Cash is No Longer the King: Are Canadians Ready to Go Cashless?

Canada has long been a leading country in the move toward cashless societies. The convenience, safety, and simplicity of other payment methods have convinced a strong majority there. With the coronavirus pandemic showing few signs of abating, we can now add personal health to the equation. While Canada will likely never be 100% cash free, shoppers in this moment are even more apt to move away from cash as the primary payment method they use.

Why Cash Is Trailing

The reasons Canadians avoid cash payments are as important as ever today. Online purchases are already much easier to complete with electronic payments, for both the business and the consumer. Carrying cash puts consumers at greater risk of robbery and paying in cash does not leave an electronic trail in case a charge needs to be disputed. Recognizing this, Canada's national Interac debit system makes paying electronically incredibly safe and convenient, almost anywhere in the country consumers may travel. Given the available options, it is no wonder Canadians are shifting away from cash more than almost any other country.

Impact of Covid-19

This movement was happening well before Covid-19 started reaching across the world. Today, the pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to businesses. Not only are sales down due to periods of quarantine, but the way you do business has changed too. Handling cash for shopping transactions has become almost taboo. Indeed, according to Payments Canada, 62% of Canadians are using less cash than they were before the pandemic, and 42% now avoid shopping anyplace that does not offer contactless payments. If you rely solely on cash payments for your business, or even solely on traditional point-of-sale cash registers, you stand to miss out on a great deal of your potential business — business that might be available if you delivered payment options that large numbers of Canadian consumers now insist upon.

Source: “The Payment Trends During COVID-19” studycompiled by Payments Canada between April 17 and April 19, 2020.

Smart Businesses Offer More Options

Accepting cash payments is not bad for your company. Some percentage of the population, even in Canada, will likely continue to prefer paying cash for products and services. As this percentage shrinks, though, you need to be ready to adjust to the world in which you live and operate now. Taking Interac payments, card payments, mobile payments, and contactless payments is quickly becoming critical to your opportunity for success.

The equation used to be simpler: The more options you provide for customer payments, the more customers you can serve. Today, the balance is shifting more than ever; even if you choose not to accept cash payments, you can succeed. If you take only cash payments in Canada, you will almost certainly fail. Make sure your payment processing partner is setting you up with the best opportunities for your business.

Cash is No Longer the King: Are Canadians Ready to Go Cashless?

About the Author

Bridget Kenny, VP, Canadian Partners

Bridget heads up Nuvei's Canadian partner channel. With over a decade of payment processing and merchant services experience, she has been instrumental to the growth and continued success of the company's ISO and agent partnerships.

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