The introduction and rapid adoption of digital banking alternatives has transformed the way that Canadians conduct their banking.

Digital banking has become the norm in terms of how people do most of their banking. More than 4 in 10 Canadians say their use of apps and online banking has been increasing in recent years.

87% have banked online in the last year, but online banking behaviours appear to be migrating towards more app-based banking over time.

70% have used an app to do their banking, up from 65% in 2021. On average, the number of reported uses of mobile app per month is 7.4 times.

Young adults (age 18-29) are more likely to be app-centric while older adults (age 70+) do more online banking.

Phone banking has been declining. Roughly a quarter of consumers use in-person services according to the Canadian Bankers Association report.

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The average number of reported bank branch visits per month dropped from 1.8 in 2021 to 1.3 in 2024.

ATMs are still in use, but frequency of use may be declining. Reported withdrawals from ATMs are, on average, 2.7 times per month in 2023. This is up from the pre-pandemic level of 2.4 times per month in 2018.

Canadians are highly satisfied with banking services

Exceptionally large numbers of Canadians are satisfied with the banking services they access from banks in Canada. 97% say that they are satisfied with online banking. 96% say that they are happy with app-based banking. Meantime, 95% are satisfied with ABM banking.

Satisfaction with these types of banking have all improved in recent years. The use of e-transfer has almost doubled in 6 years, to an average of 4 times per month in 2023.

Other key findings

  • 40% said they will increase the use of e-transfer over the next 5 years;
  • Almost everyone expects to be using credit and debit cards 5 years from now;
  • Close to a third expect to be using some form of digital or crypto currency, down 4% from 2021, and
  • 70% believe they will no longer be using cheques, up from 62% in 2018.

Canadian channel preferences

Banking app use has seen the biggest increase, from 9% in 2014 to 30% in 2023. Only 41% of consumers say their use of online banking has increased in recent years, compared with 46% in 2021. 48% of consumers say they have increased their use of an app in the last few years. This compares to 37% in 2021.

The reported frequency of use of tap and pay with credit and debit cards remains strong, with apparent rise in the use of debit cards from 2021. The average Canadian reports using Tap & Pay 10 times a month. Credit card and debit cards are used 8.7 times and 9.6 times a month, respectively. The use of e-transfer has increased to 4 times a month from 2.9 times in 2021.

Online banking continues its leading position as the most common form of banking for most Canadians. But some consumers are shifting towards primarily using an app.

Online banking is the go-to channel for Canadians aged 60 and older (59% for consumers aged 60-69 and 66% for those over 70).

For those over 70, only 9% said they use an app to conduct their banking transactions.

For the age group of 18-29, 39% use an app to conduct the majority of their banking transactions. This is followed by 37% for people aged between 30 and 44.

In 2024, 70% said that they have used an app to conduct banking. Some 30% say they use an app for the majority of their banking, up from 23% in 2018.

The branch remains an important banking channel

61% of Canadians used in-branch banking in 2024, up from 57% in 2021. However, the level has not gone back to pre-pandemic levels of 67% in 2018. It is likely that it will not go back to that level.

Only 12% of customers do most of their banking at the branch. 27% plan to decrease their bank branch visits over the next five years.

Use and interest in digital currencies is down

The use of digital currencies has not advanced much in the last few years. 9% say they use cryptocurrency now, compared to 13% in 2021. 32% say that they will use alternative currency five years from now, down from 36% in 2021. 10% say they will use cryptocurrency in the future, compared to 14% in 2021. Half say they will never use cryptocurrency, up from 43% in 2021.