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Why Is Cash (Still) So Entrenched? Insights from the Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey

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Author Info

  • Carlos Arango
  • Dylan Hogg
  • Alyssa Lee

Abstract

The authors present key insights from the Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment survey. In the survey, about 6,800 participants completed a questionnaire with detailed information regarding their personal finances, as well as their use and perceptions of different payment methods. In addition, about 3,500 participants completed a 3-day diary recording information on each transaction, including the value and the payment instrument chosen. One of the main findings from the diaries is that, even though debit and credit cards account for close to 80 per cent of all transactions in terms of total value, cash is still the predominant payment method in terms of volume, accounting for 54 per cent of all transactions. Using the payment records from the diaries, the authors estimate a simple model of choice between cash and other payment methods. The results suggest that the main reasons why cash is still a popular payment instrument in Canada, especially for small-value transactions, are its wide acceptance among merchants, high ease of use or speed, low handling costs, simplicity as a tool to control spending, and anonymity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Discussion Papers with number 12-2.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocadp:12-2

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 234 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G9, Canada
Phone: 613 782-8845
Fax: 613 782-8874
Web page: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/

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Keywords: Bank notes; Financial services;

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References

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  1. Carlos Arango & Angelika Welte, 2012. "The Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey: Methodology and Key Results," Discussion Papers 12-6, Bank of Canada.
  2. Ron Borzekowski & K. Kiser Elizabeth & Ahmed Shaista, 2008. "Consumers' Use of Debit Cards: Patterns, Preferences, and Price Response," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(1), pages 149-172, 02.
  3. Carlos Arango & Kim Huynh & Leonard Sabetti, 2011. "How Do You Pay? The Role of Incentives at the Point-of-Sale," Working Papers 11-23, Bank of Canada.
  4. Peter Mooslechner & Helmut Stix & Karin Wagner, 2006. "How Are Payments Made in Austria?," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 111–134.
  5. Von Kalckreuth, Ulf & Schmidt, Tobias & Stix, Helmut, 2011. "Using cash to monitor liquidity - implications for payments, currency demand and withdrawal behavior," Working Paper Series 1385, European Central Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. G. Camera & M. Casari & S. Bortolotti, 2014. "An Experiment on Retail Payments Systems," Working Papers wp942, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  2. Eschelbach, Martina & Schmidt, Tobias, 2013. "Precautionary motives in short-term cash management: Evidence from German POS transactions," Discussion Papers 38/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Arango, Carlos & Huynh, Kim P. & Sabetti, Leonard, 2011. "How do you pay? The role of incentives at the point-of-sale," Working Paper Series 1386, European Central Bank.
  4. Wakamori, Naoki & Welte, Angelika, 2013. "Why Do Shoppers Use Cash? Evidence from Shopping Diary Data," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 431, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. Michael Dotsey & Pablo Guerron-Quintana, 2012. "Interest rates and prices in an inventory model of money with credit," Working Papers 13-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Eden Hatzvi & Jessica Meredith & Rose Kenney, 2014. "Cash Use in Australia," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 43-54, June.
  7. Carlos Arango & Angelika Welte, 2012. "The Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey: Methodology and Key Results," Discussion Papers 12-6, Bank of Canada.

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