The good response to Aeon Credit Services' Hello Kitty Mastercard will help increase its cardholder base from 382,000 to 500,000 by the end of its financial year, according to general manager Derek Lai. More than 25,000 applications for the Hello Kitty Mastercard have been received since the May 22 launch, with 85 per cent of applicants female aged under 30. Managing director Kazuhide Kamitani said with transaction volume up 40 per cent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, charges for bad and doubtful debts rose 15 per cent. 'All the other expenses are under control. Our only problem is funding costs and bad debt provisions,' Mr Kamitani said. 'The future is not very clear, that's why we have to keep additional general provisions.' He said the company increased its general provisions on credit card receivables by $20 million.