South Korea Found to Have Highest Credit Card Penetration

South Korea Credit Card Usage

Lenders and investors have long been intrigued by prospects in South Korea. The country has the fourth largest economy in Asia, and a recent report by Borderfree, a global e-commerce solutions firm, gave the country a “desirable market” status.

The country’s score was based on consumer appetite for buying outside of the country, household income and purchasing power, relative currency strength, ease of import and expected market growth. The e-commerce opportunities in the country are growing rapidly, with 80 percent of the population connected to the web with the fastest average internet speed in the world, and more than three quarters of the population owning smartphones, according to Luxury Daily.

Credit Card Penetration Rate – South Korea

South Korea boasts the highest credit care penetration in the world. An average South Korean citizen holds five credit cards, compared with an average in the U.S. of two. South Koreans also use credit more frequently, with 129.7 credit card transactions per year in South Korea, compared to 77.9 credit card transactions annually in the U.S.

“From an ecommerce perspective, South Korea is an attractive market for luxury online retailers, given the country’s strong currency, demonstrated zeal for shopping online, access to credit cards and high-speed internet connections,” Michael DeSimone, CEO of Borderfree, wrote in his report. “South Koreans have a penchant for luxury brands and are recognized across Asia for their high level of sophistication.”

According to the report, South Koreans are on average much more aware of and interested in foreign goods and luxury brands, and are increasingly taking to the web to gain access to these products. Retail ecommerce sales in the country are rising, with $25.3 billion projected spend for 2017. As the won continues to make ground against the U.S dollar, these numbers are expected to climb.

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