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Debit, Credit and Cell: Making Canada a Leader in the Way We Pay

24 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2012  

Philippe Bergevin

C.D. Howe Institute

Todd J. Zywicki

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: June 21, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Economic Growth and Innovation, Canada, debit and credit cards, electronic payment options, cell phones, Interac Association

JEL Classification: E42

Suggested Citation

Bergevin, Philippe and Zywicki, Todd J., Debit, Credit and Cell: Making Canada a Leader in the Way We Pay (June 21, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2104232 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2104232

Philippe Bergevin (Contact Author)

C.D. Howe Institute ( email )

67 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1J8
Canada

Todd Zywicki

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8091 (Phone)
703-993-8088 (Fax)

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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