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Use of contactless payment systems increase amid COVID-19 pandemic
TORONTO -- Canada’s major credit cards raised their tap limits from $100 to $250 in April and a new study shows Canadians have quickly gotten used to the higher limits.
A study by Moneris found that contactless transactions over $100 equal 40 per cent of transactions. The average transaction is $148 and contactless payments are now approaching half of all transactions at 45.9 per cent.
“It tells us both merchants and the public want to use tap whenever they could," Malcolm Fowler, Chief Strategic Partnership Officer at Moneris, said.
Even when the pandemic comes to an end, Moneris says the public has accepted the higher tap level and expects the $250 limit to remain.
“I just don't see this going away for a long time because of COVID-19 and consumer behavior is now entrenched," Fowler said.
Even though credit cards have a higher tap limit, debit cards remain at the $100. The Retail Council of Canada would like to see the tap limit of debit cards raised to $250 as well.
“Contactless payments will be used more frequently and obviously for that reason we would like to see Interac get its level up to the same as the credit cards," said Karl Littler with The Retail Council of Canada.
A survey by Payments Canada found that 75 per cent of Canadians say they're spending less than pre-COVID-19. About 62 per cent are using less cash and 42 per cent say they avoid shopping where contactless payments are not accepted.
Canadians are also sending more e-transfers due to the pandemic. A record was set in April, when Canadians used more than 61 million e-transfers to send and receive money.
Despite the move towards more stores wanting to use only contactless payments, the Bank of Canada is urging all retailers to continue to accept cash as about 3 per cent of the population does not have a credit or debit card.