Pandemic calls for Canadian Retail Businesses to go cashless

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By Robert Smith

COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way many businesses in the world operate. Every business has a story to tell on how they were affected. Many Canadian Retail businesses could not operate using cash and had to find other solutions. In the process, some store owners started taking payment alternatives, which involves cashless means, to keep business still going.

The truth is: contraction of the disease takes any form, and everyone is trying to be safe during this time. Therefore, most stores would rather you pay with debit or credit card, e-Wallet, Cryptocurrency, etc., than receive cash as payment. On the other hand, a few stores still accept cash payments. According to The Bank of Canada, the choice depends on the seller whether to receive or not.

Also, there are limitations to the use of these cashless payments in retail businesses. For instance, Michael Bryant, who is the CCLA (Canadian Civil Liberties Association) Executive Director and General Counsel, believes that cashless policy is quite discriminatory against a special set of people. Examples of people who may not find the alternative payment, i.e., debit/credit card, quite easy include Seniors, Handicaps, the Less-privileged, and so on. He says: “Stores are taking out opportunities from these people, and it threatens their survival.”

Before the Pandemic, Canada had the option of a card-based payment for about 70% purchases. However, two popular industries that used the cashless payment method were Online Gaming and eCommerce.

Industries that Used Cashless Payment Before the Pandemic

Internet based industries have been using online payments for years, E-commerce shops and online gaming are great examples of industries that have successfully implemented cashless payments.

The Online Gaming industry has several options available for paying online. When playing online for real money you must make sure to have a secure and safe way to deposit your money. Most online casinos accept payment via e-Wallet (Neteller, Skrill), Card (VISA, MasterCard), or Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin). Bank wire transfer is not exempted either.

While many online casinos in Canada have already started using PayPal, many European countries like Ireland still don’t have as many online casinos that accept PayPal as a payment method. That means cashless payments in casinos varies depending on the country.

The Ecommerce Industry has also been growing tremendously over the years and there is no doubt the use of online payment methods has added to this success. Several people rather stay at home and order for their personal needs online, such as fashion items, gadgets, and so on. In a bid, they are prompted to card payments, which is quicker and faster.

According to Statista, the use of a credit cards while shopping online has been growing drastically since 2014. In comparison to European countries like France, where the use of credit cards is growing but not as fast. The upside of this is that the ecommerce industry would not be affected by the Pandemic in terms of payment.

Also, there are more cashless payment organizations in Canada, compared to Europe. Thus, the survival of the industry depends on this factor.

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