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Cash, COVID-19 and the Prospects for a Canadian Digital Dollar

Staff Discussion Paper 2022-17 Walter Engert, Kim Huynh
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.

Cash in the Pocket, Cash in the Cloud: Cash Holdings of Bitcoin Owners

Staff Working Paper 2022-26 Daniela Balutel, Christopher Henry, Kim Huynh, Marcel Voia
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.

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.

Consumer Cash Withdrawal Behaviour: Branch Networks and Online Financial Innovation

Staff Working Paper 2021-28 Heng Chen, Matthew Strathearn, Marcel Voia
The physical network of bank branches is important in how consumers manage their cash holdings. This paper estimates how consumer withdrawal behaviour responds to the distance they must travel to their branch.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Bank notes, Digital currencies and fintech JEL Code(s): G, G2, G21, R, R2, R22

An Exploration of First Nations Reserves and Access to Cash

Staff Discussion Paper 2021-8 Heng Chen, Walter Engert, Kim Huynh, Daneal O’Habib
Adequate cash distribution is one the Bank of Canada’s core interests. Canadians’ ability to access cash influences the Bank’s thinking on issuing a central bank digital currency. We provide a perspective on these issues by exploring access of First Nations reserves to cash.

An Empirical Analysis of Bill Payment Choices

Staff Working Paper 2021-23 Anneke Kosse
How do Canadians pay their bills? 2019 survey data collected from over 4,000 Canadian consumers show how people’s bill payment choices vary with consumer characteristics and types of bills. The data also reveal that many consumers feel limited in their choices, which suggests that preferences of billers might play an important role as well.
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