MANILA - With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, most people are planning surprises to make the occasion extra special for their significant other. Of course, the usual romantic gifts of flowers and jewelry are on the list. But according to the annual Mastercard Love Index, which was created by analyzing credit, debit and prepaid transactions over the past three years, investing in experiences is still the more popular option.
According to the study, sentimental spending in the Philippines has increased by 22% since 2015, with the overall number of transactions up by 36%, and with a 20% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day 2015 to 2017.
The way to one’s heart seems to still be through their stomach, as dining out took a 56% share of spend and a 22% share of transactions in the last year. Special getaways with a loved one also rose steadily over the past three years, taking a 27% share of spend and a 16% share of transactions in 2017. The number of transactions on transportation increased by 17% in 2017, accounting for 47% of total spend during the Valentine’s Day period.
Spending on more traditional gifts however still continues to rise, with overall spend on flowers increasing by 67% and jewelry increasing by 79% compared to 2015.
“The Mastercard Love Index, now in its 3rd year, highlights global and regional trends to offer retailers priceless insight into consumer buying habits over the romantic season,” said Mastercard Philippines Country Manager Poch Villa-Real. “Spoiling your loved one on Valentine’s Day shows no signs of slowing down. Our data suggests that while people still purchase traditional gifts, the move towards giving a great experience trumps all.”
In all of this, the cashless economy continues to surge forward, with the share of contactless transactions seeing an increase of 16608% since 2015, along with the increase in value of contactless transactions by 26934%. The trend for online shopping continues with an enormous 136% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day 2015 to Valentine’s Day 2017.
It seems that many people are also getting ahead of the curve when it comes to buying gifts, with fewer purchases being made at the last minute. The index shows that 48.8 million Valentine’s transactions globally over the past three years were made on February 11; however, just over a quarter of all transactions were made on Valentine’s Day itself.
“Contactless payments are convenient and makes life that little bit easier, so it’s great to see people embracing the technology around the world,” added Villa-Real.