The future of payments is bright; collaboration will make it brighter

Reflections from Robyn King, host of The SUMMIT Series.

Robyn King headshot

Robyn King

Director, Industry Relations
Robyn King is the Director for Industry Relations at Payments Canada, where she oversees the external relations function that manages stakeholder engagement with member financial institutions and broader stakeholder groups, and also oversees the industry governance function for the organization. She has more than 17 years of experience in transactional banking, merchant acquiring, card payments and payment modernization in both the Canadian and Southern African markets.

As Director of Industry Relations at Payments Canada, my team and I connect and collaborate with member financial institutions and stakeholder groups on what payment topics, opportunities and challenges are top of mind for them, their businesses and their customers. I was very happy to bring these conversations to the spotlight once again through Payments Canada’s most recent The SUMMIT Series. I thoroughly enjoy hosting these webinars and was pleased to be joined by Tanya Woods from Questrade, Ramesh Siromani of Royal Bank of Canada, and Payments Canada’s Donna Kinoshita to discuss the future of payments in Canada. Throughout our discussion, one key theme came up again and again: collaboration is needed to ensure we, as an industry, are working together to make payments safer, smarter and easier.

We started the conversation by reflecting on the changes announced in the federal government’s 2023 Fall Economic Statement (FES). The changes of most interest for the payment industry were legislative measures to continue strengthening Canada's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (AML/ATF) regime, a commitment to introduce legislation through Budget 2024 to establish a consumer-driven banking framework, and, of course, the inclusion of changes to the Canadian Payments Act (CP Act) to expand Payments Canada membership and access to participate on our systems. The inclusion of these payment priorities is a prime example of what we can accomplish when we pull in the same direction. It also represents an opportunity for further collaboration. The panelists agreed that the payment industry and government leaders need to work with each other to bring these priorities to life in a way that delivers more payment options while maintaining the high level of safety and soundness expected from our financial systems. 

Payments Canada is leading the adoption of the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard in Canada, and the panelists explored the potential benefits of data-rich payments for participants across the payment chain, from consumers and small businesses to large corporations and financial institutions. But as highlighted in our discussion, standards don’t just happen. They are the product of negotiation, collaboration and consultation across the industry. To realize the full range of benefits that data-rich payments and interoperability will provide, we need to work together as an industry to drive end-to-end adoption of data-rich payments and standards.

Our discussion around fraud also centred around collaboration. Safety and soundness is always top of mind for us at Payments Canada. While we are always working to protect our members and their customers at the core, we also operate within a broader network with clear co-dependencies. To effectively mitigate against the increasing threat of fraud, the group felt that the Canadian payment ecosystem would be best served through collaboration, both within itself and across other jurisdictions, industries (e.g., Telcos), security agencies and law enforcement. We also saw a great opportunity to work together to improve consumer communication and education around fraud, encourage reporting and destigmatize being subject to fraudulent activities.

While this is just a snapshot of what was discussed during our time together, the theme of collaboration remained prevalent throughout. A future of smarter, safer and easier payments requires a concerted effort to collaborate from all types of payment industry players. If you weren’t able to attend, I encourage you to watch the recorded version.

I also hope you join us in Toronto from May 29 to 31, 2024, at The Payments Canada SUMMIT, where we’ll continue the discussion around collaboration and the future of payments in Canada.

See you there!


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