Understanding Young Consumer Perceptions on Credit Card Usage: Implications for Responsible Consumption

  • Weng Marc Lim Monash University
  • Woo Kan Ng Monash University
  • Jin How Chin Monash University
  • Alexander Wei-Xiang Boo Monash University


The usage of credit cards among young consumers is often irresponsible – they tend to overspend and as a result find themselves in a debt situation. While existing research has often attributed overspending to the availability of advance credit, there remains a dark spot in understanding why consumers are overspending, particularly through the use of credit cards. This study aims to understand consumer perceptions on the usage of credit cards and subsequently provide recommendations to promote the responsible use of credit cards. Fifteen qualitative, in-depth interviews with young consumers were employed to understand their perceptions and considerations toward the usage of credit cards. Findings suggest a change in consumer culture from one which focused on saving first, spending later to one which encourages spending now, thinking later. Various rationales have been identified as motivators that encourage credit card usage, including security trends for a cashless society and as a reflection of social desires. Attractive rewards and poor spending restrictions afforded by credit cards were the main influences that caused young consumers to spend more than what they could afford, thus leading to a situation of overspending. Implications and recommendations from the findings are presented. Keywords: Credit Cards, Responsible Consumption, Consumer Behaviour To cite this document: Weng Marc Lim, Woo Kan Ng, Jin How Chin, and Alexander Wei-Xiang Boo, "Understanding Young Consumer Perceptions on Credit Card Usage: Implications for Responsible Consumption", Contemporary Management Research, Vol.10, No.4, pp.287-302, 2014. Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.7903/cmr.11657