Mastercard Love Index: It’s All About ‘Contactless’ and Sentimental Experiences This Valentine’s

February 14, 2018 | Singapore

Looking to win over your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Try ‘date night’ experiences

The Mastercard Love Index released today, shows that romance does come in many forms. This Valentine’s Day, consumers in Singapore will continue to invest in experiences over material goods. New data from the index shows that the number of transactions on sentimental spending increased by 21% during Valentine’s Day in 2017, compared to Valentine’s Day in 2015.

The annual study created by analyzing credit, debit and prepaid transactions across the three Valentine’s Day period (11th-14th February 2015-2017), reveals that the most popular way to your lover’s heart is through their stomach, as dining out for ‘date night’ takes top spot - the share of spend on restaurants has remained stable over the past 3 years; taking a 31% share of spend and a 71% share of transactions in 2017.

Whisking your partner away on an unforgettable travel experience (via air or train) also saw a significant rise as the number of transactions increased by 41% in 2017, accounting for 30% of total spend. Indulging in a hotel stay remains another firm favorite with 30% share of spend.

The data support the rise of the ‘experience economy’ as happiness clearly comes from creating lasting memories - worthy of posting on social media - instead of purchasing material goods.
When it comes to paying for purchases, adopting contactless technology seems perfect for avoiding those awkward moments when the bill comes. In Singapore, the value of transactions rose by a massive 1,344%, and a 1,060% increase in the number of transactions since 2015, which significantly surpasses the global value of contactless (311% increase) and share of contactless transactions (203% increase).

According to the latest Mastercard Consumer Purchasing Priorities Survey, six in ten consumers in Singapore plan to surprise their loved ones with gifts and plan to spend an average of S$250 on gifts. Money spent on traditional Valentine’s Day gifts such as flowers decreased by 1%, although the number of transactions increased by 26%, showing that flowers remain a symbol of romance. However, jewelry has seen overall spend decrease by 33% and transactions decrease by 21% in 2017, compared to 2015.

The study, which looked at shopper behavior in more than 200 territories around the globe, also identified further purchasing trends. The trend for online shopping continues with a 37% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day 2015 to Valentine’s Day 2017.

Lastly, when it comes to saying “I do”, over a third of consumers believe Valentine’s Day is the best day to propose or receive a marriage proposal!

Asia Pacific: Summary of consumer spending habits during Valentine’s Day across 2015-2017

    • Sentimental spending has increased by 22% since 2015, with the overall number of transactions up by 74%
    • 30% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions
    • People are planning ahead with the majority (28%) of Valentine’s purchases happening on the 11th February (4.6 million transactions)
    • The number of transactions on transportation (air and/or train) increased by 17% in 2017, accounting for 21% of total spend during Valentine’s Day period
    • The share of contactless transactions has seen an increase of 46%, and the value of these transactions increased by 166%
    • Spend on flowers in APAC increased by 39% vs. 2015 and the number of transactions also increased by 61%. Jewelry has seen overall spend increase by 21% with transactions increasing by 58% vs. 2015


Mastercard and its Suite of Research Properties

The Mastercard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the Mastercard Index of Women’s AdvancementMastercard Index of Financial Literacy, and the Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, Mastercard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Online ShoppingEthical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering TravelDining & EntertainmentEducationMoney Management, Luxury and General Shopping).

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard Communications Contact

Celina Lim, +65 6825 8075, +65 90997618

Ernest Lee, +65 6825 8027, +65 90109719