particularly well in five of the six study factors.
Local banks POSB and OCBC follow American Express in the rankings with scores of 710 and 704, respectively. POSB performs particularly well in the billing and payment, credit card terms and benefits and services factors, while OCBC performs particularly well in interaction and rewards.
- Satisfaction is highest (755) among credit card customers who use email or webchat, compared with other interaction channels. However, only 12 percent of cardholders have used this channel in the past 12 months. The more frequently used channels are bank or card issuer’s website (78%) and via phone (40%).
- Seventy percent of customers in Singapore indicate not paying an annual credit card fee; 60 percent indicate their annual fee was either waived or reversed in the past 12 months.
- The most common rewards types used in Singapore are cashback (60%), gift certificates (40%) and retailer/ restaurant (30%).
- Significant differences are observed between credit card customers’ behaviour in Singapore and those in the United States. A higher percentage of cardholders in Singapore use shopping discounts (57%), compared with their counterparts in the United States (13%). Fraud protection services available more often in Singapore (45%), compared with the United States (15%). The most preferred method for bill payment among cardholders in Singapore is through ATM/ kiosk/ bank terminal (28%), while in the United States, the most popular payment method is through the card issuer’s website (34%).
J.D. Power’s Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction study is modelled after the established study that has been conducted for nearly a decade in the U.S. Well-accepted by the financial sector in the U.S., this study aims to help card issuers ascertain cardholders’ needs and expectations, and identify key best practices that drive customer delight. It is with this same objective that this study is expanding into key markets like Australia, and now Singapore.
The 2015 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 2,849 credit card customers. The study was fielded throughout August and September 2015.
Media Relations Contacts
XingTi Liu; J.D. Power Asia Pacific; 08-Shenton Way, #44-02/03/04; Singapore 068811; +65-67338980; [email protected]
John Tews; Director, Media Relations; J.D. Power; Troy, Michigan 48083, USA; 001-248-680-6218; [email protected]
About J.D. Power Asia Pacific
J.D. Power has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the Internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.
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 Source: J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction StudySM