Catalyst, a digital performance marketing agency, announced research around smartphone adoption and usage in the Canadian market. The findings reveal that Canadian smartphone ownership is now at 76 percent; for the first time, three out of every four Canadians own a smartphone.

In addition, the study also explored the different ways that Canadians use their smartphones. For example, the 2016 report found a surge in mobile banking activity, particularly via mobile banking apps where 85 percent of respondents used banking apps compared with 60 percent in 2014. Half of all respondents revealed that they use their smartphones as the primary vehicle in depositing cheques. One-third of all respondents also anticipate making a mobile payment in the coming year, up from one-fourth last year. The top five most common vehicles for mobile payment reported were (in descending order): PayPal, Starbucks, Apple Pay, Google Wallet and specific store apps.

Wearable technology is not particularly popular in the Canadian market, according to the report, with 10 percent of respondents owning one. This number has doubled over the past year, however, pointing toward growth. Conversely, health app usage is on the rise with 30 percent of those surveyed reporting one or two apps on their smartphone, compared with 25 percent last year. Millennials were more likely to download a health app compared with people over the age of 35.

“What came through loud and clear in this year’s study is that Canadians have firmly integrated smartphones into their day-to-day life,” said Jeff Lancaster, CEO of Catalyst Canada. “This study is a tool, a window to customers and how they behave in a mobile environment.”

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