Payments Canada Partners With Mastercard’s Vocalink To Advance Real-Time Rail

Payments Canada is teaming up with Mastercard’s Vocalink for clearing and settlement for the country’s new real-time payments system, the Real-Time Rail (RTR).

Delegated by the Canadian Government, Payments Canada is responsible for the clearing and settlement infrastructure, processes and rules. The RTR is the foundation of Payments Canada’s plans to modernize the payments infrastructure in the country. 

“Mastercard’s Vocalink business is a demonstrated leader in the real-time payments ecosystem, and they will be a valuable partner for Payments Canada in the introduction and ongoing operation of Canada’s real-time payments system,” Tracey Black, president and chief executive officer of Payments Canada, said in a statement on Thursday (Nov. 12).

“Providing Canadians and Canadian businesses with access to faster, data-rich payment options will enable innovation, support the long-term growth of the economy, and strengthen our global competitiveness.”

Mastercard’s Vocalink’s clearing and settlement solution supports Payments Canada requirements, including ISO 20022 and the Bank of Canada’s risk management standards.

“As a company that operates real-time payments systems, across card and account rails around the world, we’ve seen first-hand how consumers, businesses, and governments benefit from the efficiency, transparency, and innovation they provide,” said Sasha Krstic, president of Mastercard in Canada. “We’re proud to partner with Payments Canada to support a best-in-class, data-rich real-time payments infrastructure that provides a platform for innovation to enhance Canada’s economy.”

The RTR is expected to launch in 2022 and will be operated by Payments Canada and regulated by the Bank of Canada. The RTR will enable Canadians to make real-time payments and transfers every day, anytime. The system will also act as a “platform for innovation” to advance new solutions and services.

In an interview with PYMNTS last year, Vocalink CEO Gregor Dobbie said the industry has been undergoing several simultaneous shifts, from bitcoin and Libra to instant payments and open banking. 

Manish Gurukula, CEO of Alacriti, told PYMNTS in a September interview that real time payments are slow due to hurdles and roadblocks unique to the U.S.