September 14, 2012

Canadian economy reaps benefits of electronic payments

TORONTO-- MasterCard Canada has released economic insights from the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report, indicating online spending grew more than 37% in August when compared to e-commerce sales in August 2011. The 40th consecutive positive year-over-year monthly growth rate for e-commerce demonstrates a significant shift in Canadians’ spending habits.

“August is a busy month for many Canadians. Families and students are preparing for back to school and shopping is top of mind. Many of them like the convenience of online shopping and the added benefits of going cashless,” says Richard McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, MasterCard Canada. “As more and more people embrace mobile payment options, we will continue to see the benefits of e-commerce on the Canadian economy.”

There were substantially more e-commerce sales recorded in August 2012 (in dollar terms) than in any other August in previous years. The three-month average growth rate moved above the 30% mark for the first time in 2012. The total Canadian retail sales for August 2012 increased to 3.6% versus August 2011.

“The growth of e-commerce in Canada is significantly outpacing overall retail sales growth. Driving this trend are the financial advantages e-commerce offers to retailers and consumers,” said Michael McNamara, Vice President of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “The lower costs often associated with operating online stores provides an opportunity for higher margin sales for retailers while potentially lower prices for consumers.  It offers a ‘win-win’ sales model for retailers and consumers alike.”

Other highlights from the August 2012 MasterCard Spending Pulse report include:

  • August marked the 34th consecutive month of positive growth for total retail sales in Canada.

  • Grocery sales for August 2012 were higher than average sales for August in the previous 5 years

  • Department store sales were up over 10% in August when compared to August 2011.

  • Gasoline sales saw a double-digit year-over-year growth in August.

In Canada, SpendingPulse began offering reports starting in January 2012 to subscribers, providing granular, industry-specific sales figures across all payment modes.






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