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Square Report: A cashless future in Canada isn’t a linear path

Sep 15, 2020

A new report released by Square today charts the changing behaviours of businesses and consumers around cash amid the pandemic.

It’s clear from August 2020 payments transactions data that businesses aren’t ready to say “so long” to cash as many businesses that went cashless have reverted back to accepting cash.

Square Report - Share of cashless businesses

Square Economist, Felipe Chacon says, “As businesses seek to resume more normal operations and consumers increase their spending, many businesses are reverting back to accepting cash to accommodate all the ways their customers prefer to pay. Many sellers are choosing to take cash rather than turn away any business at this time.”

The data does show that consumers are paying without cash more often in-person.

Square Report - Cash as a share of in-person payments

Chacon explains, “These new findings show a significant and stabilizing decrease in cash usage rates compared to pre-pandemic, with business owners increasingly reliant upon card payments and consumers utilizing those alternatives. We estimate the shift away from cash over the last six months in Canada would  have taken more than six years without the pandemic.”

The report maps the regions and industries on a far from straight forward path to a cashless society. To see the full report, view here.