Payments Canada reveals further delay to Real-Time Rail delivery

Ellie Duncan
14 Jun 2023

The launch date of Canada’s Real-Time Rail (RTR) has been further delayed as Payments Canada conducts a second review of the delivery of Canada’s payment system.

In an update, Payments Canada said that regulators and member financial institutions “remain fully committed to delivering a safe, secure and efficient real-time payment system for Canada”, but that current delivery delays “unrelated to the exchange technology components” are impacting the launch date.

Payments Canada has confirmed it is undertaking a targeted review of risks identified in the delivery of the RTR, which is expected to take three months, in an effort to identify and mitigate any future delays to the remainder of the program.

During this time, vendor delivery activities will continue, while Payments Canada will “suspend or shift the focus of some RTR program activities”.

Earlier in the year, Payments Canada engaged a third party to review delivery assurance, with a focus on program management, people and process.

Upon completion of the review in the first quarter, it was confirmed that Payments Canada is “well positioned to continue to lead the program effectively, and recommended additional testing and investments to enhance ongoing operations once the RTR system goes live”.

The organisation, which is responsible for Canada’s payment clearing and settlement infrastructure, said it “recognizes that timelines have shifted since the RTR program was launched and acknowledges the implications of delays to the payment ecosystem”.

It is the latest in a series of setbacks for Canada’s RTR – back in October 2022, Payments Canada revealed that it would not go live in June 2023, as previously planned, but did not provide a revised launch date.