The SUMMIT day one recap: Canada's largest payments conference kicks off with a record number of attendees

Published: May 15, 2019

In his keynote address, inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, described his bold vision of data utopia and important industry announcements were made, including newly released reports and payment innovations in Canada.

The 2019 Payments Canada SUMMIT kicked off Tuesday with more than 1,700 people attending – a new record that is six times the number who came to the event just five years ago.

As Justin Farrabee, Chief Operating Officer of Payments Canada, noted when welcoming everyone: “We are all payment geeks. We are a diverse group with one thing in common – a passion for payments.”

To feed that passion, The 2019 SUMMIT is offering more speakers, more sessions, and more topics than any previous Payments Canada conference.

Among featured speakers on Tuesday’s packed agenda:

  • Gerry Gaetz, President and CEO of Payments Canada, set the context for the three-day event, by asking what it will take for Canada to not just keep pace with developments on payments modernization in the rest of the world, but to lead ambitiously on a global scale.
  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, outlined his provocative vision for a dramatically different future of data, with people in total control of all their own data, and having artificial intelligence work powerfully for them.
  • Victor Dodig, President and CEO of CIBC, emphasized how a modernized financial system in Canada needs to have safety, security and speed for all players, with consumers benefiting from the frictionless movement of money both within Canada and beyond our borders. Check out his interview
  • Bruce Schneier, Chief Technology Officer of IBM Resilient and Special Advisor to IBM Security, described how in today’s digital era where “everything is a computer,” all people involved in technology must prepare for a whole new level of security challenges; his IBM colleague Constantin von Altrock, Chief Technology Officer of Safer Payments of Watson Financial Services Solutions, shared key lessons from around on how to mitigate RTP fraud.
  • Fintech influencer Jim Marous spoke about what people who work in payments can learn from world-leading innovators in the retail sphere; Leila Fourie, Executive General Manager of Consumer Finance for Australia’s Commonwealth Bank reviewed how Australia has moved to the forefront of digitalization; and Karen Webster, CEO of PYMNTS.com, spoke about how she expects voice to be the new commerce interface for payments in the coming decade.

At more than 25 breakout sessions, panels addressed everything from the impact of AI on credit to what is happening at the leading edge of retail payments technology in Asia to the perspectives of Canadian and other banks on the challenges of payments modernization in Canada.

There were also four payments-related news items that were made at The SUMMIT:   

  • FGS and Paytechs of Canada co-released an in-depth report on the Canadian Paytech landscape, providing the first-ever comprehensive overview of the impact and pace at which technology is driving disruptive change
  • Payments Canada released its latest joint research paper with CGI, which unearths the merits of AI implementation within the payments space, and how the wholesale payments system remains largely untapped when it comes to AI.
  • Motion Pay announced that they will deliver unified Chinese Payment solutions to Canadian Petroleum and Convenience Retailers.
  • BMO Financial Group announced that it will leverage ACI Worldwide’s globally-recognized BMO Payment Hub powered by ACI’s Universal Payments (UP) Real-Time Payments solution to accelerate the process of bringing new products to market.

There are still two days left to catch Canada's top technologists, business leaders and influencers in payments at the 2019 SUMMIT. Speakers over the final two days include:

  • Paul Parisi, President of PayPal Canada and a payments industry veteran
  • Chris Hamilton, CEO of BankservAfrica, Africa's largest automated clearing house
  • Sue Britton, CEO, Fintech Growth Syndicate, who supports some of Canada’s hottest fintechs in their growth
  • Edwin Frondozo, Host of The Business Leadership Podcast, which finds the intersection of people, business, and innovation

Delegates will also benefit from more opportunities for networking, including The SUMMIT social tomorrow night and meetings booked through the PwC networking feature in the conference app.

Recordings from the mainstage of the SUMMIT are now available on the Payments Canada Youtube channel. You can also view and download photos from all three days of the event here. 

Read the recap from Day 2: Canada's payments future explored, discussed and debated at a wide variety of sessions on day two of The 2019 SUMMIT & from Day 3: Biggest challenges facing Canada’s payments industry tackled on day 3 of The 2019 SUMMIT.