Bank of Canada Study Finds Canadians Not Going Cashless

Consumers Continue to Use a Variety of Payment Methods


MONTREAL, July 13, 2020 – A Bank of Canada Staff Discussion Paper on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the demand for and use of cash found that Canadians are still using a variety of payment methods. The study found that cash in circulation in Canada grew sharply in March and April 2020, and the increase was large in both absolute dollars and percentages compared with historical experience. In addition, the study noted that Canadians continued to have good access to cash, were generally (but not universally) able to use cash at merchants and increased their cash holdings somewhat during the pandemic.


Specifically, the study found that 36% of Canadians reported using cash for payment over the past week. About the same number of Canadians (38%) used e-transfers, but a majority continued to use their debit (52%) or credit card (62%). However, what is most significant is that 74% of respondents have no plans to go cashless in the next five years. Even those that responded they had already gone cashless, more than 50% continue to keep cash on hand, showing that behaviour and stated intentions are still not completely aligned.


“We have continued to maintain that consumers want a variety of means to pay for their goods and services,” said Steven Meitin, President, Canadian Association of Secured Transportation (CAST). “The paper from the Bank of Canada re-affirms this position.”


About the Canadian Association of Secured Transportation

The purpose of the Canadian Association of Secured Transportation (CAST) is to promote and advocate for the interests of Canadian providers of secure transportation of valuables, to provide a venue for beneficial dialogue among members, and to encourage the advancement and excellence of industry standards across Canada and abroad. CAST is the Canadian member of the International Security Ligue.


Steven Meitin
President, Canadian Association of Secured Transportation (CAST)