Our History

Payments Canada has formed a critical part of Canada’s financial market infrastructure for four decades. We are responsible for the systems, processes and rules essential to payments clearing and settlement in Canada. 

In 2015, we embarked on an ambitious program to modernize Canada’s payments systems to raise the country’s financial ecosystem to a modern global standard, marking the beginning of an evolution well beyond our ‘operational’ role. Through our collaborative efforts with members and stakeholders we are succeeding in this regard and are fully engaged in preparing for new payments system implementation starting in 2021.

In 2020, Payments Canada turns 40 years old. It’s a milestone worth celebrating, as we have grown tremendously, both as Canada’s payment systems provider and as an organization. We have made substantial human and financial resource investments across all parts of the company (e.g. technology, risk, security, research and policy), accelerating our evolution from a humble association to a dynamic organization that is at the centre of payments in Canada. 

Our historical timeline:

Electronic payments

Ninety percent of the volume in our retail system comes from Canadians making payments electronically. That includes point-of-service (POS) payments, direct deposits, online payments, pre-authorized debits, bill payments, and electronic data interchange transactions.