In our industry, the term “cashless society” gets thrown around quite a bit. As you may have guessed, the term refers to the fact that Canadians have become accustomed to paying for their purchases using debit cards and credit cards. This doesn’t necessarily mean that our society has literally become “cashless”. There are, however, very few shoppers who continue to carry large sums of cash on them.
One of the top reasons so many Canadians have gone the “cashless” route is because it is so much more convenient to use credit cards than it is to use cash. Firstly, lost cash is usually gone forever. Unless it is miraculously found and returned, missing cash is simply lost money. A lost credit card, on the other hand, can be replaced. Any fraudulent charges made on the card can be disputed and removed from the cardholder’s bill.
This statistic was revealed by a GreedyRates.ca article published this past May. It is based on information that was compiled using data from Visa, Mastercard, Canadian Bankers Association, Equifax, TransUnion, OSFI, IMF and data publicly available through company annual reports, and disclosures. The site notes that the annual Canadian credit card spending amount is “more than the Chinese & Russian defence budgets combined!”
This tells us that Canadians practically expect the merchants they support to accept credit cards. Gone are the days when a shopper would walk into a “cash only” store and not be put off by the very concept. These days, “cash only” businesses lose a lot of customers to their plastic-friendly competitors.
According to GreedyRates.ca, that equates to about 5,700 transactions per minute. Needless to say, Canadians are using their credit cards all the time. If you’re not yet accepting credit cards at your place of business, there is literally no time to waste before becoming plastic-friendly. The simple addition of a Visa, MasterCard and/or Interac sign at your store will turn heads and encourage many more visitors to walk inside.
According to SquareUp.com, our American neighbours feel the same way. “Our survey of 1,800 U.S. consumers — which highlights trends on how they discover, choose, and recommend new businesses…found that for 84 percent of respondents it’s important to have the ability to pay with a credit card,” the site reveals, “This is particularly the case at certain types of businesses such as retail, grocery, and restaurants.”
GreedyRates.ca also reveals this interesting finding. Canadians are known to be heavy debit card users. However, during the upcoming holiday shopping season, it will be important to accept credit cards so that your customers can make bigger purchases. When people know they’ll have more time to pay off their balances, it makes it easier for them to spend more money.
Nevertheless, GreedyRates.ca notes that Canadians “still use their debit cards about 1 billion more times than their credit cards every year.”
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