EAST WEST Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank) is aiming to grow its credit cards in force to 1.4 million this year as it plans to introduce more products targeting the young population.

The bank currently has 1.3 million active credit cards, EastWest Bank Senior Vice-President Credit Cards Head Mia P. Tamayo said at a media briefing on Thursday.

“This year, we intend to grow. Expect more launches. What we want to target is the mass — the younger, very young Filipino market,” she said.

Discount promotions for select restaurants for credit card holders will also help boost the bank’s card segment, she added.

EastWest Bank will also be partnering with more merchants in provinces to expand its reach, Ms. Tamayo said.

This comes as the Gotaniun-led bank on Thursday launched discounts for its cardholders for purchases made this month in celebration of Father’s Day, including food, fuel and groceries, in partnership with select establishments.

Meanwhile, Ms. Tamayo said the bank is looking to launch more products for the mass affluent and high net worth segments.

The bank’s credit card clients are currently made up of about 40% in mass affluent individuals, including middle income earners and professionals, while 30% are from the mass segment and about 20% are from the affluent sector, she said.

“It is really more of mass affluent, only because the population in the Philippines is the highest in the mass and mass affluent. So, the majority are mass affluent. But we do cater to all segments,” Ms. Tamayo said.

Credit card billings mostly come from grocery purchases, dining, and travel, she added, noting that commerce billings have also grown since the coronavirus pandemic.

EastWest Bank’s attributable net income grew by 7.74% year on year to P1.7 billion in the first quarter.

Its shares closed at P9.39 apiece on Thursday, down by seven centavos or 0.74% from the previous day’s finish. — A.M.C. Sy