Payments Canada says the the UK's Vocalink, Italy's SIA and local player CGI will battle it out for the right to build the country's new core clearing and settlement system.
Like most industrialised nations in the developed world, Canada has been doing the groundwork on efforts to prepare the country for a switch to real-time payments.
In December, Payments Canada published its multi-year roadmap, which sets out plans for near-term enhancements to existing systems to speed up transactions, as well as longer-term improvements such as the implementation of a faster payments capability and a new core clearing and settlement system.
This system, dubbed Lynx, will be built by one of Vocalink, SIA and CGI after the three were invited to take part in a competitive procurement process, which will take place over the next few months.
Having masterminded the UK's Faster Payments service, Vocalink has won several big contracts around the world, including with Singapore, Thailand and the US bank-backed ACH The Clearing House. SIA counts a deal with EBA Clearing to develop a pan-European real-time payment system among its major agreements.
Jan Pilbauer, executive director, modernisation, and CIO, Payments Canada, says: "The competitive dialogue will encourage innovation, effective decision making and optimal outcomes, meaning we will deliver greater value to Canadians with the end product and, ultimately, strengthen Canada’s competitive position."
The winner will work alongside Accenture, which last month was brought onboard for "three to four years", helping with all aspects of the modernisation plan and setting up an industry project management office to support the dozens of financial institution participants through what is expected to be a complicated and expensive process.