Canadians are looking for convenience when it comes to shopping, and credit cards are playing a larger role than ever.

According to Payments Canada’s latest Canadian Payment Methods and Trends report, Canada has become a global leader in credit card use, with plastic representing more than $462 billion in point-of-sales (POS) transactions last year.

Prepaid transactions, meanwhile, were the fastest growing POS transaction type, with a seven per cent year-over-year growth in value, totaling approximately $20 billion.

Anne Butler, Payment Canada’s vice president of policy, research, legal and general counsel, said in a press release that there were more than 21.3 billion consumer and business payments made in 2016, worth more than $9 trillion.

“Even small changes in behaviours can have a big impact,” she said.

The report also found online transactions up by nearly 48 per cent, to 177 million. This represents a growing user confidence in online forms of banking, says the report. Online transfers, too, were up nearly 51 per cent to $68 billion.

Businesses are also using online transfers more frequently. About 10 per cent of online transfers were made by businesses, compared to fewer than five per cent in prior years.

Canadians should also be prepared for the rise of social media payments.

Increased collaboration between up-and-coming fintechs and Canadian financial institutions, such as last year’s partnership between Scotiabank and Atlanta-based fintech lender Kabbage, is likely to continue, the report says, thus creating new banking and payment methods for Canadians.

The partnership allows for Scotia customers in Canada and Mexico to apply for and access small business loans of up to $100,000 in minutes.



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