The Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) is targeting China’s young mothers, ‘a growing group known for their love of shopping and their greater say in the family budget’, with a new type of credit card dubbed the “Pretty Mom” card, which offers discounts on baby products, schools and, of course, “female industries” like beauty salons (!!!!), according to Xinhua.
Liu Guiping, business director of ABC, said the bank is counting on female clients in cities to upgrade the bank’s credit card services. The new services will focus on consumer experience, Liu added.
ABC is not the first bank to show interest in China’s female consumers. The country’s leading banks, including China CITIC Bank and China Everbright Bank, have already offered cards geared toward women.
Along with traditional financial services, the cards offer discounts or incentives for purchases related to “female industries,” such as health, salons, cosmetics, clothing and accessories.
The report says that the banks are releasing the cards specifically for women in response to their growing role in managing family finances, citing an HSBC survey showing that “63 percent of female interviewees from the mainland acted as decision makers on money matters, higher than the figure for male interviewees”.
This card is not the first of its kind. China CITIC Bank and China Everbright Bank also offer cards geared towards females, launched in response to the social trend of Chinese women taking head of the family money management.
Singapore-based United Overseas Bank Ltd offers this “UOB Lady Card“, which boasts benefits for female card-holders ranging from an “Additional 5% off your favorite labels” and “Complimentary Access to [health club] Fitness First” to the ability to “Convert any shoes and bag purchases worth S$500 or more into a 6 or 12-month installment plan with UOB Lady’s LuxePay Plan”.
While it’s encouraging to see marriage constructs evolving in social cultures that might traditionally see men handling the big financial decisions, that fact that we must resort to splashing on images of roses and offering discounts to gyms and beauty salons as a way to target women into owning their own fucking credit card is, of course, not empowering, it’s backwards. But then again, we don’t expect much from the commercial banking institution, which will do just about anything to get its hands on the bread-makers (no puns).
[Image Credit: Wimena Kane]