Interac predicts busiest shopping day of the year next Friday, as holiday gifting stress looms

Image by Pexels, Jill Wellington

By Nader Henin, Interac Corp.

Special to Financial Independence Hub

As Canadians shop for last-minute gifts and search for deals, our Interac transaction data predicts that the busiest shopping day of the year will fall this year on December 22nd.

According to the transaction data, nearly 27.8 million purchase transactions are expected to take place next Friday (Dec. 22), representing roughly 2.7 million more transactions than the same date last year.

While Canadians are still planning to partake in gift giving, hosting, and more this holiday season, they’re feeling the constraints of today’s economic climate. Recent Interac survey* findings reveal that nearly four in ten Canadian shoppers (38 per cent) say they are feeling the pressure to spend during the holiday season even though their finances are tight.

Our survey revealed this phenomenon is felt as well among newcomers to Canada. Nearly seven in ten newcomers (69 per cent) say they feel more pressure to spend money around the holidays now that they live in Canada. What’s more, 71 per cent say their financial stress during the holidays has grown since moving to this country.

Amid rising prices, the holidays can be a stressful time of year. More than two thirds of Canadians (68 per cent) say they’re stressed about at least one aspect of spending during the holiday season and some sources of stress beat out others. Among those who are stressed, our survey shows us that buying gifts (77 per cent), spending money hosting and entertaining family and friends (41 per cent) and giving money to family members (34 per cent) are the top sources of stress.

For newcomers who are experiencing at least some holiday spending stress (82 per cent), spending money travelling to visit family and friends (48 per cent) is a prominent stressor.

As stressful as holiday spending can be, there are ways to make things a little easier:

Plan ahead

Try creating a gifting budget well in advance of any spending plans to help stay on track. Where possible, you can also look for a sale, consider a refurbished item or tap into purchases that make you and those around you feel good. You can also lean on Interac Debit to track your payments easily and take charge of your own money

Share the love, split the cost

When purchasing gifts for loved ones, organizing festive outings or hosting your family and friends, split the cost using Interac e-Transfer. Sharing the cost is one of the best ways to make sure you’re maximizing fun while staying in control of spending.

Embrace experiences

The holidays are a time to get together with friends and family and enjoy one another’s company. Consider sharing in an experience, rather than giving a physical gift. Interac research shows us that feel-good experiences are more likely to deliver happiness than material goods.

Make use of free financial literacy resources

Interac and Conscious Economics have recently launched Mindfulness & Money for Newcomers and International Students, a digital learning program that teaches financial literacy and fraud prevention techniques. The three-part course is available free and online to all newcomers who wish to participate, with subtitled modules available in a variety of languages.

About the research

An online nationwide survey was conducted by Discover among 1,202 respondents, age 18 years and older. The sample was comprised of a core sample of 1,000 Canadian adults (representative of the Canadian adult population according to the most recent Statistics Canada census data), plus oversamples to result in subgroup totals of 207 newcomers/new Canadians (defined as those who immigrated to Canada after age 18 and have lived in Canada for less than 10 years) and 99 international students currently studying in Canada. The survey was fielded in English and French from September 28 to October 6, 2023.

Nader Henin is Head of Digital & Retail Commerce Products, Interac CorpAs AVP Commerce, Nader is an expert in digital and retail payments at Interac and how we provide Canadians new ways to pay with their own money. He offers valuable insight into the role digital commerce will play within an omnichannel payments experience in the Canadian retailer space.

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