Business E-commerce Terminals

How Has The Pandemic Impacted Credit Card Use In Canada?

On behalf of the entire Unity Payments team, we would like to offer our heartfelt best wishes to all small business owners throughout Canada. Here we are, in the second year of this pandemic. It’s a time in our lives that has been trying for a multitude of reasons. However, as the province of Ontario (where we are headquartered) enters into yet another lockdown, we’re bracing for the significant struggles many of our clients are about to face.

Having to shut your doors to the public is no way to run a business. Our team wishes you health and safety first – but we are also rooting for your company to overcome this extremely challenging time. Needless to say, the pandemic has been rough on all of us. But as a one-stop-shop for all your business payment needs, Unity Payments finds it important to highlight just how important it is for businesses to accept credit cards in a COVID-burdened world.

Tap payments has become more popular.

A year ago, both Visa and Mastercard raised their tap limits from $100 to $250. The idea was to make it quicker, easier and safer for consumers to make credit card purchases. With tap, a cardholder doesn’t have to punch in a PIN code. This enables him/her to make a larger purchase without having to physically touch a POS terminal. Contactless payments, of course, help to minimize the potential spread of the virus.

It should come as no surprise that credit card use has been rampant during the pandemic. In addition to a rise in contactless payments while shopping in person, there was been a significant uptick in online shopping. Shopping from home, of course, promotes social distancing – another important step in stopping the spread. Naturally, credit card use is necessary for online purchases.

Credit card preferences have changed during the pandemic.

The team at creditcardGenius reports that there has been a shift in consumer preferences of credit cards since the pandemic started. They conducted a study that has found a change in the way consumers view their credit card rewards. According to their website, the creditcardGenius researchers expected to see a larger shift towards cards with easy approval, low fees and low interest rates.

While the data did show an increased demand towards cards with easy approval and low fees, it wasn’t as significant as the shift towards cash rewards. Before COVID-19, the most common credit card features consistently identified as must-haves were travel rewards, low fees and credit card perks, notes the creditcardGenius Team.

There has been a major growth in the preference for cash back rewards.

“Once COVID-19 took hold, the most significant shift in preference we’ve seen is the increased demand for cash back rewards ‒ and a direct negative impact on travel rewards,” reports creditcardGenius, “Travel was selected over 20% less, with cash being selected almost 20% more.”

The site points out that travel restrictions have caused people to pull away from wanting travel rewards in favour of cash back benefits. “You’ll predictably pocket your cash rewards at least once per year, and can use them to help pay for day-to-day expenses,” notes the team.

Do you accept credit cards in your store?

At Unity Payments, we believe that the easiest and most convenient way for merchants to accept credit cards is with the Poynt Smart Terminal. To learn all about it, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-661-3761. You may also email us at