PayPal Study Reveals Majority of Canadians Feel Trapped by Their Wallet

Consumers increasingly frustrated by limitations of cash

TORONTO, May 23, 2013 /CNW/ - PayPal today revealed the findings of a global study that paints a dim future for the wallet, especially in the Canadian market. Almost nine in ten (87%) Canadians indicated they wished they did not have to carry a wallet followed by a vast majority (83%) of respondents across five countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, the U.S. and the U.K.) wishing they were wallet-free.

Nearly one in four Canadians (23%) and almost half of Canadians (47.9%) between the ages of 18 and 24 would choose a smartphone over a wallet if they could only bring one item when going out. Those in Ontario (28%) and the Prairies (23%) were most likely to choose their smartphone over their wallet.

While Canadian consumers are keen to move to a digital payment future, the businesses that serve them may be lagging behind. Three quarters of Canadians (75%) reported they have been unable to pay for something because they didn't have cash with them. In fact, for more than one third of Canadians (36%) and nearly half (47%) of younger Canadians (between the ages of 18 and 24), this has happened frequently.

Leave Home Without It
The survey, conducted in Australia, Canada, Germany, the U.S. and the UK found striking similarities in consumer frustration across the globe. In each country, strong majorities of consumers reported they wished they could leave their wallet at home. Specific data points include:

  • Canadians are in good company: 87 per cent wish they could leave a wallet at home; Germans, Americans, Australians and Brits agreed overwhelmingly (90%, 86%, 80% and 76% respectively) that they'd like to leave a wallet at home;
  • Canadians are most likely to find themselves unable to make a purchase because they don't have cash with them (75%); Germans are the least likely (57%);
  • The UK may be leading the charge towards a wallet-less future - 32 per cent reported they would choose a smartphone over a wallet when going out if they could only bring one item.

This Summer's Least-Wanted Accessory: The Wallet
With summer approaching, Canadians are planning for days at the beach, but the study indicates taking a wallet isn't in their plans.

  • The beach (70%) topped the survey as the place most Canadians wished they could go without a wallet, followed closely by the gym and while exercising (52%);
  • Canadians were also the most likely to wish they didn't need their wallet at a bar, while Germans and Americans were most likely to wish they could attend concerts or sporting events wallet-free;
  • Canadians listed the Laundromat, grocery store and restaurants as places they wished they didn't need to take their wallet with them.

Canucks Stuck with the Bill
The payment frustrations of Canadians aren't limited to wallets. 54 per cent of Canadians reported that they have been "stiffed" by someone, either intentionally or unintentionally. Victims report this happening most often for a meal (30%) or an alcoholic beverage (21%). Canadian men were most likely to be stuck with the tab at the bar, with nearly one-in-four (24%) saying they've been stiffed for alcoholic beverages, as compared to 17% of Canadian women.

Younger Canadians (between the ages of 18 and 24) find they're stuck footing the bill for their friends, with more than half (57%) left picking up meals, more than one-third (36%) coughing up money for coffee, and more than one-in-four paying for cab rides (31%) and alcoholic beverages (28%).

Both online and through its mobile app, PayPal enables person to person transfers that allow Canadians to request that money immediately, helping to reduce the chance they wouldn't get paid (and the likelihood to awkwardly hassle a friend for payment).

While each country reported being most often stiffed on a meal, friends purchasing coffee and alcoholic beverages were also likely to not be paid back.

  • Australians are most likely to get stiffed - nearly 6 in 10 (57%) report being stiffed; Brits are least likely to get stiffed - but most likely to be stiffed for a pint;
  • In Germany and Australia, men are significantly more likely than women to report that they've been stiffed (German: 57% men vs. 51% women; Australia: 60% men vs. 54% women).

Spare Change Gathering Dust
The wallet's demise may be preceded only by the extinction of the penny. Earlier this year, Canada ceased distribution of its penny, joining Australia, New Zealand and other countries that have dropped 1-cent coins because of rising metal costs and a diminishing need.

In fact, Canadians say their spare change usually isn't used. More than half (53%) report they usually put their spare change in a jar and nearly one in ten (9%) just give it to their kids.

Around the globe:

  • Americans and Brits are most likely to lose their spare change; Germans are least likely to lose change;
  • Germans are most likely to carry change with them - nearly three times more likely than Americans and nearly twice as likely as Brits.

Solving Payment Pain Points
"It's not about replacing cash or your credit card with a new payment method, it's about using technology to solve real shopping pain points," said Darrell MacMullin, Managing Director, PayPal Canada.  "We've listened to the pain points of Canadians and are focused on delivering solutions that make every day spend easier - and help Canadian shoppers be more efficient and wallet-free."

About the Survey
The PayPal Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,000 credit and debit card holders, ages 18 and older, in each of the following countries: U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, and Australia between April 26th and May 13th, 2013, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points, in all of the countries, from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About PayPal
PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online, via a mobile device and in store. The service gives people simpler ways to send money without sharing financial information, and with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts or credit cards. With 128 million active accounts in 193 markets and 25 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global commerce, processing more than 7.6 million payments every day. Because PayPal helps people transact anytime, anywhere and in any way, the company is a driving force behind the growth of mobile commerce and expects to process $20 billion in mobile payments in 2013. PayPal is an eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) company and contributed 40 per cent of eBay Inc.'s revenues in 2012. PayPal is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. and its international headquarters is located in Singapore. More information about the company can be found at

Image with caption: "Infographic: global survey released by PayPal reveals that Canadians are ready to ditch their wallets. (CNW Group/PayPal)". Image available at:


For further information:

Media Contacts:

Malini Mitra
Tel: 416-969-2277

Natasha Newell-Vieira
MSL Canada
Tel: 416.847.1335


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