Press Release

Cash Endangered by Contactless and Mobile Payments


May 24th, 2012

Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "Canadian Payments Forecast - 2014" by Technology Surveys International Inc..

Contactless payments are rolling out rapidly in Canada, and are likely to account for significant transaction volumes and values by 2016, a new study published by Technology Strategies International predicts. The 116-page study found that consumer payments have rallied after the recession and all electronic forms of payment were experiencing substantial growth. The main growth drivers in the Canadian market have been increasing personal expenditure on consumer goods and services, and the increasing penetration of electronic payments into strongholds previously reserved for cash and, to a lesser extent, checks.

"Cash, as a means of payment, is increasingly under threat," says Christie Christelis, President of Technology Strategies International. "By 2016 we expect to see a substantial reduction in cash transaction volumes, mainly as a result of increased penetration of contactless payments in Canada  which includes mobile contactless payments."

"Checks have all but floundered as a consumer payment instrument, and much of the consumer check payment repertoire has been substituted with online bill payments," he said. "Open-loop prepaid cards and closed loop-gift cards are also increasing in popularity, with strong growth predicted over the next five years."

The study found that the period of regulatory uncertainty in the Canadian payments industry is expected to continue for the next few years, inhibiting the innovation strategies of some key players.

"The Ministry of Finances response to the Payments System Review Task Force recommendations was underwhelming," Christelis said, "with very little clear direction being given as to what the payments industry can expect in terms of regulatory oversight in the near future."

Highlights from the study:

  • Contactless payments have continued to extend their reach over the past two years, achieving a substantial penetration level in appropriate payment settings. Interacs Flash is expected to make an impact in the next two years.
  • By 2016 nearly 80% of the smartphones in Canada will be NFC-enabled, providing a solid foundation for the uptake of mobile contactless payments.
  • The closed-loop gift card market is expected to expand rapidly, accounting for about $5 billion in redeemed value in 2016.
  • Cash will remain the most frequently used form of payment in Canada over the next five years, but will suffer substantial erosion from contactless debit and credit payments

The new report provides a comprehensive review, analysis and forecast of consumer payments in Canada. It identifies high growth segments in the Canadian payments market in the context of some important recent developments in the economy and the industry. Detailed forecasts are presented for credit card payments, debit card payments, cash payments, check payments, contactless payments, open-loop prepaid cards, closed-loop gift cards, cross-border debit payments, online payments, ABM installations and POS terminals.


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