The Tectonic Shift in Consumer Behaviour and its Ripple Effects on the Banking Sector

Whenever the world faces economic turbulence, it’s almost second nature for consumers to switch gears, especially in their spending habits. And, while changes in the banking industry might not always be perceptible to the average Joe, those embedded within the industry’s framework can clearly see the waves and ripples. This is more evident now than ever.

In the shadow of recessions, an interesting phenomenon unfolds: people gravitate towards credit. This isn’t an assumption or mere observation. I’ve seen this pattern play out over three recessions. It’s an ebb and flow where consumers shift from debit to credit and back again, almost in sync with the world’s economic health.

The larger impact, often unnoticed, is on companies, especially those that depend on the banking and finance sector. For example, consider MasterCard’s increasing profits during these times. Their revenues surge, not just because more people are swiping their credit cards, but also due to the higher interest rates and charges these cards inherently come with. For our clients, this isn’t necessarily good news. Their bills see a slight increase, especially if they’re navigating through the world of business debit and credit, sometimes shelling out as much as 2.5% to 3% more. It’s a burden they didn’t anticipate but one that they must shoulder.

Plastic money has become an integral part of our daily lives. Gone are the days when credit and debit cards were the privilege of the affluent businessperson. Whether it’s Danny going to the supermarket or someone visiting the post office to collect a pension, plastic dominates. But the choice of plastic – credit or debit – has significant implications, particularly for our clients. The type of card a consumer uses determines the charges businesses must bear.

This evolving landscape offers an opportunity for those in the industry. For firms like ours, now might be an optimal time to engage potential clients, helping them navigate these higher bills and shifting consumer habits.

In conclusion, our world is in constant flux, shaped by numerous external factors. While consumers might adapt out of necessity, businesses must strategize to weather the storm. The current trend of credit card preference is just one among many, but its implications on the financial industry are profound.

To those in the industry: watch the tides, anticipate the waves, and sail with strategy. It’s not about resisting change, but about harnessing it for greater opportunities. And to the consumers: understanding the larger picture might just help you make better financial decisions. Remember, it’s not just about which plastic you use, but how its ripple effects shape the financial world around you.


Jon Barras

Phone: 01895 832864