Canada must move quickly to be a leader in mobile payments: CIBC's Jim Prentice

Financial institutions must focus on continued innovation that addresses consumer issues

QUEBEC CITY, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) - Participants in the Canadian mobile payment space, including financial institutions, wireless providers, networks and regulators, must act now and put a renewed focus on clients if Canada wants to be a leader in mobile payments, says the Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., Vice Chairman of CIBC.

Speaking to the Canadian Payment Association, Mr. Prentice said that innovation in mobile payments is going to happen suddenly and if Canada and its financial institutions want to be leaders they must find ways to innovate.

"Consumer issues should be paramount. And what consumers want is all of the security, safety and soundness they have come to expect, but with added speed and convenience," said Mr. Prentice. He added that Canada has the right elements for moving ahead with innovations in mobile banking and was second only to Singapore in a recent Mobile Payments Readiness Index.

Mr. Prentice also spoke about the partnership between the Canadian Bankers Association and the financial services industry to create voluntary guidelines for mobile banking.

"If we are smart - if we compete at some levels, and cooperate at others, around things like standards—Canada has a real opportunity to move into a leadership position in mobile payments. And we absolutely have the capacity to be leaders," said Mr. Prentice. "We just need the will."

The government also has a role to play by creating a level playing field by bringing all competitors under the same regulatory umbrella. But it needs to be done in a way that does not impede innovation or cooperation, but fosters it so that those who choose to play in this newly defined space can accelerate the pace of change, said Mr. Prentice.

"We simply need to be bold enough to act and wise enough to partner with other like-minded leaders to make the best use of the opportunities before us to serve our customers and Canadians," Mr. Prentice concluded.

Last month, CIBC announced Canada's first joint mobile payment solution with Rogers Communications, which will allow Canadians to use their smartphones to pay with their CIBC credit card at the checkout counter.  This announcement built on CIBC's leadership position in mobile innovation:

  • In 2010, CIBC was the first bank in Canada to launch a mobile banking App for Canadians
  • In 2011 CIBC launched the CIBC Home Advisor App, with free tools, advice, and neighbourhood information to assist homebuyers in making informed decisions when buying a home, as well as launching the CIBC Mobile Brokerage App, making CIBC the first bank in Canada to deliver a mobile stock trading app to clients
  • Also in 2011, CIBC was recognized as the "Best in Mobile Banking" in North America by Global Finance Magazine.

Mr. Prentice joined CIBC on Jan. 1, 2011, and has responsibility for expanding CIBC's relationships with corporate clients across Canada and abroad, and for providing leadership on strategic initiatives to enhance CIBC's position in the market. He joined the bank following a successful career as a lawyer, Member of Parliament and one of the most senior Ministers in the Canadian Government, serving variously as the Minister of Industry, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. 

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at

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