Press releases

Payments Canada introduces data-rich messages to high-value payments in Canada with Lynx Release Two

ISO 20022 will support the introduction of new financial products and services for consumers and businesses across Canada

OTTAWA, March 21, 2023 – Today, Payments Canada announced the launch of the second release of Lynx, Canada’s high-value payment system. This follows the successful launch of Lynx in August 2021, replacing the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS) that served as Canada's high-value payment system for over 20 years.

The second release of Lynx introduces the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard which allows richer data to travel with each payment. As more financial institutions begin to send and receive ISO-enabled payments, Lynx participants will be able to leverage richer payments data to offer new products and services to their customers. For example, additional data such as purchase order details and invoice reference numbers traveling with each payment will allow for increased automation and the digitization of manual and paper-based processes currently required to support payment reconciliation and exception handling. The implementation of the ISO 20022 standard will also simplify cross-border payments as the standard is adopted around the world, and helps align Canadian financial institutions with Swift's global implementation of ISO 20022.

“The introduction of ISO 20022 messaging on the Lynx payment system represents a massive collaborative effort between Payments Canada, our member participants, the Bank of Canada, Swift and our technology partners IBM and Nexi,” said Tracey Black, President and CEO at Payments Canada. “Payments Canada is proud to bring the benefits of ISO 20022 to Canadians through Lynx at the same time as the global payment community. ISO 20022 is an integral part of our broader payment Modernization initiative and provides a foundation for continued payment innovation in Canada.”

About Lynx

A fundamental part of Payments Canada’s Modernization initiative was the introduction of a new high-value payment system to support the long-term growth of Canada’s economy and payment needs. Lynx facilitates the irrevocable transfer of wire payments between participating financial institutions in Canadian dollars. Lynx is based on the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) model, in which settlement occurs immediately after the clearing of each individual payment resulting in the instant transfer of funds in central bank money from one participant to another. Settlement finality reduces risk for participants and the Bank of Canada, and supports the safety and soundness of Canada’s financial system.

Lynx is designated by the Bank of Canada as a systemically important payment system under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act. Lynx is critical to Canada’s economy as it processes payments valued at hundreds of billions of dollars every business day. The Lynx high-value payment system will continue to support innovation, enhanced cyber security and resiliency capabilities. Lynx serves as the key mechanism by which the Bank of Canada implements monetary policy.

The successful launch of release one of Lynx included the implementation of a new risk model that complies with Canadian and international risk standards and new technology (application and infrastructure). In the first year of operations, Lynx has cleared and settled over 12 million payments valued at approximately $115 trillion. Lynx is owned and operated by Payments Canada and overseen by the Bank of Canada. It is used to send and receive high-value payments by the following participants and their customers:

  • ATB Financial
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of Canada
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
  • BNP Paribas (Canada)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Central 1 Credit Union
  • Citi
  • Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec (FCDQ)
  • HSBC Bank Canada
  • ICICI Bank Canada
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada (LBC)
  • National Bank of Canada (NBC/BNC)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • State Street
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

About Payments Canada

Payments Canada is a public purpose organization that owns and operates Canada’s payment systems, Lynx and the Automated Clearing Settlement System (ACSS). Payments Canada is responsible for the physical infrastructure and the associated bylaws, rules, and standards that support these systems. It also has a duty to promote the efficiency, safety, and soundness of Canada’s payment systems while taking into account the interests of end users.In 2022, Payments Canada’s systems cleared and settled over $119 trillion — more than $476 billion every business day. Transactions that pass through these systems include debit card payments, pre-authorized debits, direct deposits, bill payments, wire payments and cheques initiated and received by Canadians and Canadian businesses. Payments Canada is working closely with the payment ecosystem to modernize Canada’s payment systems to ensure Canada and Canadian businesses remain globally competitive. 

Contributed quotes

“ATB Financial is proud to partner with Payments Canada and industry members on the second release of Lynx. The ISO 20022 message standard and the data enrichment it provides are crucial to the future of Canadian payments. We look forward to the value and improved experience we can bring to our clients as we enable their journey to automation, straight-through processing and leveraging data to create efficiency in the payment landscape.”
Ryan Rabin, Vice President, Banking & Payments
ATB Financial

“Bank of America is pleased to support the Payments Canada Modernization program, which complements our own goals to introduce new payments technologies that are natively 24/7, instant and real-time, and that can further the business objectives of our clients operating in Canada and around the world.”
Leslie Konecny, Head of Product for Global Transactional Services in Canada, 
Bank of America

“BMO is proud to be part of the collaborative effort to introduce the new MX message standard to Lynx. Enabling data-rich, high-value payments will allow BMO to offer our customers data powered client solutions while enabling efficiencies through increased automation.” 
Derek Vernon, Head, North American Treasury & Payments Solutions Product Management and Payments Modernization, 
BMO Financial Group 
Chair, Payments Canada Member Advisory Council

“Central 1 is pleased to be part of the collaborative effort to introduce MX Messaging ISO 20022 Standard on Lynx. As the Manager of the Group Clearer and the largest payments processor for Canadian credit unions, we leveraged this milestone to build a new operating model that enables us to deliver compliance at a manageable scale while supporting our clients to navigate the pace of change. Combined with access to data-rich payments, this model helps position our clients for continued growth and innovation and puts them at the forefront of Canada’s digital payments future.”
Erick Wong, Chief Product Officer,
Central 1

“As a leading global bank, we understand the importance of streamlining payment processes and reducing friction for our customers. The adoption of ISO 20022 standards is a significant step towards achieving these goals, and we are proud to have been part of this journey. We look forward to continuing to work with our industry partners to drive innovation and provide the best possible experience for our customers.”
John Landry, Treasury and Trade Solutions Head,
Citi Canada

“We are happy to contribute to the new MX payment format worldwide. The integration of ISO 20022 standard represents a big step for payment systems modernization.The success of this initiative is the result of the excellent collaboration of all the partners.”
Martin Tardif, Payment Modernization Program Promoter,

“As the lead technology partner and overall systems integrator in the development of Lynx, we are excited to be part of the delivery of ISO 20022 to enable faster, more flexible, and secure payment infrastructure. In reshaping, the Canadian payment ecosystem, we have an opportunity to deliver a modernized, secure, and world-class payment infrastructure in Canada and we are proud to be delivering on this important initiative with Payments Canada.”
Daniel Cascone, Managing Partner, Financial Services Sector,
IBM Canada Consulting Services

“We congratulate Payments Canada on the introduction of ISO 20022 financial messaging on the Lynx payment system. We are delighted to be a member of the globally recognized financial messaging platform, Lynx, since its inception. ICICI Bank Canada believes in leveraging technological innovations to offer improved convenience to its customers. The introduction of ISO 20022 enhances efficiency and transparency of payment transactions in Canada and other countries, thereby enabling us to serve our customers better.”
Vikash Sharma, President and CEO, 
ICICI Bank Canada

“We are proud to collaborate with Payments Canada to build an even more innovative, fast and secure Canadian payment system. Today's announcement is an important step in the deployment of MX, which will ensure that we continue to deliver a seamless customer experience.”
Sarim Farooqi, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, 
Laurentian Bank

“National Bank is proud to participate in the launch of the second version of Lynx, a key milestone in the modernization of Canada’s payment ecosystem. Migrating to financial messages that comply with the ISO 20022 standard creates value by providing more data so clients can better understand transactions. In a data-driven world, this innovation has significant value for numerous companies.”
Patrice Roy, Vice-President, Payments International Solutions,
National Bank of Canada

“RBC is committed to delivering secure and innovative payment experiences for our clients, and the introduction of ISO 20022 is a critical next step in advancing and modernizing the payment infrastructure in Canada. Today’s announcement will allow us to continue to deliver innovative payment products which significantly improve the quality of data exchanged across the payment ecosystem by enabling key data such as invoice details, rich structured remittance, or other contextual information, to travel with each payment. As the payment landscape continues to rapidly evolve, this is an exciting milestone that aligns with work being done globally.”
Ramesh Siromani, Executive Vice President, Cards, Payments & Transformation,

“Scotiabank is proud to have collaborated alongside the industry to enable this critical foundation for data-rich payments in Canada. We are confident that this will provide a launchpad for new global innovations as payments increasingly become borderless and context-rich.”
Chris Manning, Senior Vice President, Global Business Payments

“Financial institutions and infrastructures around the world have embraced ISO 20022 for its potential to unlock significant new opportunities in both payment processing and service innovation. Payments Canada’s successful migration puts Canada at the forefront of realizing those possibilities, and we look forward to working together to extend the benefits of rich data to the cross-border payment ecosystem.”
Pat Antonacci, Chief Customer Experience Officer, 

“Lynx Release Two (ISO 20022 enablement) is a significant step in the emergence of an environment where we can integrate the various payment channels (e.g. wires, bulk payments, real-time payments) to create a seamless payment experience for customers across borders and traditional channels. It's about creating a payment ecosystem with greater transparency, near real-time fulfilment, ease-of-use and cross-border convenience.”
Alexandre Kade, Director - Industry Relations, Cyber, Data Analytics & Robotic Solutions for Global Payments, TD Securities, 
TD Bank Group

Keep reading