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Are Canadians ready to give up cash? Not quite, finds Payments Canada CPMT report

Jan. 13, 2020 Share Source

The CPMT report aims to provide insight into payment trends based on an analysis of over 20 billion transactions worth nearly $10 trillion between 2013 and 2018. Worryingly, the report finds that cash use is declining at a dramatic rate in the Great North, with electronic payments overtaking Point-of-Sale (POS) transactions.... and yet cash continues to hold its ground.

This is because cash is still a favorite payment tool for many, accounting for 4.5 billion cash transactions, worth $92.1 billion in 2018 alone (p. 14). Other key findings include:

In Canada,

  • heavy cash users make up 15% of consumers;
  • electronic payments account for 73% of all transaction volume;
  • average transaction size grew to $468 in 2018, up 22% in 2013; and
  • cash payments account for 21% of all transaction volume.

"2019 CPMT Report" , p. 13 (Payments Canada, Dec 4, 2019)

In August, CPMT released some findings from the research for this report, revealing that cash is indeed needed for financial inclusion with 90% of the unbanked relying on cash as their go-to payment method for their everyday purchases.

"Although the use of cash at the POS is declining, there are many businesses that prefer cash payments to cards (e.g., convenience stores, transit)."
" "2019 Canadian Payment Methods and Trends Report" p. 13, Payments Canada

Canada seems to be on a similar path of discovery as Sweden, finding that even when payment trends evolve into a more digital-heavy landscape, there are still at least two important reasons to safeguard cash as an option: Inclusion and Resilience.

Download Report Here

Last Updated: Feb. 25, 2020

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