Consumers in Canada Adopting Contactless Payments But Cautious

Jan 27, 2020

Canada is going contactless faster than everyone anticipated. Surprisingly, it now outshines the US in adoption rates. Nevertheless, Canadian consumers are still worried about the use of mobile gadgets.

According to a recent report, titled 2019 Canadian Payment Methods and Trends, contactless payments in Canada surged 30% YOY in 2018.

Payments Canada is the body that oversees Canada’s automated clearing house and retrieves its data from the nation’s ACH.

More findings show mobile and card accounted for over 4 billion transactions in Canada. And that Canadians are increasingly using debit as an alternative for cash—studies show debit made up an entire 60% of all contactless payments.

Mobile and security concerns

But contactless users in Canada are still concerned about the safety of mobile. In fact, less than 1/3 consumers believe mobile transactions are safe according to a news release by Payments Canada.

Other findings indicate only 35 percent of Canadians used mobile devices to make payments from time to time in 2018.

Debit replacing Cash

While the US still dilly-dallies, issuers in Canada have incorporated contactless abilities to cards. And for the cherry on top, merchant acquirers have also availed POS hardware that take contactless cards.

Perhaps that explains why consumers in Canada are increasingly replacing cash with cards. Last year debit transactions outshined cash in Canada for the first time, as the most-utilized type of payment according to a report by the Federal Reserve Banks.

On the flipside, Cash payments have plummeted by 40 percent in just 5 years, according to Payments Canada. In fact, cash made up only 25 percent of all point-of-sale payments in Canada last year— which is a significant drop compared to 2013’s 44 percent.

Credit card payments went up 5 percent to make 35 percent of all point-of-sale transactions.

Other findings by Payments Canada indicate debit card transactions went up 4 percent YOY in 2018 to make up nearly 40 percent of point-of-sale volume all the way from 30% in 2013.

Final Words

Contactless payments is a fast and easy way to pay. Though adoption rates are still low in many markets, these statistics from Canada boast its ability to serve as a staple payment method.

Hopefully, payment companies will work to address customer concerns hindering adoption and have other markets follow suit!

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