The Canadian Payment Methods and Trends 2022 report, which analyzes 19.7 billion payment transactions made in 2021, totalling $10.8 trillion, and highlights trends that are transforming the Canadian payment landscape, released Tuesday indicates that the total Canadian payment market grew by four per cent in volume and 15 per cent in value from 2020, representing a rebound to pre-pandemic levels.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how consumers and businesses make and receive payments. The increased preference for digital payments that we saw in the first year of the pandemic continued in 2021,” said Tracey Black, President and CEO of Payments Canada. “Payment volumes were uneven in 2021 due to continued lockdowns. Despite that, economic activity returned to pre-pandemic levels in Q4. Overall, the total payments market in Canada grew in 2021 driven by increased use of digital payment options.”
The report found:
- Pandemic changes long-term payment preferences for 43 per cent of Canadians
- 50 per cent of Canadians use e-commerce platforms more often than pre-pandemic
- Contactless payment transaction value increased year-over-year in 2021 by 18 per cent
- Credit card use rebounded, increasing by six per cent
- Mobile payments volume and value each grew by 13 per cent year-over year
- Cash and cheques declined nine per cent and six per cent respectively in volume, but increased 14 per cent and seven per cent in value
- Online transfer transactions value exceeded debit cards for the first time ever in 2021
- Almost one quarter (22 per cent) of Canadians are comfortable making payments using QR (quick response) codes
- 37 per cent of Canadians are comfortable using fingerprint, facial, or voice recognition to authenticate a payment transaction
- Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is beginning to take hold with almost one in 10 (eight per cent) of merchants accepting BNPL and 48 per cent of merchants are interested in offering it
“In 2021, many payment trends remained consistent including the continued demise of paper payments and the acceleration in digital payments, which now represent 86 per cent of all transactions,” said Jon Purther, Director of Market Insights, Payments Canada. “Canadians’ preference for contactless and mobile payments continues, and we are seeing increasing use and interest in more diverse payment preferences such as biometrics, wearables, QR codes, ‘buy now, pay later’, and digital currencies.”
(Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and only Canadian)
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