Greenhouse Canada

Electronic payments drive GDP growth

September 14, 2012  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Sept. 14, 2012, Toronto — Electronic payments have driven almost one-quarter of Canada's total gross domestic product (GDP) growth over the past 25 years, according to a new study commissioned by Visa Canada.

The research, conducted by the information and analytics firm IHS, measured the total value of electronic payments in the Canadian economy and took an in-depth look at three economic sectors that are largely responsible for the positive impact: travel and tourism, Canadian business, and e-commerce.

Canada has been at the forefront of the global migration to economic payments from cash and cheques, which underlies the positive findings in the report. From 2006 to 2010, the credit and debit transaction volume in Canada grew 25 per cent, from $363.4 billion to $455.4 billion.


During that same 25 year period, the report found that electronic payments also contributed to a $107 billion increase in consumer spending.

"Consumers are speaking with their wallets and they prefer electronic payments over inefficient cash and cheques," said Shane Norton, director of consulting services at IHS. "Notably, the increase we've measured in consumer consumption mirrors the growing popularity of electronic payments."

According to the Benefits of Electronic Payments report, electronic payments promote economic growth by:

  • Providing reliable payment networks that connect buyers and sellers in Canada and abroad
  • Increasing consumer empowerment and economic stimulation
  • Offering greater security than cash and a stronger assurance of guaranteed payment than cheques
  • Enhancing economic transparency by reducing the "grey economy" of under-reported cash transactions
  • Broadening participation and inclusion in financial services

The report can be accessed at

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