Global real-time payments inspiration

Published: September 24, 2020

As Canada gears up for a future that includes a new real-time payments system, the Real-Time Rail (RTR), let’s look at the launch of real-time payments in the United States and Australia and take stock of where these systems are today. Not only have these two countries inspired us along the way, they’ve also given us a glimpse into the demand and opportunities that lie ahead, putting us in a unique position to learn and evolve our efforts to meet the needs of Canadians.

Let’s start with the U.S.’s RTP network from the Clearing House which launched in 2017. Today we know that it reaches 56 per cent of U.S. bank accounts, and 150 banks and credit unions are signed up to join the network within the coming months. So, what did it take to launch the system and what role did industry collaboration and consultation play? Our interview with Steve Ledford from The Clearing House, has answers. 

Then there’s Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) which launched in 2018 and now has approximately 85 financial institutions connected to it, providing faster payment services to their combined customers. Further, more than 66 million account holders can now make and receive payments via the NPP.  A month after its launch, we spoke with Katrina Stuart from the NPP about how success would be measured, and the approach to educating stakeholders about the benefits of real-time payments. To catch up on this and more, here’s our interview

Back here in Canada meanwhile, progress is being made in support of the go-live of the RTR in 2022, with participation from key industry partners, including Canadian financial institutions.

A recent activity milestone is the publication of the Canada’s New Real-Time Payments System Policy Framework consultation paper. This paper includes policy proposals that will underpin the RTR. Payments Canada welcomes feedback on this paper. The consultation closes on October 30, 2020.

To learn more about Canada’s Modernization program, and the RTR, visit