Thailand: Poor Money Management Results in ‘Mystery Spend’ of up to THB 60,000 per Year – Visa Survey

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Thais lose 72 percent of their weekly estimated expenses, enough to buy two iPhone 6 Plus[1]

Bangkok, October 19, 2015 – Thais are unable to account for almost three quarters of their average weekly expenses – or more than THB 60,000 a year – due to ‘mystery spending,’ according to a recent online survey from Visa.

The survey, carried out by international market research firm YouGov on behalf of Visa, showed how much money consumers in 14 Asian markets[2] are unable to account for because they fail to track their spending.

It revealed that better awareness over how they use their money could reap significant rewards for Thais, as almost THB 60,000 each year is lost.

Visa differentiates the concept of mystery spending from misplaced or stolen cash – it is about cash spent but the consumer is unsure of where it went.

“The survey highlights how poor management of personal finance can cause setbacks for us in the long run. Paying more attention to how we spend our hard-earned money, regardless of the size of our budget, is the first step towards financial control,” said Suripong Tantiyanon, Country Manager, Visa Thailand.

The survey revealed that Thais spend an average of THB 1,588 weekly but lose track of an average of THB 1,143 (72 percent), with most Thais believing their mystery spending went on the purchase of food and groceries and buying snacks (both 49 percent), and shopping for non-essential items (45 percent).

Thirty-six percent of Thai respondents thought their daily lunch mysteriously ate up a large chunk of their expenses, well above the regional average of only 21 percent.

Younger people (18-24) were more likely to mystery-spend on entertainment (45 percent) compared to older groups, though the total amount of THB 1,091 was on par with all age groups.

Among the South East Asian countries covered in the survey, Thais had the largest proportion of mystery spend (72 percent) followed by Indonesia (57 percent), Vietnam (48 percent), Singapore (45 percent), Malaysia (44 percent) and the Philippines (42 percent).

“In today’s fast-paced world, consumers can often lose track of how they manage their money on a day-to-day basis. It is important for everyone to monitor their expenses and manage their personal finances and one way of doing this is through the use of electronic cards as they offer greater control, security, rewards, and convenience over cash. Thais can stick to their budget and keep their mystery spending to a minimum when they use electronic cards in their transactions,” Mr. Suripong added.


About Visa:
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 56,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit, or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations; however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit, and @VisaNews.


For further media information, please contact: 

Kinan Suchaovanich

Visa International (Asia-Pacific)

Tel: 02 263 9239



Waruch-on Manomairat (Yim)

Spark Communications (On behalf of Visa)

Tel: 02 653 2717-9 and 081 854 9946



[1] iPhone 6 Plus (64GB) costs THB 30,500 according to official Apple website.

[2] Survey conducted: 3 to 6 August 2015. Sample size: 11,000 respondents in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.