Contactless payments made up half of transactions in Q1

A Moneris report shows acceptance of tap payments is on the rise.

Contactless payments accounted for the majority of card-present transactions in Canada in the first quarter of 2019, according to a new report from Moneris, the first time that has happened since the payment solutions company began tracking spending trends in 2012.

Over the first three months of 2019, contactless payments – including tap-enabled cards, mobile wallets and wearables – accounted for 51.5% of total transactions, with year-over-year growth of 24.7%. Overall credit and debit card spending saw only moderate growth of 2.5% over the same time period.

“Consumers want to get through a queue quickly, so a fast, simple payment experience is what they’re looking for,” said Angela Brown, president and CEO of Moneris. “With more banks supporting digital wallets and more devices supporting tap to pay, it’s not a surprise that we are seeing contactless transactions surge.”

Growth in contactless payments was relatively flat in Alberta (up 0.7%) and Saskatchewan (up 0.6%), and went down in Newfoundland and Labrador (down 2.9%). However, Saskatchewan’s rate was slightly higher than the 0.9% drop in Q1 last year, one of only two to see growth go up (the other being Manitoba, which was up 2.2%). British Columbia (up 3.3%), Quebec (up 3%) and Ontario (2.9%) saw the highest growth rates, but those were all down slightly from the same quarter last year.

Brown said this slight dip in growth can be attributed to overall decreases in consumer spending, as well as the fact that people are investing in “experiences” over goods and products.