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June 28, 2021

What's the best method for paying someone back?

Whenever I owe someone money, I try to use email payment as much as possible.

Istockphoto_11797967-electronic-payment-concept It costs, yes – my bank, TD Canada Trust, charges $1.50 per email transaction – but it’s clean. No cash. Geography’s not an issue. You don’t need exact change. There are few ways for the average consumer to make more direct financial amends.

Am I a sucker for living by that $1.50 fee? Perhaps, and maybe that’s why I find some people resistant to email payment. But if a new PayPal study tells us anything, it’s that preference for dealing with cash, and for making cash payments, may soon be a thing of the past.

According to PayPal’s survey, more than half (56 per cent) of Canadians are comfortable with never having to handle cash. That same number would prefer to use a digital wallet to make a purchase or give cash to others.

Now, we’ve been hearing about these “digital wallets” for some time now. In essence, banks are making a move to turn our cell phones into credit and debit cards so we no longer have to carry plastic.

It’s an exciting idea for some, a polarizing one for others.

But aside from the obvious security gripes about a digital wallet, it’s clear that handling cash, with all the rebate cards we have now, is no longer the most beneficial method of payment.

More to that, 60 per cent of PayPal's survey respondents, when faced with paying someone back, said they don’t want to scramble to find an ATM. That suggests they either want to fork over funds via email or through a digital wallet.

How do you pay people back? Do you insist on paying cash, or is that a hassle of the past? Do you use electronic payment methods instead?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...