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PayPal: Mobile payments on the rise in Canada

BY Marianne Wilson

Toronto — Canadians are eager to embrace future-forward payment options like wearable devices and smartwatches, according to a new study by PayPal Canada that was conducted by Nielsen. Close to a third of Canadians (29%) have used their mobile phone to make an online purchase while on-the-go, and nearly a quarter (23%) having used their mobile phone in-person at a store to make a purchase.

The PayPal study also reveals enthusiasm for emerging technologies, with almost half (45%) agreeing that Canadians are ready to embrace methods such as mobile payments via wearable devices. This readiness to experience the next and the new is clear with almost one in two Canadians (47%) wishing retailers offered more safe and secure mobile payment options.

"New technologies and devices will transform our shopping and payment experience in the next five years," says retail industry futurist, Doug Stephens. "The PayPal study proves that Canadians are active participants in this evolution, which gives retailers a unique opportunity to create innovative shopping experiences that go beyond in-store and online for consumers who wish to shop across all their devices, be it smartphones, smartwatches or digital wristbands."

In the survey, one in five (18%) respondents said they would be likely to use a chip implanted in a finger that allows them to simply tap to complete an in-store payment, while 22% say they would use facial recognition technology to pay for items in a store, or would pay for items in a store using a retina scanner.

Half of Canadians (51%) have heard of wearable technology, and that awareness spikes (to 67%) when prompted with a description. Almost one-in-four respondents (23%) would be likely to use a watch or bracelet that lets them pay for in-store purchases, while only about half that number (12%) would consider Internet-enabled glasses to make in-store purchases.
With close to nine-in-10 (88%) of Canadians having made an online purchase from their computer or tablet, and 61% indicating use of the PayPal digital wallet to pay for these purchases, money is undeniably becoming digital.

Canadians who are currently not using a digital wallet are considering breaking from their traditional habits, with one-in-five (21%) indicating that they are likely to use a digital wallet in the next year, citing convenience as a key driver. They dislike having to re-enter personal or financial information each time they make an online purchase (55%), and they love that they save time when they use a digital wallet (51%).

Almost a third of Canadians (29%) are already using their mobile phones to make online purchase payments while on the go. And almost a quarter of Canadians (23%) already use their mobile phones to make in-store purchases.

Survey findings also indicate that those who do not currently use mobile payments are intrigued and potentially open to this form of payment. Six-out-of-10 (59%) Canadians say they feel envious when they see other people using their mobile phone to pay in-store and wish they could do the same; 42% agree that they are curious, and want to know more about how it works.

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