Department of Finance releases Retail Payment Activities Act regulations

A critical step towards broadening access to Canada’s payment infrastructure, but legislative change is still needed.

Payments Canada welcomes the opportunity to provide input on regulations that will support the Retail Payment Activities Act (RPAA), which were published on February 10, 2023, by the Department of Finance. Input on the proposed regulations are due March 28, 2023. 

The Retail Payment Activities Regulations support the Retail Payment Activities Act (RPAA), a new legislative framework to regulate retail payment activities in Canada. It is designed to protect consumers by regulating payment service providers (PSPs) to safeguard funds and the financial system with operational risk requirements. PSPs will also be required to register with the Bank of Canada to operate under the RPAA.

The release of the regulations is a critical step towards broadening access to Canada’s payment systems. Bringing PSPs under the regulation of the Bank of Canada will support their ability to be granted Payments Canada membership and ultimately become payment system participants should they meet the requirements. Broader access to Canada’s payment systems will increase competition and innovation in the payment ecosystem, meaning greater choice, speed and flexibility for Canadians and Canadian businesses in addressing their payment needs. 

However, RPAA regulations are just one of the steps required to broaden access. Payments Canada’s membership eligibility must also be expanded to include eligible PSPs, credit union locals and systemically important Canadian Financial Market infrastructures. To do that, changes to the Canadian Payments Act, which sets out Payments Canada’s mandate, eligibility for membership and other provisions, are required.

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