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Why Is Cash (Still) So Entrenched? Insights from the Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey

Staff Discussion Paper 2012-2 Carlos Arango, Dylan Hogg, Alyssa Lee
The authors present key insights from the Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment survey. In the survey, about 6,800 participants completed a questionnaire with detailed information regarding their personal finances, as well as their use and perceptions of different payment methods.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff discussion papers Topic(s): Bank notes, Financial services JEL Code(s): D, D1, D12, E, E4, E41, L, L8, L81
November 17, 2011

Modelling the Counterfeiting of Bank Notes: A Literature Review

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.

How Do You Pay? The Role of Incentives at the Point-of-Sale

Staff Working Paper 2011-23 Carlos Arango, Kim Huynh, Leonard Sabetti
This paper uses discrete-choice models to quantify the role of consumer socioeconomic characteristics, payment instrument attributes, and transaction features on the probability of using cash, debit card, or credit card at the point-of-sale.
May 19, 2011

Supplementary article: Paying with Polymer: Developing Canada’s New Bank Notes

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

Making Bank Notes Accessible for Canadians Living with Blindness or Low Vision

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.

The Role of Convenience and Risk in Consumers' Means of Payment

Staff Discussion Paper 2009-8 Carlos Arango, Varya Taylor
Using data from a 2004 survey of the Canadian public, the authors study the role of convenience and risk in consumers' use of cash relative to debit and credit cards. The authors find that consumers who perceive debit cards and credit cards to be more convenient and less risky than cash use them more frequently.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff discussion papers Topic(s): Bank notes JEL Code(s): E, E4, E41, L, L2
November 11, 2008

Merchants' Costs of Accepting Means of Payment: Is Cash the Least Costly?

In a competitive sales environment, merchants are compelled to offer consumers the option of paying for goods and services using a variety of payment methods, including cash, debit card, or credit card. Each method entails different costs and benefits to merchants. To better understand the costs of accepting retail payments, the Bank of Canada surveyed over 500 Canadian merchants and found that most consider cash the least costly. This article investigated this perception by calculating the variable costs per transaction of accepting different means of payment. The findings are that costs for each payment method vary by merchant and transaction value, with debit cards the least costly payment for a broad cross-section of merchants.

Merchant Acceptance, Costs, and Perceptions of Retail Payments: A Canadian Survey

Staff Discussion Paper 2008-12 Carlos Arango, Varya Taylor
Using the results of a survey on accepted means of payment, the authors examine merchant preferences and perceptions of retail payment reliability, risk, and costs; the share of each type of payment method over total sales; and the costs involved in accepting payments.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff discussion papers Topic(s): Bank notes JEL Code(s): E, E4, E41, L, L2
October 10, 2007

The Canadian Journey: An Odyssey into the Complex World of Bank Note Production

For many years, the Bank of Canada successfully responded to occasional eruptions in counterfeiting by improving the security features on bank notes. The surge in counterfeiting that occurred while the Bank prepared to launch the Canadian Journey series, however, reflected increasingly rapid advances in computer technology that were changing the counterfeiting environment. The article describes these and other challenges that affected the new series and describes how the Bank developed a comprehensive new approach to its currency program and incorporated the valuable lessons it learned from these challenges. Designed to combat counterfeiting and meet the needs of the public, the new strategy includes increased research and development on new bank note security features, an intensified focus on retailer and public education, and a focus on law enforcement.
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