iMoney Releases Infographic on Credit Card Usage Among Malaysians

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Having a credit card can be a wonderful convenience. In this day and age, it’s hard to imagine living without one. But without self-discipline, a credit card can actually cause more harm than good. We’ve all heard stories about people racking up enormous amount of credit card debt and struggling to get out of it. While credit cards may seem to be the root cause of financial problems in Malaysia, the reality is actually far from it. iMoney has just released an intriguing infographic reveals some surprising facts about credit card spending in Malaysia – and offers some insights into the main causes of debt problems Malaysians face.

This intriguing credit card infographic reveals the spending habits of Malaysian credit card users.

You can preview this credit card infographic here.

Malaysians are very cautious with their credit cards, only utilizing 24% of their credit card limit.

iMoney, a Malaysian online financing specialist, conducted a study on credit card usage among Malaysians and reported how many have credit cards and the many variables affecting credit card usage. They have documented their surprising finding into a compelling personal finance infographic.

This infographic, The Surprising Truth About Credit Card Spending in Malaysia takes into account factors including the number of credit cards circulated, the number of cards per user and the number of Malaysians who have credit cards. The infographic has attracted the interest of many financial organizations which lead to the public release of the results of the research.

Malaysia’s population is at 28.6M and the number of credit cards in circulation has reached 8.21 million. 1 in 3.48 Malaysians have a credit card, and the number of credit cards has gone up from 1 to 4 credit cards for each borrower. The study showed a fluctuation in the number since 2006 until 2010. Only in 2009 did the curve fell to approximately 2 credit cards per borrower. This shows that many Malaysians do not rely on one credit card provider. Due to the number of credit cards per borrower, statistical data also showed that the average current balance per credit card has increased over the years, increasing from RM1,864.33 in 2005 to RM3,499.29 in 2011.

iMoney also studied the kind of categories Malaysians spend on with their credit cards. 7.2% are spent on Fuel, 30.2% comprises retail purchases which include shopping in malls and huge shops, 21.2% are used for professional and commercial services, 4.7% are used for utilities like water and electricity bills etc., and 36.7% for all other purchases made through the credit card. The various percentages showed how they spend their cards which means that retail purchases contribute significantly to the balance on Malaysian credit cards.

In addition, comparisons were made of domestic spending and international spending on the average monthly spend per card. In a breakdown of monthly spending of RM922.8, 827.5 is spent domestically and only 95.3 RM is spent in other countries.

Although Malaysia is ranked the 2nd worst debt payer in Asia Pacific, they are strangely also among the top 10 savers in Asia Pacific. This could mean that Malaysians save up a lot and are stringent in expenses, but when faced with debt they do not pay right away.

Ching Lee, founder of iMoney said that “Malaysians are very cautious with their credit cards, only utilizing 24% of their credit card limit. Over the years the credit card limit use has also fluctuated but in a constant curve. On the other hand, the percentage of overdue balances are also trending downwards which was at 15% at 2005 and went down to 9% in 2011.” This was an impressive number shown by credit card users in Malaysia.

In the household sector, the debts in terms of credit card use are relatively low compared to purchases of properties, vehicles, securities and other forms of expenses. The main causes of bankruptcy did not include credit card debt but instead involved hire purchase/car loans, personal loans and housing loans. In terms of credit card expenditures, even though Malaysians pay late, they still pay and don’t have a lot of delinquencies compared to large countries.

Ching Lee is a CFA charterholder and is a former investment consultant and wealth advisor. He is the founder of iMoney and a trusted authority on personal finance and investments.

About iMoney:
iMoney is an institution that provides a comparative list of banking and financial services for Malaysians who have financial issues. is your perfect partner in spending your money the right way.

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