This paper develops a travel-based metric to measure Canadians’ access to cash from automated banking machines (ABMs) and financial institution branches. We find that, overall, access to cash remained stable between 2019 and 2022. The total number of ABMs in Canada increased by 3.7% and the total number of branches decreased by 5.2% during that period.
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We explore quantitative and qualitative information about Canadians who face barriers to making digital payments. We also consider the implications of ongoing digitalization for modern financial inclusion and a potential central bank digital currency.
We discuss the payment habits of Canadians both in the current payment environment and in a hypothetical cashless environment.
We find that Bitcoin ownership declined from 13% in 2021 to 10% in 2022. This drop occurred against a background of steep price declines and an increasingly tight regulatory atmosphere.
The rise in digital payment innovations has spurred a discussion about the future of cash at the point of sale. The Bank conducted the 2021–22 Merchant Acceptance Survey Pilot Study to study trends in merchant cash acceptance and monitor conditions for the potential issuance of a central bank digital currency.
We present results from the 2021 Methods-of-Payment Survey, including updated payment shares. We highlight long-term trends and provide additional context for results with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We report on the dynamics of Bitcoin awareness and ownership from 2016 to 2021, using the Bank of Canada's Bitcoin Omnibus Surveys (BTCOS). Our analysis also helps understand Bitcoin owners who adopted during the COVID-19 and how they differ from long-term owners.
We provide an analysis of cash trends in Canada before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also consider the potential two scenarios for issuance of a central bank digital currency in Canada: the emergence of a cashless society or the widespread use of an alternative digital currency in Canada. Finally, we discuss the Canadian experience in maintaining cash as an efficient and accessible method of payment and store of value.
We estimate the effect that owning Bitcoin has on the amount of cash held by Canadian consumers. Our results question the view that adopting certain new technologies, such as Bitcoin, leads to a decline in cash holdings.
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.