Cash Usage On Decline

Canadian consumers are moving away from cash payments as they adapt to world with COVID-19, says research from Ipsos. The ‘Ipsos Canada Payments’ study says there was a significant shift away from cash in the first quarter of 2020, with consumers heavily favouring credit cards over other payment options. In March, there was a substantial three per cent drop in consumers using cash as their payment method, and an additional five per cent drop followed in June. “To see such a large change in habit in such a short span of time is unprecedented,” says Heidi Wilson, vice-president, Ipsos Canada. “Typically, it takes years to shift just a few points. For instance, from 2014 to 2019, cash usage declined by four per cent – that is a four per cent decrease over the course of five years. In comparison, we have seen an eight per cent decline in cash usage in the first six months of 2020.” Consumers are also changing how they pay in an effort to avoid touching unsanitary keypads, leading to an increase in contactless payments. And it’s not just the traditional tap. Forty per cent of consumers who own a smart phone have used their phone to pay for a purchase in the last six months. As well, 25 per cent of smart watch owners have used their watch to pay for a purchase.