Canada Consumer Payment Habits

Digital Payments Battle Card Supremacy—and Victory Depends on Demographics

Executive Summary

Canada consumers lag Western leaders in adopting digital payments, but mainstream contactless usage has set the table for mobile payments to grow—and certain demographic groups are leading the charge. Marketers can reach these groups by pinpointing demographic payment habits and digital preferences.

Scroll on to learn:

  • The size of Canada’s consumer payments opportunity
  • The major established and emerging brands fighting for share
  • Key payment methods—from credit cards to cryptocurrency—and their growth trajectory
  • Demographic trends that are driving business upheaval

Key Question: How are payment method preferences among different demographic groups influencing the shift to digital payments in Canada?

KEY STAT: Canada’s food and retail transaction volume will grow 4.0% in 2023, per our forecast, with credit cards holding on to a majority share. But a slight decrease from the year prior could be linked to a slip in their digital dominance.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Canada lags the digital pace set by leading Western economies.
  3. Canada consumer demographics inform digital payment growth trends.
  4. Winners will be decided on the digital battlefield.
  5. Among traditional payment methods in Canada, credit cards are the most mature.
  1. But debit card payment value is growing with retail volume and gaining digital traction.
  2. And prepaid cards are getting a boost from younger Canadians and gig workers.
  3. Cash is hanging on across age groups.
  4. Among emerging payment methods, contactless cards are wildly popular.
  5. Mobile wallets are gaining prominence thanks to growing ecommerce share.
  1. Younger consumers are propping up nascent BNPL growth.
  2. The crypto crisis is curbing already low payments momentum.
  3. What should marketers in the Canada payments industry do next?
  4. Sources
  5. Media Gallery

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Grace Broadbent


David Morris
Principal Analyst
Melissa Rosenberg
Senior Researcher
Jaime Toplin
Senior Analyst
Daniel Van Dyke
VP, Content

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