New Payment Methods: Is Canada Ready?


Sophie Roussin, Marcel Boucher


Union des consommateurs




Businesses and corporations in the financial and technological sectors continually innovate, giving consumers and merchants access to new payment methods or new technologies that make it possible to use traditional payment methods differently: cell phone payment, biometric payment, contactless payment, etc.

In recent years, with the appearance of new technologies, the market has seen a rush toward alternative payment methods. Some of the new payment methods have already been introduced in Canada, and others will likely follow in the near future. Of course, all these new payment methods require a suitable framework to ensure that consumers have reliable and efficient ways to pay for their purchases, pay their bills or transfer funds.

This study will outline the main payment methods newly available or being tested in Canada and worldwide, to compare them with existing payment methods. The study describes the advantages, disadvantages and costs of these new payment methods. It also identifies existing frameworks, in Canada and elsewhere, in order to assess their effectiveness with regard to these new payment methods and whether they adequately protect those who would be attracted to these products.

The research demonstrates that there are actually few truly new payment methods. Most of the products advertised as new are only new ways made available to consumers to use existing payment methods. For example, contactless payment by credit card is not a new payment method, but a way to make available to consumers a new instrument for using an existing payment method – the credit card – differently.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

Union des consommateurs
7000 Parc Ave, Suite 201
Montreal, QC  H3N 1X1
(514) 521-6820
(514) 521-0736

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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