FDATA North America Submits Comments to Canada’s Consultation on Strengthening Competition in the Financial Sector

by rebecca

Contact: Laine Williams, (202) 897-4757, [email protected] 

February 28, 2024 Washington, DC – The Financial Data and Technology Association of North America (FDATA) today submitted comments to Canada’s Department of Finance as part of its consultation on strengthening competition in the financial sector. Our submission underscored the necessity for the enactment and realization of several previously announced initiatives that will provide increased competition in Canada’s financial sector once delivered.

FDATA NA’s feedback highlighted four cornerstone initiatives, each critical to fostering a more inclusive, innovative, and competitive financial ecosystem:

  1. Consumer-Driven Finance (CDF): We advocated for the swift advancement of CDF including the pivotal adoption of an open banking regime. This approach is designed to empower consumers and small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) with enhanced control over their financial data, serving as a catalyst for broadening the range of financial products and services available. Such a framework is indispensable for stimulating market competition and driving innovation.
  2. Real-Time Rail (RTR): Our comments emphasized the urgent need for the accelerated deployment of the RTR to modernize Canada’s payment infrastructure. This development is key to enabling instant payment processing capabilities that will benefit both consumers and SMEs, thereby encouraging innovation and improving efficiency across the financial sector.
  3. Retail Payment Activities Act (RPAA) Implementation: We stressed the importance of promptly implementing RPAA regulations to cover approximately 2,500 payment service providers (PSPs) within a comprehensive and robust regulatory framework. This initiative aims to significantly enhance the security, efficiency, and competitive nature of Canada’s payment systems.
  4. Canadian Payments Act (CP Act) Amendments: FDATA NA called for essential amendments to the CP Act, allowing regulated non-bank payment providers direct access to Canada’s payment rails. This strategic move is expected to democratize the financial services marketplace, lower transaction costs, and foster a more vibrant and competitive landscape.

Through the enactment and realization of these initiatives, FDATA NA envisions a fundamental transformation within Canada’s financial sector. Leveraging models of success from international jurisdictions, we highlighted the potential of our recommendations to significantly boost the sector’s competitiveness, inclusivity, and innovation. The ultimate beneficiaries of these reforms that will deliver a more competitive financial ecosystem will be consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the broader Canadian economy.

A full copy of the submission is available here.