PETALING JAYA: Malaysian men are more willing to splurge on a Valentine's gift than the women, Mastercard said after a survey.
The global MasterCard Love Index survey showed that Malaysians were serious about that one day in the year reserved for romance, with almost two-thirds planning to get a gift for their partner.
However, the men are more generous that the fairer sex, spending an average of RM835 (US$201) compared to RM600 (US$145) by the women.
The survey of 401 Malaysian Mastercard users found that an average of RM730 (US$201) were spent on buying a gift.
Along with the Taiwanese, Malaysians are joint fourth-biggest spenders in Asia-Pacific, behind Hong Kong (US$243), China (US$239) and Singapore (US$189).
The MasterCard Love Index analysed aggregated transaction information made by credit, debit and pre-pay cards across pre-selected merchant categories over a three-year period from Feb 11 to 14 from 2013 to 2015.
Valentine's Day falls on Sunday.
The survey also showed that MasterCard users in the region spent more money on “experiences” rather than on “things” during Valentine’s Day.
It said 36% of money spent on Valentine’s Day were on hotels, with 24% at restaurants. In total, Valentine’s Day spending in Asia Pacific was up 23% from 2013 to 2015 according to the survey.
Nevertheless, jewellery made up 14% of Valentine’s Day expenditure in the period.
The survey also found that almost three quarters of consumers in China and Vietnam – and over half in Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand – believe Valentine’s Day is the best day to propose or receive a marriage proposal compared to only 40% of Malaysians.
“What’s surprising is that Valentine’s Day is more popular in markets such as Thailand, China, and Malaysia, than Australia and New Zealand; places that have more of a tradition of marking the day.
“In China and Vietnam, it is even considered the preferred day to propose or receive a marriage proposal,” said Eric Schneider, Region Head, Asia Pacific, MasterCard Advisors.