Published : 2013-10-07 21:44
Updated : 2013-10-07 22:19
Credit spending on pets increased sharply last year due to purchases by people living alone without kids, the Credit Finance Association said Monday.
There were more than 10 million Koreans living with an animal companion as of the end of August this year.
Their spending via credit cards for pet products such as food and veterinary products amounted to more than 83.1 billion won in August this year, up about 12 percent from July this year.
Their credit spending increased about 21 percent year-on-year, the CFA said.
Data showed that Koreans swiped their credit cards to the tune of 21.3 billion won for purchases of companion animals and their basic necessities. The rest of the 61.8 billion won was charged on veterinary products and treatment.
Purchases of pets and food increased 33 percent year-on-year, while credit spending for veterinary products and services rose 17 percent annually, the CFA noted.
The increase in credit spending for pets is mostly attributable to Korea’s rapidly aging society and low birth rate.
As the population ages and the cost of living rises, singles are pushing back marriage, married couples are opting to have kids after securing financial stability and senior citizens are living alone.
With the majority of households have one child or none, many are turning to pets, whose costs are less financially burdensome.
Credit card and insurance companies are taking this opportunity to offer more services related to their customers’ animals.
Credit card companies such as BC Card have been expanding services by partnering with pet stores and veterinary clinics.
Insurance companies including Lotte Insurance and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance have been also increasing their number of insurance products related to animal health care.