Is Canada moving towards a cashless society?

contactless_canadaAccording to a prediction by Moneris Solutions Corporation (“Moneris”), Canada’s leading credit and debit card processor, by 2030 cash purchases will make up only 10 per cent of money spent in Canada. Compared to 35 per cent of overall transactions in 2014, the 70 per cent decline will coincide with an increase in the use of digital payment technologies, especially among younger Canadians.

Consumer misconceptions about the security of mobile wallets and the ability of mobile wallets to digitally store physical wallet contents (including plastic loyalty cards and receipts) are, however, the kind of factors slowing the transition towards a complete cashless society in Canada.

Canadian consumers are increasingly turning to contactless technology to make payments. A recent Moneris survey of Canadians found that 67 per cent aged 18-34, 56 per cent aged 35-44, 48 per cent aged 55-64, and 49 per cent aged 65 and older, preferred to use a contactless-enabled card to make purchases.

“More Canadians – especially younger ones – are tapping their cards to pay as opposed to inserting them into payment terminals,” said Rob Cameron, Chief Product Officer at Moneris. “We’ve seen the number of contactless transactions more than double this year, which is a strong indication that mobile payments are going to see a huge lift.”

When it comes to mobile wallets, the survey found that 25 per cent of Canadians aged 18-34 preferred paying with a mobile wallet over cash or card (compared to 18 per cent aged 45-54, 10 per cent aged 55-64 and 6 per cent aged 65 and older).

The May 2016 expansion of Apple Pay to include support from all major Canadian banks will also help spur the adoption of mobile wallets. Of Canadians aged 18-34, 46 per cent said they would be more likely to use a mobile wallet if it were available for the kind of credit card they used, and 47 per cent said they would use a mobile wallet if it were available for the kind of phone they used – responses collected prior to the full roll-out of Apple Pay.

When asked their reasons for not using a mobile wallet, 62 per cent of Canadians said they would be more likely to use it if they knew it was secure. Further, 50 per cent of Canadians said that they would leave their wallets at home if they could store all their loyalty cards on their phone. Other reasons Canadians are still holding on to their wallets are the inability to receive receipts via email (48 per cent) and store personal identification (41 per cent).

As more consumers realize mobile devices offer a secure alternative to physical wallets because of biometric authentication and other enhancements that minimize the risk of fraud, businesses should ramp-up plans to take advantage of mobile device usage. The shift away from cash is an opportunity for businesses to offer increased value to their customers, through digital solutions and applications that offer reward programs and other loyalty options as well as omni-channel selling approaches.

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Categories: Contactless Payments

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