Real-Time Rail

Canada’s new real-time payments system called the Real-Time Rail* is a new, payments system that will provide 24/7/365 payments that are final and irrevocable. At launch the system will feature account number based routing and ISO 20022 messaging to support data-rich payments.

*The name Real-Time Rail is currently being used for project delivery purposes only and will be changed.

Key Outcomes

  • Provides faster alternatives to less efficient payments options (e.g. cheques and cash)
  • More convenient payment options using simple identifiers, instead of complex banking information
  • Supports last-minute payments (e.g. credit card or bill payments) and provides certainty of receipt
  • Acts as a platform for innovation, allowing Payments Canada members to develop enhanced and new ways for Canadians to pay for goods and services, and transfer money

Timeline

2018 – 2019

Initial approach planning and design

2019 – 2020

Revised approach planning and design

2020 – 2022

Build and testing

2022

Real-Time Rail go live

FAQs

The Real-Time Rail is a new real-time payments system that will provide immediate, 24/7/365 payments that are final and irrevocable. At launch the system will feature account number based routing and ISO 20022 messaging to support data-rich payments.

An always available system that delivers funds in less than 60 seconds —providing a real-time capability — is required for Canada to keep pace, and to meet the needs of Canadians as identified during Payments Canada’s public consultation for the future of payments in Canada.

Canada is unique from other countries as we already have existing forms of real-time payments. However, the current examples of real-time payments services provide funds to Canadians in near real time, as the movement of funds between the sender’s and receiver’s banks (settlement) does not actually occur until the next business day.

Payments Canada is introducing a new real-time payments system that will allow funds to move between a sender and receiver account in real-time, 24/7/365.

The new system will enable fast, convenient payments and act as a platform for innovation, allowing Payments Canada members to develop enhanced and new ways for Canadians to pay for goods and services, and transfer money.