Do Women Use Credit Cards Differently Than Men?

woman using credit card1

Women account for at least $5 trillion in annual spending across the US. Some estimates peg this figure as high as $15 trillion. Regardless of where the exact figure falls, women currently control over sixty percent of US personal wealth. Another very significant data point that may come as a surprise is that at least forty percent of working women earn more than their husbands.

Although these stats are extremely compelling, plenty of retailers are still under the impression that their primary customer base is male. However, the reason that assumption is more commonly wrong than correct is that 85% of all consumer purchases are made by women. That includes over fifty percent of purchases of traditionally “male products” like electronics and vehicles.

In a world where retailers of all sizes are facing plenty of challenges and uncertainty, ignoring the consumer preferences of women can be a very costly mistake. To help your business gain some actionable insight into this topic, we want to look specifically at how women’s use of credit cards differs from men.

Different Purchasing Patterns

When presented with all of the data we covered above, most people would likely guess that women use their credit cards more frequently than men. Surprisingly, this is incorrect. Data shows that men use credit cards more times each month than women. If you’re wondering what’s responsible for this gap between the groups of stats, it’s the fact that women are heavier users of cash and debit cards.

So as a retail business, it’s important to have a POS that can seamlessly accept all these different types of payment. And if it makes sense for your specific business, being open to checks can even work in your favor. As far as digital wallets go, having basic support is helpful, but you shouldn’t have to worry about keeping up with cutting-edge options.

Rewards Cards

The next interesting data point is that when women do use a credit card, they’re most likely to use one that has rewards attached. Given this clear preference and the fierce competition among card providers, it will be interesting to see how this shapes their offerings over the coming years. There’s a very good chance that at least a few major reward cards will drop their annual fees as a way to get more consumers on board.

Online Payments

The last behavior we want to touch on is women’s use of online payments. Not only are the majority of women comfortable making these payments, but a large percentage prefer it. So if you have an e-commerce presence for your business, be sure that it’s easy to check out and pay on mobile devices.

By using these insights, you can keep all of your payment-related decisions on the right track. And if you have any concerns about being able to do what you want with your current processor, be sure to take a look at our list of recommended processing companies.

Posted on Friday, June 1st, 2018