Report: Credit card rewards, online transfers thrive in Canada

18. January 2018.

While social media payments have yet to hit the mainstream in Canada, a new trade association report believes the increased collaboration between new-entrant fintechs and Canadian financial institutions suggests a new level of convenience for banking and payments is on the way.

That was one the many themes to emerge in a report from Payments Canada, which also concluded that credit cards are paving the way for easy payments and luring new customers with lucrative rewards programs while online and mobile banking are gaining the trust of Canadians as electronic finally overtakes paper.

“There were more than 21.3 billion consumer and business payments made in 2016 worth more than $9 trillion, so even small changes in behaviors can have a big impact,” said Anne Butler, vice president of policy, research, legal and General Counsel for Payments Canada, in a press release. “The annual analysis of how these payments were made provides important insights for Payments Canada and our financial institution participants as we collaborate on the ongoing modernization of Canada’s payments architecture.”

Some highlights from the report include:

  • Online transfers, such as Interac e-Transfer (which accounts for about 90 percent of the volume in this category) and PayPal, topped all payment methods in rate of growth. In 2016, transactions were up by nearly 48 percent to 177 million and value increased by 51 percent to $68 billion.
  • Cash continued its decline but remains the most widely used payment method, making up more than a third of the total volume at the point-of-sale. Interestingly, in 2016 cash showed signs of stabilizing (or at least declining at a slower rate) than in the past.

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