Bank Notes: Research and Reports

Get quick access to our research papers, public consultations and surveys related to bank notes.

See also our publications and educational explainers on bank notes.

Research papers

You can browse all our staff research on bank notes. Here's the latest:

Identifying Financially Remote First Nations Reserves

Staff Discussion Paper 2022-11 Heng Chen, Walter Engert, Kim Huynh, Daneal O’Habib
Chen et al. (2021) show that almost one-third of First Nations band offices in Canada are within 1 kilometre (km) of an automated banking machine (ABM) or financial institution (FI) branch and more than half are within 5 km.

Bitcoin Awareness, Ownership and Use: 2016–20

In this paper, we examine trends in Canadian ownership of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from 2016 to 2020 using data from surveys conducted by the Bank of Canada.

Cash and COVID-19: What happened in 2021

Staff Discussion Paper 2022-8 Heng Chen, Walter Engert, Kim Huynh, Daneal O’Habib, Joy Wu, Julia Zhu
Using data from the Bank Note Distribution System and consumer surveys, we find that bank notes in circulation remained high through 2021. Canadians continued to rely on electronic methods of payment, but a significant share also continued using cash for payments.

Equilibrium in Two-Sided Markets for Payments: Consumer Awareness and the Welfare Cost of the Interchange Fee

Staff Working Paper 2022-15 Kim Huynh, Gradon Nicholls, Oleksandr Shcherbakov
We construct and estimate a structural two-stage model of equilibrium in a market for payments in order to quantify the network externalities and identify the main determinants of consumer and merchant decisions.

Cash and COVID-19: The impact of the second wave in Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the demand for cash. Cash in circulation increased sharply from March through December 2020, particularly in the early months of this period. Although use of electronic methods of payment also increased significantly, cash use for payments remains high for low-value transactions and among certain demographic groups.

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Public consultations

Consulting Canadians on visual content is integral to our design process for new bank notes.

Principles for Bank Note Design Consultation

Read the highlights of this consultation, and see how the design principles have been applied to bank notes like these.


The Bank regularly surveys Canadian businesses and citizens to better understand how and why cash is used by assessing awareness, attitudes, and behaviours with respect to bank notes.

Survey results allow the Bank to monitor its progress, to identify potential issues or opportunities, and to adapt its programs, tools, and services as needed.

Surveys currently underway:

  • Merchant Acceptance Survey

Bank Note Confidence Survey

The Bank of Canada supplies Canadians with bank notes they can use with confidence—notes that are readily accepted and secure against counterfeiting. To monitor and assess public confidence in the authenticity of bank notes, we conduct a survey twice a year. This survey is based on a representative sample of 2,500 residents of Canada.

2019 Cash Alternative Survey

This survey asked respondents to report their cash holdings, adoption of cryptocurrencies, and views on the potential impact of cash disappearing from the Canadian economy.

2018 Merchant Acceptance Survey

This survey asked small and medium-sized businesses in Canada what kind of payment methods they accept. Results showed that 96% of merchants surveyed accepted cash and only 8% planned to stop accepting cash in the next five years.

2017 Methods of Payment Survey

This survey aimed to better understand how Canadian pay for goods and services. It calculated the share of payments made with cash, credit cards, debit cards and other methods.

Frontiers Series: 2011–12 Awareness Survey

This survey measured Canadians’ awareness of the polymer bank notes. Respondents were asked if they recalled hearing of any upcoming changes to Canadian bank notes, and if so, where they first heard of the polymer bank notes.