The widespread shift from paper to contactless and other forms of payment prevailed through 2019, even before the impact of COVID-19, according to a Payments Canada report on payment industry methods and trends in 2019.
In the release that accompanied the report, Canadian Payments: Methods and Trends 2020, Payments Canada noted the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic – as described in its study earlier this year – accelerated the use of digital and contactless payments. It also expected a number of payment shifts to continue in 2020, including an overall decline in spending, a decline in cash use and a rise in contactless payments, as well as more e-commerce growth.
The report analyzed 22 billion payment transactions made in 2019, totalling $9.9 trillion in value from consumers and businesses. It showed electronic payments represent about 77 per cent of payment volume, and 62 per cent of payment value in 2019. Figures showed that Canadians increasingly favour contactless payments, wearables, in-app payments and e-commerce. Cash use shrunk 9 per cent. Use of cheques and other paper forms also declined.
“The migration to digital payments, a trend that we have observed for a number of years, has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tracey Black, president and CEO of Payments Canada.
Among the other interesting findings in the report:
- About 89 percent of Canadians reported having a credit card, while 30 percent carried a credit card balance each month.
- Online purchase were made by 86 per cent of Canadians in 2019.
- About 18 per cent of Canadians used in-app purchaes, 15 per cent made purchases using gaming consoles or Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and 34 per cent of Canadians who own a wearable (such as smart watches) reported making a purchase using one.
- The growth of online transfers is slowing, and the average value of an online transfer declined by about 3 percent.
Payments Canada operates the payment clearing and settlement systems used by Canada’s financial system, with a total value of $55 trillion in payments cleared and settled in 2019.
Consumers Council of Canada President Don Mercer and Alexandre Plourde of Option Consommateurs represent Canada’s consumers on the 20-member stakeholder advisory council of Payments Canada.