VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – They say it’s the next best thing to cash, but are you getting the most out of your debit card?

A new report from the CD Howe Institute finds Canada is falling behind when it comes to payment technology.

The research finds while we are among the top debit card users in the world, we still write a billion cheques every year.

Part of the reason for that is a lack of options, according to senior analyst Phillippe Bergevin. He is the co-author of “Debit, Credit, and Cell — Making Canada a Leader in the Way We Pay” and he tells us consumers in this country are missing out.

“Using your cellphone to pay in countries like Japan and other countries in Europe, that’s been quite common for some years. So, that’s one kind of innovation that perhaps we’ve been missing out over the recent years,” he explains.

Shoppers in other countries can also use their debit cards online.

Bergevin recommends Interac, Canada’s main debit network, should stop being a monopoly. “The approach should be allow a bit more competition and that should bring about innovation and better products for end users.”