The Financial Post reports in its Thursday, May 20, edition that last August, the Bank of Canada added a new role to its portfolio: overseeing the Interac e-transfer system. The Post's Jon Victor writes that the digital-payments network, which handled nearly a billion transactions last year, had become so essential to the Canadian economy that Governor Tiff Macklem decided the BOC needed to regulate it.
Now the bank faces a bigger transition. Last month, Ottawa introduced legislation to expand the BOC's mandate to include oversight of any technology company that handles retail payments.
While the bank has long been responsible for promoting stability in the country's financial system, the Retail Payment Activities Act would see it regulating a large and diverse group of tech companies. The Centre for International Governance Innovation's Pat Meredith says: "Having the Bank of Canada as the Retail Payments Oversight Body will allow fintechs that meet the requirements to connect directly to the new real-time payments system and not have to go through a bank. If anything it would reduce unnecessary and unrelated regulation of fintech players and hopefully increase competition in payments."
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