Interac Mobile Transactions Surge 53% in Last Year

Canadians’ reliance on their smartphones continues to increase. Interac data reveals a 53 per cent jump in the use if Interac Debit for mobile contactless payments in stores and a 17 per cent surge in its use for e-Commerce purchases between August 2022 and July 2023. Over one billion of these mobile transactions have taken place within a 12-month period for the first time ever.

Photo: Interac

“While many Canadians shifted to contactless early in the pandemic, our data shows consumers are now going a step further as mobile payments become mainstream, particularly as younger Canadians influence those around them to follow suit,” said William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp. “Debit remains central to the way Canadians choose to pay, even as in-store and e-commerce transactions take new forms.”

According to a recent Interac survey, nearly eight in 10 (78 per cent) Gen Z adults pay using their smartphone, well ahead of older demographics including their parents’ generation, Gen X (42 per cent). While Gen X Canadians (born between 1965 and 1980) appear to have more concerns about the security of mobile and contactless payments, their kids are influencing their payment habits. Four in ten Gen Xers polled (41 per cent) embrace payment options only after they have seen friends and family use them, while half of Gen Z respondents (52 per cent) have taught older family members how to pay with their phone.

Photo: Interac

“Interac is innovating to help make life easier for Canadians. We’re exploring the ever-evolving ways Canadians are connecting to the digital economy – whether it’s by making purchases, paying their transit fares, or supporting small businesses,” added Keliehor.

Spending snapshot:

  • Among Gen Z Canadians (born between 1995 and 2012) who make purchases with their smartphone, over half of those surveyed (53 per cent) prefer to pay with debit. Three quarters of Gen Z (76 per cent) believe Canadians should always have the option to use debit when checking out online, making a purchase in an app, or paying in store.
  • As Canadians head out to explore the country this summer, Interac Debit mobile transactions at service stations have increased 48 per cent over the last 12 months.
  • The trend continues on the patio. Mobile Interac Debit purchases at restaurants and eating places have risen 63 per cent over the last 12 months and 40 per cent at fast food restaurants.
Photo: Interac

As we look to the future, nearly two thirds of Canadians polled (63 per cent) expect that it will soon be normal to leave home without a physical wallet, knowing you can pay with a smartphone or smartwatch. As of this month, TTC riders in Ontario can pay their fare with Interac Debit using their smartphone or physical debit card. This capability is set to fuel further growth in mobile transactions in the months to come.

More than one billion Interac Debit mobile contactless and in-app transactions have taken place on the Interac Token Service Provider (TSP), setting a record for transaction volume within a 12-month period (August 2022 to July 2023). This proprietary token generation and management service was developed by Interac to substitute a consumer’s Primary Account Number (PAN), with a secure token consisting of a unique and random sequence of numbers. This allows the consumer to make a purchase without exposing their financial information, which significantly reduces the risk of fraud while making paying simple and convenient for consumers.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies who completed the survey on behalf of Interac, used Morning Consult’s panel services to survey 1,502 Canadians over the period of June 16th to 18th, 2023. Sampling was done within age, gender, and region quotas. The length of survey was 7 minutes. Data was weighted on age, gender, and region according to 2016 census figures. An associated margin of error for a randomly selected sample of n=1,502 would be ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20.