Canadians keen to use smartphones, wearable devices as ways to pay - report

Thursday 9 October 2014 13:45 CET | News

Canadians are keen to embrace payment options like wearable devices and smartwatches, a recent research reveals.

According to a recent national study from PayPal Canada, purchasing habits are shifting to include the use of digital and mobile payments, with close to a third of Canadians (29%) having 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 1 in 2 Canadians (47%) wishing retailers provided more secure mobile payment options.

The survey also highlights that more than a third (35%) indicate they would be likely to use an internet-enabled car to pay for gas at the pump; also, more than 1 in 5 (22%) indicate they would be likely to use an internet-enabled fridge to shop and pay for items directly from an online grocery store; moreover, 1 in 5 (18%) 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.

The report points out that when it comes to wearable technology or wearable devices, Canadians are showing a distinct interest. Half of Canadians (51%) have heard of wearable technology, and that awareness spikes (to 67%) when prompted with a description. According to respondents, the potential benefits of paying through wearable devices include: not having to carry a wallet or phone (32%); being hands-free (32%); not worrying about losing a device youre wearing (29%); having everything in one place (28%).

The study also suggests that almost 1 in 4 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.

When it comes to considering new ways to pay when going out, the research reveals that Canadians are most likely to use a bracelet that enables them to pay for rides and food at an amusement park (31%), or a bracelet that enables them to pay for food, beverages and merchandise at a concert (28%).

With close to 9 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, the report points out.

The study also unveils that Canadians who are currently not using a digital wallet are considering breaking from their traditional habits, with 1 in 5 (21%) indicating that they are likely to use a digital wallet in 2015, 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%), the survey indicates.

Furthermore, the research adds that almost a third of Canadians (29%) are already using their mobile phones to make online purchase payments while on the go. Canadians who use their mobile phone to perform the following activities (at least once every few months) indicate that their usage levels have increased compared to 2013: 38% transfer money to family, friends or the babysitter more often; 37% purchase games with their mobile phone more often; 32% download apps, music or movies and other digital content more often; 25% donate money to charities more often. Almost a quarter of Canadians (23%) already use their mobile phones to make in-store purchases.

The study also shows that Canadians currently using mobile payments agree that mobile transactions can be quick and effortless (65%), while 6 in 10 (62%) agree that they use it without giving it a second thought, because its how they pay. In addition, almost half (46%) agree that they wish they didnt have to carry both their wallets and phones, while a third (27%) agree that they feel frustrated by people who dont pay with their mobile phones and hold up the line using cash or credit/debit cards.

Of those whove made mobile payments at least once every few months in the past year, more than half (51%) are choosing this method of payment more often when purchasing a coffee, snack or meal compared to 12 months ago, the research finds out.

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.

The PayPal survey was conducted by global information and measurement company Nielsen among 1,504 Canadians, ages 18 and older, from September 4-19, 2014. Results were weighted according to age and gender within region to ensure a representative sample of the population. 

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Keywords: Canadians, smartphones, wearable, devices, pay, smartwatches, digital, mobile, payments , internet-enabled fridge, internet-enabled glasses
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce