Payment card spending in Canada up 3.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2018


by Moneris Solutions Corp.

TORONTO, ON – The third quarter of 2018 saw spending in Canada remain fairly consistent with the previous quarter, according to the MonerisMetricsQuarterly Report released today by Moneris Solutions Corporation (“Moneris”), Canada’s largest processor of debit and credit payments. While spending was up 3.4 per cent over the same period last year, this modest increase is only slightly higher than last quarter, which saw a year-over-year spend increase of 3.3 per cent, the lowest quarterly growth in nearly four years.

For the second quarter in a row, most provinces showed positive growth, except for Newfoundland which saw a slight decrease of 0.3 per cent, when compared with the third quarter of 2017. Quebec and British Columbia exceeded the national spend average, realizing a 5.6 per cent and 4.2 per cent increase, respectively, while Ontario matched the Canadian increase average of 3.4 per cent.

August proved to be the strongest month of the quarter, with an increase in spending of 4.5 per cent over last year, followed by July at 4.1 per cent and September, which saw a much smaller increase of 2.7 per cent. These results are more positive than those reported by Statistics Canada which posted a bump of only 0.3 per cent in retail sales for the month of July1 and a decrease of 0.1 per cent in retail sales in August2.

“While the last two quarters have demonstrated less dramatic growth than previous reports, it’s important to remember that any growth positively reflects the overall health of Canada’s economy,” said Angela Brown, President and CEO of Moneris. “The next few quarters may prove interesting if the Bank of Canada increases interest rates, as this could potentially drive down discretionary purchases.”

Canadians continue to connect with contactless payments

Canadians are continuing to choose contactless payment options, accounting for 43.4 per cent of all payment card transactions made in the third quarter – an increase in volume growth of 33.3 per cent year over year.

By contrast, contactless payment card volume growth was up 51.5 per cent in the same quarter of 2017, demonstrating that Canadians are now further along the adoption curve.

“As we see the total share of transactions rise in contactless, we will see a natural decrease in growth, as more Canadians make contactless options a normal part of their payment routine,” said Brown. “With more retailers making contactless readily available, Canadians are increasingly comfortable with these easy-to-use payment solutions.”

Foreign card spending increases

While NAFTA negotiations dominated the news cycle in the third quarter, it had little effect on U.S visitors’ willingness to spend while in Canada. Once again, Americans spent the most in Canada this quarter, with a 12.3 per cent increase over the same period last year, despite the fact that trips to Canada by U.S. travellers declined by 1.4 per cent in July3, according to Statistics Canada. Travellers from the United Kingdom and China were also down in volume in July4, but visitors from both countries spent more than reported in the third quarter of 2017, with increases of 20.2 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively.

From a category perspective, foreign spend increased most significantly in hotels, department stores, and mass merchandisers, up 22.7 per cent, 17.2 per cent, and 14.5 per cent, respectively.

Note to editors

Please see infographic for highlights, including top categories and spending by province.

About MonerisMetrics

MonerisMetrics is an insightful Canadian spending indicator powered by Moneris. It provides information on spending activity in Canada across a range of categories by analyzing credit and debit card transaction data. The percentages cited are derived from actual sales volumes — the dollar values of credit and debit card transactions being processed by Moneris merchants — compared with sales volumes from the prior year.

About Moneris 

Moneris is Canada’s largest provider of innovative solutions for mobile, online and in-store payments, processing more than one in three transactions. Serving businesses of every size and industry, Moneris offers hardware, software and solutions to help transform the way businesses grow and operate, in payments and beyond. 

For more information please visit and follow @moneris


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