FNB has revealed that restaurants, spas, and cinemas received a significant boost in the weeks before and during Valentine’s Day as credit, debit and fusion card spend increased compared to the same period last year. When compared to February of last year, data from FNB customers showed that spend at restaurants was 45% higher, with spas up 36%, and cinemas saw a 228% increase.
According to Ashley Saffy, Business Develop Head, FNB Card, the sustained recovery in consumer spending is a positive sign for the country as it shows that South Africa is transitioning into a more open economy with less restrictions.
Beyond these sectors, the bank also revealed that during the week of Valentine’s Day, spend on chocolates, flowers, and other gifts rose sharply. Chocolatiers saw a 62% increase in spend while flowers and gifts accounted for 81% and 20% increases, respectively. Both in-store and online shopping saw strong growth, a clear indication that hybrid ways of shopping are becoming the norm among consumers in South Africa.
“The sustained growth in online shopping suggests that consumers and businesses are finding common ground on supply and demand. We are increasingly enabling both consumers and merchants to process online shopping conveniently and safely, with instruments such as virtual cards, offering multiple layers of security. In addition, the ability to tap and pay with a smartphone at a physical point of sale contributes significantly to the shopping experience for both the consumer and the merchant,” adds Saffy.
As part of its focus on helping customers better manage their money, FNB reminds its customers to take advantage of the interest-free period when using their FNB and RMB Private Bank Credit or Fusion Cards.
In addition, FNB and RMB Private Bank customers who spend using any of their Virtual Cards (Debit, Credit & Fusion) receive free Purchase Protect coverage for the first 30 days after the purchase. This new benefit was announced at the recent launch of FNB’s short-term insurance solutions for its customers.