A new survey by Payments Canada has discovered that just over half of Canadians have abandoned a purchase just before checking out.

To be specific the survey, conducted on behalf of the Ottawa-based organization by Leger Marketing Inc. and released last week, found that approximately 53 per cent of respondents had abandoned a purchase either in store or online due to “inconvenience at checkout,” with 10 per cent of respondents saying they had done so on multiple occasions.

The survey also found that Canadians broadly welcomed near-field communication (NFC)-based – that is, contactless – methods of payment:

  • 55 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to adopt mobile payments instead of cash;
  • 66 per cent said they would prefer electronic payments over cheques;
  • 43 per cent said they would be interested in invisible check-out services such as those offered by Amazon Go;
  • 33 per cent said they would be interested in purchasing products via social networking apps such as AliPay and WeChat Pay; and
  • 70 per cent who had downloaded a mobile wallet app reported making at least one purchase with their mobile devices.

The message, Payments Canada said in an Aug. 8 press release, was that a lack of convenient payment technology – friction – at the point of purchase was to blame for the high rates of abandonment.

“The high abandonment rates at check-out suggest there is a high cost of not integrating faster, more convenient payment technologies,” Payments Canada president and CEO Gerry Gaetz said in the release. “Canadian consumers are speaking with their wallets, indicating that they will not buy from those businesses that don’t make the payment experience easy.”

Gaetz also suggested that Canada’s record number of travellers and residents with immigrant backgrounds could be exposing Canadians to a wider range of payment options in more technologically savvy places like China, and leaving them eager to attempt such methods at home.

“With record levels of overseas travel, many Canadians are getting a taste for new, more convenient digital payment platforms and are expecting to see these technologies roll out in Canada as well,” Gaetz said.

Other results from the survey include:

  • One third of Canadians have deposited a cheque using a mobile app, and 96 per cent of those who did found it convenient;
  • Canadians are more interested in invisible payment methods if they’re living in urban neighbourhoods (49 per cent) versus suburban (42 per cent) and rural (31 per cent);
  • 38 per cent of Canadians store personal credit card information with a mobile app or online e-commerce site, and 86 per cent of those users feel confident that the app or service provider is effectively securing their information;
  • 16 per cent of Canadians have downloaded a mobile wallet app, a three per cent increase from 2017.

It’s worth noting that while the survey polled approximately 3,000 Canadians in total, the research was conducted in two phases, with researchers asking approximately 1,500 respondents a different set of questions in each phase and none of their questions appearing to overlap.

Check out the full survey below.

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