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Canada Sends In Task Force To Tackle “Bewildering” Payments System

Posted  June 30, 2010

Canada is attempting to get a handle on the bewildering explosion in new payment technologies with a task force.

Canada’s Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, has announced the launch of a new Task Force for the Payments System Review.  As Flaherty commented, consumers today can make payments in “a bewildering number of ways, even by tapping a cell phone against a scanner.”

One of the Task Force’s main goals will be to figure out how to introduce these new payment technologies without compromising Canadian safety and efficiency or consumer protection.  The Task Force is gearing up to provide recommendations to the Minister by the end of 2011.

The Task Force’s mandate includes: (1)”[i]dentify[ing] public policy objectives to be pursued in the operation and regulation of the payments system;” (2) “[i]dentify[ing] and assess[ing] the regulatory and institutional structures best suited to achieving those public policy objectives;” (3) “[a]ssess[ing] and report[ing] on the safety and soundness of the Canadian payments system;” (4) “[a]ssess[ing] the competitive landscape for current participants by identifying any potential barriers for new entrants and mechanisms to improve the competitive landscape of the domestic payments system;” (5) “[a]ssess[ing] the degree of innovation in the domestic payments system and report[ing] on the challenges and opportunities to bring new and innovative products to market in Canada;” and (6) “[a]ssess[ing] and report[ing] on whether consumers and merchants are well served by the domestic payments system.”

The Task Force is chaired by Patricia Meredith, a Professional Associate and Senior Adviser to financial services and technology companies with the consulting firm Monitor Group, an Adjunct Professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, and former Executive Vice President of corporate strategy and member of the Senior Executive at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

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