Payments Canada launches Lynx, Canada’s new high-value payment system

Launch represents another milestone in payments innovation

OTTAWA, September 1, 2021 - Payments Canada announces today the launch of the first release of Lynx, Canada’s new high-value payment system. Lynx is replacing the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS), which has served as Canada’s high-value payment system for over 20 years.

Designated by the Bank of Canada as a systemically important payment system under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act, Lynx will process large value, time-critical payments (i.e. wire payments) with real-time settlement finality and will provide enhanced cyber security and resiliency capabilities. Lynx has been designed with flexibility to support future technologies, including interfaces and APIs. 

“The payments ecosystem is rapidly evolving. Our role at Payments Canada is to support the innovation of payments infrastructure and rules to make payments easier, smarter, and safer for all Canadians,” said Tracey Black, President and CEO at Payments Canada. “Lynx is an integral part of our broader payments Modernization initiative to deliver the future of payments for Canada. The launch of Lynx represents a significant collaborative effort between Payments Canada, our member participants, our technology partners IBM and SIA, and the Bank of Canada”.

“Canada’s economic and financial welfare depends critically on payment systems that operate behind the scenes,” said Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem. “It’s essential that Canada has a modern and robust wholesale payments system, and so, after much preparation, I’m very pleased to see the arrival of Lynx. The launch of Lynx is an important step in making sure Canada’s financial system remains secure, stable and efficient in today’s rapidly evolving economy.”

Lynx will be owned and operated by Payments Canada and overseen by the Bank of Canada. It will be used to send and receive high-value payments by the following participants and their customers:

  • ATB Financial
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of Canada
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
  • BNP Paribas (Canada)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Central 1 Credit Union
  • Fédération des caisses Desjardins du 
  • Québec (FCDQ)
  • HSBC Bank Canada
  • ICICI Bank Canada
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada (LBC)
  • National Bank of Canada (NBC/BNC)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • State Street
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

A second release, planned for late 2022, will introduce the ISO 20022 message standard. ISO 20022 allows for data-rich payments, which will support the introduction of new products and services, and the digitization of manual and paper-based processes related to invoicing and payment reconciliation. The introduction of the ISO 20022 message standard will assist Canadian financial institutions in meeting SWIFT’s ISO 20022 global requirements.


About Payments Canada

Payments Canada is a public purpose organization that owns and operates Canada’s payments systems, Lynx and the Automated Clearing and Settlement System (ACSS). Payments Canada is responsible for the physical infrastructure and the associated bylaws, rules, and standards that support these systems. It also has a duty to promote the efficiency, safety, and soundness of Canada’s payments systems while taking into account the interests of end users. In 2020, Payments Canada’s systems cleared and settled over $107 trillion—more than $420 billion every business day. Transactions that pass through these systems include debit card payments, pre-authorized debits, direct deposits, bill payments, wire payments and cheques initiated and received by Canadians and Canadian businesses. Payments Canada is working closely with the payments ecosystem to modernize Canada’s payments systems to ensure Canada and Canadian businesses remain globally competitive.

For media inquiries, please contact Victoria McMullen, Director, Marketing & Communications, vmcmullen@payments.ca.


Contributed quotes

“The development and implementation of Lynx is a significant step towards the future of Canadian payments. This new, modern payment system sets the stage for ATB Financial to deliver data-enriched payment messages that will significantly benefit Albertans and Alberta businesses. ATB Financial is proud to work alongside Payments Canada and the other financial institutions involved in achieving this major milestone to advance the payment ecosystem, and continue to ensure payments are safe and secure for all Canadians.”

Ryan Rabin, Vice President, Payments,
ATB Financial

“As a founding member of Canada’s high-value clearing system more than two decades ago, Bank of America is pleased to work with Payments Canada as it launches Lynx, which will support the bank’s ongoing commitment to deliver payments innovation to our clients.”

Leslie Konecny, Head of Product for Global Transactional Services in Canada,
Bank of America

“BMO is proud to be part of the collaborative effort to introduce Lynx to the payments ecosystem that will benefit all Canadian consumers and businesses, our economy and Canada’s global competitive position. We are excited about the opportunities that Lynx and other modernization initiatives underway will bring to our customers including faster, simpler and data-rich payments while enabling platforms for future innovation and growth.”

Derek Vernon, Vice President, Head, Enterprise Payments Modernization,
BMO Financial Group and Industry Chair,
Payments Canada Industry Steering Committee

 
"BNP Paribas (Canada Branch) is proud to partner in Payments Canada’s Modernization program through its transition from the current LVTS clearing system to Lynx. As part of BNP Paribas’ ongoing commitment to serve our corporate and institutional clients, and evidenced by the continued investment in our Canadian platform, we look forward to leveraging Lynx’s real-time settlement capabilities to execute fast and efficient payment transactions for the benefit of our clients and their business needs."

Anindo Chakrabarty, Head of Payments and Clearing Canada,
BNP Paribas

“Central 1, on behalf of the Group Clearer, is pleased to be among the 16 direct participants working with Payments Canada and Bank of Canada to implement this important new system for high value payments that anchors almost every payment made in Canada. This initiative, in the making now for several years, has been an example of national collaboration between financial institutions and regulators to ensure a seamless transition. The renewal of this piece of Canada’s economic infrastructure sets Canada’s financial institutions, including credit unions, on an exciting new chapter of safety, security, and innovation in payments.”

Arvind Sharma, Chief Payments and Digital Banking Platforms & Experiences,
Central 1

“CIBC is proud to be part of this collaborative effort to ensure greater speed, security and innovation in Canada’s payments infrastructure. The launch of Lynx lays a strong foundation for data-rich payments in Canada, which supports the current and future needs of our clients.”

Alison James, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Payments,
CIBC

“Launching Lynx is a big step for payment systems modernization at Desjardins. This initiative could not have succeeded without the hard work and dedication of all our partners. Our next challenge will focus on integrating ISO 20022 messages.”

Patrice Dagenais, Payment Modernization Program Promoter,
Desjardins

“HSBC Bank Canada is pleased to partner with Payments Canada, the Bank of Canada, and the financial industry on the national deployment of Lynx, Canada’s new Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system. The launch of Lynx will provide security and resilience for our payments system over the coming years, while enabling the flexibility required to provide increasingly better services for Canadians and ensuring our economy remains competitive internationally. HSBC Bank Canada is proud to be part of this key milestone in modernizing our country’s payment ecosystem.”

Jude Leclerc, Country Head of GLCM Product, Global Liquidity and Cash Management,
HSBC Bank Canada

“As the lead technology partner and overall systems integrator in the development of Lynx, IBM provides deep payments expertise along with the security and resiliency necessary for this systemically important payment system. We have leveraged our global experience and our leadership in Canada’s payments ecosystem to help modernize this essential infrastructure for banking in Canada.”

Claude Guay, President and General Manager,
IBM Canada

“ICICI Bank Canada is privileged to be part of this journey to modernize the Canadian payment industry, led by Payments Canada. The new Lynx payment system enables us to process large-value and time-critical payments with enhanced security and flexibility to support APIs. This augments ICICI Bank Canada's product suite to better serve its retail and corporate customers with increased resilience and speed."

Sandeep Goel, President and CEO,
ICICI Bank Canada

‘’We are incredibly pleased to partner with Payments Canada and other industry members on the Lynx project. This is a world-class, safe, flexible, and modern, real-time payments solution that was built in compliance with international risk standards and Laurentian Bank is proud to be among the first implementers of Lynx in Canada.”

Sarim Farooqi, Senior Vice President and Treasurer,
Laurentian Bank of Canada.

“The launch of Lynx will ensure the Canadian payments system remains robust and resilient over the coming years, while allowing all Canadian financial institutions to provide better customer service and remain competitive internationally. We’re very proud of this key step in modernizing our country’s payment ecosystem.”

Patrice Roy, Vice President, Cash Management and International Solutions,
National Bank of Canada

“As part of RBC’s ongoing commitment to payments innovation, we’re pleased to implement Lynx – Payments Canada’s new system replacing the existing Large Value Transfer System (LVTS). With this new system, our clients can continue to manage their capital needs with the reassurance of payment finality in line with global risk standards. RBC’s implementation of Lynx also provides an important foundation and more flexibility for us to innovate and integrate with advanced technologies and different payment infrastructures in the future as our clients’ needs and the global payment landscape evolves.”

Lisa Lansdowne-Higgins, Senior Vice President, Business Deposits,
RBC

“The launch of Lynx is foundational for future payment innovations in Canada. Our continued investment in delivering modernized payments enables us to deliver new value to our clients, while continuing to keep payments safe and secure for all Canadians. Scotiabank is proud to be part of this major milestone in the ongoing transformation of the Canadian payments landscape.” 

Michael Zerbs, Group Head, Technology & Operations,
Scotiabank

“We are particularly proud to be part of the successful launch of the first release of Lynx, Canada’s new high-value payment system. This is a further confirmation of our critical role as preferred technology partner delivering payments modernization initiatives and fulfilling the most advanced and complex needs of financial communities with our products and services. The establishment of the new Payments Canada core system marks the first ever project for SIA in North America where we plan to provide innovative solutions for the banking and financial sector. Our secure and reliable applications, together with our strong competences, currently support about 20 central institutions around the world to improve their own country’s payments infrastructure in order to keep pace with the increasing speed of digital transformation.”

Eugenio Tornaghi, Director of Marketing & Sales of SIA