Twenty years ago, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB)
launched the first credit card targeted specifically at women. The
product, called the Lady’s Card, is still running and now has
500,000 customers.

The card was one of the earliest
examples of female-focused financial services, a phenomenon that
has spread to all forms of finance – retail banking, wealth
management and insurance. Card issuers that have entered this niche
have discovered a growing market that offers increased volumes,
reduced non-performing loans and greater customer

In Europe, it is estimated 79.2 percent of all purchasing
decisions are now made by women. The figure is 80 percent in the US
and, at the current rate of wage increases, women will be earning
more on average than men by 2024. If these customers are generating
increasing wealth and exercising greater influence in financial
decision-making, it makes sense to target them as customers, as
Standard Bank, in South Africa, and TEB, in Turkey, recently

Their research into the market
shows women are 30 percent more likely than men to pay bills on
time, meaning credit risk can be mitigated. Personalised financial
products are also more likely to build loyalty.

The products have not taken off in every country. Women in
Germany find the products patronising and in the US, where the
market for the products appears highest, there are no women-focused
credit cards. What is clear is that well-researched, carefully
considered products in this segment have the potential to deliver
rich rewards.

For full analysis see: Women and Card Benefits: Which