Payments Canada has announced that the launch of the country’s forthcoming Real-Time Rail (RTR) payment system has been delayed once more.
The organization cited “current delivery delays, unrelated to the exchange technology components,” adding that it is also conducting another review.
“To understand and mitigate any future delays in the remainder of the program, Payments Canada, with full support from our Board of Directors and regulators, is undertaking a targeted review of risks identified in the delivery of the RTR,” noted Payments Canada in a June 13 announcement shared on the organization’s website.
“Payments Canada recognizes that timelines have shifted … and acknowledges the implications of delays to the payment ecosystem.”
This marks yet another delay for the RTR system, which Payments Canada first promised to deliver in 2022, before rescheduling its launch to mid-2023. It also represents the initiative’s second review in recent months, following a third-party delivery assurance review that concluded during Q1 and focused on “program management, people, and process.”
“Payments Canada recognizes that timelines have shifted since the RTR program was launched and acknowledges the implications of delays to the payment ecosystem,” stated the organization.
Canada is currently developing an RTR system meant to modernize the country’s core payments infrastructure that will allow for payments to be sent and received within seconds. These efforts are being spearheaded by Payments Canada, a non-profit organization that reports to the Government of Canada.
Interac has been selected as the RTR’s exchange provider, Mastercard’s Vocalink was chosen as its clearing and settlement solution provider, and Tata Consultancy Services has been tasked with integrating the system.
A number of different industry stakeholders have previously called into question the delays in the RTR system and the introduction of open banking in Canada. Last year, Fintechs Canada executive director Alex Vronces described both to BetaKit as “disastrous” for the Canadian FinTech sector, calling the 2022 RTR delay “disappointing” but also “not a surprise.”
“Things have been absurd from the get-go,” he added. “We’ve asked banks to invest in and build a payment system that their competitors will use to compete with them.”
Per Payments Canada, this latest review will take approximately three months, after which the organization expects to provide “an action plan for the path forward.” Though vendor delivery activities will continue during this time, Payments Canada will “suspend or shift the focus of some RTR program activities” while the review is executed.
Feature image courtesy Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay.