Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on the Review of the Canadian Payments Act

News release

May 25, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada supports well-functioning payment systems that foster innovation, enable competition, and allow the Canadian economy to function smoothly. Innovation is particularly valuable—it's not only a major driver of economic growth, it has also led to the development of new technologies that make financial transactions more convenient and efficient for Canadians.

Every day, Canadians use various payment systems when making purchases in-store and on-line—everything from groceries to clothing to school supplies. Ensuring that payment systems are fast, secure, reliable and flexible builds confidence in Canadians that the payment methods they use are both efficient and safe.

At the same time, the payments ecosystem continues to innovate and evolve. Mobile platforms, e-commerce, and new players introducing new technology are changing the way Canadians want to pay for their purchases. Payments Canada, which owns and operates Canada's core payment systems, must be positioned to respond effectively to this changing environment, and its systems must keep up with the pace of change.

In 2015, the Government made several changes to the Canadian Payments Act to reform the governance structure of Payments Canada, with an aim to ensure that core systems are operated for the benefit of Canadians, and support competition and innovation in the payments space. Following these changes, Payments Canada launched a multi-year modernization initiative of its payments infrastructure.

Today, the Department of Finance Canada launched consultations to seek views on whether the 2015 governance changes have been effective in achieving the intended public policy objectives of efficiency, safety and soundness, and user interests. As required under the Act, the launch of this review follows through on a commitment to review the Act three years after the changes were made. Feedback is also sought on how best to adapt Payments Canada's membership structure to ensure access to its systems is open and risk-based, and reflects developments in the payments ecosystem. Feedback will help determine whether further improvements are needed.

The Government will table a report in both Houses of Parliament based on feedback from stakeholders on these consultations.

Comments on the consultation paper linked below should be sent by July 24 via email to or to:

Financial Systems Division
Financial Sector Policy Branch
Department of Finance Canada
90 Elgin Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0G5

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Media may contact:

Daniel Lauzon
 Director of Communications
 Office of the Minister of Finance

Media Relations
 Department of Finance Canada
General Enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
 Facsimile: 613-369-4065
 TTY: 613-369-3230

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