Québec, June 8, 2012

Archived - Minister of Finance Highlights the Importance of an Innovative Payments System in Keynote Address to Payments Panorama

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today delivered a keynote address at the 15th Payments Panorama Conference, highlighting the Harper Government’s actions to foster an innovative payments system that keeps pace with the emerging digital economy.

“Every year, Canadians make roughly 24 billion payments, worth more than $44 trillion,” said Minister Flaherty. “The movement of this money is vital to the continued strength and resilience of the Canadian economy. Without a safe and efficient payments system, our economy simply wouldn’t function.”

Payments Panorama is a biennial gathering of payments industry stakeholders, which include banks, payment card network operators, credit unions, consumer and merchant associations, technology firms, and government officials from across Canada and abroad.

The Minister highlighted actions the Harper Government has taken that are in line with the conference’s theme of Embracing a Digital Economy. These initiatives also respond to Moving Canada into the Digital Age, the final report of the Task Force for the Payments System Review, which was released in March 2012.

The initiatives include reviewing the governance framework for the payments system and establishing the Finance Canada Payments Consultative Committee (FinPay) to help the Government stay abreast of market developments and to contribute to policy development in support of an innovative and safe payments system. Membership in this committee of public and private sector stakeholders is being developed and the inaugural meeting will take place shortly.

The Minister also confirmed that the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada is currently being reviewed to ensure that it guides the development of mobile payments in Canada.

“Increasingly, Canadians want to be able to use technologies such as mobile payment products in ways that can enhance their day-to-day lives,” said Minister Flaherty. “Updating the Code so that it applies to mobile payments means that Canadian consumers and merchants can continue to expect transparency, fairness and competition when adopting and using these new payment services.”

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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