Loyalty cards.

Plastic loyalty cards. Most of us have a whole bunch of them stacked in our wallets or lying around at home and have most definitely been offered to sign up to many more. They promise us discounts, cashback and rewards for being loyal customers when shopping in-store. But there are only so many loyalty cards you can fit into one wallet. How can brands convince consumers to sign up to yet another loyalty program? How is shoppers’ behaviour with respect to loyalty cards changing in the face of the rising popularity of mobile payments?

In this report, we deep dive into the attitudes towards loyalty cards across 19 markets, with responses from 20,000 consumers across the world.

Happy exploring!


Klarna research occurred in May 2022, in cooperation with Dynata and across 19 countries (US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Spain, and Portugal). The survey includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. In total, 20,413 consumers ages 18 to 75 participated.

19 countries

20,413 consumers

Are there more loyalty cards or wallets in the world?

The retail version of the “doors or wheels” brain teaser could be “loyalty cards or wallets”. If you check the homes and pockets of shoppers across the world, will you find more loyalty cards or wallets?

The majority has more than one.

Many retailers offer incentives and benefits to retain loyal customers and it’s clear they are very popular. While very few shoppers are not tempted by discounts and rewards from their favorite retailers, the vast majority has more than one.


have at least one loyalty card.


have more than one.

Most loyalty card holders use it at least one once a week.

Whether you’re shopping for groceries and everyday essentials, making a dream purchase or have found yourself at the checkout with an impulse buy, reward programs appear to work well as an incentive for using loyalty cards. After all, every penny spent counts towards a return. 2 out of 3 are using a loyalty card on a weekly basis, while 9 out of 10 are using them once a month. An estimate based on the frequency of usage shows that the average shopper uses a loyalty card around 108 times each year.

Overwhelming amounts of physical cards.

Today, despite a massive shift towards digital payments, you are still very likely to find a plastic loyalty card in most shoppers’ wallets. But you are equally as likely to find a shopper who has left one or more of their cards at home, or rejected the idea of signing up to another loyalty program altogether, unwilling to carry another card with them while out shopping.

The wide availability of loyalty programs is overwhelming for shoppers.

Ever been out shopping and been asked to join another reward program? You are not alone. We’ve all been there, stood at the checkout weighing up whether it’s worth signing up to another loyalty program. Is the opportunity to save money great enough? Is it worth having to carry another card with me? With the majority of retailers offering a loyalty program these days, consumers are feeling overwhelmed. This sentiment is felt most strongly by younger generations, while the Baby Boomers are the most open to joining new and a broader number of programs.

Many loyalty cards are left behind by shoppers.

Despite the benefits of discounts, rewards and cash back loyalty programs, the majority of shoppers are not bringing all their loyalty cards with them when they go shopping – which means that they risk losing out on the benefits if caught without their card at the checkout.


52% of shoppers don’t carry all their loyalty cards with them.

Gen Z

are the most likely to leave their physical cards at home, and less than a third (31%) have all their loyalty cards available when they go shopping.

The vast majority of shoppers have rejected a new loyalty card.

There are no downsides to signing up for a loyalty card… or are there? Despite loyalty cards being offered to shoppers for free, with the intention to save users money, consumers still reject signing up to new loyalty programs. Why? For the majority, it comes down to how attractive the reward program is, although nearly one-third have also avoided a loyalty program simply because they didn’t want to add another card to their wallet. What’s clear is for retailers to onboard new loyalty members, the kickback needs to outweigh the hassle of signing-up and committing to another card.


of shoppers have rejected a loyalty card. Gen Z’ers (81%) are the most likely to have done so, while Baby Boomers (55%) are the least.


say it is because they don’t want another card to carry with them – or any plastic cards at all.

Missing out on the benefits.

Have you ever reached the checkout to discover you left your loyalty card at home so can’t collect the reward points? Or that you previously declined one in the same checkout because you didn’t want to carry another plastic card? You are not alone with this either, and you are once again more likely a member of the younger generations.

Is the future of loyalty cards digital?

The shift towards digital has never been faster. Today shoppers are in search of more efficient solutions that help them save time and money when shopping. With smart ways to pay on your phone, loyalty cards will follow a similar transition.

Shoppers are positive towards replacing their plastic cards with a mobile app.

Unsurprisingly, given that shoppers express feeling overwhelmed by the amount of loyalty programs available and as a result, the number of plastic cards they need to carry with them, an overwhelming majority are positive towards carrying them digitally.

73% of shoppers globally are positive about replacing their plastic cards with an app that stores all of their loyalty and rewards programs digitally. While this trend is reflective across demographics, the sentiment is the strongest among the younger generations, with 81% of Gen Z’ers and 82% of Millennials look forward to a future in which they never miss out on potential benefits in the checkout when shopping at their favorite stores – assuming they wouldn’t leave their smartphones at home.

And that’s that.

Thirsty for more knowledge?

Make sure to check out the other reports available at Klarna Insights.

Shopping pulse: Mexico!

This report explores the evolving shopping habits in Mexico.

This insights report provides an overview on how Mexicans go about their shopping, and compares their habits to 11 other markets (the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, and Finland).

Shopping habits and behaviors are changing, and the most significant shift is around digital. Mexicans anticipate rapid digital transformation, notably with evolving digital payment preferences.

Happy exploring!


Klarna’s Survey was sent out online in collaboration with research agency Dynata to a representative sample of 1,003 Mexican consumers aged 18-65+ in February 2022.

The Mexican data has been compared to the countries included in Klarna’s recurring Shopping Pulse, which includes 19,000 respondents across 11 countries (the US, UK, Australia, Belgium, France, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Finland).

1,003 Mexican respondents

in comparison with 19,000 respondents, across 11 countries

Mexicans are anticipating rapid digital transformation.

Online shopping has accelerated amid the pandemic. And there are no signs of the digital transformation slowing down. Shoppers’ preferences towards online shopping continue to rise even as restrictions in physical stores worldwide are easing.

A year from now.

Over the past two decades, online shopping has pivoted from something for early adopters and enthusiasts into the preferred way to shop for people worldwide. Technological innovation will continue to marvel and excite, retailers will continue to improve their digital offerings, and the digitalization of retail will continue to shape the future of shopping.


of Mexican shoppers believe they would shop most often online a year from now, showing an increasing preference for online shopping.


Millennials believe the same, standing out as the generation thinking they would shop mostly online in the future.

Physical stores are still the norm for shoppers.

Mexican shoppers may have high expectations of shopping more frequently online in the near future, but the current online shopping frequency is on par with the global average of countries.

1 in 3

Mexican shoppers shop online at least once a week – which is slightly above the global average.


difference compared to the US.

Some categories appear more available online than others.

While some retail categories are shopped more often online, physical stores still see certain product types bought more often in-person. And the biggest differences are found across some of the most commonly-bought categories—indicating an opportunity for disruption—as online shopping’s main drivers are convenience and the ability to save time.

The charts below show the average percentage of shoppers in each market who have shopped the category online and in physical stores respectively.

Entertainment and Electronics

Are the only product categories that are more often shopped online than in physical stores in Mexico.

Clothing & Shoes

the biggest online shopping category, is more often bought in physical stores (49%) than online (42%). However, Millennials are about as likely to shop both online (47%) as in physical stores (47%).

Main advantages with online shopping.

The convenience of shopping from the comfort of their own homes while saving time and money are considered the main advantages by online shoppers in in Mexico.

Gen Z’ers

consider more personalized offers and the ability to create digital wishlists as main advantages to a higher extent compared to older generations.


consider the time saving, availability of different payment options and avoiding pushy sales from in-store employees as main advantages to a higher extent compared to other generations.

Convenience is key.

Home delivery is the preferred delivery method for the vast majority, and “Click and collect” options comes in at a distant second place.

Home delivery

is by far the most popular delivery method, and there seems to be few alternatives

High adoption of mobile shopping.

When shopping online, the majority of Mexican shoppers prefer using mobiles. Mobile devices are expected to play a central role in the continued digitalization of retail.

High adoption of mobile shopping.

Mobile shopping has risen with the evolution of smartphones, and Mexico ranks first among the top countries that have seen the most rapid shift. Gen Z’ers and Millennials are the main drivers for this shift, but the older generations are not far behind. 

8 in 10

Mexican shoppers shop more often on their mobile phone vs 2 years ago (before the pandemic).


Baby Boomers in Mexico – more than their generational counterparts in all other countries – have done the same

Mobile phones are preferred by the majority.

The majority of Mexican consumers prefer mobile devices over computers when they are shopping online. Ranked 1rst of 12 countries, Mexico stands out as the country leaning the most towards this preference for mobile devices.


of Millennials prefer to use their mobile phones — the highest out of all generations in Mexico.

1 out of 12

Mexico ranks as the country with the highest mobile preference.

Overview of mobile shopping-related activities.

More informed mobile shoppers.

While retail’s digitalization has given additional power to the consumer—including more choice and information—it has also made the decision-making process more complex. Price comparisons, and actively looking for deals and promotions, are the most common activities. The ability to keep track of shopping deliveries and returns is also one of their top considerations when shopping online.

The chart illustrates the main activities of consumers when shopping with their mobile phone.

Over 9 in 10

compare prices and look for deals and price promotions online.

First out of 12

The Mexicans are the most meticulous when it comes to comparing prices.

Current online shopping hurdles.

Mexicans intend to shop more online a year from now, but the current shopping experience is still too complex and inconvenient.

Major drawbacks of online shopping.

Although online shopping is known to have many advantages such as lower price, gaining time or doing it from home, a majority of consumers are finding disadvantages in doing so.

The inability to see and try the product, shipping costs and uncertain or long delivery times
are currently considered the top disadvantages of online shopping


of Baby Boomers are considering the inability to see and try the product as the main online shopping disadvantage.

Lengthy refund processes.

The majority of online shoppers experience a similar hiccup in their experience, waiting several days for their refund after they’ve returned their items.

More than 7 days.

Portuguese shoppers wait from 3 to more than 7 days to get their money back after returning an online purchase.

An inconvenient returns process.

The majority of consumers in Mexico find the returns process sub-optimal and believe that retailers need to improve in this are.


of Mexican shoppers currently think that retailers should improve their returns processes.


 of Baby Boomers say the same, while 67% of Gen Z’ers seem to find returns a hurdle.

Evolving digital payment preferences.

Shoppers have a strong desire to shop more online but are held back by what they believe to be a cumbersome experience. Consumers are looking for better ways to pay and want retailers to invest in new technology to make the shopping experience better.

Online payments.

In addition to logistics and returns, payments are also perceived as major pain points: half of Mexican shoppers (75%) are looking for easier ways to pay online, and 4 in 5 (80%) would be encouraged to buy more online if a wider choice of payment options was available.


are concerned about the security of their payment information when shopping online

Try before you buy.

Today, customers expect a variety in payment methods. People would prefer to use the payment methods of their choosing which enable them to try goods out before paying.


of shoppers in Mexico would be more positive towards buying from an online store that enabled them to get goods delivered before paying.

Buy now, Pay Later.

There is a very positive sentiment for services enabling shoppers to receive goods before they pay among Mexican online shoppers.


would like to try a Buy Now, Pay Later service – only 2% wouldn’t


say flexible payments would help them shop with peace of mind.

That’s it for this time!

The insights in Klarna’s Money Management Pulse is updated on a quarterly basis, so stay tuned for future updates.

Thirsty for more knowledge?

Make sure to check out the other reports that are available at Klarna Insights!