A national study by mobile payments company Square has found that nearly 79% of Canadians prefer to make their purchases using a debit or credit card.

Nearly 41% of the respondents said that they have ditched cash altogether and use only cards to pay for their purchases.

More than two-thirds (69%) of the respondents said they might prefer doing business with local businesses that accept cards.

Square said that 85% of the small businesses that accept only cash and/or cheque may miss out on sales by not accepting cards.

Square Canada head Cathy Vigrass said: “Buyers’ attitudes towards payments have changed and so too should local businesses’. To remain competitive, no business, large or small, can afford to miss out on sales.”

Contrary to buyers’ preferences, only 11% of small businesses said cards are their buyers’ most preferred payments method.

Nearly 67% of the Canadians opined cash- and/or cheque-only businesses are old-fashioned, and 47% said they avoid them.

Nearly half (47%) of the respondents said they haven’t made a purchase because they weren’t able to pay by card.

The survey was conducted by research firm Leger on behalf of Square.