Most Used Payment Methods in Canada: A Comprehensive Overview

Scoop Canada Team
soubhik Lifestyle
7 Min Read
Plastic credit or debit card mockup. Source: Freepik

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Payments are an integral part of our daily lives. From groceries to online shopping, the way we pay for things is rapidly evolving. With a growing trend towards digital payments, understanding the most popular payment methods in Canada can offer valuable insights into consumer behaviour and emerging trends. In this article, we will explore a variety of payment methods, such as credit cards, digital wallets, Interac, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) schemes, and more.

The Changing Landscape of Payments in Canada

The Canadian payments scene has seen a significant shift from traditional to digital methods over the past few years. In 2022, credit cards lost some ground, while digital wallets gained a four-percentage-point increase in market share. Despite this shift, credit cards remained the most widely used digital payment method in Canada last year.

Canada Payment Preferences 2016 2022
Table source: Statista

Credit cards continue to dominate the digital payments landscape in Canada. They are not only convenient but also offer various benefits such as rewards and credit-building opportunities. Despite losing some market share to digital wallets, credit cards held their ground in 2022 as the most used digital payment method. One key reason for this ongoing popularity is Canadians’ inclination toward credit in “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) schemes, which gained roughly six percent market share within the country’s overall e-commerce spending between 2020 and 2022.

Digital Wallets: The Rising Star

While credit cards remain the staple, digital wallets are catching up. Platforms like Apple Pay and Google Wallet have seen a surge in usage in Canada, contributing to the increase in their market share. These wallets offer advantages like ease of use, quick payments, and additional layers of security, making them increasingly popular among Canadians.

Interac: A Canadian Staple

Interac has been a cornerstone in the Canadian financial landscape for years, serving as a reliable and highly secure payment system that bridges the gap between traditional banking and digital convenience. Developed and used predominantly in Canada, Interac’s reach extends to a vast network of financial institutions, retailers, and consumers, making it one of the most accessible and widely accepted payment methods in the country.

Universality and Trust

Interac is almost ubiquitous in Canada, supported by nearly all Canadian banks and accepted by a multitude of businesses, both online and offline. Its reputation for security and reliability has made it a preferred choice for many Canadians who are cautious about using international credit cards or digital wallets for their transactions.

E-Transfers and Online Shopping

Interac e-Transfer is one of the most popular features offered, allowing Canadians to easily send and receive money electronically through their bank accounts. This feature has especially come in handy for peer-to-peer payments, rent transfers, and even small business transactions. Besides, the adoption of Interac for online shopping has been seamless, given its secure nature and immediate transfer of funds.

Interac and Online Casinos

A somewhat unique but increasingly popular application of Interac is its usage in online casinos. Online gaming platforms have recognized the trust that Canadians place in Interac and have started to offer it as a prominent payment method. Given the sensitive nature of financial transactions in online gaming, Interac’s robust security features make it an attractive option for players who want to deposit or withdraw money with peace of mind.

While Interac offers many advantages, it is crucial to note that not all online casinos support this payment method. Therefore, users may have to check the payment options available at their chosen online gaming platform or check in advance for casinos with Interac listed by many blogs specialized in the gambling area. Additionally, some online casinos may have transaction limits when using Interac, which could be either a pro or a con depending on the player’s gaming habits.

Advantages of Interac Over Other Payment Methods

One of the significant advantages of using Interac is the absence of international transaction fees, which are often incurred when using credit cards from global providers. Additionally, since Interac transactions are directly linked to a user’s bank account, it offers real-time updates on account balances, helping consumers manage their spending more effectively.

Buy Now, Pay Later: A New Payment Trend

“Buy Now, Pay Later” is a burgeoning trend that allows consumers to purchase items and pay for them over time. Between 2020 and 2022, BNPL schemes captured approximately six percent of Canada’s total e-commerce spending, riding on the coattails of the nation’s love for credit. With the flexibility to pay over time and sometimes even interest-free, it’s not hard to see why this method is catching on.

Debit Cards: Almost Universal Ownership

Debit cards are almost universally owned in Canada; nearly everyone has at least one. Although they may not offer the same rewards or credit-building opportunities as credit cards, debit cards are widely used for day-to-day purchases, making them a reliable and commonly used payment method.

The Resilience of Cash

While digital payments are on the rise, cash remains resilient. Our survey found that Canadians are not ready to fully transition to digital payments and still use cash for a significant portion of their purchases. Factors such as a lack of trust in digital platforms or the habit of using cash for small transactions contribute to its ongoing usage.


The landscape of payment methods in Canada is both dynamic and diverse, characterized by a mix of traditional and modern approaches. Credit cards remain dominant, but digital wallets are rapidly gaining ground. Meanwhile, uniquely Canadian systems like Interac continue to hold their own, offering a trusted and widely accepted method for various types of transactions. As Canadians become increasingly comfortable with digital payment methods, we can expect to see even more shifts and innovations in the coming years.

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