Payments Canada selects Interac Corp. as the exchange solution provider for Canada’s new real-time payments system, the Real-Time Rail

Published: March 2, 2021

Payments Canada announced today the selection of Interac Corp. as the exchange solution provider for Canada’s real-time payments system, the Real-Time Rail (RTR). This announcement follows a selection process that included participation from the Bank of Canada.

The exchange solution provided by Interac will allow Payments Canada members participating in the RTR to send and receive RTR payment messages. The partnership will leverage Interac’s existing infrastructure in Canada’s payment ecosystem and its existing connectivity to nearly 300 financial institutions. To enable the settlement of RTR payments in real-time, the exchange solution will interface with the clearing and settlement solution being provided by Mastercard’s Vocalink

“Interac is a well-suited partner to support the launch and ongoing operations of Canada’s new real-time payments system. They have made significant investments in infrastructure and services and, with connectivity to almost 300 financial institutions in Canada, will be able to support the rapid adoption of real-time payments in Canada,” said Tracey Black, President and CEO of Payments Canada. “The Real-Time Rail will be the foundation for faster, data-rich payments and act as a platform for innovation. Participants in the payment system will be able to connect and develop new and exciting ways for Canadians to pay for goods and services, transfer money and better compete nationally and internationally.”

Operated by Payments Canada and regulated by the Bank of Canada, the RTR will allow Canadians to initiate payments and receive irrevocable funds in seconds, 24/7/365. Leveraging the ISO 20022 data standard, the system will support payment information traveling with every payment. The RTR is expected to launch in 2022.

“Working with Payments Canada to support the build of the Real-Time Rail represents a significant opportunity to enable consumers and businesses to take full advantage of digital payment solutions and foster increased innovation and efficiency,” said Mark O’Connell, President & CEO of Interac Corp. “Interac has been at the heart of Canadian payments for more than three decades and we are excited to expand this role and continue serving as a trusted connection point for Canadians when paying or moving their money and data.”

Interac will leverage the technology behind the Interac e-Transfer service, currently used by millions of Canadians every day, in building the exchange solution for the RTR. This includes support for the ISO 20022 messaging standard, as well as compliance with the Bank of Canada’s risk management standards for prominent payment systems. 

The RTR is a fundamental part of Payments Canada's multi-year industry program to modernize the infrastructure, rules and standards that underpin payments in Canada.

To learn more about the Modernization program, visit and subscribe to our newsletter, The Exchange.

About Payments Canada

Payments Canada is a public purpose organization that owns and operates Canada’s payments systems, the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS) and the Automated Clearing 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. Payments Canada will launch a new high-value payment system, Lynx, in 2021 and a real-time payment system, the Real-Time Rail (RTR), in 2022. 

About Interac Corp

Interac Corp. empowers Canadians to transact digitally with confidence by providing payment and value exchange services rooted in security, reliability, and efficiency. As a leader in digital security and authentication alongside our subsidiary, 2Keys Corporation, security is the core of everything we do. Through our world-class privacy, fraud mitigation and governance expertise, we help keep Canadian customers safe and secure when transacting with Interac. With nearly 300 financial institutions connected to our network, Canadians choose Interac products an average of 18 million times a day to pay and exchange money. Interac is committed to championing workplace culture and corporate citizenship based on the principles of responsibility, diversity and inclusion. We are proud to be one of Canada’s leading and most trusted financial brands. For more information, visit

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