Canadian currency. (File photo)

Canadian currency. (File photo)

One in five B.C. transactions being paid in cash

Province uses cards more than Ontario or Quebec, but is also home to Canada’s most cash-friendly city

Touchless transactions became even more important in 2020, but B.C.’s capital city has been slow to let go of its cold hard cash.

Square, a credit card processing and payment company, released a report Tuesday analyzing local commerce across Canada. The data reveals that Victoria is full of a cash-carrying shoppers, topping the national list of cities with 31 per cent of payments made with cash. It comes ahead of Surrey and Winnipeg, both with 30 per cent of payments made with cash.

The capital is bucking the provincial trend however. Only 20 per cent of payments in B.C. are made with cash, putting the province behind Ontario and Quebec – 24 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Local business support effort goes province-wide in B.C.

The Square report says two out of three Canadian businesses now sell online, adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the number of Canadian businesses selling online rose from 41 per cent to 61 per cent, B.C. has the second lowest number of businesses going digital in the country, with 57 per cent selling items online, compared to 61 per cent in Alberta and 79 per cent in Saskatchewan.

Surrey has the fewest number of businesses offering online sales, with just 47 per cent of businesses selling online. Surrey also have the fewest number of cashless businesses, despite a growing number of Canadian businesses no longer accepting cash payment. In fact, one in five local businesses no longer accept cash, compared to one in 20 just last year.

In February, the B.C. government offered small businesses up to $7,500 each to build or upgrade their online sale portals to help through the remainder of pandemic restrictions.

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READ ALSO: B.C. offers $7,500 grants for small business online sales help

With files from Tom Fletcher.


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