What your credit card says about your personality

What if marketers could determine their customer’s personality type by their spending habits?  As per the new consumer behavior study published in Psychological Science, scientists and researchers after analyzing thousands of card statements have developed tools to link spending habits with behavioral patterns and personality types.

With most people now using digital payment methods and billions of online transactions taking place online, it’s now possible to study these records and determine personality types for customSet featured images making purchases.

The study found that food and housing were common items amongst all the subjects they researched but it’s the spend on leisure and where they spend the disposable incomes that distinguish them into unique personality types.
Let us now look at some of most common spending and associated personality traits uncovered during this study:

TRAVEL: The study suggests that people who spend money on travel, flights, transport, and other related expenses are more likely to be open-minded, friendly, and open to new experiences. These would be the type of customers to try out new brands and products. An interesting statistic for marketers!

EATING OUT AND DRINKS: Eating out, fine dining restaurants, bars, and pubs are all very social experiences so people who spend more money on these activities tend to be extroverted in their personality, no surprises here. Marketers can use this information to promote special offers and exclusives to this niche of customers.

SAVINGS:  Even though most millennial spending habits don’t have much room for savings, people who tend to regularly save money were found to spend much less on any other activities outside of the basics. These consumers would fall under the category of being conscientious, thorough, and diligent.

DONATIONS:  People who give money to charities, donations, NGOs, and not for profit organizations were found to be kind, easy-going, down to earth and more accommodating in general.

FANCY CLOTHING AND JEWELRY: Now this was an interesting find. People who spend excessive amounts on clothing, jewelry tend to be more anxious, lonely, and harbor more negative feelings, and were associated with being materialistic. Retail therapy, the practice of shopping to make oneself more cheerful may not be the best resolve for any issues.


However, we also need to look at how this invasive technology impacts the larger group of the population. We are now facing a time that we are bombarded with advertisements and triggers every time we use technology. Be it mobile phones, browsing the web, watching television, etc.  How many of us can relate to talking about a specific product with a friend or a co-worker and then seeing ads related to that product all over our phones and computers? Customers don’t always know how and when their data is used, neither do we make the effort to read privacy policies while giving our consent.  This method amongst others also raises ethical concerns as it may leave room for companies to target vulnerable customers in order to sell more.  There is also a need for regulations and policies to be in place in order to protect customers from exploitation and misuse of such technologies.

To conclude, advancement in technology and use of technology to better serve and target customers has its advantages as well as potential risks.  Ethical and consent driven marketing efforts would lead to long term sustainable growth for companies as well as happy customers’

Not all personality traits are directly co-related to specific spending habits, but the research gave us a broad overview of how technology and research can be used to get smart customer insights.  So, what do your spending habits say about your personality, comment below and let us know?

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