Ecommerce will drive growth in digital share of total credit, debit, and prepaid card transaction value in Canada

The forecast: In 2021, digital payment card transactions—credit card, debit card, and prepaid card—will total $67.74 billion in Canada. That number will reach $80.56 billion in 2023, to account for a nearly 19% change.

Digital credit card transactions will hit $42.68 billion this year and make up 13.1% of the total digital payment card transactions. That number will grow to $48.50 billion in 2023, to account for 13.9% of the credit card transaction value.

Digital debit card transactions will be $21.20 billion in 2021, making up 11.5% of the total digital payment card transactions. In 2023, those figures will be $26.26 billion and 12.9%, respectively.

Digital prepaid card transactions will total $3.86 billion this year and reach $5.80 billion in 2023 when it will represent 12.9% share.

Dive Deeper:

  • Card-based payments made up more than 85% of the digital transaction value last year and will remain above 84% through 2023.
  • Credit cards make up 63% of the digital card transaction value share in Canada, compared with 52% in the US.
  • Canada's credit card dominance can be attributed to the high credit card ownership rate in the country, per Payments Canada. About 90% of Canadians own credit cards compared with 70% in the US and Europe and 60% in the UK.
  • Key drivers for Canadians to choose credit cards over other forms of payment are rewards gained from usage, convenience, and better perceived protection from fraud.

Looking ahead: All three forms of card payment methods for online purchases experienced sharp growth close to 100% in 2020 due to the pandemic. This year, that growth will decelerate but regain a growth trajectory for the forecast years.