10 Nov

eTransfers the #1 Payment Method in Canada

Canada eTransfers move more money than all other Canadian payment methods.

Canada eTransfers Move More Money than Any Other Payment Method

As hard as it is to believe, there was a time when money did not exist. We acquired what we needed by way of trade and barter. When money was first invented, it had very little value. No one wanted a coin or piece of paper. They wanted something tangible; something valuable; something they could use or consume. The same cannot be said today.

Now, money makes the world go round. You can’t get much without it, and few claim to have enough of it. However much money you have, odds are you’re exercising multiple means of spending it. Cash transactions still make up the most voluminous payment method in Canada, but eTransfers are responsible for the highest value of financial movement.

Canada eTransfers Rank #1, Again

An EFT is a digital remote transaction. Payees can facilitate an eTransfer from a computer, mobile device. It is not a specific type of payment; rather an umbrella term that covers things like eChecks, virtual cards and personal computer banking. And according to Payments.ca, non-profit provider of Canada’s national payment systems, electronic fund transfers (eTransfer/EFT) are still immensely popular. 

These payment methods are topping the charts in Payments.ca’s latest finance report, Canadian Payment Methods & Trends 2022. Not only are eTransfers the #1 payment method in Canada in terms of value, accounting for $6.2 trillion in transactions in 2021 – more than half of all payments value that year (57%) – they’re also the most prominent among remote transactions, accounting for 59.8% of volume and about 62.9% of value.

The study defines remote transactions as, “all transactions that are not made at physical locations, virtual payee provided apps or store fronts.” They include EFTs, eChecks, and online transfers (eWallets), and the remote use of credit/debit/prepaid cards, personal cheques, and commercial cheques.

Compared to personal cheques, which declined 7% year-over-year (50% since 2016), eTransfers grew 5.9% YoY (17.1% since 2016). And that’s just the volume of usage. As for value, cheques rose 7.4% YoY, (-17.8% since 2016), while EFTs jumped 21% YoY (49.4% since 2016).

Canadian eTransfer Payment Method Still Growing Slowly

Although its growth rate is tapering, electronic fund transfers are still waxing in volume and value. Canadians are increasingly reliant on EFTs for everyday household uses, including eTransfer casino deposit, online shopping and bill payments. Governments and businesses use EFT direct deposits more than ever. The report indicates the following trends derivative of the impact of digitization.

  • EFT continued to lead all other payments in transaction value by a wide margin.
  • Higher employment levels, improved business sentiment and a robust housing market were all commercial contributors to EFT growth.
  • Consumers perceive EFT payments to be more convenient and faster than other payment methods.

“EFT transaction volume and value rebounded in 2021 with strong year-over-year growth, particularly for value (21 per cent). The continued decline in cheques, coupled with the increase in EFT value, indicates more Canadian consumers are replacing cheques with electronic payment methods for large-value transactions.”

Cash may still be king in the physical realm of low-value, high-volume payments. But with eCommerce flourishing for the last two decades, there’s more than enough evidence that Canada eTransfers will remain on top for years to come.

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