Interac will leverage its existing infrastructure in Canada’s payment ecosystem along with its connectivity to nearly 300 financial institutions


Payments Canada partners with Interac. (Credit: Ahmad Ardity from Pixabay.)

Payments Canada has selected Interac as the exchange solution provider for Canada’s real-time payments system, the Real-Time Rail (RTR).

Interac is a Canadian interbank network that connects financial institutions and other enterprises for exchanging electronic financial transactions.

Under the partnership, Interac will leverage its existing infrastructure in Canada’s payment ecosystem along with existing connectivity to nearly 300 financial institutions.

The exchange solution allows Payments Canada members participating in the RTR to send and receive RTR payment messages.

Also, the exchange solution will interface with the clearing and settlement solution offered by Mastercard’s Vocalink, to enable the settlement of RTR payments in real-time.

Interac Corp president and CEO Mark O’Connell said: “Working with Payments Canada to support the build of the Real-Time Rail represents a significant opportunity to enable consumers and businesses to take full advantage of digital payment solutions and foster increased innovation and efficiency.

“Interac has been at the heart of Canadian payments for more than three decades and we are excited to expand this role and continue serving as a trusted connection point for Canadians when paying or moving their money and data.”

RTR will be operated by Payments Canada and regulated by the Bank of Canada and will allow Canadians to continuously initiate payments and receive irrevocable funds within seconds.

The system leverages ISO 20022 data standard to support payment information travelling with every payment and is anticipated to launch in 2022.

For creating the exchange solution for the RTR, Interac intends to leverage the same technology that powers Interac e-Transfer service.

The technology supports ISO 20022 messaging standard, along with compliance with the Bank of Canada’s risk management standards for prominent payment systems.

Payments Canada said that RTR is a part of its multi-year industry programme aimed at modernising the infrastructure, rules and standards that underpin payments in Canada.

Payments Canada president and CEO Tracey Black said: “Interac is a well-suited partner to support the launch and ongoing operations of Canada’s new real-time payments system.

“They have made significant investments in infrastructure and services and, with connectivity to almost 300 financial institutions in Canada, will be able to support the rapid adoption of real-time payments in Canada.

“The Real-Time Rail will be the foundation for faster, data-rich payments and act as a platform for innovation.

“Participants in the payment system will be able to connect and develop new and exciting ways for Canadians to pay for goods and services, transfer money and better compete nationally and internationally.”