According to the 2017 Fintech Adoption Index compiled by Ernst & Young, just 18% of all Canadians have so far adopted financial technologies. Nevertheless, small businesses operating in the American continent's largest country by geographical area appear to be keen on innovation in this field and highly positive about using new point-of-sale payment options. A recent survey conducted by Payments Canada and Leger Marketing reveals that 81% of the firms polled said they were prepared to incorporate new payment technologies into their operations. The options most frequently mentioned positively by merchants were app-based automatic money transfer, electronic wallets and virtual currencies. A majority of the Canadian small businesses responding to the survey also expressed readiness to give up traditional payment systems: 61% of those polled said they would no longer work with cash if they had other options, while 67% said the same about cheques. One key figure goes some way towards explaining this enthusiasm for new approaches to collecting payment for goods and services: 54% of the respondents felt that they were spending too much time on payment processing activities. Not having to hand over change or scrutinize cheques would add up to a considerable time saving, both for retailers and their customers. Meanwhile, the adoption of new payment technology could well be speeded up by one particular non-traditional authentication method: biometrics. According to a Visa survey published late last year, 61% of US consumers judge that biometrics-based identification is faster than using a PIN code.
By Sophia Qadiri