Payments Canada has gone into public consultation on far-reaching plans for a throughgoing overhaul of the nation's payments architecture and legal underpinnings.
Like most industrialised nations in the developed world, Payments Canada has been doing the groundwork on efforts to prepare the country for a switch to real-time payments.
"Payment system modernisation is about making sure we are competitive as a nation in a global economy," says Gerry Gaetz , president and CEO of Payments Canada. "There are many things changing at a global level in payments - regulation, technology, new players, and opportunities for more payments data. We must make sure our payments infrastructure and standards are up to date."
The roadmap envisages the first enhancements coming into line in 2017, with the full revamp taking up to five years to complete. Gaetz says the overhaul will require "significant investment by key stakeholders in governments, the financial services industry and users of payment systems".
The association has already committed to the adoption of the ISO20022 message standard and extended remittance information to support the move away from paper-based invoicing and cheques, while a new core clearing and settlement system capable of meeting future technology developments - including distributed ledgers - will be implemented and operated by Payments Canada. The group intends to undertake the vendor selection process early next year.
The Industry Roadmap and High-Level Plan for Modernization is open for feedback until January 20, 2017.