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Canada Digital Trends in Financial Services Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Trends in Financial Services market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

As digital financial offerings mature, banks and other players in financial services must define their value proposition to encompass both digital innovation and traditional values to meet their customers’ needs. The competition in the consumer banking space not only includes large bricks-and-mortar financial institutions but also digital banks and technology providers looking to enter the lucrative retail banking space. While younger consumers are more open to embracing digital products, many older consumers are hesitant to go beyond routine digital transactions.

This report covers the latest trends in digital financial services. FinTech or financial technology refers to the ways in which technology is influencing financial services, or more specifically consumer financial services. The report examines the impact of digital trends on the financial lives of consumers and how they perceive future changes that are shaping the FinTech revolution. The questions addressed include what digital (online and/or mobile) products and services are most utilized by financial services customers, awareness and interest in digital products, attitudes towards digital banking, usage and knowledge of cryptocurrencies and reasons for not using cryptocurrencies.

Key points included

  • Majority want 24/7 access to humans
  • Apart from mobile banking and money transfer, usage is low
  • Lack of awareness is the main purchase deterrent for cryptocurrencies
  • Younger Canadians are much more likely to prefer managing their financial life digitally

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Sanjay Sharma, a leading analyst in the Financial Services sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Comfort with financial digital tools is broadly a tale of young and old, with the former more at ease with them and the latter preferring humans. Even in the digital age, the majority of Canadians (60%) want anytime access to a live person to resolve any issues or concerns. Sanjay Sharma
Senior Financial Services Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

      • Regional classifications
        • Income
        • Executive Summary

            • The issues
              • Apart from mobile banking and money transfer, usage is low
                • Figure 1: Usage of digital financial products and services, October 2018
              • Majority want 24/7 access to humans
                • Figure 2: Attitudes relating to human vs digital finance, October 2018
              • Younger Canadians are much more likely to prefer managing their financial life digitally
                • Figure 3: Attitudes relating to human vs digital finance (select), 18-44s vs over-45s, October 2018
              • Lack of awareness is the main purchase deterrent for cryptocurrencies
                • Figure 4: Reasons for not buying cryptocurrencies, October 2018
              • The opportunities
                • Older women are the least digitally engaged
                  • Digital banks mainly used as a supplemental bank
                    • Nearly half of 18-34s would consider banking with a technology company
                      • Figure 5: Attitudes towards digital finance (select), by age, October 2018
                    • Are cryptocurrencies a solution in search of a problem?
                      • Figure 6: Attitudes towards cryptocurrencies, 18-44s vs over-45s, October 2018
                    • What it means
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Canada’s population is ageing
                        • Canadians are increasingly time-pressed
                          • Blockchain and banking
                            • Artificial intelligence and banking
                              • Entry of technology companies into Canadian banking
                                • The potential impact of cryptocurrencies
                                • Market Factors

                                  • Canada’s population is ageing
                                    • Figure 7: Population aged 0-14 and 65+, as of July 1, 1995-2035*
                                  • Ageing population could mean slower digital adoption
                                    • Figure 8: Canadian population, by age, 2016
                                  • Being time-pressed is a real issue
                                    • Time-pressed consumers will need assistance and look for solutions
                                      • The proportion of full-time working parents is growing
                                        • Fewer stay-at-home parents seen today – though a growing proportion are dads
                                          • Single-parent households also more likely to be working full-time
                                            • Commuting times are getting longer
                                              • Blockchain and banking
                                                • Artificial intelligence and banking
                                                • Market Perspective

                                                  • Entry of technology companies into Canadian banking
                                                    • The potential impact of cryptocurrencies
                                                      • Participants in the cryptocurrency market
                                                        • Drivers of demand for cryptocurrencies
                                                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Bank of Canada studying issues around a central bank digital currency
                                                            • HSBC launches foray into digital advisors in Canada
                                                              • Royal Bank of Canada explores blockchain to automate credit scores
                                                                • ATB partners with UAlberta on AI
                                                                  • RBC launches new accelerator programme
                                                                    • BMO launches banking chatbot with Finn.ai
                                                                      • Questrade slashes fees on robo-advisory service
                                                                      • Innovations and Industry Developments

                                                                        • Bank of Canada studying issues around a central bank digital currency
                                                                          • HSBC launches foray into digital advisors in Canada
                                                                            • Royal Bank of Canada explores blockchain to automate credit scores
                                                                              • ATB partners with UAlberta on AI
                                                                                • RBC launches new accelerator programme
                                                                                  • Questrade slashes fees on robo-advisory service
                                                                                    • BMO launches banking chatbot with Finn.ai
                                                                                      • Root Insurance raises $100 million for a $1 billion valuation
                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                        • Awareness is generally high
                                                                                          • Apart from mobile banking and money transfer, usage is low
                                                                                            • Majority want 24/7 access to humans
                                                                                              • Nearly half of 18-34s would consider banking with a technology company
                                                                                                • Lack of awareness is the main purchase deterrent for cryptocurrencies
                                                                                                • Usage of Digital Products and Services

                                                                                                  • Apart from mobile banking and money transfer, usage is low
                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Usage of digital financial products and services, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Younger Canadians have higher usage
                                                                                                    • Figure 10: Usage of digital financial products and services, by age, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Repertoire analysis of product usage
                                                                                                    • Figure 11: Repertoire analysis of digital products and services used, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Usage inversely related to age
                                                                                                    • Figure 12: Repertoire analysis, use of 3+ products, by age, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Parents with children under 18 living at home have higher usage
                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Usage of digital financial products and services, by parental status, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Mobile bank and money transfer users most likely to recommend the service
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Recommendation of digital products and services used, October 2018
                                                                                                  • CIBC’s money transfer service targets South Asian Canadians
                                                                                                    • Figure 15: CIBC Global money transfer online advertisement, October 2018
                                                                                                • Awareness of and Interest in Digital Products

                                                                                                  • While awareness is high, interest remains low among non-users
                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Interest in and awareness of digital products and services among non-users, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Quebecers also have lower awareness
                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Awareness of digital products and services among non-users (select), Quebec vs overall, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Younger consumers are more interested
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Interest in using digital products and services, 18-44s vs over-45s, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Interest among women is lower
                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Interest in using digital products and services (select), by gender, October 2018
                                                                                                • Human vs Digital

                                                                                                  • Majority want 24/7 access to humans
                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Attitudes relating to human vs digital finance, October 2018
                                                                                                    • Younger Canadians are much more likely to prefer managing their financial life digitally
                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Attitudes relating to human vs digital finance, 18-44s vs over-45s, October 2018
                                                                                                    • Around two in five agree bank branches becoming less relevant
                                                                                                      • Older women are the least digitally engaged
                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Attitudes relating to human vs digital finance (select), 18-44s vs over-45s, and gender, October 2018
                                                                                                        • Higher income earners are more digitally engaged
                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Attitudes relating to human vs digital finance (select), by income, October 2018
                                                                                                      • Digital Financial Behaviours

                                                                                                        • Around one in four open to communicating through messaging services
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Digital financial behaviours, October 2018
                                                                                                          • More than a third of 18-54s research new products online
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Digital financial behaviours (select), by age, October 2018
                                                                                                          • Providing a better digital onboarding experience
                                                                                                            • Digital banks mainly used as a supplemental bank
                                                                                                              • Low interest in automated chatbots
                                                                                                                • Time-pressed parents more open to some digital services
                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Select digital financial behaviours, by parental status, October 2018
                                                                                                                • Around half of Asian Canadians research financial products online
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Attitudes relating to human vs digital finance (select), Asian Canadian vs overall, October 2018
                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Digital Finance

                                                                                                                • Around half of 18-44s interested in using financial apps
                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Attitudes towards digital finance, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Nearly half of 18-34s would consider banking with a technology company
                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Attitudes towards digital finance (select), by age, October 2018
                                                                                                                    • Half of 18-34s looking for alternatives to traditional banks
                                                                                                                      • Women are more conservative about digital options
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Attitudes towards digital finance (select), by gender, October 2018
                                                                                                                      • Older consumers and women less likely to switch for a better digital experience
                                                                                                                      • Cryptocurrencies

                                                                                                                        • Lack of awareness is the main purchase deterrent
                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Reasons for not buying cryptocurrencies, October 2018
                                                                                                                        • Women are less aware of cryptocurrencies…
                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Reasons for not buying cryptocurrencies, by gender, October 2018
                                                                                                                        • …while older non-buyers have more concerns
                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Reasons for not buying cryptocurrencies, 18-44s vs over-45s, October 2018
                                                                                                                          • TURF Analysis
                                                                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                                                                              • Ignorance and volatility chosen by around three in four non-users
                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: TURF Analysis – Reasons for not buying cryptocurrencies, October 2018
                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Table – TURF Analysis – Reasons for not buying cryptocurrencies, October 2018
                                                                                                                              • Nearly half consider cryptocurrencies are too risky
                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Attitudes towards cryptocurrencies, October 2018
                                                                                                                              • Are cryptocurrencies a solution in search of a problem?
                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Attitudes towards cryptocurrencies, 18-44s vs over-45s, October 2018
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms