Fintechs Canada submits Open Banking wishlist to government ahead of Budget

Ellie Duncan
13 Feb 2024

In its pre-Budget submission to the federal government, Fintechs Canada has put forward proposals for what a government-led entity should do to oversee Open Banking, and how the government can provide ongoing support for Real-Time Rail (RTR).

The collective voice for Canadian fintechs has asked the Canadian federal government to follow through on its commitment to deliver consumer-driven banking and, at the same time, continue to support Payments Canada’s RTR, which will be the country’s first real-time payment system.

In the Fall Economic Statement last November, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland outlined her intention to deliver Open Banking, referred to as “consumer-driven banking”.

At the time, she said that the framework legislation would be introduced in Budget 2024.

In the Fall Economic Statement, Freeland also confirmed Canada would mandate a “government-led entity” tasked with supervising and enforcing the framework.

According to Fintechs Canada, the government-led entity should oversee accreditation of Open Banking participants, supervise their conduct, as well as that of the mandated standard-setting body and, finally, maintain a registry of accredited participants.

In its pre-Budget submission, Fintechs Canada wrote that the appropriate mandate is “one that puts the interests of data subjects (e.g., consumers) first and foremost…[and] should also include the promotion of fair and responsible competition, since consumer-driven banking is also about giving Canadians access to a wider range of financial services”.

“Moreover, the government-led entity should have the resources to educate Canadians about the benefits of consumer-driven banking,” Fintechs Canada wrote.

The not-for-profit association has also recommended that the government continue to support the RTR, which will be owned and operated by Payments Canada.

In its submission, Fintechs Canada acknowledged that the not-for-profit member association had faced a series of challenges “in trying to get the system up and running”.

“By continuing to support the delivery of the real-time rail, the government will help expand access to the Canadian payment system and make the system itself more functionally rich for consumers and businesses,” stated Fintechs Canada.

In October last year, Fintechs Canada launched its ‘Choose More’ campaign supported by EQ Bank, Wealthsimple, Flinks, Wise and Xero, to “demand that the government upgrade Canada’s financial system” by implementing Open Banking.