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Canada’s Payment Landscape 2009-2022 – BoC

Payments Research | Jan 31, 2024

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Deciphering Canada's Payment Landscape from the the 2022 Bank of Canada Survey

The 2022 Methods-of-Payment Survey by the Bank of Canada shines light on evolving payment preferences in Canada, spanning over a decade looking at data from 2009 to 2022.  The research shows a shift from traditional cash handling to an increasingly digital-centric payment culture through the backdrop of new payment methods like digital currencies and the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bank of Canada Payments Landscape 2022 Survey Use of payment alternatives in the past year chart - Canada's Payment Landscape 2009-2022 - BoC

Image: Bank of Canada Payments Landscape 2022 Survey, Chart 3


  • Canadians held an average of $130 in cash in 2022, mirroring 2021 figures, despite significant inflation, indicating cash's resilience.
  • Online transactions surged, with nearly 15% of purchases made online in recent years, a big increase from less than 5% in 2013 and 2017.
  • Credit cards were still the predominant payment method in 2022, constituting 48% of all transactions and 59% of total transaction value.  This includes contactless payments which represent over 66.7% of credit card transactions in 2022, highlighting the adoption of convenient payment technologies.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed a significant behavioural shift to online shopping, with the volume share of online shopping rising from 3% in 2017 to 12% in 2020.
  • Interac e-Transfer saw widespread adoption, used by 51% of Canadians, overshadowing digital currencies like Bitcoin, which had a much lower usage rate.
  • ATM cash withdrawals fdeclined by about half by 2017 (from 2009).
  • Nearly all small and medium-sized businesses in Canada accepted cash in 2022, with a substantial increase in debit and credit card acceptance since 2018.
  • The survey highlights a multifaceted payment landscape in Canada, accommodating various methods including cash, cards, mobile payments, and digital currencies.

Closing Outlook

While digital and contactless payments are on the rise, the enduring role of cash underscores the need for a multi-pronged approach to payment options to ensure inclusivity and accessibility in Canada's financial services, catering to all segments of the population.

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As the country progresses further into the digital age, continuous monitoring and adaptable strategies will be essential for financial institutions and policymakers. This approach will ensure alignment with evolving consumer trends and technological advancements.

Download the 48 page PDF report --> here

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