Canadians are among the most digitally attuned citizens in the world, enthusiastically embracing and adopting new technologies that make life easier and more accessible. Recent statistics show that 83 per cent of Canadians have a smartphone – which they use to shop online, pay for items in store and do their banking. In fact, we are so connected to our phones that 77 per cent of us would never leave home without iti.
With that kind of dependency, it’s not surprising that Canadians are embracing their phones as payment devices. Canada has one of the highest penetrations of card-based payments in the world – more than 70 per cent of personal purchases in Canada are card-basedii. Contactless payments (both mobile and card-based) are widely accepted in Canada – in fact, there are currently 27 Visa payWave transactions happening every second in Canadaiii. A full 25 per cent of retail ecommerce transactions are now being made on mobile devicesiv.
A society heading towards a cashless system has numerous benefits for both businesses and consumers. Visa’s upcoming Cashless Cities Report finds businesses that make the switch from cash to electronic payments can reduce manpower hours and increase revenue. For consumers, cashless shopping is highly convenient; seven out of 10 Canadian smartphone payment users cited convenience as the main driver for paying with their phone, versus traditional payment methods. Cashless payments offer speed and security that consumers value.
We’ve been excited to work with partners on a variety of cashless initiatives in the past couple of years. At the Princess Margaret Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer tournament, we teamed up with Mobeewave to pilot a new technology solution that turned a smartphone into a contactless payment device without any added hardware. Last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, together with Ingenico we debuted the Connected Screen to garner donations to the TIFF Pocket Fund. Of course, many businesses have already made their mark by embracing cashless operations and we are starting to see more local businesses consider it too.
For Visa, driving towards a cashless culture means convenience, security and ease of use. We believe in being a better way to pay, and Canadians are well poised to adopt a cashless lifestyle.