MANILA - Credit card spending, at least for the customers of RCBC Bankard, rose 45 percent during the first 5 months of the year driven by pent-up demand and increased e-commerce adoption, RCBC Bankard president and CEO Arniel Vincent Ong said Wednesday.
For the months of May and June, credit card activities already exceeded pre-pandemic levels, Ong told ANC.
Based on consumer data, spending is focused on food and dining, clothes and apparel, and transportation, after a few years of muted or at least conservative activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel spending is also on the rise, the bank said.
"There’s a lot of spending back and a lot are due to easing of restrictions, with greater mobility in the market, improving economic outlook and a lot of pent-up demand among consumers," Ong said.
With the easing of restrictions, consumers have been spending in physical stores while maintaining online activity, he said.
"We expected that the share of e-commerce would shrink when mobility restrictions were lifted but that’s not what we're seeing among our customers," Ong said.
"We’re seeing online behavior to continue even with the easing of restrictions, and as a result their total spending is growing across both physical or in-store, as well as e-commerce on online purchases," he added.
Ong said the credit card industry must exceed or at least match what alternative payment channels such as digital banks or e-wallets are offering.
In terms of interest rates, RCBC said it would keep its current rates steady after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas capped the charges imposed by issuers to 2 percent per month.
The BSP also raised interest rates to 2.25 percent with further tightening on the horizon.
Ong said the bank would continue assessing the impact of the interest rate movement on the business.