Credit Card Purchases Increase Dramatically in Canada

Half of Canadians say they expect to utilize biometrics to buy things within the next decade.

Vancouver, BC [May 26, 2020] – Canadians are relying heavily on their credit cards to pay for things during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, Canadians say they used a credit card to complete 50% of their purchases over the past month, a 26-point increase since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in February 2019.

Three-in-ten purchases from Canadians (31%, -3) were finalized through a debit card. Across the country, 12% of purchases were conducted with a cheque (+9), 4% with an e-transfer or through a smartphone, and only 3% (-28) with cash.

Residents of British Columbia and Quebec report that 53% of their purchases over the past month were conducted through a credit card. The proportion is lower in Ontario (51%), Alberta (45%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (44%) and Atlantic Canada (40%).

Canadian women report that about a third of their transactions (34%) involved a debit card, compared to 27% for Canadian men.

“These numbers outline a drastic transformation from 2019, and show that the COVID-19 lockdown has decidedly altered the way Canadians are buying things,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “This change in behaviour is also leading many Canadians to believe that biometrics will be required to complete purchases in the near future.”

In February 2019, only 8% of Canadians said they expected to rely on biometrics (such as iris scans, fingerprints or palm recognition) to make purchases within the next 10 years.

This month, more than half of Canadians (58%) believe people will use biometrics to buy things in the next decade, a 50-point increase since last year.

Across the country, half of Canadians (50%) say they would like to see people utilizing biometrics to make purchases in their lifetimes, while 35% disagree and 15% are undecided.

British Columbians and Ontarians are more likely to personally welcome the use of biometrics for buy things in their lifetimes (54% and 53% respectively) than residents of Quebec (48%), Atlantic Canada (47%), Alberta (46%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (41%).

Photo Credit: Tony Webster 

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 18 to May 20, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
 
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
 
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

British Columbians Hesitant About Life Without COVID-19 Vaccine

Most residents are willing to visit barbershops and restaurants, but the proportion drops for public transit, gyms and music venues.

Vancouver, BC [May 21, 2020] – A significant proportion of British Columbians are unwilling to partake in specific activities unless a vaccine against COVID-19 is available, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, more than half of British Columbians say they would not attend a live sporting event as a spectator (61%) or a music venue (59%) before there is a vaccine against COVID-19.

At this stage, more than half of British Columbians are willing to visit a community centre (60%) as well as a gym or fitness facility (53%).

“More than half of women in British Columbia (54%) say they would not set foot inside a gym or fitness facility before they can have access to a COVID-19 vaccine,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Conversely, most men (60%) say they would have no problem visiting these venues.”

There is a split among residents on the issue of public transit usage. Across the province, 57% of British Columbians are willing to ride on a bus without a COVID-19 vaccine, while 43% would not do so. In addition, 55% would ride on SkyTrain, while 45% would not.

Men are more likely than women to say they would be willing to ride a bus (63% to 52%) and ride on SkyTrain (60% to 50%) before a COVID-19 vaccine is accessible.

Fewer than a third of British Columbians say they would not visit restaurants, pubs or bars where people can only eat indoors (32%), libraries (29%), restaurants, pubs or bars where people eat outside (also 29%) and barbershops or salons (27%) without a COVID-19 vaccine.

British Columbians aged 55 and over are more likely to have no reservations about going to a restaurant patio (72%) or to a restaurant that only offers food indoors (64%).

British Columbians of European descent are more likely to say that they would visit an indoor restaurant before a COVID-19 vaccine is available (76%) than those of East Asian (69%) and South Asian (57%) heritage.

At least three-in-five British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (60%) and aged 55 and over (64%) say they are not willing to visit a music venue without a COVID-19 vaccine. The proportion is lower among those aged 35-to-54 (54%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 15 to May 17, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
 
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
 
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Satisfaction with COVID-19 Handling Drops in Ontario and Quebec

The rating for the federal government remains high, as more than seven-in-ten Canadians seek accountability from China.

Vancouver, BC [May 19, 2020] – Almost seven-in-ten Canadians are content with way the federal government has managed the COVID-19 pandemic, but the approval rating for two provincial administrations has fallen markedly since April, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 69% of Canadians are satisfied with the way the federal government has dealt with the outbreak—including 76% of residents aged 55 and over.

“The numbers have been extremely consistent for the federal government as the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “It is also worth noting that majorities of Canadians who voted for the Liberals (86%), the New Democrats (72%) and the Conservatives (54%) last year remain pleased with Ottawa’s work on this file.”

While 64% of Canadians are satisfied with the performance of their municipal and provincial governments, the numbers vary in specific regions of the country.

In a similar Research Co. survey conducted in April, 88% of Quebecers and 78% of Ontarians were content with the way their provincial administrations were managing the COVID-19 outbreak. This month, the rating for both governments dropped by double-digits, to 66% in Quebec and to 63% in Ontario.

The numbers are stable for the provincial governments of British Columbia (from 72% in April to 69% this month) and Alberta (from 57% in April to 56% this month).

Across the country, 64% of Canadians believe we should reopen the economy slowly and ensure that COVID-19 infection rates remain low. Conversely, 29% of Canadians think we should reopen the economy quickly and ensure that no more jobs are lost due to COVID-19.

A “wet market” in Wuhan, China, which sells live animals for human consumption has been mentioned as the place where COVID-19 may have originated.

More than seven-in-ten Canadians (72%) think the Government of the People’s Republic of China should take responsibility for its role in the COVID-19 outbreak. This represents a six-point increase since Research Co. survey conducted in March.

About three-in-ten Canadians (31%) agree with the Government of Canada considering legal action against the People’s Republic of China on account of the COVID-19 outbreak, while practically half (49%) disagree.

Three-in-four Canadians (75%, +14) consider it unacceptable to refer to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or “Chinese flu”. This includes majorities of Canadians who voted for the New Democrats (83%), the Liberals (77%) and the Conservatives (66%) in the 2019 federal election.

Just over three-in-ten Canadians (31%) believe more people will consider adopting vegetarian or vegan diets once the COVID-19 outbreak ends, up 10 points since Research Co. first measured this sentiment in April.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 11 to May 13, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
 
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
 
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Most British Columbians Favour Reopening the Economy Slowly

Residents aged 35-to-54, as well as those who have experienced job losses in their household, would prefer a quicker renewal.

Vancouver, BC [May 14, 2020] – More than three-in-five British Columbians favour a cautious approach for a return to economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 62% of British Columbians believe we should reopen the economy slowly and ensure that COVID-19 infection rates remain low.

Conversely, more than a third of British Columbians (35%) believe we should reopen the economy quickly and ensure that no more jobs are lost due to COVID-19.

“There is an impressive gender gap when British Columbians ponder the pace of easing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic ,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While three-in-four women (76%) call for a cautious approach, fewer than half of men (48%) concur.”

More than four-in-five British Columbians aged 55 and over (68%) are in favour of a gradual return to economic activity in the province, a view shared by 64% of those aged 18-to-34 and 44% of those aged 35-to-54.

The COVID-19 pandemic has directly affected British Columbians in different ways. More than two-in-five of the province’s residents (42%) say they have been unable to visit relatives who live in their municipality, and more than a third (35%) say someone in their household applied for the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

In addition, 32% of British Columbians say someone in their household was laid off, 32% are working from home instead of at their regular workplace, and 24% have taken care of children in their household while schools are closed.

British Columbians aged 35-to-54 are more likely to report that someone in their household has applied for the CERB (47%) and to be working at home (51%) than their younger and older counterparts.

Majorities of British Columbians who have taken care of children in their household (58%), are working from home instead of at their regular workplace (53%) and who have had someone in the household lose a job (52%) are in favour of reopening the economy quickly and avoid more job losses due to the pandemic.

More than seven-in-ten British Columbians (72%) approve of the provincial government’s plan to resume economic activity— including 81% of BC Liberal voters in 2017, 75% of BC Green Party voters and 72% of BC New Democratic Party (NDP) voters.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 8 to May 11, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
 
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
 
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Canadians Split on “Family Bubbles” During COVID-19 Pandemic

While 82% would take advantage of an opportunity to expand their social circle, only 44% believe the concept is a good idea.

Vancouver, BC [May 12, 2020] – Fewer than half of Canadians agree with the notion of allowing two households a chance to socialize and interact during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 44% of Canadians believe the “family bubbles” are a good idea, while 35% disagree and 21% are undecided.

The “two-household bubble” or “family bubble” concept was originally introduced last month in New Brunswick as an effort to reduce social isolation.

There are some drastic discrepancies across the country when Canadians ponder this concept. While two thirds of Quebecers (68%) think the “family bubbles” are a good idea, the proportion of residents who feel the same way drops to 40% in Ontario, 39% in British Columbia, 37% in Atlantic Canada, 25% in Alberta and 18% in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

If their province allowed it, more than four-in-five Canadians (82%) say they would take advantage of the opportunity to have a “family bubble”—including 84% of those aged 55 and over, 83% of those aged 18-to-34 and 77% of those aged 35-to-54.

However, while 50% of Canadians say they know exactly which household they would ask to become part of their “family bubble”, 37% disagree and 13% are not sure.

“There is a significantly large proportion of Canadians who would jump at the chance to expand their social circle during the pandemic,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However, most are not entirely convinced that this is the right course of action at this time, and half are currently unable to select who to join.”

Canadians are not particularly optimistic of two particular milestones happening before the end of the summer.

Only 41% of Canadians expect people to go to the office and not work from home anymore before the end of August, and just 31% foresee being able to attend or host a large social gathering during the same period.

Across the country, 48% of Canadians expect things in their city or town to go back to the way they were before the COVID-19 outbreak in January 2021 or later.

Only 11% of Canadians believe a return to normalcy will happen before the end of August, Including 17% of those aged 18-to-34 and 17% of Quebecers.

More than two thirds of Canadians (68%) believe the worst is “definitely” or “probably” ahead of us when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak—a four-point drop since Research Co. asked this question for the first time in March 2020.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 4 to May 6, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
 
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
 
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca