More Canadians using fintech, in spite of privacy concerns

By James Langton | October 16, 2019 | Last updated on October 16, 2019
2 min read
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Canadian consumers are steadily embracing fintech, with adoption rates surging over the past couple of years, according to the latest survey from Ernst & Young Global Ltd. (EY).

The firm’s latest global survey of fintech adoption rates found that 50% of Canadians now report they are using fintech services, up from just 18% in 2017 and 8% in 2015.

EY said Canadians’ growing use of fintech is being driven primarily by better economics, with 42% citing the rates and fees associated with fintech as their motivation, followed by the ease of setting up an account (19%) and more innovative products and services (10%).

“Fintech adoption has evolved significantly in Canada over the past two years alongside the evolution of customer priorities and the rise of money transfers and payments,” Ron Stokes, fintech leader at EY Canada, said in a release.

“Fintechs are no longer seen as just disrupters to the traditional financial services industry — they’re sophisticated competitors, ready to meet the changing expectations and needs of customers,” he added.

While the use of fintechs in Canada has jumped sharply over the past couple of years, it is still lagging the average adoption rate globally, which is now 64%, EY reported.

Among consumers who are using traditional financial firms rather than fintechs, the primary reason is “lack of awareness,” followed by trust issues when it comes to upstart financial firms.

“Both adopters and non-adopters worry about the security of their personal data online and demonstrate greater trust in traditional institutions and providers who offer face-to-face interactions,” Stokes said.

“Our findings show that there is a trust gap that can create opportunities for both incumbent financial institutions and their fintech competitors,” he added.

The survey was carried out online with over 27,000 respondents in 27 markets around the world, from Feb. 4 to March 11.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.