Paysafe Group: Another Half-Cashless Society to Emerge in Canada

October 6, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Remember just about a month ago when we first discovered that the United States was basically half a cashless society? That almost as many people were turning to mobile payments as they were to cash? Turns out America’s not alone in that stack, as Canada’ s poised to become another half-cashless society by 2020, according to word from Paysafe Group. That’s leaving Canadian businesses wondering just how to cope.

Already, businesses tackle this issue head-on whether they know it or not; one in five Canadians already doesn’t carry cash on a regular basis, and in just the next two years, more than half believe they won’t carry cash regularly ever again. Those numbers are even higher in the millennial camp, with one in four of the 18 – 34 camp already not carrying cash. That’s actually more than the figures from both the United States and the United Kingdom, so cashlessness in Canada will likely pick up steam rapidly.

Indeed, even the commonly-regarded as conservative Canadians, contactless payment is overwhelmingly seen as more convenient and quicker; 71 percent agree with that concept. Security, however, is the leading concern as has been so often seen in the past. Sixty-four percent of Canadians are concerned about security, and it’s showing in some sectors. Just nine percent of Canadians have even tried cryptocurrencies, and better than one in four don’t want to take their phone out to pay a bill.

These changes will prompt adaptations across the field, including retailers—who will need to be ready to handle several different payment systems if they’re not already—and banks, who will need to overcome their past perceptions as a serious laggard in innovation thanks to their necessarily low tolerance for risk.

Like it or not, be concerned about it or not, mobile payments are gaining ground as an option in the field. If it’s just an option, then fine and well; some people like paying for things from their phones, and  some will use it alongside cash for things like mobile order-ahead options. If it ever replaces cash, then there might be a problem from some segments concerned about that sort of thing.