April 21st, 2024

Payments Canada undergoes leadership change amid slow shift to faster payments

By The Canadian Press on April 1, 2024.

The effort to bring in a faster payment system, known as the Real-Time Rail, is years behind schedule.. A person uses her phone to pay for her coffee at a Starbucks in Mississauga, Ont., Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah Yoon

TORONTO – Trains aren’t the only place Canada lags on high-speed rail, as the effort to bring in a faster payment system, known as the Real-Time Rail, is years behind schedule.

As an example, if you paid a bill online on the Thursday evening before the Easter long weekend, the payment might not be processed until Monday.

A modernized system would mean payments go through near-instantly, 24 hours a day, bringing along billions of dollars of benefits, according to an estimate from the C.D. Howe Institute.

Getting the new system up and running will be the highest-profile task of the next CEO of Payments Canada as Tracey Black, who has run the organization since 2018, officially stepped down at the end of her term Monday.

Payments Canada CFO Kristina Logue and chief delivery officer Jude Pinto have been named co-CEOs on an interim basis until a successor is named.

The organization, founded by Parliament but funded by industry, owns and operates Canada’s payment systems, last year clearing and settling over $112 trillion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2024.

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