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Payments Canada Delays Launch of Real-Time Rails Again (without a timeline)

Betakit | | Oct 12, 2022

Payments CanadaPayments in Canada - Payments Canada Delays Launch of Real-Time Rails Again (without a timeline) has delayed the launch of the forthcoming Real-Time Rail (RTR) payment system (again, with no timeline), saying it needs more time to validate and test the system’s components and end-to-end integration.

  • Delay: It’s the second time Payments Canada (PC) has delayed the system’s launch. It first promised to deliver the RTR in 2022, and then rescheduled the launch to mid-2023.
  • No revised timeline was given by PC . CEO Tracey Black said that PC’s members, stakeholders, and the broader payment industry would need to be consulted first.
  • PC called the RTR a fundamental part of its multi-year industry program to modernize the infrastructure, rules, and standards but PC needs to complete the work. Canada is playing catchup: more than 54 countries globally already use a similar system. And PC has been working on modernizing its system since 2015, consulting with more than 100 organizations within the ecosystem.

See:   US-Euro Real-Time Payments Expected to Launch in 2022

  • Tracey Black:  “The Rogers outage on July 8 impacted consumers and businesses across Canada.”  It’s not entirely unexpected that Black would raise the telecom outage given that Interac has been selected as the RTR’s exchange provider, and Mastercard’s Vocalink as its clearing and settlement solution provider. Following the outage, Interac posted that the system-wide Rogers outage caused “widespread impact,” including the unavailability of Interac Debit and e-Transfer services.
  • No access:  Currently, FinTech startups cannot directly access Interac’s e-Transfer rails, which is the peer-to-peer (P2P) method in Canada.

Alex Vronces of PayTechs of Canada:

The delay is “disappointing” but also “not a surprise.  Things have been absurd from the get-go.  We’ve asked banks to invest in and build a payment system that their competitors will use to compete with them.  On day 1, if and when the RTR launches, there’s going to be no functional difference between Interac e-Transfer and the RTR

See:  Wait and see approach for Fintechs as Payments Canada chooses Interac as Canada’s real-time payments provider

Michael Katchen of Wealthsimple:

Real change will only be realized if newer entrants like Wealthsimple are able to move in lockstep with legacy institutions.

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