Credit and debit cards used for most payments in Canada – Research Co.

Most Canadians say a lack of cash has forced them to make a small purchase with their credit or debit card in the past month.

Vancouver, BC [May 6, 2022] – Canadians are currently using cash for transactions at a higher rate than at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but most payments continue to be made through alternative methods, according to a new survey from Research Co.

In the online survey of a nationally representative sample, Canadians relied on a credit card or smartphone to complete 46% of their purchases in the past month, down four points from a similar survey by Research Co. conducted in May 2020.

One-third of purchases from Canadians (33%, -2) were made with a debit card or electronic transfer, while 3% (-9) required the use of a cheque. Cash was used for the remaining 18% of transactions (+15).

“Credit cards are the primary method of payment for residents of British Columbia (58%) and Quebec (50%),” said Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Debit card is the preferred option residents of Ontario (47%) and Alberta (43%). »

More than three in five Canadians (63%) say that in the past month there has been a time when they did not have paper money with them and had to make a small purchase (under $10) with their credit or debit card.

While 50% of Canadians aged 55 and over have gone without paper money in the past month, the proportion jumps to 64% among those aged 35 to 54 and 77% among those aged 18 to 34.

Half of Canadians (50%, -8) expect people to rely on biometrics (such as iris scanning, fingerprints or palm recognition) to make purchases at a some time in the next 10 years.

Albertans are most likely to predict the introduction of biometric payments within the next 10 years (60%). The belief that this vision will become a reality is lowest in Ontario (52%), Quebec (50%), British Columbia (also 50%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (43%) and Atlantic Canada (37 %).

Almost half of Canadians (49%, +14) say they would not like to see people using biometrics to buy things in their lifetime. Just under two in five (39%, -11) would welcome this development, and 12% (-3) are undecided.

Men (43%), Canadians aged 18-34 (49%), Albertans (also 49%) and Quebecers (44%) are more likely to want the ability to make biometric payments at the future.

Methodology: The findings are based on an online survey conducted April 25-27, 2022 of 1,000 adults in Canada. Data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census counts for age, gender and region. The margin of error, which measures the variability of the sample, is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here.

For more information about this survey, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]