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.
November 11, 2008 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.
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.
October 10, 2007 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.
April 14, 2006 While the volume and value of bank notes have continued to increase, the use of cash as a payment method has been affected by the growing use of electronic alternatives. Taylor reports on a 2004 Bank of Canada survey of consumers' payment habits and their perceptions of cash and its alternatives, including their confidence in the security of bank notes. Analysis of the survey results shows that numerous factors affect the demand for bank notes, including income, age, education, gender, the use of debit and credit cards, and the perceived convenience of cash. Taylor also includes a report on the construction of a bank note confidence index that will serve as a benchmark for future surveys.
Counterfeiting is a significant public policy issue, because paper money, despite rumours of its demise, remains an important part of our payments system.
August 21, 2004 Counterfeiting poses a significant public policy issue because of the important role that paper money plays in Canada's payments system. Yet the threat of counterfeiting in all economies has increased markedly in the past decade as a result of technological advances to photocopiers and computer printers. An appropriate public policy response is thus necessary to maintain the public's continued confidence in the national currency. To assess the threat from counterfeiting, including possible loss of confidence in the currency, estimating the stock of counterfeits circulating is necessary. In this article, Chant proposes a composite method of detecting counterfeits as an effective alternative to existing methods and offers estimates of the extent of counterfeiting Canadian currency for 2001. An Addendum to the article summarizes Chant's methods and updates the calculations to 2003.
August 13, 1997 In this article, the author outlines the recent changes made to the way Canada's bank notes are distributed. The new system allows financial institutions to exchange notes directly with one another at designated points across the country, rather than through Bank of Canada agencies, as was previously the case. The institutions communicate with the Bank of Canada through a computerized inventory-management system. Two Bank of Canada operations centres monitor note quality and supply new notes to the financial institutions. While the Bank continues to maintain firm control over the distribution of Canada's bank notes, the management of information rather than physical notes will improve efficiency and allow significant cost savings to the Bank of Canada and to the government.
November 7, 1994 This article delves into the microeconomics of note circulation, reviewing main factors affecting the demand for bank notes over the last 50 years, including new technology such as automated banking machines. It also discusses trends in the average value of notes in circulation and in the demand for notes of different denominations.