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Canada tops government e-payments table

06 December 2007  |  3663 views  |  0 Source: Visa

Visa today released a Government ePayments Adoption Ranking (GEAR) that measures the extent to which governments in 43 countries provide key payment services on electronic platforms.

The countries were chosen to represent all regions, many cultures and political systems, and broad levels of economic development as they account for approximately 83 percent of the total human population and approximately 91 percent of global economic output. The adoption rankings were based on 31 indicators grouped into six payment categories, including consumer-to-government; government-to-consumer; business-to-government; government-to-business; infrastructure; and educational, economic and political context.

The GEAR study, underwritten by Visa, and conducted independently by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a leading research and analysis firm, ranks Canada as the world's leading nation for government electronic payments (with a score of 92.4 out of 100), because of the government's comprehensive electronic administration procedures.

"The GEAR study provides Visa and our client financial institutions with valuable insights into the government payments sector, helping us generate new ideas to meet governments' needs through safe and reliable electronic payments alternatives," said Darren Parslow, Visa's senior vice president of commercial products. "Visa is committed to working with governments around the world to develop innovative programs that help governments improve operational efficiencies to better serve their citizens and stimulate commerce."

Top 10 Countries

The GEAR rankings show that Canada (92.4) is followed in order by the United Kingdom (92.1), Germany and the United States tied at (90.1), Sweden (89.6), Australia (88.0), South Korea (86.8), France (86.6), Hong Kong (86.3), and Singapore in (85.6).

"One of the interesting findings in the study is that developing countries, notably Turkey, China, and Brazil, have overcome the limitation of their infrastructures and introduced effective electronic payment systems," said Dr. Laura James, editor and economic analyst, Economist Intelligence Unit. "The study also shows that while a large majority of governments have made great progress in their ability to accept payments electronically, an opportunity still exists for more governments to develop systems for distributing payments to citizens and businesses."

Electronic Payments in Developing Countries

The move to electronic payments can improve the efficiency and transparency of government administration, foster business growth and allow for better fiscal management. One example is that by enabling more efficient loan distributions, more money can be brought into the economy.

Visa continues to seek new ways to bring the security, reliability and efficiency of electronic payments to the public sector for both the acceptance of electronic payments and the use of electronic payment alternatives for procurement, collections and the distribution of funds. By replacing cash and checks with Visa electronic payments, governments can streamline the collection, disbursement and procurement processes in an auditable, economical and convenient way to foster economic growth and stability.

GEAR Indicators

The electronic payments adoption rankings were based on 31 indicators grouped into six payment categories, including:
  1. Consumer-to-government: income tax payments; social security contributions; obtaining and paying for driver's licenses and identification cards; and auto and road toll costs
  2. Government-to-consumer: income tax refunds; social security benefits; and unemployment, workers' compensation, welfare, and government health benefits
  3. Business-to-government: income, sales and VAT tax payments; social security contributions; and company registration and associated fees
  4. Government-to-business: income, sales and VAT tax refunds; procurement; and loan disbursements
  5. Infrastructure: number of ATMs and POS terminals per 10,000 people; Internet and mobile phone access and usage per capita; and technology development
  6. Educational, economic and political context: literacy and education levels; technology savviness; bank usage; government's commitment to electronic payments and integrating the informal economy


The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted the study and had full editorial control of the process. Their analysts gathered data on 43 countries payments infrastructures based on 31 indicators. The indicators were built into a dynamic scoring model, which contains all of the data, scores and commentary for each country, enabling a user to visualize the data, make comparisons and find patterns. The complete GEAR study, including a list of the 43 countries, can be found at visa.com.

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