The Use of Credit Cards by Canadian Consumers

The Use of Credit Cards by Canadian Consumers

Canadian consumers and businesses access the same roster of payment products as their counterparts in other developed economies – cash, checks, EFT (similar to the U.S.’s ACH system), wire, and online transfers.

Two years after the onset of the pandemic, total consumer spending has recovered to 2019 levels and the overall economy is on the road to full recovery, but the payments landscape remains altered with regard to where consumers spend their money, the channels used for spending money, and how consumers choose and interact with their payment products.

In 2020, credit card transaction totals dropped by 11% from the previous year, and the corresponding dollar value of card transactions dropped 8%. But, despite those declines, credit cards remained Canada’s most frequently used method of payment. With stores closed and businesses locked down, Canadians turned to online channels and e-commerce for their purchases – and their favorite method of payment for these digital transactions was the credit card, which helped support both transaction volume and value.

But even over a brief five-year period (2015 to 2020), the growth of credit card products was significant. While the number and value of transactions fell in the pandemic’s first year in 2020, transaction volume represented 30% of all payment transactions – still up smartly from 2015’s 23%. And, while the value of credit card transactions decreased 8% in that first year to represent 6% of payments value, that was still an increase from the 5% of payment value captured by credit cards in 2015.

For more information, please see the newly published Packaged Facts report Canadian Credit Card Market Outlook.


About the blogger: Elizabeth Rowe is a financial/payment markets analyst for Packaged Facts.