What We Do

The Canadian economy depends on the exchange of billions of dollars each day. Payments Canada ensures that these financial transactions in Canada are carried out safely and securely. 

We underpin the Canadian financial system and economy by owning and operating Canada’s payment clearing and settlement infrastructure, including associated systems, by-laws, rules and standards.

Essential payment infrastructure

We provide Canada’s national payment systems. Lynx, our high-value payment system, lets financial institutions and their customers send large payments securely, and our Retail Batch Payment System is where the vast majority of day-to-day Canadian commerce is cleared by our financial institutions. The value of payments cleared by Payments Canada’s systems in 2020 was approximately $107 trillion or $420 billion every business day. These encompass a wide range of payments made by Canadians and businesses involving inter-bank transactions, including those made with debit cards, pre-authorized debits, direct deposits, bill payments, wire payments and cheques. 

All Our Systems

Connecting a fluid and vibrant economy

The less Canadians notice payments the better, but they must always remain safe and secure. That’s why we collaborate with stakeholders across the payment ecosystem to create the necessary balance of rules and standards, with efficient infrastructure to achieve optimized, low-friction value flow. 

We connect through ideas, research, rules and standards and through our systems, like a complex network of bridges and roads to create the necessary balance of rules and standards, with efficient infrastructure to achieve optimized, low-friction value flow. 

How We Collaborate Corporate Plan

Meeting the needs of Canadians

We have a long history of providing the payment infrastructure that has allowed Canadians, their businesses and their institutions to exchange value. But the world is changing fast, and so are payments. New technology is transforming the way we pay. And we are working to provide a platform that allows those in the payment ecosystem to innovate and provide Canadians with convenient, safe, and efficient payment options.

Who We Work WithModernization Annual Reports

Collaborating within a changing ecosystem

In pursuing our mandate, we must be cognizant of the environment in which we operate and the need to balance a wide spectrum of stakeholders with different, and sometimes divergent, interests. As we manage these diverse points of view, we must at the same time be mindful of the highly regulated environment in which we operate. These factors combine to create an operating environment that is complex and, at times, challenging. However, given our deep payment knowledge and highly experienced staff, we are well positioned to succeed.

Our Research Industry Views Mod Blogs The SUMMIT

What's Clearing and Settlement?

Every day, Canadian consumers, businesses and governments use a variety of “payment items” to purchase goods and services, make financial investments and transfer funds from one person to another. Many of these transactions involve customers from two different financial institutions. Clearing and settlement is how financial institutions exchange payments amongst themselves, calculate how much is owed to each other as a result, and transfer funds to settle those balances.