Debit, Credit and Cell: Making Canada a Leader in the Way We Pay
C.D. Howe Institute
Todd J. Zywicki
George Mason University School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
June 21, 2012
Canadians are avid users of debit and credit cards and other electronic payment options. Compared to consumers in other countries, they are among the heaviest users of debit cards to make purchases at retail stores. But Canada’s payment system has fallen behind – cell phones with payment capabilities have been around for years in some countries, but are only starting now to make inroads in Canada. Cheques, which are relatively costly and slow to clear, are still widely used, with about one billion of them written annually in Canada. And Canadian debit cards lack features taken for granted in other parts of the world, such as the ability to use them for many online transactions and at stores located abroad. In this Commentary, we argue that the country’s current payment technologies and governance infrastructure must change.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Economic Growth and Innovation, Canada, debit and credit cards, electronic payment options, cell phones, Interac Association
JEL Classification: E42
Date posted: July 13, 2012
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