Canadians say “bah humbug!” to COVID-19: While rising debt is a concern for many, Canadians refuse to let it ruin the spirit of the holidays, Tangerine Bank survey reveals

Canadians opting for Card transactions, online and mobile shopping, plus creative ways to save this holiday season

TORONTO, November 24, 2020 – While most of us agree that 2020 deserves a lump of coal in its stocking, there is still a lot that Canadians have to celebrate during the upcoming holiday season. So the final month before the merriment begins, Tangerine Bank did a survey to check‑in with Canadians and see how COVID‑19 impacted their financial situation and behaviour, how they’re feeling about the state of their finances going into the holidays, and how they’re planning on spending and gifting this season.

The data uncovered from the survey of over 1,500 Canadians showcases how they perceive debt in light of COVID‑19, how and where they’re spending their money, and how they still plan on spending this holiday season but with a different approach. Understanding these changes and realities for many Canadians, Tangerine Bank’s recently launched Visafootnote asterisk Debit offers a safe and secure way to shop online, while helping with spending control, since it uses the money you have (and worked hard for!) in your Account.

Canadians Might Fret Debt, But Remain Optimistic

COVID‑19 has thrown some curve balls at Canadians, with finances being top of mind for many. The survey found that nearly one quarter (23%) of Canadians surveyed say their debt has increased since COVID‑19. But it’s not all slush and sleet. According to the survey, there’s light at the end of the tunnel as 36% are feeling “totally fine” financially and 35% say they’re optimistic about the future.

Card is King and Virtual Shopping is Queen

Canadians have ditched cash amid COVID‑19, with most choosing card over cash (54% have increased card use – including credit and debit, and 57% say they are using cash less). But the shine of credit is fading – 13% say they are actually using credit less now. One of the top reasons given for their decreased credit use is an effort to only spend the money they have in their account (40%).

When asked where Canadians were doing most of their spending recently, the majority said they are going virtual to spend their hard‑earned dollars66% are opting for online websites and another 22% for mobile apps.

The Holidays Aren’t Cancelled

With the holidays around the corner, it can be a stressful time of the year for many Canadians. As part of the survey, we asked Canadians how they’re feeling and approaching this year’s festivities. We saw that this year, a majority of Canadians surveyed are scaling back, with 60% claiming they don’t plan to spend as much this year compared to last. In fact, Canadians plan to be savvy savers, with the majority (67%) saying they will find ways to save money this year.

Although many Canadians are taking a more modest approach with spending, holiday spirit is alive and well for the majority; 62% say that regardless of their financial situation, the holiday season must be celebrated! And what better way to celebrate than by checking gifts off the holiday list. Physical distancing is top of mind so it’s no surprise a strong majority of Canadians surveyed plan to do their holiday shopping virtually66% are opting for online websites, with another 16% turning to mobile apps. So, what tops this year’s holiday shopping lists? Gift cards (36%) take the top spot, followed by supplies for entertaining like food/drink and decor (29%) tied with clothing (29%).

Tangerine Bank is One Step Ahead with Solutions for Canadians

Tangerine Bank’s recent Visa Debit launch couldn’t come at a better time as a solution to Canadians’ growing concerns around spending, while also offering a safe and secure way to shop online and in‑app, which is on the rise. Plus, because Visa Debit pays for purchases directly with the money from a Client’s Chequing Account, you’re better positioned to spend only what you have. The added benefits of Visa Debit complement the existing great features and security of the Tangerine Chequing Account like no fees for daily transactions, free Interac e‑Transfer®, free access to more than 3,500 Scotiabank A B M's in Canada and more.

“At Tangerine Bank, we’re always thinking about our Clients first. It’s so important for us to understand the realities of our Clients’ lives,” said Gillian Riley, Tangerine Bank President & CEO. “This year has been a particularly challenging one for everyone, so we’re especially glad to see long-planned offerings like Visa Debit help address the new challenges of the moment. With the holiday season fast approaching, Visa Debit can be a great tool to help our Clients make purchases safely and securely, while maintaining financial control.”

As we soon say good‑bye to 2020, and a much-welcomed hello to 2021, Tangerine Bank offers some tips to help get Canadians started on the right foot:

  1. Track your spending. It’s important to keep a close eye on where your money is going each month, but we know that can feel daunting and time-consuming. That’s why the Left to Spend digital tool does all the work for you, allowing you to seamlessly track how much money you have left to spend each month after your regular expenses – like mortgage/rent, car payment and more.

  2. When possible, spend money you already have. Easier said than done, but with recently launched Visa Debit, it’s now that much easier, since you can shop online and in‑app, make bill payments and more, using the money in your Chequing Account.

  3. Set goals for the New Year. It’s never too late to start mapping out your financial goals – new year, new you right? With the Goals digital tool, Tangerine Clients can easily set up Goals – big or small – and the tool will help you track your progress and motivate you to reach them.

  4. Save what you can (even if just a little bit). Finding some extra money to set aside can be difficult, but our Money Rules tool helps you move, manage and save without even thinking about it! Set up a Money Rule to move some money to your Savings Account with every purchase you make on a spending habit like coffee. You can even round purchases to the nearest $1, $5, or $10 and save the rest. We offer fun suggestions to choose from, or you can make up your own!

  5. You’re not alone! Get advice from experts. No one expects you to know everything when it comes to your finances, so don’t be shy to get advice and tips from the resources that are here to help. Tangerine’s Forward Thinking Blog has a ton of practical guidance on saving, investing, borrowing and everything in between.

Survey methodology: From November 3 to 4, 2020 an online survey of 1,515 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue.

About Tangerine Bank

Tangerine Bank is a digital bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. With over 2 million Clients and close to $40 billion in total assets, it’s one of Canada’s leading digital banks. Tangerine Bank offers banking that’s flexible and accessible, products and services that are innovative, fair fees and award-winning Client service. From Savings Accounts to no-fee daily Chequing, Credit Cards, G I C's, R S P's, T F S A's, Mortgages, lending products and Investment Funds through its subsidiary, Tangerine Investment Funds Limited, Tangerine Bank has the everyday banking products Canadians need. With over 1,000 employees in Canada, the bank’s presence spans its website and Mobile Banking app to its 24/7 Contact Centres and Toronto-based head office. Tangerine Bank was launched as I N G DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012 Tangerine was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Stuff the Tangerine Lawyers Make Us Say:

Tangerine is a registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license. Forward Banking is a registered trademark of Tangerine Bank.

Scotiabank is a registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia.

Interac and Interac Flash are registered trademarks of Interac Corp., used under license.

footnote asteriskTrademark of Visa International Service Association and used under license.