2017 Methods-of-Payment Survey Report, Bank of Canada

Jan. 22, 2019 Share Source
Enjoying a wide range of payment instruments, Canada offers choice in payments like few other countries. Thus, it is interesting that while card transactions are on the rise, so is the average amount of cash on hand.

On December 17th, 2018, the Bank of Canada published its latest '2017 Methods-of-Payment Survey Report' staff discussion paper; the second report was published in 2013 and the first in 2009. Each paper takes into account the stats provided from the previous one(s), allowing a comparative analysis where trends can be identified.

The three Method-of-Payment Survey Reports, are part of a larger ongoing research BoC programme on payment trends across the Great White North. This survey consists of a survey questionnaire (SQ) and a three-day diary survey instrument (DSI).

Consumers still rate cash as an easy-to-use, low-cost, secure and widely accepted payment method,
" From 'How do you like to pay?' (p. 8) 2017 Methods-of-Payment Survey Report' Staff Discussion Paper, Bank of Canada

Key findings

  • Cash is still dominant for low-value transactions (less than $15), accounting for 53% of the volume and 46% of the value.
  • Cash is preferred by Canadians aged 55 and above with an income of less than $45,000 and a high school education or less
  • Cash volume share has dropped from 54% in 2009 to 33% in 2017
  • Cash value share has dropped from 23% in 2009 to 15% in 2017
  • Canadians hold more cash on average compared with 2013.
  • Debit card ownership was almost universal in Canada in 2017, and credit card ownership increased to almost 90%.

Offering a 'detailed and representative snapshot of Canadian payment choices,' (Abstract, p. ii, BoC 2017) the recent MOP survey is particularly valuable for it grants its readers a focus on cash usage as well as comprehensive details on their adoption of non-cash payments.

Download Bank of Canada report here

Last Updated: March 11, 2019