March 27, 2012

Minister of Finance welcomes findings of the task force for the payments system review

OTTAWA--The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today welcomed the final report of the Task Force for the Payments System Review, entitled "Moving Canada into the Digital Age".

“More and more, Canadians want innovative payment tools that are in step with the latest technologies, are fast and efficient, and stand up to the highest standards of safety and soundness,” said Minister Flaherty. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, I want to thank the Task Force members for their efforts in responding to their mandate.”

The Task Force conducted two online consultations, regional roundtables and a series of working group meetings to promote dialogue and collaboration within the payments industry. It drew stakeholders from a wide range of sectors, including federal and provincial governments, consumer groups, businesses and the financial sector.

“The Government intends to continue this positive dialogue, working with key stakeholders,” said Minister Flaherty. “Together, we will help Canadians and businesses take advantage of the essential tools necessary to adopt digital payments.”

To this end, the Government will establish a senior-level advisory committee made up of public and private sector stakeholders. This group will meet regularly with Department of Finance officials to discuss emerging payments system issues. 

Minister Flaherty said the report’s findings regarding mobile payments will help inform the Government to ensure the payments framework meets the evolving needs of Canadian consumers and businesses. Department of Finance officials will review, in close consultation with stakeholders, the application of the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada to emerging mobile payment products so that the Code’s principles of transparency, fairness and competition will also guide the evolution of mobile payments in Canada.

The Government will also review the governance framework for the payments sector, including the Canadian Payments Association, to ensure the continued safety and soundness of the payments system, spur innovation and promote the consideration of user interests.

Announced in Budget 2010, the Task Force was asked to review the safety, soundness and efficiency of the payments system; whether there is sufficient innovation in the system; the competitive landscape; whether businesses and consumers are being well served; and whether the existing payments system oversight mechanisms remain appropriate.

The seven Task Force members were drawn from business and financial sectors, and were led by Patricia Meredith, Professional Associate and Senior Adviser to financial services and technology companies with the strategy consulting firm Monitor Group.



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