Canadians report spending less, shopping less frequently and relying less on cash in survey results released by Payments Canada May 13. The pandemic has also accelerated the use of digital payments, a transition that is likely to remain permanent, according to the organization’s CEO.
The majority of Canadians are grocery shopping once a week, and 93 per cent indicate they have stopped going out except to shop for necessities. Overall, 75 per cent said they are spending less than before the spread of COVID-19. Nearly half (44 per cent) reported some negative impact of the outbreak on their income, and 26 per cent indicated a negative impact on their ability to pay bills on time.
The results are based on interviews with 1,504 Canadians conducted by Leger\ACS between April 17 and 19, and do not reflect actual payment data collected by Payments Canada.
The interview results indicate significant changes in how consumers pay for their purchases as well. Consumers report using cash, cheques, prepaid cards and ATMs much less frequently, and e-Transfers, PayPal, credit cards more frequently. More than half (53 per cent) said they used contactless (tap payments) more frequently, and 42 per cent said they avoided shopping at stores that did not accept contactless payments.
In a published release, Payments Canada CEO Tracey Black said the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated shifts towards digital payments – and other digital services such as video conferencing and on-demand entertainment – and “will likely act as a catalyst in transforming the Canadian payment landscape forever.”