Over the past 20 years, there has been a major shift away from the use of paper-based retail payment instruments, such as cash and cheques, toward electronic means of payment, such as debit cards and credit cards. Recent Bank of Canada research on consumers’ choice of payment instruments indicates that cash is frequently used for transactions with low values because of its speed, ease of use and wide acceptance, while debit and credit cards are more commonly used for transactions with higher values because of perceived attributes such as safety and record keeping. While innovations in retail payments currently being introduced into the Canadian marketplace could lead to a further reduction in the use of cash over the longer term, the implications for the use of cash of some of the structural and regulatory developments under way are less clear.
October 24, 2019 From cash to contactless cards—what’s in our wallets?
April 26, 2019 From beaver pelts to paper money to digital currencies
November 16, 2017 Merchants universally accept cash. Consumers widely hold cash but also carry debit and credit cards. The cost of using a method of payment has only a small influence on which method consumers use. Large merchants accept all payments, while only two-thirds of small and medium-sized businesses accept credit cards. Merchants report that credit cards are the costliest payment method compared with cash and debit cards. However, costs are not the only consideration. Merchant acceptance of credit accounts for the many con-sumers that want to use credit cards. This interaction between consumers and merchants is known as network externalities.
May 14, 2015 The Bank of Canada’s 2013 Methods-of-Payment Survey indicates that the share of cash in the overall number of retail transactions has continued to decrease, mainly because of increased use of contactless credit cards. The share of cash in the total value of retail transactions was virtually unchanged from 2009 to 2013. In particular, the value share of cash transactions above $50 increased. Automated banking machines (ABMs), still the major source of cash for Canadians, were used less often in 2013 than in 2009. Cash use in Canada is broadly similar to that in Australia and the United States.
May 13, 2014 Given technological advances and the widespread use of the Internet, various digital currencies have emerged. In most cases, Internet platforms such as Facebook and Amazon restrict the functionality of their digital currencies to enhance the business model and maximize their profits. While platform-based digital currencies could increase the efficiency of retail payments, they could also raise some important policy issues if they were to become widely used outside of the platform. Thus, it is important to closely monitor the evolution of these digital currencies.
November 15, 2012
May 17, 2012 The Bank of Canada’s annual conference, held in November 2011, brought together leading researchers from universities, central banks and other institutions from around the world. Divided into four sessions plus two keynote addresses, the conference covered such topics as the use of cash and other means of payment in retail transactions, large-value payments systems, and […]
November 17, 2011 The objective of this article is to improve our understanding of counterfeiting and its policy implications by reviewing research in this area. There has been almost no empirical work on counterfeiting because of the limited availability of counterfeiting data and related statistics. The authors therefore focus on theoretical studies that directly model the behaviour of the relevant economic agents. They first establish some stylized facts about counterfeiting to provide a general understanding of the problem. They then briefly review several models of counterfeiting and summarize their relevant insights, focusing on the implications of the findings for the incentive to counterfeit, social welfare and anti-counterfeiting policies. The authors find that the policy implications of these studies support the Bank’s comprehensive anti-counterfeiting strategy.
May 19, 2011 In this article, author Charles Spencer reviews the complex process of developing the new series, which represents a dramatic change for Canada. The leading-edge security features made possible by the new substrate, the cost savings of the move to a polymer base and the environmental advantages of the new notes are also examined.
November 11, 2009 The ability to conduct financial transactions using bank notes is crucial to independent living. Yet this can pose significant challenges for individuals who are blind or partially sighted. This article discusses the Bank of Canada's efforts over the past 30 years to meet the accessibility needs of a specific subset of the population–Canadians living with blindness or vision loss. It also reports the findings of expert and user assessments of the suite of accessibility features on the current series of bank notes and shares plans for the next series.