Canadians are increasingly using mobile payments for purchases

Mobile payments - Person using mobile to pay - Canada Flag

The trend is on the rise in Canada, where users are being advised to take security precautions.

A new report has shown that mobile payments are a rapidly rising trend in Canada, adding itself to a growing number of data analyses indicating the same trend.

The largest Canadian interbank network reported that it is experiencing massive growth in device use.

The interbank network, Interac, reported that by August, over one billion debit mobile payments were transacted within the prior 12 months using its network. Moreover, data from Interac showed that the number of contactless payments made at a point of sale using a mobile device had increased by 53 percent in Canada during that year. Mobile devices included everything from smartphones to smartwatches and other wearables.

Mobile payments - paying with mobile at POS

According to Omar Fares, the report from Interac shows that the “future is mobile.” Fares is a lecturer at the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly named Ryerson University).

Canadians are being reminded to be aware of security risks when using mobile payments.

Though this use of technology comes with a large number of conveniences and benefits, Canadians are also being cautioned to remain aware of the security risks that are associated with them. They are being advised to learn how to protect themselves from scams and other threats.

“While the technology is accessible and convenient, there’s also that risk factor of, well, how is my data being used? How is it being secured, and is the technology on its own secure?” said Fares. “For the most part it is, but from time to time they may happen.”

Despite any security risks, many Canadians find the benefits outweigh potential drawbacks and are rapidly adopting its use. According to the data released by Interac, consumers are often turning to their mobile devices instead of choosing their physical cards.

By July 2023, the share held by mobile payments of in-person transactions increased from 18 percent in August 2022 to 24 percent. In July 2023, one quarter of all contactless debit transactions made using the service were made using mobile payments such as with a phone or wearable device.

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