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Bank of Canada designates additional prominent payment systems

Press Release

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem has designated Visa Inc.’s VisaNet, Mastercard International Inc.’s Global Clearing Management System and Single Message System, and Interac Corp.’s Inter-Member Network as prominent payment systems under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act, effective October 16, 2023.

Designation brings these systems under formal Bank oversight and requires them to adhere to the Bank’s risk management standards. This includes having risk controls in place to ensure continued resilience so they remain safe, viable and effective methods of payment for Canadians.

Millions of Canadian consumers and merchants rely on these retail payment systems to conduct daily transactions. In aggregate, the annual value of Visa and Mastercard credit card transactions and Interac® debit card transactions represent close to $1 trillion in the Canadian economy. In terms of volume, they collectively account for the majority of point-of-sale transactions.

Given the significant value and volume of daily transactions and how central they are to the retail payments landscape, a material disruption or failure could negatively impact economic activity. It could also lead to a loss of confidence in the overall payments system.

The Bank regularly monitors the evolution of new and existing payment systems to determine whether they warrant oversight because of their potential to cause systemic or payment system risk.

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