Five years ago, annual spend on credit and charge cards issued in New Zealand was just a little over $NZ30 billion and this is now poised to exceed $NZ40 billion in the 12 months to May 2016.
" The increasing use of payment cards in New Zealand is maintaining that market as a world leader in per capita use of cards."
Mike Ebstein, Founder & Principal, MWE Consulting
The incremental growth of $NZ2.97 billion in the last 12 months was almost double the incremental annual growth of $NZ1.55 billion over the previous five years.
Compare that with the island off New Zealand’s west coast. Growth in Australian card spend has slipped from 5.7 to 5.1 per cent over the last five years – and that’s before the added uncertainty stemming from the election – while in New Zealand it has risen from 2.8 per cent to 8.0 per cent.
There’s no doubt consumer confidence has some part to play in this (and again the Australian election is unlikely to improve the situation). The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index in New Zealand has recently moved lower but has remained above the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index in Australia throughout the last five years.
In addition, the index in New Zealand has been well above the 100 mark at which optimism and pessimism are balanced.
The increasing use of payment cards in New Zealand is maintaining that market as a world leader in per capita use of cards.
Spend outside of New Zealand by New Zealand cardholders has been particularly buoyant having grown from $NZ3,450 million five years ago to $NZ5,090 million today.
This represents growth of 47.5 per cent in five years in comparison to what would be considered sound growth of 29.1 per cent in spend within the country over this same period.
Kiwi cardholders are currently spending a considerable 12.8 per cent of their credit and charge card dollars outside of the country compared with 11.3 per cent five years ago.