Canada, like much of the rest of the world, is moving toward a cashless society. According to Payments Canada, cash payments decreased by almost 20% between 2012 and 2018, while credit card transactions increased by 33% during the same period. But it takes more than the ability to make electronic payments to lure customers. Canadians expect their electronic transactions to make their lives easier, more secure and rewarding.
Speed and Convenience
Speed at the checkout means more than not having to wait for change. Some credit and debit card technologies have already started to fall off. Swiping cards and using chip technology with PINs, for example, represented the height of secure transactions not long ago. Now, more and more consumers are using the option of tapping their cards, phones or smartwatches at the checkout using NFC technology.
Omnichannel transactions create ways for consumers to save time at the checkout. In addition, it creates efficient means for businesses to operate, allowing for enhanced transaction flows with the ultimate goal of increasing revenue. A consumer may purchase an item online and pick it up at a brick and mortar store, in a dedicated queue, or opt for home delivery. Either way, bypassing extra time and effort during checkout makes life simpler on both sides of the counter.
Convenience by itself only helps if your money remains safe. With the number and size of data theft events increasing across the globe, knowing that merchants will not actually receive and retain customers' financial information provides relief for both the customers trying to protect their own information and the businesses that could otherwise become liable for massive costs of breaches. Tokenization and point-to-point encryption are methods of keeping the bad guys out of the transaction chain. For instance, Canada's national debit network Interac provides token protection for transactions.
One reason some people cling to cash, despite the inconvenience of every transaction, is the ability to keep others from stealing their money from afar. As Canada's fintech continues to mature, continuous improvement of security options remains critical. Protecting your money is important to everyone involved.
Rewards and Perks
Finally, with more card and electronic payment options available, the more financial services providers can distinguish themselves on the strength of their rewards programs. If you have a choice between two cards, each with modest fees, you will look for what else the card provider can give you. Airline miles, cash back, and other earned rewards help set financial companies apart from the pack.
Again, the benefits don't only flow to customers here. A merchant service provider collects fees with every transaction run by each business using its services. The cost of providing rewards to the cardholders remains modest next to the potential for increased revenue.
Canadians expect convenience, security, and extra perks when they adopt new electronic payment methods. In a country where the number of providers continues to both grow and split a still-growing pie, finding ways to improve in these areas will set the top service providers apart from the rest of the crowd.