• By: Allen Brown

Preferred Payment Methods in Canada vs. The Rest of The World

In Canada, only one out of three transactions will be completed with cash, which is mostly used for small-value purchases, such as a cup of coffee. As paying with cash declines at a steady rate, Canadians become more prone to using contactless payment technology and alternative methods.

Just like the rest of the world, Canada’s residents seem to love the ease and convenience of modern payment solutions, so they are leaning toward contactless systems and technologies. Thus, the preferred payment methods in Canada today differ significantly from what was predominantly used just a few years ago. 

Preferred payment methods in Canada

MasterCard and Visa remain among the most widely used payment methods in Canada. Not only can they be used at a wide range of merchants, such as restaurants and retail stores, but they also come with quick and easy payments. They are accepted both online and in-store and are to be used for worldwide transactions. 

Both MasterCard and Visa went beyond traditional card payments, offering contactless transactions through special technology. This tap-to-pay feature is already accepted in a huge range of stores and venues—both online and offline. The technology even found its way to online casinos that are considered to be fastest paying, department stores, and gas stations. 

Leading the way as one of the most accepted payment methods in Canada, PayPal remains a favourite when it comes to online purchases. Of course, many Canadian businesses accept PayPal in physical stores, so there’s no need to make any compromises if you’ve fallen for this payment method’s convenience the moment you created an account. It’s worth mentioning that PayPal can also be used for sending and receiving money in 25 different currencies. 

PaySafeCard, as its name suggests, is a card that lets you make secure payments and transactions. Canadians using this payment option don’t need a bank account or a credit card, as PaySafeCard contains a predetermined amount of money, and the purchase amount gets deducted from the card balance after every transaction. 

All you need is a 16-digit PIN code that you need to input during online transactions. PaySafeCard is a widely accepted payment method that’s even used for playing in the best online casinos in Canada. 

Canada isn’t behind the rest of the world when it comes to the popularity of Google Pay and Apple Pay—two mobile payment services that have revolutionized the payment ecosystem. These have gained popularity for their convenience and security, as well as the special benefits they offer their users. 

Namely, both Apple Pay and Google Pay have loyalty cards, with the former going as far as to offer special rewards programs. 

Make note that Google Pay isn’t an approved payment method by all merchants in Canada, so don’t forget to confirm acceptance before trying to use it. 

Preferred payment methods in the rest of the world

The situation isn’t much different in North America, as digital wallets and other bank-based payment methods are frequently used, even though cards still reign supreme. Apart from Apple Pay and PayPal—both of which enjoy popularity in Canada—North Americans also love to use Cash App Pay. As one of the largest consumer wallets in the United States, it has over 50 million active users. What has attracted such a huge pool of satisfied customers are seamless payments with high authorization rates. 

Europe—being the diverse region that it is—is home to a significant number of different payment methods. Some payment methods, such as Klarna, are popular across the entire region. Klarna was founded in 2005 and has become particularly favoured in Belgium, Spain, and Sweden. The same goes for Trustly, which puts focus on the Nordics, UK, and the Baltics. Trustly allows shoppers to pay by using their bank account details, without needing a card or an app. 

However, some payment methods are popular in specific countries only, such as Blik. Blik is a mobile payment method that’s covered by all major banks in Poland, so it’s embedded in the country’s banking applications. 

With more than 4.5 billion people populating it, and with seven of the world’s ten most populous countries being in it, Asia Pacific is paving the way when it comes to mobile payment adoption. Alipay and WeChat are the two most popular payment solutions for Chinese shoppers. These apps let customers pay directly from their mobile devices, so there’s no time wasted on easy-to-forget PIN codes

That being said, you’d think that the entire world has gone into contactless payment mode, but the Middle East still prefers to stick to the good old cards. MasterCard and Visa are the two main options, with the exception of Kuwait and Bahrain. 

Kuwait is home to KNET cards, which are co-branded with international schemes, while Bahrain’s residents predominantly use BENEFIT.  BENEFIT is the dominant debit network in Bahrain and, as such, might be the most popular payment method in this part of the world. 

The bottom line 

Canada is on par with the rest of the world when it comes to the adoption of innovative and contactless payment solutions. Apart from using credit cards for bigger purchases, Canada’s residents are slowly transitioning to e-wallets and mobile systems, such as PayPal and Apple Pay. 

Popular as they are, digital payments have not yet replaced cash, and there are still some parts of the world where paper money is used almost exclusively. Thus, cash remains one of the preferred payment methods in Canada, especially when it comes to small, in-store purchases.