The Bank of Canada surveys Canadians to get a better understanding of how they pay for goods and services.

The Bank has conducted three Methods-of-Payment surveys—in 2009, 2013 and 2017. These surveys include a questionnaire and a diary where survey participants record their payments and cash withdrawals over the course of three days. Using this information, we calculate the share of payments made with cash, credit cards, debit cards and other methods.

Results from the 2017 survey show that cash use is declining. Cash makes up a smaller share of all transactions and a smaller share of the total amount spent. At the same time, Canadians are increasingly using contactless credit and debit cards and mobile and online payments, including Interac e-Transfer. We investigate the reasons for these patterns, such as demographics and perceptions. For the first time, the 2017 survey also explores the role of financial literacy and participants’ experiences with payment fraud.