Daily Dash: Canada's Real-Time Payments System Not Expected Until 2026

April 19, 2024
Canada has confirmed that its long-awaited instant payments system will be delayed once again, and New Zealand has opened a new consultation on central bank digital currency.

Canada’s Real-Time Payments System Not Expected Until 2026

Payments Canada, architect of the country’s forthcoming Real-Time Rail (RTR), has said the new instant payment will not be ready until 2026 at the earliest.

In an update posted this week, Payments Canada said it is currently working towards having the RTR ready for internal testing in 2025 and industry testing in 2026.

The RTR is a “complex, large-scale, multi-year” infrastructure project that includes two key technical components. 

The first is the build of the RTR exchange component, which allows for real-time exchange of payment messages. This was built by Interac, the Canadian interbank network, and was completed in June 2023.

The second piece is the build of the real-time clearing and settlement component, which is still ongoing.

Initially launched in 2016 with a delivery date of 2019, the RTR project has been fraught with delays and has been pushed back numerous times.

New Zealand Consults On CBDC Plans

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has opened a new consultation on the issuance of a New Zealand central bank digital currency (CBDC), referred to as digital cash. 

“Innovations in money and payments are challenging New Zealand’s monetary sovereignty. Like crypto-assets, distributed ledgers, smart contracts and digital currencies issued by global technology companies," said Ian Woolford, a senior official at the RBNZ.

"New Zealand’s money must innovate to stay relevant and useful and ensure our monetary sovereignty."

Woolford said there is also a clear opportunity for digital cash to support competition and innovation by enabling the fintech sector.

The consultation will consider the rationale for CBDC adoption, how it might benefit New Zealand’s payments landscape and economy, and how it could be designed with input from banks.

Feedback will be collected until July 26, 2024.

Cross-Border Platform Nium Wins Regulatory Approval In New Zealand

Nium, a real-time cross-border payments platform, has announced that it has successfully registered as a financial services provider in New Zealand.

The registration is a first step towards offering businesses in New Zealand a range of financial services such as virtual accounts, debit and prepaid cards, funds collection and global payouts, the company said.

In 2024, Nium has already received approvals or in-principle approvals for four licences and registrations in Japan, India and New Zealand.

In India last month, Nium received in-principle approval for both a prepaid payment payment (PPI) instrument licence and a payment aggregator licence.

Launched in 2014, the New Zealand registration adds to Nium’s portfolio of licences and registrations covering more than 40 countries globally.

Chile Consults On Open Finance Legislation

Chile's Financial Markets Commission (CMF) has launched a consultation on the draft Open Finance System Regulations.

Interested parties now have until May 15, 2024 to submit their feedback to the legislative framework.

The draft regulations aim to regulate the requirements to participate in the Open Finance ecosystem. They establish risk management obligations and operating standards for system participants to safeguard the information of people who consent to share their data to access new services or products.

The regulations will apply to information provider institutions (IPIs), account provider institutions (IPCs), information-based service providers (PSBIs) and payment initiation service providers (PSIPs) that are in scope of the country's Fintech Law.

This includes entities currently supervised by the CMF and others that will be incorporated into the regulatory perimeter, as participants in the Open Finance System.

The implementation period will be gradual, based on the role played by each participant within the Open Finance System, beginning to take effect within 18 months from the issuance of the finalised regulations.

Mobile Payments Set To Dominate By End of 2024, Says Dutch Central Bank

The proportion of contactless point-of-sale (POS) payments using a smartphone or smartwatch has increased sharply in the Netherlands, from 21 percent in 2022 to 29 percent in 2023. 

The central bank says the increase has come largely at the expense of debit card payments, both contactless and chip and PIN, whose share of payments continues to fall. 

The shift can also be seen throughout 2023: in the first month of 2023, 23 percent of all POS payments were made using a smartphone or smartwatch, while in the last month of the year it was 33 percent.

If this trend continues, the central bank said that contactless payment by mobile or smartwatch will be the most common way to pay at the checkout later in 2024.

FinCEN Warns Of 'Concerning' Rise In US Passport Fraud

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an office of the US Treasury, has issuednotice to financial institutions (FIs) warning that identity theft using counterfeit US passport cards is on the rise. 

The notice provides an overview of typologies associated with US passport card fraud, highlights red flags and reminds FIs of their reporting requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

Working in partnership with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), which issues US passports, FinCEN aims to reduce instances of passport fraud and prevent further losses among victims.

From 2018 to 2023, US passport card fraud resulted in $10m in actual losses and $8m in additional attempted losses, with more than 4,000 victims in the US, the DSS said.

However, the agency also said the real number of victims and losses are likely to be “significantly” higher due to lack of reporting.

Revolut To Expand Domestic Presence In India Following New Approval

Revolut has received an in-principle authorisation from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue prepaid instruments (PPI), prepaid cards and wallets within India.

This will add to Revolut’s existing status in India as a Category II Authorised Dealer (ADII), allowing it to issue multi-currency forex cards and offering cross-border remittances.

“We are now in a position to work towards offering Indian consumers both international and domestic payment solutions on a single platform,” said Sumedha Uppal, marketing manager at Revolut India.

“Not only does this increase our total addressable market by a mile, it is a continued reminder of the faith that the regulator has in us.”

Earlier this month, Revolut, which now boasts more than 40m users, secured a licence to launch in Mexico. However, its UK banking licence application remains in limbo.

Fraud Cases More Than Double In Denmark

Danish banks registered a total of 9,127 cases of online banking fraud in 2023, according to trade association Finance Denmark. This is more than twice as many cases as the previous year.

According to the trade association, criminals attempted to make over DKK225m ($32.1m) in fraudulent transactions. 

Although banks were able to prevent fraud in more than half of the cases, 3,842 cases ended with a loss for either the customer or the bank of a total of DKK104.9m ($15m). 

"Unfortunately, we have to state that IT-related financial fraud is increasing year on year, and this also applies to online banking fraud," said Michael Busk-Jepsen, digitisation director at Finance Denmark. 

"It most often occurs when the criminal persuades the victim to either transfer money to the criminal's account himself or to hand over information so that the criminal can do so himself."

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