Payments Canada’s annual Canadian Payments Methods and Trends Report was released today and it is no surprise that new technology and payments innovation are transforming the way Canadians pay.

In pursuit of more convenient, faster and secure payment experiences, Canadians are rapidly adopting newer digital channels, such as contactless (tapping card or mobile), e-commerce, mobile and online transfers, in favour of cash.

The newly released 2019 report analyzed the 21 billion payment transactions made in 2018, totalling almost $10 trillion in value. Here is some of what they found:

Cash payments declined 40 per cent in volume over the last five years.

Contactless payments grew 30 per cent year-over-year from 2017-2018 with a total of 4.1 billion contactless payments (card and mobile) worth $130 billion at the point-of-sale.

Mobile devices were used by nearly 35 per cent of Canadians for contactless payments on a regular basis in 2018.

Online transfers exploded with a 52 per cent year-over-year increase in volume growth from 2017-2018.

Credit cards are now on par with debit cards as share of overall payments volumes and this is attributed to two core factors: credit card rewards and the expansion of e-commerce.

“We are at a pivotal moment, with a number of key driving forces that are accelerating the transformation of Canada’s payment environment,” said Cyrielle Chiron, Payments Canada’s Head of Research and Strategic Foresight. “Evolving technology and industry innovation are changing the game, fuelled by consumer and business demands for friction-free, fast and secure payments.”

The Canadian Payment Methods and Trends report was compiled by Payments Canada with the help of payment service providers, payments consultants and researchers to help build a comprehensive understanding of the Canadian payments landscape in 2018.