• Canadian Task Force on Payments System Issues Discussion Paper
  • August 1, 2011 | Author: Andrew Fleming
  • Law Firm: Norton Rose Canada LLP - Toronto Office
  • The Task Force for the Payments System Review has recently published its discussion paper The Way We Pay: Transforming the Canadian Payments System. The discussion paper presents the research of the Task Force to date and elaborates on the goal of Canada to become a world leader in payments. The Task Force for the Payments System Review was established in June 2010. Its mandate is to provide the Canadian Minister of Finance with recommendations about the safety, soundness and efficiency of the payments system, to identify public policy objectives for the operation and regulation of the system and to identify a regulatory and institutional structure to achieve these objectives.

    The payments system is undergoing a dramatic shift as the information revolution continues. The discussion paper outlines the challenges which must be addressed and sets out the elements of a proposed governance framework for the system. The following are identified by the Task Force as the fundamental challenges facing the Canadian payments system:

    • increasing fairness in the credit and debt card networks;
    • updating the fragmented regulatory and governance structure for payments;
    • improving on-line authentication, security and privacy for on-line payments; and
    • transitioning to a digital economy.

    The components of the proposed governance framework are:

    • payments legislation;
    • an industry self-governing organization;
    • a basic payments infrastructure; and
    • a payments oversight body.

    The discussion paper is a must read for organizations and individuals involved in the payments landscape and public response to the discussion paper is encouraged. The Task Force intends to submit its final recommendations to the Minister of Finance at the end of 2011.