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Payments Canada (PC)

On this page, we will share what you need to know about PC (Payments Canada) to understand the Canadian financial markets better. This helps international money transfer customers figure out how the economy is organized and what systems are used to move money around. Therefore, you can have peace of mind when sending money to Canada

Updated: 09/09/2022
Read time: 6 minutes
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What Is Payments Canada?

PC, also known as Canadian Payments Association, is a Canadian settlement system and payment clearing organization. The entity was established as a result of the Canadian Payments Act in 1980, and its primary responsibilities include regulating and maintaining directories of routing numbers in Canada. 

A total of $50.8 trillion was settled and cleared across 7.4 billion transactions in 2016, which means that $201.5 billion changes hands on each business day. This means that Payments Canada is an important organization for helping financial institutions and ensuring the Canadian financial markets run smoothly. 

The organization was formed in 1980, and the CEO is Tracey Black. The parent departments include the Department of Finance and the Bank of Canada. These are the organizations to which PC is accountable. 

Also, to support the long-term growth of Canada’s economy, Payments Canada, in collaboration with Canadian financial institutions and other stakeholders, is leading a multi-year, multi-phase initiative to modernize payments Canada’s systems.

What Is PC Responsible For?

This section will showcase the primary responsibilities of PC. This allows users of the Canadian economy to figure out why they can trust the payments Canada’s systems integrity and send money without worrying that it will get lost or purchasing online by using any payment system. 

According to the Canadian Payments Act, the duties of PC include:

  • National systems: Payments Canada has the role of creating and maintaining national systems that are used to clear and settle payments or other arrangements for exchanging payments such as purchasing something online using a debit card as a payment system. 
  • Interactions: they must also help with the transactions on their Canadian financial system. This means ensuring that transactions are processed promptly and that payments Canada’s systems work correctly. 
  • Development: PC must constantly research and develop new systems to improve current models. This ensures that Canadian payments systems can meet the challenges of continually evolving technologies. 

PC has a strategy for ensuring the above objectives are met to create a modernized payments infrastructure that will benefit Canadians, financial institutions and consumers of international money transfer companies

The payment system that PC uses includes Lynx, which is the primary clearing system for large-value and time-critical CAD transactions. It’s regulated by the Bank of Canada and uses an electronic wire payment system. 

Furthermore, the retail batch payment system consists of ACCSS (Automated Clearing Settlement Systems) and U.S. Dollar Bank Bulk Exchange. ACCSS is commonly used for handling cheques and electronic payments such as pre-authorized debit and bill payments, online payments, point-of-sale transactions, ATM withdrawals and direct deposits. 

Also, risk management standards for payment systems are applied by the Bank of Canada and they are proportionate to the level of risk that a payment system can pose to the Canadian financial system and the Canadian economy.

Why Is Payments Canada Important?

This section reveals why PC is an important organization. These significant factors will highlight how the Canadian financial markets work to serve the general public. Therefore, money transfer customers can trust the economy when sending money to Canada.  

  • Improves trust in financial markets: consumers want to feel safe that the funds they transfer with any money transfer system will arrive at the intended destination. Therefore, the PC plays a vital role in offering a system that facilitates the sending of money without it potentially getting lost along the way. If the system were not dependable, fewer people would send money, which would negatively affect the Canadian economy. 
  • Provides various payment options: Payments Canada offers multiple systems that can be used to send money. This gives businesses and financial institutions various methods of moving money around and choosing an option that matches their needs. 
  • Push technology forward: part of Payments Canada’s responsibilities is constantly developing the technologies used to house the Canadian payments system. This means they can adopt and popularize new financial technologies in Canada that businesses and other financial institutions can use to offer better customer service. For example, as technology progresses, it might be normal for all money transfer companies to provide instant and free transfers. 

Payments Canada Regulations

This section will help you get to know Payments Canada at a glance. You can also learn about the regulations that dedicate their mandate and the industries they are involved in. 

Regulations: the regulations that relate to Payments Canada include the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act. This act became law on the 31st of July 1996 and is overseen by the Bank of Canada. The act ensures that the payment sustem is correctly settled with the correct recipient of the funds. 

Crimes: Payments Canada does not monitor, report, or deal with crimes. They are simply an organization tasked with creating and maintaining a payment system that allows Canadian and international users to send and settle payments. 

Industries: Payments Canada is involved with all sectors in Canada because its system enables every participant to send and receive funds. In fact, with the payment systems maintained by Payments Canada, businesses and other Canadian financial institutions would find it impossible to do business in Canada. 

Accountability: Payments Canada is directly accountable to its parent organizations, the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance. 

What Regions Does Payments Canada Cover?

Payments Canada is responsible for the entirety of Canada, which means any business or canadian consumers can interact with their payments systems all around the country. They also allow people to interact with their payment systems when sending money intentionally

When Might You Encounter Payments Canada?

There is no common reason to interact with Payments Canada. They exist to create a payments system open to the general public and businesses to use for interacting with the Canadian economy. However, you encounter their payment system in everyday life when making online purchases in Canada. A payment system example might be when you use a debit or credit card

Can Payments Canada Make New Rules?

Payments Canada has the authority to update and change the systems used for making payments in Canada. However, they are accountable to parent organizations such as the Bank of Canada. This means they may need to run the changes by them for them to get approved. 

How to Contact Payments Canada?

This section provides publicly available contact information for Payments Canada. You may wish to contact them to find out more about how their system works, which would be handy for consumers of international money transfer companies

Bottom Line

To summarize, Payments Canada is an essential cog in the economy because it is responsible for creating and maintaining payment systems. Everyone in Canada uses these systems to settle payments. Without Payments Canada’s work, there would be no economy or way of doing business. 

To continue learning more about the process of transferring funds to Canada, we suggest that you check out our other guides. For example, you can start with Send Money To Canada and Send Money from the United States to Canada. Reading through these guides lets you figure out how to save money and reduce the transfer time of sending funds to Canada. 

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April Summers

April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.

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