Harnessing change and facilitating innovation: Canadian Payments Association
releases its Payments Strategy

OTTAWA, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Payments Association's Board of Directors has approved the CPA's Payments Strategy: Vision 2020, enabling the Association to move forward with initiatives that support the dynamic changes to the Canadian payments industry.

"Our strategy will ensure the CPA's framework for clearing and settlement continues to serve the needs of all payments industry participants and the Canadian public", said CPA President and CEO Guy Legault. "The strategy sets out a framework for innovation in the payments marketplace and will make the CPA more responsive to the needs of our members and stakeholders", added Janet Cosier, Chair of the CPA's Board of Directors.

Born out of the need to address the evolution of change within the payments industry, the CPA embarked on a rigorous 12-month consultation process with industry, stakeholders and regulators. The end result, Vision 2020, establishes a road map for the CPA to evolve its systems and rule framework over the long term.

The CPA will strengthen its ability to best serve its members and stakeholders by focusing on five pillars:

    
    -   Electronic Payments: promote modern, innovative, safe and sound
        frameworks that support the introduction and use of electronic
        payments;

    -   Efficiencies in Payments: drive efficiency for the CPA clearing and
        settlement systems, CPA members and payments users and identify
        opportunities to improve interoperability and straight through
        processing (STP) capabilities for CPA clearing and settlement
        systems;

    -   Legal Framework: modernize the CPA legal framework (Act, bylaws, and
        rules) to reflect and better accommodate new clearing arrangements,
        business models, and emerging market participants and payment
        products;

    -   CPA Exchange, Clearing and Settlement IT Systems: enhance the
        robustness and resiliency of CPA technology, networks and
        applications for clearing and settlement, by developing and
        implementing a multi-year technology strategy that improves clearing
        and settlement arrangements and accommodates evolving electronic
        payments; and

    -   Value Added Services: enhance services that promote knowledge and
        information sharing to better meet the needs of CPA clearing and
        settlement system participants and users.
    

With the release of its Payments Strategy, the CPA will now focus its priorities on implementing the projects mapped out in Vision 2020.

"Payments in Canada will quickly mature into highly automated and user-initiated transactions. The pace of innovation in the payments marketplace will continue to increase, so will the global trend towards enhanced regulation and oversight. This rapid evolution will present challenges to participants, the clearing and settlement processes and systems. With Vision 2020 we are meeting these challenges head-on", concluded Guy Legault.

Change and innovation will also be the focus of Payments Panorama 2010, June 16 - 18 in Vancouver, Canada's most comprehensive Payments Industry conference. Featured speakers include the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance; Andrew Long, Head of Global Transaction Banking for HSBC Holdings plc and Steve Mott, Ideas Broker and Business Futurist. To view the entire roster of speakers, sponsorship opportunities, or to register for the event, go to www.cdnpay.ca/conference.

More information on Vision 2020 can be found on the CPA's website at www.cdnpay.ca.

The Canadian Payments Association (CPA), created by an Act of Parliament in 1980, operates Canada's national clearing and settlement systems; facilitates their interaction with other systems involved in the clearing and settlement of payments; and facilitates the development of new payment methods and technologies. It promotes the efficiency, safety and soundness of the clearing and settlement systems, taking into account the interests of users. Its current membership comprises virtually all of Canada's bank and non-bank deposit-taking financial institutions. In 2009, the CPA's systems cleared and settled transactions averaging $173 billion each business day.

SOURCE Canadian Payments Association

For further information: For further information: Geoffroi Montpetit, Director of Public Affairs, Canadian Payments Association, (613) 238-4173 ext. 3240, info@cdnpay.ca

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