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Singapore credit cardholders: ownership, usage patterns, and perceptions

Lydia L. Gan (Department of Economics, Finance and Decision Science School of Business, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, North Carolina, USA)
Ramin C. Maysami (Department of Economics and Finance, School of Business Administration, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, North Carolina, USA)
Hian Chye Koh (School of Business, SIM University, Singapore)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The purpose of this study is to analyze Singapore's diverse cardholders in search of variations among demographic groups, credit card profiles, and their perceptions with regard to credit card ownership and use. It then aims to discuss possible reasons governing Singaporeans' credit card ownership and use.


A survey was conducted, decision trees were then constructed using Chi‐square automatic interaction detection algorithm (CHAID) and SPSS software AnswerTree to examine the association between the number of credit cards (target variable) and the demographic characteristics, perceptions and other credit card‐related variables.


The number of credit cards was found to be significantly influenced by income and gender as well as perceptions that include “credit card leads to overspending”, “savings as payment source”, “unreasonable interest rates”, “credit card as status symbol”. The number of credit cards was also affected by credit card‐related variables such as missing payments sometimes, frequency of use, entertainment expenditures, and petrol purchase.

Practical implications

This research provides an in‐depth understanding of Singaporean multiple cardholders, thus it is useful in designing marketing strategies for card‐issuers as well as anti‐debt strategies for policy‐makers in Singapore.


Despite the importance of consumer credit, virtually no literature or research exists on the ownership and use of credit cards in Singapore, so this paper intends to close this gap. Further, by combining the demographics, cardholders' profiles and usage patterns with the respondents' perceptions concerning credit card ownership and use, our study offers a richer analysis to explain consumer behavior than previous literatures.



Gan, L.L., Maysami, R.C. and Chye Koh, H. (2008), "Singapore credit cardholders: ownership, usage patterns, and perceptions", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 267-279.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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