Enabling Legislation

The Canadian Payments Association (CPA) operates under the brand name of Payments Canada. For legal purposes we continue to use CPA (or the Association) in all information related to rules, by-laws and standards.


The Canadian Payments Act (CP Act) sets out the legal framework for the CPA, including its mandate, the types of organizations eligible for membership, the role of the Board of Directors, and oversight responsibilities of the Minister of Finance.

Under the CP Act, CPA by-laws that relate to the administration of the CPA may be approved by the Board. All other CPA by-laws are subject to approval by the Minister of Finance, who also has the authority to review new rules or amendments to existing rules and, if appropriate, disallow the whole or part of a rule. The Minister also has the power to issue a directive including a directive to make, amend or repeal a by-law, rule or standard. If a directive relates to the operation of a designated system, the Minister must consult with the Governor of the Bank of Canada before issuing the directive.

The Payment Clearing and Settlement Act assigns the Bank of Canada responsibility for overseeing clearing and settlement systems for the purpose of controlling systemic risk or payments system risk. Lynx — Canada’s high-value payment system — has been designated as systemically important under this Act and the Automated Clearing Settlement System (ACSS) has been designated a prominent payment system, so we’re also subject to oversight from the Governor of the Bank of Canada for the Lynx and ACSS. 

Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)

The CPA has MOUs with both the Department of Finance and the Bank of Canada to ensure that all parties are meeting their respective statutory responsibilities.