Canada has quite the reputation. Sure, there’s the stereotypical stuff. There seems to be a worldwide belief that our nation is home to some of the most polite people on the planet. Of course, we’ve also amassed a lot of admiration for our hockey-playing abilities. And while there are countless other attributes that Canadians can be proud of, there’s a particular activity we enjoy partaking in that seems to have us stand out from people from other countries.
Arguably, we love using debit cards and credit cards more than anyone else. As reported by Lauren La Rose of The Canadian Press by way of Global News, a 2016 online survey of 1,000 people “found that 77 per cent of respondents preferred to pay for purchases by debit or credit card, and 65 per cent said they rarely buy anything with cash anymore.”
As we all know, debit cards allow you to make purchases by having money automatically withdrawn from your bank account. That means you’re using money that you actually have. Credit cards enable you to borrow money to pay for your purchases until the time comes when you must pay back your credit card issuer for having made those purchases.
Canadians seems to enjoy paying for things like they’re using cash – without actually using cash. Not only is it convenient to not have to carry cash on your person, it’s also safer. Lost or stolen cash is generally gone forever. A lost or stolen debit card can easily be replaced by your bank. This is one of the main reasons Canada is becoming a cashless society.
According to Nicole Gibillini of BNN Bloomberg, the majority of Canadians are ditching cash and opting to pay with plastic. She writes of a 2018 study conducted by research firm, Leger on behalf of mobile payments company, Square. It polled 1,566 Canadians and conducted phone interviews with 316 Canadian small businesses in March of last year.
“The results revealed 79 per cent of Canadians prefer paying with a debit or credit card before using cash,” reveals Gibillini, “More than two-thirds of respondents said they’d be more likely to make a purchase from a small business if cards were accepted. However, only 11 per cent of small business owners said they believe cards are their customers’ preferred payment method.”
There isn’t likely to be a time when cash becomes totally obsolete. But it is more than clear that it is being used far less frequently. It’s gotten to the point, notes Gibillini, where some merchants are considering accepting credit cards and debit cards only. According to the survey, 22 percent of small business owners were interested in the idea of taking cards only.
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