FINA pre-budget consultation highlights continued industry support for broader access to Canada’s payment infrastructure

Payments Canada has a long, proven history of providing the payment infrastructure that allows Canadians to get their money where it needs to be. We do this with Canadians top of mind: ensuring their payments are safe and secure while facilitating the development of new payment methods and technologies to meet their needs. Our work is underpinned by the Canadian Payments Act (CP Act), which sets out our legal framework, including our mandate, governance, oversight and the types of organizations eligible for Payments Canada membership and participation on our systems. 

The CP Act has served Canadians very well over the years, but payments are changing at an unprecedented rate. Legislative changes are needed to reflect today’s increasingly digital world. A testament to the urgency and importance of these legislative changes is the widespread support they have garnered from players across the Canadian financial ecosystem. Banks, credit unions, fintechs and other financial services providers have all voiced their support for changes to the CP Act in varying outlets, including a Payments Canada-led joint letter sent to the Minister of Finance in December 2022 and more recently in submissions to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA)’s 2024 pre-budget consultation. 

Each year, FINA invites Canadians to share what they’d like to see included in the government’s upcoming budget. Payments Canada’s 2023 submission to FINA is centered around the need for CP Act changes. More specifically, expanding Payments Canada’s membership eligibility to credit unions, payment service providers and financial market infrastructures that meet necessary regulatory and oversight requirements.

Robust regulatory and oversight requirements for Payments Canada members have ensured the continued safety and soundness of Canada’s payment infrastructure. All Payments Canada members and system participants must be formally regulated or overseen. This should continue with possible expanded membership eligibility. For example, payment service providers would be regulated under the Retail Payments Activities Act (RPAA), overseen by the Bank of Canada and subject to the risk management requirements set out in the RPAA regulations. 

By supporting broader Payments Canada membership and eligibility to access to Canada’s national payment infrastructure, the Government of Canada will help ensure the future of digital payments, which Canadians are increasingly turning to, happens within — not outside — the regulatory system. This will encourage financial stability and protect Canadians and Canadian businesses.

These proposed changes are echoed in several other organizations' submissions, including some that have been published publicly: Electronic Transactions Association,  Fintechs Canada and FDATA

The FINA pre-budget submission process has shone a light on the continued collaborative efforts of the financial industry to embrace the opportunities that broader access to Canada's national payment infrastructure will bring. Payments Canada would enthusiastically welcome the Government of Canada’s support for CP Act changes, should they be included in the upcoming Fall Economic Statement. 

Lisa Sattler
Senior Advisor, Public Policy
Payments Canada

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