Square Report: The New Shape of Local Commerce

16 Mar 2021


Today, Square released a report that reveals the new ways Canadians are buying from local businesses one year into the pandemic.

Key insights from an analysis of millions of transactions from Square sellers across Canada include:

  • Canadians have all kinds of ways to buy at a distance now. In fact, two out of three local businesses (61%) in Canada are selling online, putting Canada well ahead of the percentage of local businesses selling online in the UK (55%), the U.S. (47%), Australia (32%) and Japan (21%). Saskatoon leads all major Canadian cities, with 85% of businesses selling online.

  • Canadians’ use of cash has dropped by almost half. Around 22% of local business purchases are paid with cash today, compared with 39% pre-COVID. Saskatoon leads all major Canadian cities again, this time in terms of letting go of cash the most. Bills and coins only account for 11% of purchases at local businesses in the City of Bridges.

  • Canadians are now 3.5 times more likely to visit a local business that is cashless. Around 1 in 5 local businesses no longer accept cash, compared to 1 in 20 this time last year.

For more local commerce insights from Square, see the full report here.