Payments Canada, Bank of Canada Research Highlights Global Trend Towards Faster Payments

Analysis of 27 modern payment systems uncovers common features but varied paths to delivery

Ottawa, ON (June 16, 2016) – Research released today by Payments Canada and the Bank of Canada exploring payment system modernization initiatives around the world reveals a global trend towards infrastructure enhancements that support faster payments.

In keeping with its role to underpin the Canadian financial system and economy by providing safe, efficient and effective clearing and settlement of payments, Payments Canada conducted the research to inform discussions and decision making on the future of payments in Canada.

The research,

, identifies a series of commonalities between jurisdictions with modernized payment systems, but reveals there is no “one size fits all” approach to modernizing payments. Each country’s path to modernization is unique, shaped by local public policy priorities, user needs and legacy payment systems.

Across 27 jurisdictions, Payments Canada and Bank of Canada found that most modernization initiatives involved:

  • Adding a new real-time retail system, not necessarily accompanied by real-time settlement
  • Building new or enhancing batch retail payment systems
  • Upgrading large-value payment systems to support interoperability of faster retail systems
  • Leveraging centralized infrastructure to enhance overall functionality
  • Widening access to core payment systems
  • A holistic, multi-system approach to modernization

“Payments Canada’s approach to modernization is centred on sound research and significant industry consultation to chart a course that is right for Canada,” said Carol Ann Northcott, Chief Risk Officer at Payments Canada. “These findings help us better understand global payments systems and what will be required to retain Canada’s competitive position and facilitate international trade.”

This research builds on the 2015 paper

and will be used with other research and consultation work, including the Vision for the Canadian Payments Ecosystem, to support analysis and planning for the future of Canada’s payments system. Payments Canada is modernizing its rules, standards and systems to support the evolving needs and expectations of its participant financial institutions, businesses, consumers and governments.

Clearing and Settlement Systems from Around the World: A Qualitative Analysis can be found on the Payments Canada’s website. An accompanying infographic outlining the findings is also available.


About Payments Canada:

Payments Canada ensures that financial transactions in Canada are carried out safely and securely each day. The organization underpins 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. The value of payments cleared and settled by Payments Canada in 2015 was nearly $50 trillion, or $197 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. Payments Canada is the brand name of the Canadian Payments Association.

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