Despite the rising popularity of credit, debit cards, and digital currencies, many Canadian consumers are still sticking with cold, hard cash, according to new data released by the Bank of Canada.
"We find that cash is still widely used, especially for small-value transactions, even at large businesses that accept cash and cards," the central bank said in a report released Thursday.
“Debit cards are used mainly for medium-value transactions and credit cards for large-value transactions.”
Forty-eight per cent of transactions at larger businesses were done using cash in 2015, according the bank’s survey. That number rose to 54 per cent at small and medium-sized businesses. But overall, over half of transactions (51 per cent) are still done using cash.
The report also revealed six per cent of small businesses and two per cent of large businesses are not accepting cash – and that only two per cent of businesses of any size are accepting Bitcoin.
Small businesses in Atlantic Canada accepted cash most often (95 per cent), while Quebec businesses of the same size accepted cash least often (91 per cent).
In a separate report conducted using data collected in 2013, the Bank of Canada found more than 87 per cent of Canadian consumers carry cash in their wallets, while 86 per cent carry a debit card and 83 per cent carry a credit card.
“[Consumers’] perceptions and the costs of using a specific payment method seem to have only a small influence on which ones they carry,” the bank said.
Those surveyed said cash was “considerably less costly and more secure than debit and credit cards.” But the report also notes consumers rated the three payment methods about the same in terms of ease of use and acceptance.