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Press release
Financial Services|Retail|Point of Sales Tracking|Shopper|United States|English

Canadians Not Buying Mobile Payments


New GfK study shows mobile payments account for just 2% of Canadian consumer purchases  

Canadian consumers lag far behind citizens of other countries when it comes to mobile payments, which account for just 2% of all consumer purchases in Canada, according to new research from GfK. Yet attitudes among young Canadian adults suggest that mobile buying behavior will accelerate. 

 To download a free PDF report from this study, click here.

Only 21% of Canadian shoppers (consumers who have shopped in one of 15 categories in the last 6 months) reported making a mobile payment online and in-store in the past six months; online purchases made up 64% of the mobile payment purchases, while 36% were for in-store sales. Canada’s mobile payment activity pales in comparison to countries like China (where 83% of shoppers report using mobile payments in the past six months), Korea (62%), and even the US (33%).

The new findings come from an in-depth look at mobile payments included in GfK’s latest FutureBuy® study, which tracks the convergence of digital and bricks-and-mortar activities in shopping across 15 product categories. The research shows that, despite attitudinal differences, the generations are essentially the same in their use of mobile payments, which account for just 2% of all transactions in Canada for Generation X, Generation Y and Boomers, and 3% for Generation Z.


Table 1. Canadian Mobile Payment Attitudes, by Generation
(Agreed “completely” or “somewhat”)


  Gen Z
(Age 18 to 24)
Gen Y
(25 to 34)
Gen X
(35 to 49)
Baby Boomers (50 to 68)
“Mobile payments are 100% secure” 31% 32% 22% 8%
“Worried about personal information disclosure” 61% 54% 57% 55%
“Mobile payments are faster than other methods” 34% 36% 30% 12%
“Mobile payments make shopping more efficient” 38% 37% 27% 9%


The GfK research also reveals major differences in Canadian attitudes toward mobile payments by generation, with Millennials – Generations Y and Z – three to four times as likely to view them as faster or more efficient than other types of transactions. (See Table 1, above.) These younger shoppers show more confidence in the security of mobile payments – although Generation Z is actually more concerned than Baby Boomers and others about the possibility of a personal information breach via mobile payments.

When asked if mobile payments are “faster” or “more efficient,” 38% to 34% of Generations Y and Z agreed either completely or somewhat – compared to a range of 9% to 30% for Gen X and Baby Boomers. And 31% of those in Gen Z said that mobile payments are 100% secure – compared to just 8% for Boomers. (See Table 1.)

Overall, more than half (55%) of Canadian respondents agreed completely or somewhat they are worried about the security of their personal information with mobile payments. PayPal was the preferred payment method for six of 10 Canadians making mobile payments in-store or online.

“While most Canadians have yet to see the benefit of mobile payments, our findings suggest that Millennials and even younger consumers will eventually accelerate the adoption of mobile payment methods,” said Stephen Popiel, Vice President (Consulting) at GfK Canada. “As usual, Canadians are much more conservative with financial matters, including payment technology. In order to encourage widespread acceptance, financial services companies and device makers will need to come to terms with Canadians’ concerns about security and their sense that mobile payments may just be a gimmick.”