July 24, 2018

Payment card spending in Canada up 3.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2018

TORONTO--Canadian spending has begun to flatten according to the MonerisMetrics Quarterly Report released today by Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest processor of debit and credit payments. In total, year-over-year spending in the second quarter of 2018 increased by only 3.3 per cent – marking the lowest quarterly growth in nearly four years.

All provinces realized measured spending growth, with the exception of Newfoundland, which experienced a decrease in spending by 2.4 per cent. British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario were the only three provinces to outpace the Canadian average, realizing year-over-year increases of 4.6 per cent, 4.2 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively.

"Looking at our data from the last three years, we've seen tapering, but steady, growth across the country," said Angela Brown, President and CEO of Moneris. "This, in tandem with the Bank of Canada's recent announcement of interest rate increases, demonstrates strength in the Canadian economy, and we anticipate stable spending growth over the coming months."

According to Moneris, April was the weakest month of the second quarter – increasing 2.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis, however, spending in Canada rebounded in May and June with 5.9 and 3.1 per cent increases respectively. These results mirror the recent Statistics Canada data, which showed that retail sales in April fell 1.2 per cent – the largest drop in over two years.1

Foreign card spending growth fueled by United States, United Kingdom and China

Outpacing the spike in foreign spending associated with Canada150 in 2017, tourists spent significantly more in terms of dollar volumes in the second quarter of 2018 on a year-over-year basis. In total, spending on foreign cards increased 13 per cent across the country, despite a decrease in travel to Canada on a year-over-year basis - 2.58 million visitors in April 20182 as compared to 2.63 million visitors in April 20173 - and a strengthened Canadian dollar. The United States, United Kingdom and China lead the way, growing spending by 15.5 per cent, 21.3 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively.

Contactless continues to surge across the country

The second quarter of 2018 marked the one-year anniversary of Google Pay in Canada and according to Moneris' data, Canadians have continued to take advantage of contactless payment options. Nearly half of all transactions in the second quarter of 2018 were completed through a contactless payment option – the highest share since being introduced in Canada. Additionally, on a year-over-year basis, contactless dollar volume increased 33.9 per cent, and the number of contactless transactions grew 31.8 per cent.

Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick saw the largest contactless volume growth with increases of 42.7 per cent, 41.3 per cent and 39.4 per cent respectively.

"Contactless has become a preferred payment method for Canadians," said Brown. "Consumers are increasingly looking for convenience in their shopping experience, and Canadian businesses have embraced the contactless trend and are clearly reaping the benefits of the seamless experience."

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.



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