Canadians Have No Plans to Go Cashless
Research published by the Bank of Canada shows circulating cash was high throughout 2021, people were keeping more cash to hand than before the pandemic, and around 80 percent reported having no plans to go cashless in the next five years.
As of August 2021, the Cash and COVID-19 discussion paper says 62 percent of Canadians use cash for payments. This is on par with debit card use, but below credit cards, which account for around 76 percent of payments. There were signs of improved merchant acceptance of cash in both April and August surveys, compared with data from earlier in the pandemic, reaching a low of four percent of people reporting they were unable to use cash at a point of sale.
In April, people were carrying a median $70 worth of cash, which rose to $80 as of the August survey (around US$62 or €60). Other cash holdings—those kept around the home or in vehicles—remains higher than pre-pandemic levels at a median value of $260.
As its next steps, the Bank says it will continue monitoring the pandemic’s impact on cash demand and other payment methods, with further surveys and analysis planned throughout 2022.