New PIAC report, “Innovative Oversight: strengthening the Canadian payments system”

OTTAWA, August 24, 2015– In a new report released today, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) called for a payment system framework designed and implemented to oversee all retail payment-related activities, all types of payment instruments and all payments system providers in Canada. PIAC also recommended a dedicated body be established to monitor and regulate the Canadian payments ecosystem. The report, entitled “Innovative Oversight: strengthening the Canadian payments system,” was submitted to the federal Department of Finance as part of a consultation on the oversight of national payment systems.

“The Canadian payments ecosystem needs a comprehensive regulatory framework in order to enhance consumer trust and accessibility, as well as to promote competition and innovation in the payments market,” stated John Lawford, PIAC’s Executive Director and General Counsel. “It is possible to have an innovative payments market while ensuring that stakeholders are both well protected and actively involved in the process,” noted Lawford.

PIAC’s report outlined a series of risks currently facing the Canadian payments system, and analyzed the suitability of existing bodies to undertake payments regulation. The report concluded a regulator be established with a mandate over all payment functions, instruments and providers. As well, the report recommended an oversight framework that requires the regulator to collaborate on an ongoing basis with stakeholder communities.

“PIAC makes these recommendations in order to ensure a strong and efficient framework for the payments ecosystem that Canada sorely needs. Without significant enhancement, Canada’s payment ecosystem will remain in the slow lane, while regimes in other jurisdictions continue to pass us,” concluded Lawford.

To see the full report, please consult the following link:
Strengthening Canadian Payment System PIAC Submission
You may also see PIAC’s commentary, entitled The Oversight of Prominent Payment Systems: Are we Keeping Time? This submission was PIAC’s response to a Bank of Canada consultation paper and request for comment:
For more information please contact:
John Lawford
Executive Director & General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002×25