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Canada’s Love With Cashless Payments Reaches New Heights

Cashless Payments Dominate

Earlier this month Payments Canada released its annual report on payment methods and trends. The report looked at more than 22 billion payment transactions made in 2019 – providing insight on both year-over-year and 5-year trends in Canada. Here are some highlights:

  • Electronic payments now account for 77% of total payments volume (an increase from last year)
  • Contactless payments grew dramatically, increasing 15% in volume and 20% in value
  • Cash payments declined 9%, and is expected to decline steadily
  • Canadians continue to adopt new payment options; about 18% of Canadians made in-app purchases, and about 15% of Canadians made purchases using gaming consoles or Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  • Corporate cheque volumes declined, but the average value of a corporate cheque increased by about 5%
  • Electronic funds transfers (EFTs) represented the largest portion of the total transaction value (52%) of total payments value in 2019

The Pandemic Factor

Payments Canada also updated its survey results on Canadian spending and purchase habits during the pandemic. Here are some notable results:

  • 44% of Canadians say COVID-19 has changed their payments preferences to digital and contactless long-term
  • 47% report tapping their debit and credit cards more often than pre-COVID, compared to 53% at week five of the pandemic
  • 42% are uncomfortable handling cash in general

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